18 July 2018
Get Into Blue Shield Guide
The Blue Shield aims to be the cultural equivalent of the Red Cross. It was founded in 1996 by the four key international organisations in their domains, the International Federation of Library and Information Associations and Institutions (IFLA), the International Council on Archives (ICA), the International Council of Museums (ICOM), and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).
Its roots, however, are in the years following the Second World War. Following the global destruction caused by the war, UNESCO adopted the 1954 Hague Convention which created rules to protect cultural goods during armed conflicts. This was the first of such international treaty and highlighted the concept of common heritage. The Blue Shield is the symbol used to identify cultural sites protected by this Convention.
During the past years, we have continued to see our cultural heritage suffer damage and destruction. Natural or man-made disasters, wars and ethnic or religious conflicts represent a significant threat to the ability of future generations to enjoy the heritage we have today.
It is therefore a necessity to inform, train and help cultural heritage experts and other stakeholders to safeguard and protect our memory in order to pass it on. The Blue Shield, both at the international and national levels, provide a means for achieving this. But to continue doing so, we need your help. Your contribution at a national level is key to the goals. IFLA has therefore produced a guide: Get into Blue Shield. It'll help you better understand what Blue Shield is, and how you can become involved.
For more information, please contact Tanja Clausen, IFLA Policy and Research Officer