Vice-Minister of Culture Rimantas Mikaitis: “We have to re-think the cultural heritage protection methods and strategies of the entire Baltic region”

Date

2022 04 29

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By the invitation of the Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO, Lithuania was visited for the first time by Peter Stone, the President of international NGO Blue Shield International.

He attended a meeting-discussion organised at the Ministry of Culture, “The Protection of Cultural Values During Armed Conflict and Other Emergencies”. In his presentations, the professor presented the activities of the organisation he represents, introduced the protection of cultural values during armed conflict and other emergencies, reviewed the globally applied practice of the protection of cultural values, and shared his insights and remarks on this subject, which has become very relevant in recent times. The event was also attended by Krzysztof Osiewicz, the head of the Department of Public Collections’ Protection at Poland’s National Institute for Museums and Public Collections.

Prof. Stone has a lot of experience of conducting various international missions dedicated to saving cultural heritage during armed conflicts and aiming to implement international law in countries in conflict. Blue Shield International, an international NGO which was established in 1996, provides consultations on matters of UNESCO cultural heritage protection during armed conflict. The organisation’s activities encompass preparation for risks related to armed conflict or other threats, management of emergencies, restoration work during post-traumatic stage of military conflict, international law monitoring and implementation, improvement of abilities, training and other support. Currently Blue Shield International provides expert, technical and other support to Ukraine’s cultural heritage.

“In the face of war in Ukraine, while we see large-scale destruction and loss of cultural heritage, we have to be concerned and re-consider the cultural heritage protection methods and strategies of the entire Baltic region and Lithuania individually in the face of the arising risks, to improve the preparedness, mobilise the forces dedicated to it. For this reason, we area thankful to our guest for the visit, which is very significant to all of us as we seek closer cooperation in the field of cultural heritage protection as well”, the Vice-Minister of Culture Rimantas Mikaitis said.

Prof. Peter Stone is an archaeologist, history researcher and author of many publications dedicated to cultural heritage protection during armed conflicts. He is the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Property Protection and Peace at Newcastle University; this position has no equivalents in the world. Prof. Stone was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (Civil) for services to cultural heritage education.