Cultural protection reaches new levels in Germany

Cultural protection reaches new levels in Germany

It’s been an exciting time for Blue Shield Germany!

June saw them providing support for the 12th Joint Cooperation 2023 Exercise, which focusses on practicing civil-military cooperation. The exercise takes place in the Nienburg region in Lower Saxony. More than 300 participants from 27 nations are involved as active training troops or observers and train what civil-military cooperation is all about: identifying the concerns of the civilian population in a country of deployment in order to take them into account in military planning. For the first time this year, the focus was also on the protection of cultural property in a conflict scenario in collaboration with Blue Shield Germany. The training force considered and evaluated requests from the population of Altraverdo, for example talking to religious leaders and civic dignitaries regarding cultural protection concerns and how these can be factored into military planning.

Blue Shield Germany hosted a two-day seminar on “Cultural Property Protection: The Emergency! What now?” in the University Library of TH Köln.

Large group of people at tables watching a presentation
Participants at the two-day emergency seminar "Cultural Property Protection: The Emergency! What now?" © Blue Shield Germany

This was followed by another seminar for emergency cultural property protection. Participants were able to deal with a damage event using the newly developed Cologne roll-off container for cultural property protection – a complete success!

People in high vis approach a large red container the size of a fire truck with empty crates to fill
Racking full of damaged items

When cultural heritage is damaged by events such as natural disasters, accidents, or fires, then rapid salvage and first aid are required. However, not every cultural institution has the necessary set-up to provide professional first aid. The Cologne Emergency Association of Archives and Libraries and the Cologne Fire Brigade have developed a roll-off container for such scenarios. The transportable container offers workstations for written and photographic documentation, cleaning and general packing of cultural objects. It is also a storage space for almost all the necessary materials and equipment. Completed in 2020, the container has already been successfully deployed twice in the summer of 2021 to support institutions affected by the devastating floods in Germany.

"Active training is key to successful response in an emergency. Too often, cultural heritage is lost because people don't have the right knowledge, skills, or equipment to save it. Blue Shield Germany is committed to supporting armed forces and heritage professionals to fill that gap and protect cultural heritage in crisis".


Watch this great video on the Cultural Container on Linked In

Visit the website of Blue Shield Germany, or follow them on Twitter

Find out more about the work of our national committees or contact a national committee

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