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Cultural Heritage


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Cultural Heritage

  1. 1. Emergency Planningfor the Protection of Cultural Heritage David Alexander University College London
  2. 2. The risk of disaster maybe small, but it is notinsignificant....
  3. 3. Cultural heritage:• works of art• works of architecture• museums and galleries• highly prized landscapes• archaeological sites• libraries and archives• storage facilities, etc.
  4. 4. Categories of artefact at risk:• paper, papyrus, etc.• ceramics, glass• metal, stone• leather, hide and parchment• other organic substances: bone, wood, hair, horn, ivory, shell• photographic film (and colour slides)• magnetic media• paintings on canvas or wood• sculptures and bas reliefs• textiles: fabrics, clothing & accessories.
  5. 5. Cultural heritageis particularlyvulnerable to aseries of risks...
  6. 6. The principal risks:• floods and landslides• meteorological extremes (storms, heatwaves, cold waves, snowfalls)• seismic or volcanic events• fires• infestations• events of human origin (explosions, release of toxic substances, etc.).
  7. 7. Architectural worksmay be vulnerable to:• structural damage• collapse• the effects of water• damage caused by wind• fire damage• humidity• accelerated decay• fissuring and cracking• damage to surfaces and façades• loss of architectural details, statues, ornamentation, etc.
  8. 8. Works of art:• very sensitive to extremes of temperature and humidity• require controlled environments in both exhibition and storage• can be ruined by structural collapse, fire, flood or explosion.
  9. 9. Earthquakes can:• overturn objects on shelves• throw them off shelves to break on the floor beneath• cause pictures to fall off walls• Works of art must therefore be firmly restrained against these risks.• Catalogues must be protected and duplicate copies kept at separate sites.
  10. 10. Seismic risk:• total or partial collapse; serious, moderate or light cracking• failure of foundations• objects overturned or fallen, possibly smashed, as a result of strong motion• objects crushed by the collapse of structural elements or fitments• effects of post-earthquake fire• risks to the occupants of buildings.
  11. 11. Some critical temperature values:-• books and documents: 175 deg. Cent.• tapes, disks, microfilm: 75 degrees• diskettes: 55 degrees.
  12. 12. Tourism:• the greatest industry ever• generates 1 in 9 jobs in the whole world• value: US$3,800,000,000,000• 262 million jobs associated with it• 10.7% of worlds gross product• fickle and highly seasonal: with 1 to 3 peaks per year.
  13. 13. How to classify risks:• by environment and location• by category of cultural good• by type of likely damage (vulnerability)• by agent of risk (hazard)• by nature of emergency intervention Hazard x vulnerability [x exposure] = risk
  14. 14. • Works and sites tend to be fragile, complex and exceptionally vulnerable to disaster• They form a category that requires special protection against disasters• emergency management could require considerable resources, but it is usually much cheaper than restoring damaged objects and sites• without adequate protection a priceless and unique heritage could be lost.
  15. 15. Emergency planning forcultural heritage sites and artefacts
  16. 16. A distinction can be made betweenmeasures to take for objects and sites:• galleries• museums• libraries and archives• storage facilities. Risks may affect both objects and their settings.
  17. 17. Sites of cultural importance For works of architecture, archaeological sites, high-valueenvironments, historic gardens, etc.: compile a list, subdivided by category, age and function.
  18. 18. Protection:• strategies to follow before disaster strikes (with warning processes)• recovery and reconstruction works to conduct after disaster• use impact scenarios to plan operations before crises occur• maintain a register of cultural goods, procedures to follow and requisites for ensuring their security.
  19. 19. Essential measures:• study the vulnerability of sites and their contents• codify the propensity to suffer damage• organise measures to counteract damage - fire suppression systems - physical barriers against the movement of fire or water - structural reinforcement, buttressing• involve international organisations (UNESCO, ICOMOS, etc.).
  20. 20. Strategies:• make an assessment of the situation• conduct a census of works in relation to the hazards that threaten them• where appropriate, add a section to the general emergency plan (of the region, municipality, etc.) on the procedures employed to save cultural heritage.
  21. 21. Strategies:• form task forces and give the members accreditation• in a crisis or during an alert, they will need to pass security systems rapidly to reach works at risk.
  22. 22. We need to adopt a systematicapproach to emergency planning: "thinking the unthinkable", anticipating the improbable.
  23. 23. Organisation of safety and security Programme formulation Planning Procedures An emergency plan must be a living document.
  24. 24. Emergency planAvailable Urgentresources needs Emergency plan
  25. 25. Existence of various statesof hazard and vulnerability Construction of operationalscenarios of hazard, risk, impact adaptation of the plan Processes of constant and emergency response Census of available resources Plan of action for emergencies
  26. 26. Classification of scenarios:• by length of forewarning: {no warning, short warning, medium-term warning}• in terms of risk: {certain, probable, possible, improbable}• by cause, consequences, techniques and procedures, time phases, priorities.
  27. 27. Emergency Emergencyprocedures co-ordination plan Spontaneous improvisation Emergency environment
  28. 28. The plan:• foresee the foreseeable, design measures• create the structure to apply procedures.
  29. 29. Actions to take before disaster strikes - prevent and limit future damage.Actions to take when disaster strikes - save and secure cultural goods.
