Practice Relating to Rule 40. Respect for Cultural Property
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states that, during occupation: “Works of art and the property of institutions dedicated to religion, charity, education and science must not be confiscated.”
The manual further states:
Cultural property both in the State’s own territory and in enemy territory must be respected. It is prohibited to carry out any hostile act against them. These obligations must be observed except in cases of imperative military necessity.
Spain’s Military Criminal Code (1985) punishes a soldier who commits “any act of pillage or appropriation of … cultural property, as well as any act of vandalism against such property and the requisitioning of those located in territory under military occupation”.
Spain’s Penal Code (1995), as amended in 2010, states:
1. Anyone who in the event of an armed conflict commits or orders to be committed any of the following acts shall be punished with four to six years’ imprisonment:
c. Theft, pillage, large-scale misappropriation of, or acts of vandalism against, cultural property or places of worship …
2. When … [there] is a misuse … [of] cultural property or places of worship which are protected by special agreements or are under enhanced protection … a higher sentence can be imposed.
In all other cases mentioned in the above article, the higher sentence can be imposed when extensive and important destructions are caused to the property, objects or installations or [the acts] are of extreme gravity.
In 2010, in its report to the UN General Assembly on the status of the 1977 Additional Protocols, Spain stated:
Article 85 entitled “Principle of Humanity”, contained in Title IV on Operations [of the Royal Ordinances for the Armed Forces (2009)] clearly embodies the spirit of the  Geneva Convention and its  Additional Protocols, as it provides that “[the] … conduct [of members of the armed forces] in any conflict or military operation must conform to the applicable rules of the international treaties on international humanitarian law to which Spain is a party”.
That is further developed in Chapter VI on Ethics in Operations, which goes into specific duties under international humanitarian law … the protection of cultural property.