Emergency network proposed to protect cultural artefacts amid floods in Bavaria.

Severe weather conditions are advancing. – In the event of a flood, Bavaria wants to set up an emergency network to protect cultural resources.

Efforts are being made in Bavaria to better protect cultural objects in the future against natural disasters, such as floods and storms. A key aspect of this effort is the implementation of a statewide emergency response system that includes a portable container for storing valuable paintings. This mobile unit, expected to be completed in mid-2025, is part of a centralized network of emergency infrastructure intended to protect works of art throughout Germany. There will be a total of ten such “wheelie bins” across the country, intended for the preservation of cultural resources.

Bavarian Culture Minister Markus Blume told the German news agency in Munich that the container will be stored in the State Archives depot in the Freising district. In times of disaster, authorities in affected areas can request its deployment via the fire brigade control center. “If an emergency occurs, our cultural assets are protected by experts from the network, in close cooperation with the emergency services. This ensures timely, safe and tailor-made preservation of our precious objects,” explains Blume.

The funds raised from the 2021 reconstruction aid, which was designated after the flood three years ago, will finance the purchase of this container. On June 27, 2025, participating organizations will sign an agreement establishing the operation of the emergency network in Munich. In addition to major institutions such as the State Photo Galleries, the State Archives and the Bavarian National Museum, the State Office for Non-State Museums, the archives of the Archdioceses of Munich, Freising and Bamberg, the State Archaeological Collection and the Federal Archives Storage Center in Bayreuth will participate. In addition, the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior, the Bavarian Fire Brigade Association and the Bavarian Fire Brigade have approved the plan.

Blume said the network should complement existing regional alliances, which he said are present at all State Archives locations. The minister also plans to set up more local teams.

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