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International Council of Museums Committee for Conservation (ICOM-CC)


Cultural Heritage recovery for water damaged objects

 

Extreme recent rainfall in both Central Europe, China and India have led to devastating floods. In Europe, this unusual weather has broken the banks of the rivers Danube, Elbe, Rhine and Meuse, flooding local communities across regions of Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, The Netherlands and Slovakia. In the People’s Republic of China, the Henan province and its capital city, Zhengzhou have been severely affected by torrential rains. In India, torrential downpours have lashed the western coast in recent days effecting areas of Goa and Maharashtra state, south of Mumbai.
The ICOM-CC Directory Board and members extend our sympathies to all those affected, particularly to the families who have suffered casualties and lost ones.

We stand in solidarity with those and their communities who have, and are still, experiencing hardships and find themselves in this emergency situation.
Humanitarian and technical help take priority in the immediate response to these disasters. As the flood waters recede, the devastation left behind becomes clearer. Loss to cultural heritage institutions and collections is being assessed by those coordinating cultural heritage rescue efforts and measures are being put in place by local first aid disaster responders. We should also not forget that loss extends to personal treasures and belongings, however, many of these can still be rescued if guidelines are known and followed.
As the International Committee for Conservation of the International Council of Museums (ICOM-CC), we anticipate and acknowledge the enormous endeavours to safeguard, recover, retrieve and stabilise affected cultural heritage, museum buildings, and the recovery of their communities. We pledge our solidarity in providing and being a network for support and rescue in how to respond, recover and emerge from such devastation. We provide these guidelines that can be used by cultural heritage responders and affected citizens alike. Do reach out to your local ICOM/ICOM-CC network and we will be sure to provide advice in your own language. Please go to our ICOM-CC website for downloads on Cultural Heritage recovery for water damaged objects. Additional languages will be added as developed.

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