The Blue Shield is the protective emblem of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, which is, with its two Protocols, the basic international treaty formulating rules to protect cultural heritage during armed conflicts. The Blue Shield network consists of international non-governmental organisations dealing with museums, archives, libraries, and 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:
Following the civil conflict that has been shaking the Ukraine, the Blue Shield wishes to express its deep concern regarding the safeguarding and protection of the country’s invaluable cultural and historical heritage, as well as the institutions that house them and the people that care for them.
Ukraine’s museums, libraries and documentary heritage, monuments, churches and monasteries are under risk of threat from looting and destruction. The international heritage community wishes to warn of the potential harm that cultural property may suffer.
Reports regarding damages endured by the Kiev History Museum have given the Blue Shield and its members reasons for concern. The destruction of monuments linked to the political history of Ukraine is also at the forefront of the cultural community’s concerns. The Blue Shield urges the Ukrainian government to investigate the incident which occurred in the Kiev History Museum’s storage rooms on the nights of 18 and 19 February 2014, and to allocate protected storage space for particularly threatened collections.
Mindful of the importance of protecting the historical, artistic and scientific heritage of Ukraine, the Blue Shield welcomes the recent creation of a Blue Shield National Committee for Ukraine. This Blue Shield Committee is currently hard at work protecting all national monuments, regardless of their political or social origins. The Blue Shield strongly supports the Ukrainian National Committee’s initiative to protect the country’s rich range of cultural heritage and its efforts to coordinate and store information on the cultural assets.
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