Deliberate physical attacks on cultural heritage are often figurative assaults on the people who identify with that heritage. This was true in Syria, Bamiyan, Bosnia, and Timbuktu. And it is true in Armenia, where Azerbaijani forces recently attacked the Holy Savior Ghazanchetsots Cathedral in Shushi, the cultural capital of Artsakh, Armenia.
Ancient cultural heritage is common to us all and must be protected. We call upon the international community to support the work of UNESCO, Blue Shield, the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, and all international organizations in the safe-keeping of cultural heritage as vital to the well-being of populations at risk.
The J. Paul Getty Trust, which through its Getty Conservation Institute has long advanced the conservation of cultural heritage, draws attention to these issues in a series of Occasional Papers in Cultural Heritage Policy, written by authors long involved in the formulation and implementation of the doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect.