Forum UNESCO - University and Heritage

Reference Documents

Final Report of the
10 - 15 September 2001,
Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain)

30th Anniversary of the Cultural and Natural World Heritage Convention in 2002, Intensification of the Universities' Mutual Ethical and Operational Commitment


The Vice-Presidents, the Vice-Chancellors, the Deans, the Directors, the professors and the students of universities, the national Directors of heritage from 45 countries, along with the Representative of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV), the Director of Programmes for the Agence universitaire de la francophonie (450 universities, 45 countries), with the Representatives from ICOMOS and the International Union of Architects (IUA)

Wish to thank the authorities of the Generalitat and of the city of Valencia for their strong support,

Wish to congratulate the Vice-Chancellor of the Polytechnic University of Valencia for his remarkable and constant efforts to consolidate the international network,

Wish to welcome ICOMOS' decision to sign an agreement with Forum UNESCO – University and Heritage and, in so doing, to associate actively the international network in the next General Assembly of ICOMOS in 2002 in Zimbabwe,

Remark, with acute interest, the intention of the International Union of Architects (IUA) to develop with Forum UNESCO - University and Heritage a curriculum on heritage intervention for architects,

Rejoice over the increasing spontaneous mobilisation of other universities, particularly those from countries joining the network for the first time, like Chile, Japan, Poland, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom and Uruguay,

Value the progress made thanks to the developments of the network at a national level and the participation of three universities in each of the following countries: Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Italy Lebanon and Spain,

Rejoice over the active involvement of several young professors and thirty or so students from the universities of Colombia, Cuba, Italy, Japan, Romania and Spain,

Remark, with acute interest, the Polytechnic University of Valencia's publication of the 120 activities and projects achieved by Forum UNESCO – University and Heritage since 1996 along with the synopses of the 112 papers received for the Sixth international Seminar including those from universities which did not take part in the seminar but still showed their interest,

Notice, through the 69 scientific and technical papers given by the participants, the progress of an efficient co-operation between national heritage practitioners and the universities,

Value the commitment of the Spanish media (newspapers, radios and TV channels) in favour of the protection of the cultural and natural world heritage,

Decide with a view to consolidate the structural frame of the network, to rationalise and intensify its action after five years of existence and at the beginning of a new phase coinciding with the Thirtieth Anniversary of the World Heritage Convention:

I. To Restructure the working mechanisms of the international network in order to increase its capacity for co-ordination, mobilisation, action and sharing, by 

u the signature of a Pact of Universities by the Vice-Chancellors of the universities of Forum UNESCO- University and Heritage in order to involve their institutions on an official level and give them the necessary means to meet the goals of the network. The completion of the Pact between the universities will be undertaken in close co-operation with ICCROM, ICOMOS, ICOM, IUA and IFLA,

u the constitution of a working group under the supervision of UNESCO, whose task will consist in orientating the network and grant the label and logo of Forum UNESCO- University and Heritage to the projects (especially if operational) for the safeguard of heritage,

u the constitution of thematic working groups within the network, such as :
- cultural and natural world heritage,
- urban-planning and heritage,
- archaeological sites and museums,
- youth and heritage,
- heritage for reconciliation,
- intangible heritage,
- promotion, awareness-raising and communication on heritage,
- heritage and new technologies.

II. To intensify the rallying projects in 2002 in order to celebrate the Thirtieth Anniversary in a concrete and useful way. The priority will go to activities revolving around training, awareness raising, promotion and mobilisation in favour of the natural and cultural as well as the tangible and intangible World Heritage.

International Activities and Projects

1. International Symposium entitled "Heritage and the Media", University of Laval, Quebec, Canada, organised in September 2002, with a double view to raise the population and the international community's awareness of the issues of heritage, research and raise issues on this theme,

2. International Seminar of Forum UNESCO - University and Heritage, University of Yarmuk, Jordan, organised in the ancient Greco-Roman city of Irbil and on the World Heritage site of Petra in November 2002, on the theme: "The protection of World Heritage and Cultural Tourism".

