One of the central tenets of our shared European culture is the freedom of speech and cultural expression.
Our museums, libraries and archives are proud bastions of the expression of this freedom which is at the very heart of a democratic society. Down the centuries they have collected and shared works expounding and epitomising this freedom. In doing so, continued generations of our European society have been able share in, learn from and continue to represent this proud heritage.
In this age of digitisation we are in the privileged position to share more widely the power of that freedom, making for example the works of, Voltaire, Locke, Burke and John Stuart Mill available online to all. The principles that Charlie Hebdo is built on are part of this proud tradition, with work digitised, archived and preserved by our libraries. The attack on its expression is felt deeply and with sadness by our community across Europe. We deplore it. Continuing our role as trusted guardians of and ever widening access to the works that represent that freedom, today and for future generations, is our response.
Demonstrators gather at the Place de la République in Paris on the night of the attack. CC-BY-SA JeSuisGodefroyTroude. Source: Wikimedia commons