In the wake of the earthquake in Haiti on 12 January there has been a huge response by cultural heritage organizations worldwide. At present, the most important issue is to join efforts to coordinate initiatives to ensure an effective result. This must be done jointly by those dealing with both movable and immovable heritage.
At this initial stage, of utmost urgency is to help assess the state of historical buildings to avoid unnecessary demolition. Immediate action is also needed to salvage collections in libraries, archives, museums and galleries. At present it is urgent to carry out inventories. Expertise will therefore be required to help Haitian cultural authorities in providing speedy assessments.
ICOMOS has formed a Haiti Committee to coordinate and to manage the complex stages in the recovery of immovable cultural heritage affected by the earthquake. All such requests and proposals may be sent to:
Gustavo Araoz, President
International Council on Monuments and Sites
Committee for the Recovery of the Cultural Heritage of Haiti
49-51, rue de la Federation 75015
gustavo.araoz (at) icomos.org
A joint mission by UNESCO, INTERPOL, WTO, ICOM, ICOMOS, and ICBS (International Committee of the Blue Shield) is being carried out to evaluate the overall situation of damage to cultural heritage. This will lead to a long-term strategy for the salvage, recovery and conservation of Haiti’s cultural heritage and identity. In addition to damage to immovable heritage, there is increasing concern regarding the looting and illicit traffic of cultural objects.
ICCROM encourages interested individuals and institutions to join efforts with the above initiative as well as the Blue Shield.
As we become aware of them, we are listing institutions that are mobilizing efforts and raising funds to this end. Please check back frequently.
We are collecting photos of damaged sites, monuments, museums, museums collections, libraries and archives. If you have information, photos or links please send them to us at help_haiti (at) iccrom.org. Please include clear captions citing their identity and location.