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Record damage caused to cultural heritage objects and collection

Actions that stabilise the condition of the affected heritage and prevent further damage and loss through risk reduction are collectively termed as security and stabilisation actions. These actions are temporary in nature and are intended to provide adequate support to damaged heritage during an emergency until it is possible for full conservation treatments to take place. Security and stabilisation actions are context-dependent and do not always follow a particular sequence. Nonetheless, for an intervention to be successful, it is crucial that there is careful documentation of the heritage asset and of the actions taken to stabilise and secure it. Basic security and stabilisation actions include: • Erecting a fence around the affected site or collection. • Providing temporary cover (See Toolkit page 73) for exposed built elements, fragments and objects. • Post-event evacuation of cultural heritage objects to another safer, temporary location. Emergency stabilisation in practice at a workshop in Shouf, Lebanon, 2014. Photo: ICCROM-ATHAR. 70 First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis | 1. Handbook UN Peacekeeprs assisting in a salvage operation at Le Centre d’Art in Haiti, 2010. Photo: ICCROM. • Salvage of damaged cultural heritage collections, building fragments and decorations. This action includes sorting, stabilisation through surface cleaning, and/or drying objects. • Providing safe and secure temporary storage for evacuated and salvaged cultural heritage materials. • Drying a building or structure in the aftermath of a flood. • Shoring a wall or other load-bearing structural element in order to provide a temporary support. Security and stabilisation actions for intangible heritage are different from those mentioned above. For intangible heritage, the continuation of the endangered tradition or knowledge system in the immediate aftermath of a disaster or conflict is considered to be more important. For more details, refer to the section on securing intangible heritage. Who can implement security and stabilisation actions? Trained cultural first aiders and qualified cultural heritage specialists who have prior experience of securing heritage in emergency situations can identify, prioritise and assist in the implementation of security and stabilisation actions. These professionals include, but may not be limited to: conservators, archaeologists, curators, archivists, structural engineers, conservation architects, anthropologists and intangible heritage specialists.