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Models for Cultural Intelligence   Visit the CPCR blog to comment on Cultural Security.

Models illustrate various dimensions of cultural security. The dimensions form a cycle (diagram to the right). The cycle reveals the relevance of cultural property to international security and motivates the development of cultural intelligence.

Political economy of cultural property:
- The percieved value of artworks, antiquities, and monuments motivates exploitation of the political and economic power of cultural property.
- The exploitation precipitates political violence, looting, and an illicit trade in art and antiquities that put cultural identity at risk.

Security-intelligence services:
- By engaging in plunder and protection of artworks during World War II and in the post-Cold War, security-intelligence services created a basis for cultural intelligence.
- In response to the increasing financial value and political significance of artworks, antiquities, historic sites, and religious monuments, security-intelligence services enabled a shift from a reactive to a preemptive strategy for protection of cultural property during armed conflict (blue ellipse).

Influence of scholarship:
- Cooperation between art historians and intelligence services for plunder and protection of artworks during World War II galvanized a reciprocal relationship (red ellipse).
- Scholarship on looting during World War II and the Cold War revealed the compounding clout of cultural patrimony in foreign relations (green ellipse).

Compounding political clout:
- Controversies over ownership of cultural property motivated scholarship on restitution of Nazi plunder and the repatriation of antiquities looted from developing nations.
- Awareness of the increasing political significance of cultural heritage in international affairs led to the creation of international conventions and bilateral treaties for the protection of cultural property in international conflict and in peacetime.

Strategic shift: reactive to preemptive policy:
- Ratification of international conventions and signing of bilateral treaties demonstrates an increasingly preemptive strategy for the security of cultural property (green-red-blue arrow).
- The initiative of scholars and security personnel has furthered the methods for collection and analysis of intelligence to leverage the tactical value of cultural property.

See research:

Security-intelligence services:
"Plunderer and Protector of Cultural Property: Security-Intelligence Services Shape the Strategic Value of Art"

Influence of scholarship:
"Conflict Art: Scholars Develop the Tactical Value of Cultural Patrimony"

Compounding political clout:
"The Artifacts of Wartime Art Crime: Evidence for a Model of the Evolving Clout of Cultural Property in Foreign Affairs"

Strategic shift:
"Cultural Security: The Evolving Role of Art in International Security"



Political Economy of Cultural Property

The diagram illustrates interactions that create a political economy of cultural property. The large colored ovals designate major dimensions—politics, economics, security—and associated motives for exploiting the perceived value of cultural property i.e. artworks, antiquities, and monuments. The smaller, grey ovals identify manifestations of art and culture. The central, overlapping oval depicts how laws on art and cultural property and actors in the art world interact to develop the “Perceived Value” of cultural property.

See:
"Art 'Appreciation': An emerging political economy of artworks in the 21st century"
"Alternative Power: Political economy of cultural property"
"Motives and drivers in a political economy of cultural property"
"The Diplomatic Case for Repatriating Art and Antiquities"
"Repatriating part of Saddam statue could promote democracy"

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Strategic Shift: Reactive to Preemptive Policy

A shifting stance on wartime abuse of cultural property results in unresolved wartime art crimes. The persistence of cases for restitution of Nazi-plunder, an increasing pressure for repatriation of antiquities looted during the Cold War era, and the need for indemnification of destruction of cultural property in the post-Cold War period combine to create mounting political clout and security risks. In order to exploit the clout and forestall the risks, nations might adopt proactive measures to resolve past wartime art crimes and develop intelligence strategies to prevent abuses against cultural property.

See research:
"Cultural Security: The Evolving Role of Art in International Security"
"Art-Intelligence Programs: The Relevance of the Clandestine Art World to Foreign Intelligence"
"Collecting Cultural Intelligence: The Tactical Value of Cultural Property"

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Compounding Political Clout

The phases of recovery, return, revitalization, and redefinition recur for the wartime art crimes of World War II, the Cold War era, and the post-Cold War period. Restitution of Nazi plunder began during World War II and continues into the post-Cold War period. Repatriation of looted antiquities began during the Cold War era and also continues into the post-Cold War period. Resolution of the preceding wartime art crimes predicts that destruction of cultural property and trafficking in art of the post-Cold War period will require phases of indemnification.

Political meaning develops in parallel with the phases of resolution of wartime art crime. Nazi- and Soviet-plunder of World War II created opportunities to garner goodwill through recovery and reparations, while the process of restitution led to consensus though international conventions in the Cold War era. In the post-Cold War period, unresolved cases offered points of political leverage and added to the cachet of cultural property tainted by wartime art crime. Antiquities looted during the Cold War ear also acquired political clout with phases of repatriation. The potential for the art crimes of the post-Cold War period to follow the same route indicates that political risks will follow from unresolved abuses against cultural property.

See research, "The Artifacts of Wartime Art Crime: Evidence for a Model of the Evolving Clout of Cultural Property in Foreign Affairs"

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Security-Intelligence Services

The legacies of plundered artworks from World War II and looted antiquities from the Cold War era compel nations to collect art-specific intelligence in the interest of diplomacy, and the developing threats of trafficking in art and political violence that targets religious monuments necessitate the collection of intelligence on cultural property for national security. As a common motivation, the evolving meaning of cultural property in foreign affairs influences the allocation of resources to protect and recover cultural property: 1) wartime exploitation of art and religious monuments persists since World War II, 2) with an increasing market value, fine art and antiquities serve as collateral in narcotics transactions, and 3) an increasing international awareness of the symbolic value of cultural property converts restitution of artworks and protection of archaeological sites into a “cultural currency” in foreign affairs.

See research, "Plunderer and Protector of Cultural Property: Security-Intelligence Services Shape the Strategic Value of Art"

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Influence of Scholarship on the Tactical Significance of Cultural Property in International Conflict

In retrospect of the past century, three basic models characterize the influence of scholarship on the treatment of cultural patrimony during international conflict: 1) art historians work directly with military and intelligence services both to identify and plunder artworks and to recover and return displaced cultural property; 2) archaeologists indirectly enable illicit markets with discoveries and inform the development of treaties with scholarly publications; 3) humanists debate the protection and possession of cultural property and thereby increase the strategic value of cultural property in foreign relations. Consequently, insurgencies destroy symbolic objects in political violence, and nations leverage cultural property in security strategies. Models 1 and 3 characterize a direct influence of scholarship on the tactical significance of cultural patrimony, while model 2 characterizes an indirect influence with the creation of long-term security risks and the resulting countermeasures.

Placed in succession, the models reveal the evolution of the tactical significance of cultural patrimony. In World War II, actors who planned plunder targeted specific ethnicities to effect ethnic cleansing, which achieved cultural conquest. In the post-Cold War, planned plunder has evolved into organized looting for profit in illicit markets, and political violence targets cultural property in campaigns of cultural cleansing. Both types of abuse have converted cultural conquest into cultural exploitation. In reaction, nations protected cultural patrimony and, thereby, gained political goodwill, which demonstrated cultural awareness during World War II. In the post-Cold War, reactive protection still garners political goodwill, but intelligence on cultural patrimony has the potential to effect cultural security, which would transform cultural awareness into cultural credibility in foreign relations.

See research, "Conflict Art: Scholars Develop the Tactical Value of Cultural Patrimony"

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