Culture: the cry of men in face of their destiny
Published on 4 June 2010
The Haitian national Blue Shield Committee can now start to coordinate the aid and other support for Haiti's damaged heritage
The International Committee on the Blue Shield is very pleased to share with you the official recognition of a new Blue Shield Committee in Haiti. Our colleagues deployed huge efforts to rescue and protect their rich and unique cultural heritage since January. The Blue Shield wishes to congratulate them wholeheartedly to decide to set up this National Blue Shield Committee. This is a good occasion for everybody to work in a more closer relationship with this new structure.
Below follows the statement of the Blue Shield on the recognition of the Haiti committee
28 May, 2010
The Blue Shield salutes the Haitian heritage community in their efforts to rescue and protect the rich and unique cultural heritage of Haiti. Many official and voluntary initiatives, by both national and international organisations, have taken place in the last few months and have proved extremely valuable. To mention just two examples, the Crisis unit “Patrimoine En Danger” was set up by members of the heritage community within the first few days after the earthquake, while the Restoration And Heritage Rescue Centre is being established by the International Blue Shield at this very moment.
The time has now come for a better coordination of those efforts to optimize their impact and to ensure that the initial momentum created by the Haitian heritage community gets translated into a long-term dedication to the protection and restoration of Haiti’s endangered cultural property. In this regard, the Blue Shield wishes to congratulate wholeheartedly the Haitian heritage professionals who decided to set up a National Blue Shield Committee.
The Blue Shield has received a declaration of intention to create the Haitian Blue Shield Committee that would include ICOM-HAITI, the National Archives of Haiti (ANH) representing ICA, the National Library of Haiti (BNH) representing IFLA, the Fundation Konesans ak Libete (FOKAL) and the National Institute for the Safeguarding of National Heritage (ISPAN) representing ICOMOS. Moreover, this initiative has received a warm support from the Haitian Ministry of Culture.
This proposal being in accord with all of our requirements, the International Committee of the Blue Shield is more than happy to give its official recognition to the Haitian Blue Shield Committee, to fully support its initiatives, and to work in close cooperation with it. For its part, the Haitian Blue Shield Committee has already expressed its will to support and contribute to the creation of the National Treatment Centre set up by Blue Shield International and to help execute all International Blue Shield Initiatives in Haiti. We trust that all the national committees participating in the current effort to protect Haiti’s heritage will benefit from close collaboration and partnership with the Haitian Blue Shield Committee.
We are always delighted to welcome new National Committees to the Blue Shield Community, and we very much look forward to cooperating with our Haitian colleagues in the struggle to rescue the Cultural Heritage of Haiti.
The Blue Shield
The Blue Shield is the protective emblem of the 1954 Hague Convention which is the basic international treaty formulating rules to protect cultural heritage during armed conflicts. The Blue Shield network consists of organisations dealing with museums, archives, audiovisual supports, libraries, monuments and sites.
The International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS), founded in 1996, comprises representatives of the five Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) working in this field:
- The International Council on Archives (www.ica.org),
- The International Council of Museums (www.icom.museum),
- The International Council on Monuments and Sites (www.icomos.org), and
- The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (www.ifla.org)
- The Co-ordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations (www.ccaaa.org)
National Blue Shield Committees have been founded in a number of countries (18 established and 18 under construction). The Association of National Committees of the Blue Shield (ANCBS), founded in December 2008, will coordinate and strengthen international efforts to protect cultural property at risk of destruction in armed conflicts or natural disasters. The ANCBS has its headquarters in The Hague.
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