Exhibition poster for Cultuur Onder Vuur

A recent exhibition on CPP at the historic Slot Leovestein in the Netherlands tells the story of how the castle’s cellars became a refuge for documents, photos, maps and drawings from the Dutch National Archives and other collections during the German advance during WWII. The exhibition formed part of celebrations in Holland to mark 75 years since the end of the war. Other treasures stored in the castle for safety included those from the Netherlands Open Air Museum in Arnhem and Museum Boijmans van Beuningen.

BS Netherlands was involved in discussions with Leovestein at the start of the project, looking at what was feasible, suggesting contacts, and so on.

The exhibition itself was divided into three sections.

  • The first gave information about heritage shelters around the Netherlands
  • The second was a photo exhibition curated by Dutch UNESCO, showing the protection of heritage worldwide, and explaining how the threat to cultural property during conflict led to the creation of the 1954 Hague Convention.
  • The third and final section invited the public to comment and discuss why cultural heritage should be protected and what this means for people and communities and nations worldwide. Visitors were invited to share thoughts about the protective meaning of the Blue Shield, which drew a lively response.
Pin board covered in blue shield shaped notelets with visitor feedback written on them, interspersed with paper blue shields

Photo: Blue shield visitor feedback pin board

The exhibition has now closed, but despite the constraints of the past year there was a lot of good feedback from the public, and it was deemed a success, providing information, exciting stories of the people involved, and food for thought about the importance of protecting and preserving cultural property for future generations.

Historic moated building

Photo: Slot Loevestein

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