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Cablegate: Prince Claus Foundation Creates Cultural Emergency

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS THE HAGUE 002459

SIPDIS

STATE FOR IO/SHA LROEDER

PARIS FOR USREP UNESCO

E.O. 12958 N/A
TAGS: EAID SCUL IZ
SUBJECT: PRINCE CLAUS FOUNDATION CREATES CULTURAL EMERGENCY
RESPONSE MECHANISM

REF: Roeder-Kushner E-mail of 9/25

1. The Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development and
the International Committee of the Blue Shield combined
forces September 26 to launch a "Cultural Emergency
Response" (CER) initiative. The initiative is designed to
provide emergency assistance - in the form of direct funding
- to protect, preserve, or restore cultural property
(documents, artifacts, monuments, etc) threatened by
conflict or natural disaster. Politically or economically
unstable areas of the world will be given priority attention
by this initiative.

2. At the September 26 launch of the initiative, CER
provided its first disbursement: twenty thousand euro to the
Central University Library of Baghdad to ensure its ability
to operate by the opening of the Iraqi academic year. In a
separate donation commemorated at the CER launching, the
British library donated several valuable manuscripts to the
library. Present to accept these donations on behalf of
Iraq was W. Muhammed from the Iraq Governing Council's
Cultural Ministry.

3. The ceremony was attended by Prince Johan Friso and
Prince Constantijn, honorary chairmen of the Prince Claus
Fund. The key note speech was by Iraqi archeologist and New
York University research associate Dr. Selma Al-Radi. Dr.
Al-Radi used vivid photographs and prose to describe
chronologies of cultural heritage destruction in the Beruit
museum during the Lebanon Civil War, Kuwait Museum during
the First Gulf War, and the Iraq museum during the recent
conflict in that country. Her presentation was balanced and
non-judgmental. Post can fax a copy of Al-Radi's
presentation to interested addressees (contact: Todd Kushner
(Kushnerta2@state.gov)).

4. Emboff provided CER organizers with the draft program of
the 2004 Global Disaster Information Network conference
(sponsored by the State Department and Government of Canada)
and urged they consider providing a speaker.

Sobel

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