UvA scholar Joris Kila will be awarded the 2012 Art Protection and Security Award jointly with Dr Karl von Habsburg. The award is presented annually by ARCA, the Association for Research into Crimes against Art. Last year’s award was presented to renowned British archaeologist Sir Colin Renfrew.
ARCA’s management board praised the efforts by Kila and Von Habsburg to protect cultural heritage in war zones. The two scholars have been working to convince governments and armed forces of the importance of protecting objects, monuments and works of art.
UvA archaeologist Joris Kila made several visits to Libya in order to assess for himself how the recent conflict affected the country’s cultural heritage. He previously made similar visits to Egypt in the wake of the recent riots. Kila conducted these visits with an international team. Amongst other key locations, he inspected Leptis Magna and Sabratha, two major Roman archaeological sites, and the National Museum in Tripoli.
ARCA is a non-profit organisation based in Italy that specialises in the investigation of art crimes. ARCA applies interdisciplinary research and analysis techniques in order to study the phenomenon of art crime. The organisation’s efforts are aimed at preventing art crimes and protecting cultural heritage.
The award will be presented in June at the annual ARCA conference in Amelia, Italy.
In recognition of his efforts to protect cultural heritage in Iraq, Kila will be presented with the Military Order of Foreign Wars of the United States. The medal will be presented in April at AFRICOM’s headquarters, the United States Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany. To mark the occasion, Kila will hold a lecture on his work at the UvA, where he studies the protection of cultural heritage during armed conflicts, with a special focus on Libya.