Treaty on the Protection of Artistic and Scientific Institutions and Historic Monuments (Roerich Pact). Washington, 15 april 1935.
Provision was made for the special protection of cultural property in earlier treaties, particularly in Article 27 of the Hague Regulations of 1899 and 1907 and Article 5 of the Hague Convention (IX) concerning Bombardment by Naval Forces in Time of War of 1907. These provisions make it the duty of the inhabitants to indicate cultural property by distinctive signs. Further provisions were included in the Hague Rules of Air Warfare of 1922/23, especially in Articles 25 and 26.
Following a suggestion made by Professor Nicholas Roerich, a draft treaty was prepared at the request of the Roerich Museum of New York by Mr. Georges Chklaver of the Institut des Hautes Etudes Internationales of the University of Paris and was thereupon discussed by the International Museums Office of the League of Nations. Private conferences held at Bruges in 1931 and 1932 and at Washington in 1933 recommended its adoption by governments. In 1933, the Seventh International Conference of American States recommended the signature of the Roerich Pact. The treaty was then drawn up by the Governing Board of the Pan-American Union and signed on 15 April 1935.
In conformity with Article 36, paragraph 2 of the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict of 1954, it is supplementary to the Roerich Pact in the relations between States which are bound by these two treaties. Furthermore, the distinctive flag under Article III of the Pact is replaced by the distinctive sign in Article 16 of the Convention of 1954.