CALL FOR PROPOSALS Emergency Preparedness for Cultural Heritage under Threat

Please note: This Call for Proposals is now closed. The deadline for applications was 21 June 2019 at 17:00 Amsterdam Time.

San Augustine Making careful inventory

The Prince Claus Fund and the Gerda Henkel Foundation announce an Open Call for proposals specifically aimed at Emergency Preparedness for Cultural Heritage under Threat. We invite cultural practitioners, institutions and local NGOs to present their ideas for measures to protect tangible cultural heritage against acute danger and irreversible loss. We welcome applications from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

When natural or human-induced disaster strikes, the damage to museums, archives, archaeological sites, libraries, and historical buildings is often enormous. Tangible heritage may even be lost forever, when local resources and capacities for rescue are lacking. While disasters cannot always be predicted, damage to cultural heritage can be mitigated through emergency preparedness.

The Prince Claus Fund, through its Cultural Emergency Response (CER) programme, and the Gerda Henkel Foundation, through its funding initiative Patrimonies, both support the protection and preservation of cultural heritage in crisis regions. Both Foundations have a history of preventing and minimizing the loss of cultural heritage. Projects supported in the past have varied from implementation of seismic strengthening in the reconstruction of Nepal’s temples after the 2015 earthquake, to supporting local networks to develop emergency plans for archives in the Caribbean after the 2017 hurricanes, and enhancing security measures for collections that were vulnerable to looting in Jordan.

This joint call for applications aims to support the development and implementation of more preparatory measures for heritage buildings, collections, and sites to protect these in case a disaster occurs. We furthermore encourage organisations to enhance their emergency preparedness by implementing lessons learned during previous incidents. The call also aims to step up both our Foundations’ efforts in the field, raise awareness about its importance and illustrate how preventive concepts can safeguard heritage. Cultural practitioners, institutions and local NGOs are encouraged to submit their ideas and plans for the protection of tangible cultural heritage under threat.



The deadline for applications is 21 June 2019 at 17:00 Amsterdam Time. Applications received after the deadline cannot be considered. It is recommended not to wait until the final deadline, but to apply as soon as possible.

Applicants will receive an email confirmation once the statement of need has been received. The most promising applicants will be invited to submit detailed applications at the beginning of July 2019. The deadline for full applications is 31 July, 2019. Complete applications will receive final decisions by the end of November 2019.

ABOUT THE GERDA HENKEL FOUNDATION: The Gerda Henkel Foundation was established in June 1976 by Lisa Maskell in memory of her mother Gerda Henkel as an incorporated foundation under civil law, headquartered in Düsseldorf. The Gerda Henkel Foundation concentrates its support on the historical humanities. In some of the programmes the Foundation furthermore addresses issues of great relevance to contemporary life and the future, above all as part of its special programme “Security, Society and the State”. As part of the Lisa Maskell Fellowship programme, the Foundation supports young scholars in the humanities in both Africa and Southeast Asia.

With its “Patrimonies” funding initiative it promotes the preservation of the cultural heritage, specifically in regions experiencing crisis. Research that places current challenging issues in a greater historical context form the focus of the “Democracy as Utopia, Experience and Threat” and “Lost Cities” funding programmes. In connection with funded projects, the Foundation also provides assistance for social support measures as part of complementary projects. The Gerda Henkel Foundation can by virtue of its statutes pursue its objectives both inside and outside Germany.

ABOUT THE PRINCE CLAUS FUND: Based on the principle that culture is a basic need, the Prince Claus Fund’s mission is to actively support, connect and celebrate artists and cultural practitioners where cultural expression is under pressure and to stand firm with those who create, who believe in the transformative power of culture, who advance new ideas and explore new perspectives.

Through its Cultural Emergency Response (CER) programme, the Fund provides rapid and effective emergency relief for cultural heritage affected by man-made or natural disasters. By taking immediate action, CER aims to prevent further damage and implement basic repairs. Launched in 2003 in reaction to the looting and demolition of artworks from the National Museum of Iraq, CER believes that rescuing cultural heritage provides hope and consolation to affected communities and thereby contributes to restoring human dignity, continuity and a sense of identity. Culture is a basic need and cultural emergency relief should therefore be an integral part of humanitarian aid.

Photo: The Inventorying of the Library of the Monastery of San Augustin in Quito, Ecuador and is made by our partner Conservartecuador.