Paris, 12 September 2005
I C B S INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE BLUE SHIELD
Statement by ICBS on the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the cultural heritage of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama
The International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS) expresses its
sorrow and solidarity with the American people and in particular with
the population of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama for the loss of
lives and for the terrible disruption of their livelihood caused by
hurricane Katrina and the ensuing floods. Although the highest priorities
must be accorded to minimising the loss of life and to the humanitarian
activities intended to re-establish decent living conditions for the
hundreds of thousands of people whose homes and means of subsistence
have been wrecked by this natural disaster, the International Committee
of the Blue Shield must express its profound concern for the fate of
the cultural heritage in the affected states.
ICBS, therefore, calls on the Federal Government of the United States of America, and on the Governments of the States of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to swiftly draw up and implement plans to ensure the survival and restoration of historic buildings and sites, museums collections, books in libraries, and documents in archives. ICBS also calls on the international community to give the fullest possible support to the efforts, official and voluntary, now being made by United States citizens and agencies to rescue the rich and unique heritage of New Orleans and other cities and towns in the region.
Blue Shield network is the cultural equivalent of the Red Cross and
strives to protect cultural objects and sites in the event of natural
or man-made disasters.