Cultural property historically has been the target of invading armies. This plunder and looting has been driven by a desire to accumulate wealth and to psychologically dominate and to disable the indigenous population. One of the most infamous examples was Napoleon's looting of the treasures of Europe, perhaps the most conspicuous of which were the four bronze horses seized from Saint Mark's Cathedral in Venice.
Matthew Lippman, Art and Ideology in the Third Reich: The Protection of Cultural Property and the Humanitarian Law of War, 17 Penn St. Int'l L. Rev. 1 (1998).