3. Creation of an international committee of students from Forum UNESCO - University and Heritage, University of Waseda, Japan, in 2002,

4. Virtual Meeting on the Internet, University of Waseda, Japan: Exchanges of theoretical and practical knowledge between students from the above university and students from the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain, in 2002.

5. Second Cycle of workshops for the exchanges of theoretical and practical knowledge for university professors and specialists on the themes of the management and use of heritage and of the methodology used in historical centres. The first cycle of workshops focussed on Requena (Spain), Torino (Italy) and Porto (Portugal). In 2002, the workshop number III will focus on Salvador de Bahia (Brazil) and Bogota (Colombia). In 2003, it will focus on Beirut (Lebanon) and Buenos Aires (Argentina).

6. Launching of an international drawing/photography contest, in order to raise awareness amongst the youth, about the cultural and natural world heritage, and the tangible and intangible heritage. This project is a collaboration between the network of the Associated Schools of UNESCO and the universities.

Projects and Activities in Africa

7. National Symposium of Archaeologists organised by the University of Benin, Togo, and to be held in December 2001.

8. Workshop of the universities of Western Africa on the theme "Heritage, Tourism and Development", organised by the Agence universitaire de la francophonie and the University Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar (Senegal) and to be held from 23 to 27 January 2002.

9. Meeting of the African universities of Forum UNESCO - University and Heritage, organised by Forum UNESCO - University and Heritage and the University of Benin, Togo, with the financial support of the Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain), and to be held in 2002. Consolidation of the network in Africa and identification of the actions to be given priority and of projects undertaken in a collaboration between two or more instances.

Projects and Activities in Latin America and the Caribbean

10. Study on project for conservation and sustainable development on the Island of Carex (Tierrabomba, Colombia), in the Bay of Cartagena de Indias. Study undertaken by the students of the Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain), in collaboration with the University Jorge Tadeo Lozana and the University Rafael Nuñez (Colombia).

11. Mobilisation of a group of students for the setting up of a heritage inventory and for awareness raising about the value of local heritage. Organised by the University of Quisqueya (Haiti) in 2002.

12. Seminar of the role of universities in training and communication about Heritage and in the preservation of this heritage. Workshop involving students through an exhibition and a contest, organised by the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina), from the 1st to the 7th of September 2002.

13. Practical workshop for teachers and students on the World Heritage sites of the Jesuit Missions in Argentina. Organised by the University of Vera Cruz (Mexico), the Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain) and ICOMOS Argentina, and to be held in 2002.

14. Classes for teachers about the conservation of heritage, in Cartagena de Indias (Colombia), organised by the University Jorge Tadeo Lozana (Colombia), the University Rafel Nuñez (Colombia), the Parcarex Foundation, the Public Works Company of Cartagena de Indias (Colombia), and by the Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain). To be held in the first semester of 2002.

15. Workshops and classes on the architectural heritage of Bogota, Tunja and Villa de Leyva (Colombia), organised by the University of Santo Tomas, the Mayor of Villa de Leyva (Colombia) and the Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain). To be held in the first semester of 2002.

16. Doctoral classes in Santiago de Cuba, funded by the Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain).

17. Restoration workshop of the Forts of the Caribbean Route in San Juan de Puerto Rico in July 2002. Organised by the University of Vera Cruz (Mexico), the Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain), the University of Puerto Rico and the National Park Site.

18. Restoration workshop of the Fort of San Salvador de La Punta (La Havana, Cuba) with Cuban students doing a Masters in heritage.

19. Workshop for the observation of the local colonial heritage (Sugar cane factories) with teachers and students from the Department of Architecture, University Quisqueya (Haiti), organised in the framework of the "The Slave Route" programme of UNESCO.

20. Publication of the work and results obtained in the workshop started in December 2000 in Cartagena de Indias (Colombia).

