Skip to main content

#163 Tim Purbrick OBE

Published February 12, 2024

British Army tasked Lieutenant Colonel Tim Purbrick OBE to preserve some of the world’s greatest cultural treasures.

Six years ago, the British Army tasked Lieutenant Colonel Tim Purbrick OBE with forming a unit to defend and preserve some of the world’s greatest cultural treasures, at risk of theft or destruction in conflict.

The former tank commander explains how the lessons learned by the real-life ‘Monuments Men’ in World War 2 – documented by Sir Leonard Woolley and whose story formed the basis of George Clooney’s film – were invaluable when he set up the British Cultural Property Protection Unit.

Tim designed a course for UNESCO to train Ukrainian armed forces in how to address these issues in the current conflict, and he’s just returned from Estonia where he’s been working with Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian forces.