Saving Haiti’s Heritage
Cultural Recovery after the Earthquake
A book by Richard Kurin, Smithsonian Institution
The earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010 devastated its capital region, killing 300,000, leaving over a million people homeless, and a nation in ruins. Haiti’s museums, churches, art galleries, libraries, and archives were destroyed, damaged, or endangered. Troves of historical books and documents, treasured artistic works and architectural features, and artifacts of great cultural signifi cance all were at risk of being lost forever.
Haitians take great pride in their cultural heritage. It informs their identity as a people. That heritage grows out of their historic struggles for freedom; it gives them strength to persevere and survive; it provides the basis for creativity evident in a vibrant and robust living culture, and is an asset in the economic life of a nation.
The Haiti Cultural Recovery Project sought to rescue, recover, safeguard, and help restore Haiti’s cultural heritage in the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquake.
This book documents that effort.
It tells the story of howin the midst of one of the most devastating tragedies in human historydedicated, caring professionals from Haiti, the United States, and indeed, around the world, came together to help people save their culture.
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Note: This document is for educational purposes only and is not to be sold or redistributed without permission from the Smithsonian Institution.
Saving Haiti’s Heritage: Cultural Recovery
after the Earthquake
by Richard Kurin, Smithsonian Institution