Prince Claus Fond for Cultural Development – Cultural Emergency Response (CER)

The Prince Claus Fund, founded 1996, aims at increasing cultural awareness and to promote exchange between culture and development. The Prince Claus Fund initiates and supports artistic and intellectual quality, creates platforms for debate and stimulates creative processes and artistic productions. The Prince Claus Fund is a platform for intercultural exchange. It works jointly with individuals and organisations mainly in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Carribean on the realisation of activities and publications reflecting a contemporary approach to the themes of culture and development.

Restaurieren einer Buddhastatue im Nationalmuseum in Kabul/Afghanistan
© Omara Khan Massoudi

The Prince Claus Awards give one principal and additional awards. In 2004 one of this Awards got Omara Khan Massoudi/Afghanistan for saving some of the world's finest cultural treasures. When the Kabul Museum was bombed and looted in 1993, he inspired other members of staff to assist him in ongoing evasive action to safeguard whatever was possible and to assess and record the damage.

Durch Kriegseinwirkung zerstört: Fragmente einer Statue im Nationalmuseum in Kabul
© Omara Khan Massoudi

Cultural Emergency Response (CER) was founded on 26 September 2003 by the Prince Claus Fund and the International Committee of the Blue Shield. Conflicts and natural disasters don't just jeopardise human life, but threaten contemporary and historical cultural heritage. When cultural heritage is destroyed people suffer a fundamental loss, one that is often not sufficiently recognised. Through a timely response, CER hopes to focus attention on cultural emergencies and contribute to saving cultural heritage. CER aims to act as a 'trigger', and encourage others to become involved in further relief efforts. CER has already provided cultural relief in Baghdad (Iraq), Bam (Iran) and Mestassa (Morocco):

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