The International Military Cultural Resources Working Group (IMCuRWG), founded by Dr. J. D. (Joris) Kila at the University of Amsterdam Institute for Culture and History, is a consortium of cultural heritage professionals working within the military context.
Dr. Kila, who also serves as Lt. Colonel in the Netherlands MOD, formed IMCurWG to:
- Enhance military capacity to implement cultural property protection (CPP) across the full range of operations;
- Provide a forum for international co-operation and networking for those working within the military context;
- Identify areas of common interest;
- Share best practice and lessons learned;
- Provide damage reports and assessments on the condition of cultural property, archaeological sites and monuments in conflict regions;
- Raise awareness and publicize military commitment to the protection of both tangible and intangible cultural property and cultural heritage;
- Initiate and stimulate research on CPP and military involvement;
- Assist in the creation of an international military cultural emergency team.
Operating within the context of the 1954 Hague Convention, IMCuRWG addresses all relevant legal obligations pertaining to archaeological sites, historic buildings, museums, libraries, galleries and cultural landscapes around the world.
While membership is restricted to cultural heritage professionals who work within the military context, the Working Group’s liaison function frequently involves collaboration with advisors at NGOs and universities who actively participate in all IMCuRWG functions.
Recent activities include:
• The February 12-16, 2011 Emergency Mission to Assess Damage to Archaeological Sites in Egypt, conducted by Dr. J. D. Kila (IMCuRWG), Karl von Habsburg (President, Association of National Committees of the Blue Shield), and Dr. Thomas Schuler (ICOM Disaster Relief Task Force). The Final Report and photo documentation are available.
• Cultural Property Protection (CPP) Playing Cards, created with support from the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the State Inspectorate of Cultural Heritage and the Netherlands National Commission for UNESCO and permission from CCHAG and the Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands, Colorado State University.
On May 4, 2012 LTC Kila gave a presentation at AFRICOM headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, discussing 1954 Hague Convention requirements to protect cultural heritage for militaries engaged in hostilities and summarizing his September 28-30, 2011 visit to Libya to report on the condition of Leptis Magna after Operation Unified Protector. LTC Kila was a member of the team organized by IMCuRWG and the Association of National Committees of the Blue Shield that conducted an emergency assessment mission to determine the post-conflict cultural heritage situation, meet with Libyan officials, and independently confirm the extent of damage and looting that occurred during the uprising that toppled the Muammar Gaddafi regime. After the May 4 briefing, LTC Kila was presented with the Military Order of Foreign Wars of the United States.
For more information about IMCuRWG and to obtain a sample set of IMCuRWG Cultural Property Protection Playing Cards, contact:
Dr. J.D. Kila
Capaciteitsgroep Algemene Cultuurwetenschappen
Oude Turfmarkt 149
1012 GC Amsterdam ND
To view the IMCuRWG Playing Cards, click any image in the gallery below.