Linking up with the Blue Shield

Picture: Blue Shield on a building in The Hague, NLD / Source: CCOE/ A. Werres

On March 03, Director Wolfgang Paulik presented the CCOE at the ‘Blue Helmet – Blue Shield Forum 2017’ on “Best Practice on Peace Keeping and Cultural Property Protection“ at the Art History Museum in Vienna, Austria.

The Blue Helmet – Blue Shield Forum is a cooperation between the Austrian National Blue Shield Committee[1] and the Austrian Peacekeeper Association, with the objective to develop concepts, guidelines and training materials, in close cooperation with international civilian and military experts. The Forum furthermore deals with the scientific approach to questions concerning the protection of cultural heritage.

Picture: Director Wolfgang Paulik at the Blue Helmet – Blue Shield Forum in Vienna. Source: CCOE/ W. Koeveringe

Colonel Paulik gave an introduction in the work of the CCOE in general and focused on the core CIMIC functions related to Cultural Property Protection (CPP). He underlined the importance of CPP for CIMIC, but also drew an arc to other key directly related cross cutting topics such as the Protection of Civilians. Within the military, the responsibilities concerning CPP are shared between CIMIC, the Military Police and the Engineers branches.

In closing, Paulik expressed his desire to advance the collaboration between both organizations with the goal to link CIMIC CPP to this unique network of cultural property experts.

Picture: Attendees of the Blue Helmet – Blue Shield Forum 2017 / Source:Thomas Achleitner chief editor “The Austrian Peacekeeper”

[1] The Blue Shield organization is the cultural equivalent of the Red Cross. Its protective emblem specified in the 1954 Hague Convention (Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict) for marking cultural sites to give them protection from attack in the event of armed conflict. The Blue Shield network consists of organizations dealing with museums, archives, audio-visual supports, libraries, as well as monuments and sites.