A two-day international 'virtual' conference 

Ghent University (Gent, Belgium), 15-16 October 2020

Organisers: Dr. Antonino Crisà and Prof. Jean Bourgeois.

[Call for papers deadline: 01/07/2020]

[Programme will be announced soon]


The 2-day international conference Antiquities, Sites and Museums Under Threat aims to investigate the impact of war on cultural heritage, antiquities and communities during World War 2. This can be considered as a consequence of military occupations, bombing, destructions, indiscriminate sacking and raids. Conference aims to attract international scholars, who are interested in exploring specific research themes and finally provide up-to-date outputs on the subject. The event is also open to the general public who wishes to participate; this will potentially include independent scholars, museum personnel and curators and attendants who are interested in World War 2 studies. The conference will be focused not only on the European context, but also on wider frameworks (in particular, in Northern Africa and the Middle East), in order to explore world-wide perspectives.

In particular, debate will assess select case studies, which aim to understand:
a) how governments effected national plans to defend antiquities, including moving collections to safe shelters or safeguarding monuments with protective installations;
b) how national authorities dealt with destruction of antiquities in urban contexts and sacking of cultural heritage within military occupations, and how these phenomena impacted on local communities;
c) how military operations (including bombing, artillery and aircraft actions, infantry advance, requisitions, etc.) affected on cultural heritage, archaeological sites and museums.
d) if authorities stopped any access to local museums, preventing people to visit these institutions.
e) if the construction of military structures (e.g. bunkers, anti-raid shelters, provisional camps, etc.) put at serious risk the safeguarding of antiquities and archaeological sites.

An edited volume of papers arising from the conference is envisaged.

Key-note speakers:

- Prof. JOHN CARMAN (University of Birmingham, UK)
- Prof. NIGEL POLLARD (Swansea University, UK)

This conference arises from the Cultural Heritage in Danger: Archaeology and Communities in Sicily during the Second World War (1940–45) project (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship), which has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 835876).


- ERC (European Research Council)

- FWO (Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek)

For more information please contact Antonino Crisà (


©2020 di Antonino Crisà (Archaeologist and Numismatist). Creato con

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