21. Cycle of conferences on the architectural heritage organised by the Trade Chamber of Commerce of Rosario (Argentina) the Trade Stock Exchange of Valencia (Spain) and in collaboration with the University of Rosario (Argentina).

22. Creation of a UNESCO Chair in heritage management, with an emphasis on pluridisciplinary approaches, University of Buenos Aires (Argentina).

Projects and Activities in Asia and the Pacific

23. Workshop with the universities of Asia organised by Deakin University (Australia), in co-operation with the University of Hue (Viet Nam) and to be held in 2002.

24. Workshop for the education of the national practitioners of Asian countries about awareness - raising, promotion and communication organised by Deakin University (Australia), and to be held in 2002.

Projects and Activities in the Arab States

25. International on-site work camps for specific safeguarding actions of the heritage of Tlemcen (Algeria).

26. Post-graduate classes on the built heritage for local executives, engineers and professional from the Construction Industry. Organised by the University Abu Bekr El Kaid of Tlemcen (Algeria).

27. Revitalisation of a profession through classes on zellidj, a technique used on monuments, and organised by the University Abu Bekr El Kaid of Tlemcen (Algeria).

28. National Campaign for awareness raising and for the mobilisation of resources through an exhibition and conferences about completed restoration projects focussing on the World Heritage ancient site of the City of Damascus (Syrian Arab Republic). Organised by the University of Damascus (Syrian Arab Republic) in 2002.

Projects and Activities in Europe and North America

29. Heritage interdisciplinary studies: development of studies within the framework of existing programmes and disciplines or according to personalised arrangements in order to do a Masters or a doctorate overlapping several disciplines. Elaboration of international agreements in favour of student mobility (internships, scholarships, inter-university exchanges, etc.). Organised by the University of Laval, Quebec (Canada).

30. Series of activities and projects elaborated by students, focussing on the heritage of medium-sized cities and to be undertaken in a progressive manner over the year 2002. Organised by the University of Luisiada (Portugal).

31. Development of a global concept and of local applications for the practical training about professional knowledge and its modern uses (structure and management with partners), pre-project, University of Laval, Quebec (Canada).

32. Virtual Institute and circulating inventory: project undertaken with a view to establish infrastructures for the circulation of knowledge through the dissemination of archives, documentation on heritage, and the creation of an international network for electronic exchanges enabling direct access to data bases and research works whose access is normally restricted, University of Laval, Quebec (Canada).

33. Virtual conservation of the endangered religious heritage: project on the electronic safeguard of heritage whose physical protection seems difficult or impossible. This project aims at the theoretical development and experimentation in the field of religious heritage with a first emphasis put on the French-speaking Protestants' heritage of Quebec, University of Laval, Quebec (Canada).

34. Project for the restoration by Students of the Synagogues from the Centre of Izmir (Turkey). Organised by the Department of Architecture, University of Dokus Eylül (Turkey) and the Belazel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem (Israel), summer 2002.

35. Project for the development of Public Participation in the revitalization and conservation Project for the Kemeralti City Centre in Izmir (Turkey), University of Dokuz Eylül, Faculty of Architecture, with the collaboration of the two local governments (mayors), the Governor's Office and the Chambers of Architects and Planners.

36. Project for the creation of a UNESCO Chair for the enhancement of World Heritage and the reinforcement of its economic role, University of Yash (Romania).

37. Research project on the boxed ceiling of the "Sala Daurada" of the old town hall of Valencia, sponsored by the Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain).

38. Research project on geophysics applied to Turkey, in collaboration with the Institute for Architectural Research, Venice (Italy).

39. Second international archaeological study of Forum UNESCO – University and Heritage, to be held in Valencia (Spain) in July 2002, and organised and sponsored by the Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain).


The nine plenary meetings and the 14 workshops of the Sixth international Seminar of Forum UNESCO – University ad Heritage, held in Valencia from the 10th to the 15th of September 2001, completed their agendas.

