Beyond State Sovereignty: The Protection of Cultural Heritage as a Shared Interest of Humanity

In this paper the author will try to explore the topic from a different perspective: i.e. the emergence of cultural heritage as part of the shared interest of humanity, with the consequent need for international law to safeguard it in its material and living manifestations, including the cultural communities that create, perform and maintain it. Culture in itself is not extraneous to the formation of the modern nation State. Especially in the history of nineteenth century Europe, culture as language, religion, literary and artistic traditions provided the cement and the legitimizing element to support the claim to independent statehood.