William is a senior at Harvard, originally from the Czech Republic. He is extraordinarily passionate about European political history and visual art, and is therefore overjoyed to be running a committee that puts the two into contact! A member of Harvard's Polo Team, he also serves as a Student Board Member at the Harvard Art Museums. Beyond these pursuits, Will loves to spend his time playing basketball, engaging in community service, and exploring Latin America. His love for the infinitely colourful region makes it such that he can barely contain his excitement to be coming to beautiful Panama very soon.
Topic: Monument Preservation
Within this civil affairs and military government section of the Allied Armies there was an organization known as the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Program. The organization was made up of approximately 400 military and civilian personnel who worked with allied forces to preserve, protect and safeguard important cultural monuments and art throughout the course of the Second World War. On the commission thirteen countries were represented, each working under vastly different circumstances. Some members of the commission represented exiled governments of Nazi occupied countries, others used culture as a political tool to further national agendas. During the course of the war approximately 5 million works of art and cultural objects had been stolen from minorities, museums, universities and religious institutions. Many works of cultural works would be destroyed throughout the war by both Allied and axis powers. After the war, restitution of cultural property would become a contentious issue amongst nations. Many allied powers would have to fight amongst themselves to determine ownership. Reciprocity and compensation for losses during the war would also play a role in the transfer and proprietorship of cultural property. In this accelerated historical crisis simulation, taking place between 1943 and 1946, delegates will be forced to react quickly to different crises that may arise and help create a legal framework that will ensure the preservation and protection of culture for years to come. This committee will provide delegates from all backgrounds with an opportunity to engage with a variety of topics including the arts, warfare, international law, culture and human rights. What steps can we take to ensure that culture is protected when conflicts arise and is protecting culture and art worth sacrificing human lives?