Yeah, so I’ve always hated the effing Bangles, but after a days work plus several glasses of lower-middle class Riesling, my brain reached for the obvious. The 106thstreeters have been glued to the events in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen…Not having access to a TV, we’ve been spending extra hours at our neighborhood gym, on any machine near a TV that is showing coverage of what is going down in Egypt. With jaw dropped and teary eyes, this 106thstreeter has witnessed badass and horrific human actions via the gym TV. While others at the gym seem to be unaware of crazed men charging on horseback and camelback through Tahrir Square, preferring the latest great ass/I’m so happy I’m a pretty girl video mindfuck to historic feats of bravery, I’ve been witnessing, yeah, a revolution…televised. Respect.
That said, this 106thstreeter is professionally and ethically invested in the business of making our cultural heritage (libraries, archives, museums) accessible and safe. So I share with you updates from my colleagues in Egypt:
Also, from the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA):
2 February 2011
Blue Shield Statement on Egypt
31 January 2011
Following the recent events in Egypt, the Blue Shield expresses its great concern about the safeguarding of the country’s invaluable cultural heritage amid the existing turmoil.
Starting last Friday evening, a number of important museums and sites in Egypt have fallen prey to looters. Thankfully, in certain cases, it has been reported that members of civil society stood to protect museums and heritage sites all over the country. This demonstrates not only the attachment of the local population for their cultural heritage and their determination to protect it, but also the vulnerability of cultural institutions, sites and monuments during times of great conflict.
It is universally recognised that Egypt has an incomparable history and heritage which has had a profound and lasting influence on people throughout the world. Any loss of Egyptian cultural property would seriously impoverish the collective memory of mankind. Egypt has an exceptionally rich cultural heritage and it is imperative that every precaution necessary be taken by all sides involved in this strife to avoid destruction or damage to archives, libraries, monuments and sites, and museums.
Blue Shield urges all sectors of Egyptian society to do everything in their power to curb or prevent all actions that could result in the damage or destruction of their cultural heritage. The Blue Shield also praises the courageous citizens of Cairo and the rest of Egypt who spontaneously mobilized to protect the Egyptian Museum and other cultural institutions. We call on all Egyptians to continue giving the fullest support to all efforts to prevent damage to heritage sites and institutions throughout the country.
The Blue Shield Mission is “to work to protect the world’s cultural heritage threatened by armed conflict, natural and man‐made disasters”. For this reason, it places the expertise and network of its member organisations at the disposal of their Egyptian colleagues to support their work in protecting the country’s heritage, in assessing the damage that has occurred, and for subsequent recovery, restoration and repair measures.
The member organisations of the Blue Shield are currently liaising with Egyptian colleagues to obtain further information on both the situation and on the possible needs and types of help required so as to mobilise their networks accordingly.
A more complete report on damages, needs and actions will be published subsequently, in order to facilitate coordination.
The actions of the Blue Shield can also be followed on