Europe needs online registry of experts responding to future Notre Dames – Bonnici

The main altar at Notre Dame is still untouched

Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici has suggested the creation of an online registry that could help in the event of emergencies that damage cultural heritage.

He said that such a registry would pool and list expertise which could be drawn upon by any country in need.

The Minister presented his suggestion during his visit to Paris for an Informal Meeting of EU Member States Ministers over Cultural Policy.  The meeting focused on forging closer collaboration on protecting and preserving European heritage.

The meeting comes in the wake of a fire which ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral in mid-April.

Minister Owen Bonnici together with French Minister for Culture Franck Riester
Credit: MJCL

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‘The Notre Dame incident has highlighted how very fragile and vulnerable our cultural heritage is, and ensuring proper mechanisms to safeguard them is important to ensure their longevity,’ the Minister said.

It is understood that a declaration was agreed between the European member states which would see, ‘collaboration in order to preserve shared European heritage and better protect endangered heritage and provide Europe’s young people with greater opportunities.’

Minister Bonnici said that Malta would be actively supporting the efforts to create readily available lists of experts that could be called up upon in the event of incidents like that faced in Paris.

‘Although thankfully such disasters are not frequent occurrences, when they do happen, they call not only for national experts but for the world at large to ensure the very best attention and care will be given. Therefore, ad-hoc answers might not always be the best solution,’ Bonnici said.