Nicholas Roerich: Karakoram, Path to Turkestan (1936)
After seeing the devastation of the First World War and the Russian Revolution, Nicholas Roerich conceived of the idea of an international treaty to protect cultural heritage in wartime. In the 1920’s, he drafted the language of what came to be know as the Roerich Pact.
In the early 1930’s support for the pact grew, with international conferences held in Belgium, Uruguay, and the United States. That version of the pact was signed by 21 states in the Americas and ratified by 10 of them. Following WWII, the Roerich Pact became the basis for a new discussion of the issue; no agreement, however, was ever reached.
In the same way that the Red Cross exists as a symbol to demarcate and protect medical facilities and personnel in wartime, the “Pax Cultura” Banner of Peace is designed to be flown at sites of cultural activity and historical value—thus declaring them neutral and protected against destruction.
For more information on the Roerich Pact, see this page.