• 1 National University of Public Service, Budapest, Hungary


Cultural heritage often becomes a victim of armed conflicts either by collateral damage or by deliberate destruction and looting. As a consequence of the terrorist attacks of recent years – especially the large-scale and widely broadcasted iconoclastic destruction perpetrated by ISIL/Daesh in Iraq and Syria – their protection gradually became part of the international security policy agenda. Proving the symbolic significance of these attacks, they have been often claimed both as acts against the peaceful coexistence of different religions and cultures in the region and as an insult against Western civilisation and multilateral bodies which the meticulously drawn-up discourse of the terrorist group strongly underpinned. Using the securitization theory as a framework, the aim of this paper is to analyze through discursive means the reaction of different international political actors – especially France, Italy, UN and UNESCO – over the attacks of the terrorist organisation, arguing that a continuous securitization process has been taking place as regards the safeguarding of cultural heritage.



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