Practice Relating to Rule 38. Attacks against Cultural Property
Article 47 bis
[of draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 53)] establishes a special protection for a limited class of objects which, in the particular circumstances, constitute a part of the cultural or spiritual heritage of mankind. Such objects remain protected whether or not they have been restored. The illegal use of these objects for military purposes, however, will cause them to lose the protection provided for in Article 47 bis
as a result of attacks which are to be directed against such military uses. In such a case the protected object becomes a military objective … Article 47 bis
was not intended to replace the existing customary law prohibitions reflected in Article 27 of the 1907 [Hague Regulations] protecting a variety of cultural and religious objects … Article 47 bis
is limited to [the 1977 Additional Protocol I] and does not affect any obligations under the [1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property].