By Jim Pickard
The National Gallery, Hadrian’s Wall and the whole of Bath will be free from bombardment from opposition forces – up to a point – under proposals to give heritage buildings special protection in the event of a war.
This unlikely proposition was in a draft bill published on Monday by the culture department. It marks the belated signing up by the UK to the Hague Convention of 1954, which aimed to prevent a repeat of the widespread cultural devastation – think Dresden – which took part in the second world war.
One successful prosecution has already taken place under the convention when a Yugoslav commander attacked Dubrovnik’s Old Town in Croatia during its 1991 siege. Meanwhile the UK will not be allowed to store any military hardware among the crypts and chambers of its favourite heritage sites.