The term vandalism refers to the senseless and intentional damage and destruction of something useful, beautiful or something of special cultural importance.

Historically, the greatest dimensions of vandalism were reflected in war zones, where everything that could not be carried away was destroyed. The term itself derives from a case of this kind, when the Vandals invaded Rome in 455 and destroyed most of its cultural monuments. In our vicinity, we have recent examples of such devastation in the area of the former Yugoslavia.

vandalizem03Why, what and how do vandals destroy?

Vandalism often occurs as a result of social protest, political or religious causes, anarchism, mischief, robbery or theft, "artistic freedom", negligent behaviour.

Vandals target objects (cultural monuments, graves, memorial plaques, etc.) with a variety of means: pens, paint, fire, firearms, explosives, knives, etc.

How to prevent vandalism?

Article 219 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Slovenia stipulates a prison sentence of up to 5 years for damaging or destroying cultural property. If the matter is of great or exceptional importance for Slovenia, or the damage caused is significant, up to 8 years. Unfortunately, irreparable damage cannot be undone by punishment, but we remain robbed of a piece of our identity, which makes vandalism a threat to us all.

For preventive purposes, we can do the most by raising and educating children and youth. We teach them the cultural attitude towards national monuments, because they are often the perpetrators of such acts.

It is also necessary to make the elderly aware of the importance of the national cultural heritage, so that they do not destroy it unknowingly.

Recommendations for proper handling of works of art can be obtained from museums, galleries, and the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia.

More information about vandalism is also published on the website: It's better without vandalism, let's stop it!

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