Secretary of U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield, Patty Gerstenblith, testifies before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee’s Task
Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing
Testimony of Dr. Patty Gerstenblith
On Behalf of Herself and the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield
“Preventing Cultural Genocide: Countering the Plunder and Sale of Priceless Cultural Antiquities by ISIS”
Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing U.S. House Financial Services Committee
April 19, 2016
Chairman Fitzpatrick and Ranking Member Lynch: Thank you for the opportunity to present this testimony and to address the Members of the Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing on the subject of “Preventing Cultural Genocide: Countering the Plunder and Sale of Priceless Cultural Antiquities by ISIS”. I am submitting this testimony both in my personal capacity1 and on behalf of the United States Committee of the Blue Shield (USCBS).2 The United States Committee of the Blue Shield was formed in 2006. The name, Blue Shield, comes from the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, which specifies a blue shield as the symbol for marking protected cultural property and is the cultural equivalent of the Red Cross. Among the current activities of the USCBS is the creation of “no-strike” lists or inventories of cultural sites (including historic and religious structures, archaeological sites and repositories such as museums, archives and libraries) in parts of the world where the United States is engaged in armed conflict. Through working with the Department of Defense, USCBS helps the United States fulfill its obligations to protect cultural heritage during armed conflict.