  30. 30. Emergency planning:• construct scenarios of possible impacts• establish priorities for saving particular works• work out who will do which tasks• constitute task forces• establish procedures for getting through security• create a system of monitoring and warning.
  31. 31. The ingredients: Manpower Vehicles (and fuel) Equipment Materials and supplies Procedures
  32. 32. A fundamental question:establish priorities forsaving artefacts and sites
  33. 33. occurrence improbable Probability impossible occasional frequent probableSeriousness ofinsignificant slight moderate seriouscatastrophic Level of risk: acceptable significant critical
  34. 34. Another fundamentalaspect:preserving thecatalogue andidentifying objectsthat havebeen saved.
  35. 35. Planning procedures:• conservation of catalogues and records• involves curators and custodial staff• in an emergency accredited rescuers must be able to pass through security systems rapidly and without hindrance• procedures are needed to open galleries and museums to rescuers when an emergency is imminent or happening.
  36. 36. Planning procedures:• arrange means of lifting, protecting and transporting objects (which may be heavy or unwieldy) to safe places• organise procedures that guarantee the safety of cultural heritage goods in places to which they are evacuated• establish priorities for locating, transporting to safety and carrying out works of protection or restoration.
  37. 37. Protection:• decide whether to protect artefacts in situ or move them to a safer place• establish priorities for each artefact on the basis of its importance and ability to protect it or procedures needed• assign rescue squads to each task.
  38. 38. Methods of in situ protection:• sandbags, protective covering, etc.• requires stockpiling of materials and study of: - methods of assembling protection - organisation of work-groups.
  39. 39. Measures:• analyse risks by type of event or situation• structural retrofitting of buildings• arrangements for evacuating occupants• attach display cases to walls• other protection measures.
  40. 40. Organisation of in situ operations:• how to open cabinets, store-rooms, etc.• how to dismantle or detach the works• how to use equipment for lifting and transporting the works• stockpiling appropriate containers.
  41. 41. Organisation of transport for artefacts:• the route to take for each load• means of transport• characteristics of the storage place: - custodial matters, security, control of indoor climate, hazard mgt, etc.• how to pass through security systems.
  42. 42. Tackle the problem ofinsurance for works of art, etc.,in situ, in transit, in storage.Create a register• of artefacts and places in terms of protection strategies and how they will be activated in a crisis• of the associated risks.Evaluate the probable nature,seriousness and extent of likelypost-disaster restoration works.
  43. 43. Training for museum directors, managers,curators, custodians and other personnel • in emergency procedures • in recovery methods that will probably be needed after an expected crisis ... and discuss with them the scenarios of hazard and impact.
  44. 44. Subject every high-value building or site toan assessment of its vulnerability to disaster • susceptibility to damage and losses • particular or evident signs of weakness or decay.
  45. 45. Suggest mitigation measures:• fire-suppression systems• physical barriers• structural bracing• buttressing, etc.
  46. 46. No historic building need necessarily be demolished merely because it is susceptible to damage in a disaster,however, retrofitting to appropriate levels of protection could be very expensive.
  47. 47. Before disaster strikes:• where possible, estimate the probable restoration needs--i.e., the vulnerability of the building• identify sources of wood and scaffolding or stockpile these items• identify appropriate professionals and reputable specialist building firms.
  48. 48. Possible sources of help for reducing thevulnerability to disaster of cultural heritage: • national, regional and local civil protection departments and public works ministries or departments • International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), Paris • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Paris.
  49. 49. Some protection procedures:• lift and move objects to places located outside the risk zone• wrap up, remove and take away from the risk or impact zone• protect in situ (wooden panels, sandbags, etc.)• consolidate (scaffolding, buttressing, etc.).
  50. 50. Procedures: how to....• open secured doors• disactivate alarm systems• authorise access to protected places• verify the identity of rescue squads and their members• open display cabinets• remove works from walls• wrap up works in protective packaging• safely move heavy, unwieldy and fragile objects.
  51. 51. During an emergency:• stabilise the situation• recover, save and protect objects• rehabilitate areas of cultural significance• transport mobile cultural goods to places of safe storage• safeguard catalogues and preserve the means of identifying artefacts• seek to restore normal conditions.
  53. 53. Some conclusions
  54. 54. Preparatory study Creation andStakeholders updating Training opinions of plan Revision Dissemination Information Exercising Evaluation Activation Disaster
  55. 55. Feedback and revisionApparent chaos Model Plan Testing and revision Feedback Evaluation Disaster Result
  56. 56. When a crisis occurs and theemergency plan is activated.... FIRE BRIGADES CONSERVATORS: OR ENGINEERS: check the state of check the accessibility conservation of of the buildings and objects and their monitor the safety treatment by of emergency rescuers operations TASK FORCES CURATORS: VOLUNTEER GROUPS: check that priorities carry out works of for saving artefactsprotection, wrapping up, are observed and put registration and emergency plans removal of into action objects
  57. 57. • Not all cultural heritage takes the form of tangible assets: e.g. genius loci (sense of place and sense of belonging)• The heritage sector does not understand the language of disaster risk reduction and is not implementing DRR to a significant degree• heritage is seen as taking a passive and secondary role in disaster risk reduction.