Prince Claus Fund and ALIPH join forces to protect cultural heritage under threat

Egyptian Hertiage Rescue Team  Courtesy Prince Claus Fund Deborah Stolk

PRESS RELEASE 31 July 2020 Amsterdam

The Cultural Emergency Response (CER) programme of the Prince Claus Fund and ALIPH, the International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas, have joined forces to support local organisations in Asia and Africa that are working to rescue and protect their cultural heritage that is endangered by conflict.

Why: Every day, around the world, the artefacts, documents and sites that recount the history and traditions of people are being threatened or destroyed. In situations of conflict, destruction may come from neglect as resources are deflected to the fight, but all too often. it is deliberate, an attempt to demoralise vulnerable people or destroy evidence of ‘inconvenient’ historical or cultural narratives.The temptation to loot for individual gain or for rebel groups to finance their violence may also be great. Cultural heritage transcends its local roots: It is part of humanity’s story. Once it is destroyed, it is gone forever.

CER and ALIPH are joining forces to support local organisations involved in the rescue and protection of their own cultural heritage, particularly in areas of Africa and Asia where there is conflict.Working together, they intend to expand the reach and resources available to protect irreplaceable heritage. Rescuing cultural heritage provides hope and consolation to affected communities and contributes to restoring human dignity, continuity and a sense of identity.

CER and ALIPH will be working with organisations and individuals on the ground. Local communities know the value of their heritage and, given appropriate resources, they are the fastest and most effective line of defence. Among the projects CER and ALIPH will be funding there will be 7 - 10 small-scale emergency actions and 2 larger rehabilitation projects. Possible uses of the funds include evacuation of threatened collections, emergency documentation, training on heritage safeguarding, or stabilising damaged buildings.

If you are located in Africa or Asia and concerned about cultural heritage in your area that is under threat because of a conflict situation, please check the criteria on our website to see if you are eligible for support. Spread the word in your region and get in touch: [email protected]

About the Prince Claus Fund and CER:

Since its founding in 1996, the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development has been supporting, connecting and celebrating cultural practitioners working in areas where culture is under pressure. In 2003, it launched its Cultural Emergency Response programme in reaction to the looting and demolition of art- works from the National Museum of Iraq.Through CER, the Prince Claus Fund works with local actors and organisations in affected regions to provide rapid and effective emergency relief for cultural heritage affected by natural disasters or conflict.

About the ALIPH Foundation

ALIPH is a public-private alliance established in 2017 as the only global fund solely dedicated to the protection of cultural heritage in conflict areas.To carry out this mission, the foundation finances preventive measures, emergency interventions and concrete post-conflict rehabilitation projects, all around the world.To address the additional insecurity brought on by the current global health crisis,ALIPH is redoubling its sup- port of local heritage operators and implementing support in partnership with the Prince Claus Fund and nearly 60 other major cultural heritage actors, including UNESCO, the International Council of Museum and the World Monuments Fund, among others.


Note for the Editors:

For more information, please contact
Martine Willekens, Prince Claus Fund PR Manager

[email protected] +31 65 36 00431