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[BKARTS] Emergency Response for Baghdad University Library concluded

Date: 3 March 2004
For immediate release

The first activity of the Cultural Emergency Response (CER) of 25,000
Euro to help refurbish the Reading Room of the Central Library of the
University of Baghdad, damaged during war in Iraq, has been concluded.

The Cultural Emergency Response (CER), a joint initiative of the
Prince Claus Fund of the Netherlands and the International Committee
of the Blue Shield, allocated the funds. The decision to help
refurbish the reading room followed a report by Jean-Marie Arnoult,
Inspecteur Général des Bibliothèques, in France, on the damage to
archives and libraries caused by the war and the subsequent looting.
M. Arnoult, an authority on archives and libraries in Iraq, took part
in the second UNESCO mission last July and made a number of
recommendations for action on his return.

The money from the CER has been used to buy tables, chairs and
computer equipment. Mr. Wishyar Muhammed, Library Adviser with the
Coalition Provisional Administration, identified the need for
refurbishment of the reading room. He also facilitated the purchase
of the furniture and equipment.

Mr. Muhammed said: Following the collapse of the Saddam's regime in
Iraq last April not only government offices and public buildings were
looted and burned but universities, libraries and museums were not
safe from such a barbarous act. Among them was the Central Library of
the University of Baghdad. We were desperate and thought that the
library would never reopen. However, it was only through the help of
some good friends of the Iraqi people and human culture and
civilization who showed interest in helping the library, that it
become possible to refurbish it once more. Among them was the
Cultural Emergency Response (CER) which made a generous donation of
25,000 Euros to be spent on the library's reading room. On behalf of
myself, as a representative of this library and library adviser in
the CPA in Baghdad and also on behalf of all the University's
students, its staff and President of the University, I express my
sincere gratitude and thanks to CER and the Dutch people.

URL: http://www.ifla.org/VI/4/admin/iraq030304.htm


Further information from:

Charlotte van Herwaarden
Assistant to the Director
  Prince Claus Fund
Hoge Nieuwstraat 30
2514 EL The Hague
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 70 42 74 303
Fax: +31 70 42 74 277

Ross Shimmon
Secretary General
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
P O Box 95312
(Prins Willem-Alexanderhof 5)
2509 CH The Hague
Tel: +31 70 31 40 884
Fax: +31 70 38 34 827
Email: <ross.shimmon@xxxxxxxx>

Notes for Editors

The Cultural Emergency Response (CER) is a joint initiative of the
Prince Claus Fund and the International Committee of the Blue Shield
(ICBS), established on 26 September 2003. The purpose of the CER is
to provide limited emergency assistance in the event of damage to, or
destruction of, cultural property arising from human action or
natural disaster.

The Prince Claus Fund is a platform for intercultural exchange. It
works jointly with individuals and organisations in Africa, Asia,
Latin America and the Caribbean, on the realisation of activities and
publications reflecting a contemporary approach to the themes of
culture and development. The Prince Claus Awards form a part of this
policy. www.princeclausfund.nl

The International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS) covers museums
and archives, historic sites and libraries. It brings together the
knowledge, experience and international networks of the four expert
organisations dealing with cultural heritage: an unrivalled body of
expertise which is now available to advise and assist in responding
to events such as war in former Yugoslavia and hurricane damage in
Central America. ICBS is international, independent and professional.

The text of Jean-Marie Arnoultís report is available at

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