This meeting lasted for six days, the first day being devoted to the inauguration of the Seminar with the official presentation of the authorities involved and of the associated international organisations. The second day was devoted to workshops focusing on the evaluation, with the participants, of the activities of the past five years and especially on registering the participants' impressions of the organisation. The second day ended with a debate.

Then, in the three intense days that followed, the scientific and technical programme of this meeting was elaborated. Various themes were discussed in-depth and with enthusiasm.

This session was followed by a plenary meeting devoted to examining the structure, the working mechanism and the action of our budding network. A formal list of commitments and activities for 2002 was born out of this meeting and is to be found in the first part of this report.

The schedule of this Seminar also included a cultural programme over three evenings with a show, a concert, a historical visit and the lighting of a "falla" realised for and by Forum UNESCO – University and Heritage.

The preliminary documents for the Seminar are attached to the present report, namely:
-the programme,
-the publication of the 118 synopses or summaries of the papers,
-the list of participants.

Monday 10 September 2001
Opening session

Mr. Justo NIETO NIETO, Vice-Chancellor of the Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain) and President of Forum UNESCO – University and Heritage, registered, in his speech, the global understanding of heritage and the ensuing holistic approach.

Mr. Jean-Dominique ASSIE, Director of Programmes for the Agence universitaire de la francophonie, recalled the great principles of freedom and universality conveyed by the university as a social institution. He officially announced the organisation of two Forum UNESCO – University and Heritage workshops, the first one with Western African universities in Dakar in 2002 and the second one with South-East Asian universities.

Then, Ms Marcela MIRO PEREZ, President of the Cortes de la Generalitat de Valencia, insisted on the citizens' responsibility to pass on the heritage they have through values which should be considered as part of the intangible heritage.

As for Mr. Mounir BOUCHENAKI, Assistant Director-General for Culture of UNESCO and Representative of the Director-General of UNESCO, he emphasised the ethical role of universities regarding heritage through their academic authority and their scientific discipline. He insisted on the necessity for pluridisciplinary dialogue in order to develop and enrich knowledge and consolidate the network.

Plenary session: Targets, realisations and perspectives of the network

The ICOMOS reinforces its partnership with Forum UNESCO by announcing an agreement in a letter of mutual understanding.

The ICOM, in spite of its unconditional support for the Seminar, could not deliver its message, which we know to have been very positive.

Then, about the chapter concerning training, the International Union of Architects (IUA) wishes to work along with Forum UNESCO for the setting-up of criteria defining the methodology to be adopted by architects in the field of heritage work.

Eventually, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) gave us a message of hope through a film on the experience of a Japanese volunteer's passion for the safeguard of Honduras heritage.

The second part of this session focused on the renewed commitment of first plan partners from the universities which had organised the preceding Seminars of the Forum UNESCO network. They expressed their aims and told us about their achievements and about their plans for the future.

As for the Institut du patrimoine culturel (IPAC) of the University Laval, Québec (Canada), which prides itself on being a place for concertation and co-ordination, it announced its three-fold plan of action about training, research and the organisation of scientific activities.

The UNESCO Heritage Chair at the University of Laval, Quebec (Canada) follows a pro-active approach which is trans-disciplinary, inter-collegial and international. The activities of this Chair are devoted to the heritage of local communities while trying to associate modernity and heritage.

The UNESCO Heritage Chair at Deakin University, Melbourne (Australia), defined its five main targets. During this year, this Chair set up a trans-disciplinary programme about heritage. This programme attracts students from the entire Asia-Pacific area.

The University of Al Akhawayn, Ifrane (Morocco), located nearby World Heritage sites, devotes itself to the cultural and economic development of the area through four projects which have already been launched.

And, finally, the Lebanese American University of Byblos (Lebanon) is convinced that the law remains the basis of any heritage intervention. Youth and the media should become privileged partners in this development.

