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Government in war of words to save our heritage

The government has launched a consultation to find out which pieces of British heritage the public would like to save in the event of war.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has issued a provisional list of sites that should be protected, to adhere to an old military treaty.

Interestingly, the list does not include St Paul's Cathedral - the famous survivor of the Second World War blitz - presumably because the 1954 agreement does not allow for structures that could shelter troops.

The 45 heritage sites on the DCMS' provisional list include Edinburgh old and new towns, Westminster Abbey and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.

The names on the list will be confirmed after a consultation process that was launched yesterday (6 September).

The decision to adhere to the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the event of armed conflict was made in May last year.

Upon launching the consultation, Minister for Culture David Lammy said: 'Ratification of the Convention will strengthen the UK's commitment to the protection of our heritage, highlight our civil duty as part of an international community to respect the cultural property of other nations and demonstrate that the UK takes seriously its commitments in the area of international humanitarian law.'

by Rob Sharp

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