13th March 2003
International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS) is alarmed
at reports of damage to, and destruction of, cultural
property occurring as a result of continuing armed conflict
in the areas administered by Israel and the Palestinian
making this statement, the International Committee of
the Blue Shield takes no position on any of the other
issues surrounding the conflicts that are taking place
in the region.
property is priceless and irreplaceable, of vital importance
not only to each community, but also to humanity as a
whole. This region is universally recognized to have an
extremely rich cultural heritage. The loss of parts of
that heritage would constitute an impoverishment of the
heritage of all the peoples of the world. It would therefore
be a tragedy if this were to happen whatever the cause.
The ICBS therefore urges all parties to initiate joint
actions to protect the rich cultural heritage of the region.
In this connection it welcomes the recent decision of
the Israel Supreme Court to rule against a decree by the
Israel Defence Forces ordering the destruction of Mameluke
and Ottoman houses in the old city of Hebron. Whilst the
ICBS is not currently in a position to assess reports
of damage and destruction to cultural property in the
region, it is willing to respond to any requests for technical
assistance and coordination which may be required, within
the resources available.
urges all competent authorities in the region to take
the greatest possible care to protect the cultural heritage
represented by the archives, libraries, monuments and
sites, and museums located in the area, including the
collections held in them, in order to ensure that they
are safeguarded for future generations.
by the International Committee of the Blue Shield, 13
information about the International committee of the Blue
Shield at: http://icom.museum/emergency.html