Tuesday 11 September 2001
Plenary session: Thirtieth Anniversary of the natural and cultural World Heritage Convention

The UNESCO states once more the aims of this sixth meeting held with the thirtieth anniversary of the 1972 Convention in mind. The UNESCO also emphasises the importance of the ideas of exchange, sharing and civil responsibility especially in relation to local heritage as the privileged locus for awareness-raising in society in general.

It is also worth saying that Forum UNESCO, gathered in a plenary session on that day, was deeply shocked, like the rest of the world, by the news of the terrorist attack on symbolic USA landmarks. The participants were appalled by this incredible news and, following a suggestion from the Vice-Chancellor of the Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain), Mr NIETO NIETO, they observed five minutes of silence in solidarity with the families affected.

"Benchmarking" group dynamic

The Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain) required the services of a team specialised in a group dynamic technique called "Benchmarking". This technique focuses on group learning of diagnoses and solutions by listing encountered problems, selecting the most difficult ones and thinking together about innovative solutions.

The participants, divided into three linguistic workshops, identified a number of problems encountered within the Forum UNESCO – University and Heritage network. Among these, let us consider the poor dissemination of information, the too large or too general aims of the meetings, the insufficient presence of students and the lack of a balanced geographical representation in the network. Besides, the lack of inter-university and inter-institutional co-operation at this stage of our development is to be regretted.

Moreover, problems linked to the working mechanism of the network, to the content of meetings, to the under-use of available electronic instruments and to a lack of funding for projects have been identified.

Eventually, we stated once again the necessity for even more direct contacts along with the use of new information technologies and for an in-depth evaluation of the work already completed within the network.

Plenary session: conclusions to "benchmarking"

As a conclusion to "benchmarking", other problems brought up in the morning came up again, for example: the necessary priority that should be given to student participants in our activities, the horizontal dynamic of the organisation and the subsequent lack of inter-regional contacts, insufficient exchanges between members and the difficulty in fostering a feeling of belonging.

Besides, the need to produce information material on the structure and working mechanism of the network and the need to constitute an international committee representing the different components of the network and in charge of the definition of a technical, scientific and ethical short plan were brought up. Moreover, this instance for dialogue would enable the existence of the projects on the long run and the consistence of the network's actions. Besides, the universities are aware of their innumerable human resources, mainly students, who constitute an amazing yet under-used force of action.

Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 September 2001
were devoted to our technical and scientific programme

Youth and Heritage

The universities acknowledge the rich potential of students, whether in Brazil, Cuba, Italy, Lebanon or Spain. The involvement of the youth on numerous sites is part of an educational action undertaken by the university in addition to being a lesson in good citizenship for the community directly involved but also for society as a whole.

This type of safeguard work camp offering an integrated curriculum concerns students of course but unfortunately it does not involve youth outside the academic institution. Therefore the sites of Forum UNESCO should mix students and non-studying youths as much as possible and stand thus as a factor for social development.

Finally, the universities should have a duty to remember the political changes of our times so that the youth does not loose the sense of history and heritage.

Architectural Heritage

The papers in this field were very dense and varied, hence the somehow heterogeneous quality of the ideas developed below.

The increasing contribution of the most advanced scientific techniques (for example, geo-radar, chemical and physical analyses of stone, earthenware and mortar) to the safeguard of the architectural heritage was pointed out.

The use of air-photography as an instrument of comparison about the environmental evolution of heritage seems particularly fruitful.

Concrete safeguarding projects were presented as educational tools, individually, in detail and with a particular emphasis on the adopted methodology.

The creation of a Centre for anthropological and ethnological studies on black Colombian culture was announced.

Original rehabilitations of the twentieth century heritage were presented: warehouses or railway stations were turned into universities or museums. The need to give priority to the safeguard of contemporary heritage was reasserted once more. Other projects focus on the maintenance of the original functions of local buildings like public baths (hammam) or social housing, which can raise the awareness of heritage in the general public.

The role of the State as a partner in the preservation of historical buildings was criticised, as it cannot be the only one responsible for this mission. A heritage protective legal system effectively implemented is the only way to solve the dilemma of the choice between the State or the private property.

