Have you Heard of the Blue Shield?

2 Nov

International Committee of the Blue Shield

Following the Second World War, UNESCO adopted the Hague Convention (1954) which created rules to protect cultural goods during armed conflicts. This Convention was the first international treaty aimed at protecting cultural heritage in the context of war and which highlighted the concept of common heritage.
The Blue Shield is the symbol used to identify cultural sites protected by this Convention.  It is also the name of the International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS) that works to protect world cultural heritage threatened by natural and human-made disasters.

A Professional Committee, an International and Independent Organisation
The International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS) covers museums and archives, audiovisual supports, libraries, and monuments and sites. It brings together the knowledge, experience and international networks of the following non-governmental organisations dealing with cultural heritage:

ICA: International Council on Archives
-ICOM: International Council of Museums
IFLA: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
-ICOMOS: International Council on Monuments and Sites
-CCAAA: Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations

Increasing awareness, Training, Intervention
ICBS works for the protection of the world cultural heritage by coordinating preparations to meet and respond to emergency situations as well as post-crisis support.
ICBS promotes good standards through risk management training and awareness-raising campaigns for professionals and the general public. Its unrivalled body of expertise allows the Organisation to collect and shares information on threats to cultural property worldwide, thus helping international players to take the appropriate measures in case of armed conflict or disaster. ICBS intervenes as an advisor and cooperates with other bodies including UNESCO, ICCROM and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICEC). Finally in emergency situations, ICBS encourages the safeguarding and the restoration of cultural property, the protection of threatened goods, and helps the professionals from the affected countries to recover from disasters.

Blue Shield Australia

BSA aims to raise awareness of the value of Australian cultural heritage and the need for its protection against threats of all kinds. In order to achieve this aim, BSA organises an annual national campaign – May Day – which urges cultural heritage organisations around Australia to focuses on disaster preparedness and response. This campaign on the 1st May each year, and throughout the remainder of the month of May encourages archives, galleries, libraries, museums, and cultural heritage sites across Australia to participate in at least one step to prepare for disaster preparedness and response.


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One Response to “Have you Heard of the Blue Shield?”

  1. keith donovan November 2, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

    i have never heard of the “Blue Shield.” A great idea as many of the world’s greatest treasures have been lost in wars for example and if there had of been such an organisation then the world would have been a richer place. By the way I love your iron mask in today’s blog. Can’t tell it is you – an anonimity you used to once prefer.

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