Statement of Concern for the Victims and the Damage to Cultural Heritage in the Abruzzo Earthquake of the ANCBS

“On behalf of the Association of National Committees of the Blue Shield (ANCBS) I would like to express our deepest sympathy for the victims of the recent earthquake in the Abruzzo region of Italy. We are also saddened and concerned by reports of heavy damage to the important cultural heritage in the affected area. ANCBS has teams assembled to assist the Cologne Archives and, when rescue and humanitarian needs have been properly attended to in Abruzzo, the ANCBS pledges to assemble all the resources available to assist our colleagues there with the difficult task of salvage and conservation for damaged and at risk cultural heritage.
The Blue Shield is the cultural equivalent of the Red Cross. It is the protective emblem specified in the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict for marking cultural sites to give them protection from attack in the event of armed conflict.
The Blue Shield network consists of the International Council of the Blue Shield, a group of international organizations dealing with museums, archives, audiovisual supports, libraries, as well as monuments and sites, with the mission of protecting cultural property during armed conflict and natural disasters.
More than 30 countries have formed Blue Shield organizations, which have in turn joined together to support the Blue Shield mission as the Association of National Committees of the Blue Shield (ANCBS). Based in The Hague, Netherlands, the mission of ANCBS is coordinating and strengthening international efforts to protect cultural property at risk of destruction in armed conflicts or natural disasters. Again, we offer our sincere condolences for the loss of life during this tragedy and hope to assist to save our shared cultural heritage from further damage and destruction.
Karl von Habsburg
President, ANCBS”


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