Clearer picture emerging from Chile earthquake

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Saturday, 27 February, 2010 - 00:00
Saturday, 27 February, 2010 - 00:00

Reports are beginning to come in about the effect the 27 February earthquake has had on Chile's museums, libraries, archives and monuments. It is likely there will be a request in the near future from the Chilean authorities for carefully directed international support.

UNESCO has reported on the damage to Chilean World Heritage sites in the wake of the recent earthquake. The organisation reports that while no buildings have collapsed in Valparaíso, the La Matriz church and the Port market place have been damaged by the quake. No damage has been reported to city's iconic funiculars, with the exception of the already precarious San Agustín funicular. Chile's other world heritage site, Sewell Mining Town has reported no major damage.

Media reports indicate that the Museum of Contemporary Art in Santiago has suffered structural damage. Damage has also occurred at many other museums and libraries in Santiago. Nivia Palma, Director of Libraries, Archives and Museums (Dibam) has been reported as saying that in Santiago the damage in the National Library is most serious-including the collapse of a cupola and cracks running from the ground to the fourth floor.

ICCROM has summarised both the media coverage of the effect of the earthquake on heritage and has also provided links to local conservation organisations.