Sunday, July 14, 2024
    HomeLifeStyleWhen Culture Is Threatened, They Come to the Rescue

    When Culture Is Threatened, They Come to the Rescue

    The organization responded, Ms. Letschert recalled, by conducting “a triage” — going through the rubble and “making sure that there was nothing thrown away that was not supposed to be thrown away,” she said. Among the casualties of the blast were 72 glass vessels, eight of which have been restored at the British Museum as a result of a grant from the TEFAF Museum Restoration Fund.

    About a mile east, the Arab Image Foundation also suffered terrible damage, including to storage spaces where photography collections were kept. There, Cultural Emergency Response helped repair windows, secure storage spaces, and ensure that the foundation and its collections had survived.

    “Usually people think about heritage as just being historical buildings or collections,” Ms. Letschert explained. “Heritage is part of a wider ecosystem of culture.”

    When an earthquake hit Turkey and Syria in February, killing more than 50,000 people, the organization intervened, supporting teams on the ground to document the damage and the threats to buildings, sites, collections and cultural spaces, and figuring out “what we can do, what the priorities are and who we can work with,” Ms. Letschert said. She added that the organization had raised about $290,000 for the rescue effort and was processing applications from partner organizations that are wanting to help.

    Today, there is less for Cultural Emergency Response to do in the Middle East because so many other cultural preservation bodies are involved in rescuing the area’s cultural sites, Ms. Letschert said. The organization’s priority is to “go where others are not going and try to serve areas and communities that are often overlooked.”

    One area that has required urgent attention is what Ms. Letschert calls “natural violence,” the increasingly frequent and severe spells of extreme weather triggered by climate change. In Guatemala, for example, heavy rains and storms are endangering key Maya heritage sites, particularly in more remote areas.

    Source link


    Most Popular

    Recent Comments