Finally, the following idea was emphasised: the end purpose of safeguarding heritage is to protect human beings, which are themselves part of the cosmic heritage inseparable from its environment.

Heritage and the media

To begin with, the problem of the access to sufficiently documented information was brought up. It is worth noticing that newspapers, as part of the media, mirror public awareness and life in society with its unending changes. Hence newspapers are the memory of society and thus should become, as archives, an information source for the restoration of heritage.

Besides, it is impossible to dissociate natural and cultural heritage. In fact heritage can be defined increasingly as part of the global concept of life. That is why information agents must consider mankind in relation with its environment. An important question arises then: do the media contribute, whether in a conscious or unconscious way, to the transformation of the impact of the media into collective hallucination?

Do they promote a cause. Do they raise an awareness in the general public? These are other aspects of the question. The use of a sensational form or content only focussing on minor elements of a situation is tempting for the media.

Only the professional ethic of journalists can resist this regrettable propensity.

There is sometimes a contradiction, and sometimes even a conflict, between an intangible cultural heritage standing for certain values and the defence of elements from the threatened natural heritage. In this context, the media could act as mediators.

Eventually, Forum UNESCO could act as a source of information and as an education tool for the media wishing to be more closely associated with the network's activities.

Heritage and civil engineering

In a situation of danger, a traditional and outdated equipment can become a protection for the concerned heritage sites. This is why civil engineering, if serving heritage through methods for quality evaluation, enables, for instance, the study of the behaviour of stone ruins exposed to repeated earth tremor. Hence, engineering, with its pluridisciplinary approach, can also contribute to the safeguard of the material heritage.

Industrial heritage

Since industry has conquered our time and space, the very notion of heritage came up in relation to industry.

Since the nineteenth century a new way to teach within an industrial environment with a didactic approach and an original understanding of the industrial landscapes, has come up, for instance in the area of Valencia.

However, Mankind, although it has witnessed the tremendous transformations of its environment due to industrial development, remains the central element and also the main force of these transformations.

Eventually, although the industrial heritage and chiefly the iron and steel industrial heritage appeared through human intervention, it also exists from the exploitation of natural resources to the transformation of these resources, thanks to its geographical and geophysical context.

Similarly the transport and the exportation are enabled by a favourable physical environment.

Moreover, social life has often been radically transformed and should be understood for what it is and in its globality. In this context, social themes should really enter in consideration when tackling questions about industrial heritage.

Pictorial and sculptural heritage

Because of the lack of time, the session for papers on this theme had to be cancelled in agreement with the authors of the papers who were aware that their papers would be published in the proceedings of this sixth Seminar anyway.

Heritage and law

As it is often said, "there can be no education without culture". Similarly, there cannot be any culture without heritage. Nowadays we can go even further and state that there cannot be any viable heritage without an appropriate legislation.

Besides, heritage, and especially cultural heritage, can be the victim of a badly drafted legislation. The law is therefore a double-sided tool that has to be used with competence in order to avoid irreparable losses.

In spite of the progress in raising the awareness of the populations about heritage, one has to remain careful because public authorities could take an unfair advantage of their power in the field of heritage.

Heritage and environment

The presence of nature and the environmental context have to be taken into account on a global scale in all heritage interventions. The methods of rural economy such as econometry can be used to evaluate the size of a heritage site, whether it is cultural or natural. Geomorphology along with cartography also help studying the physical environment as a whole. Beyond quantitative methods, quality analysis enables a better understanding of the landscape heritage.

Therefore we can state once again, as we did in the introduction to these workshops, that heritage should be considered in its global dimension and therefore, only a holistic approach associating culture and nature can be scientifically acceptable.

Museology and academic museums

In the context of the universities, inter-institutional co-operation projects seem to be starting worldwide and Forum UNESCO, through the ICOM Committee of academic museums (the tangible result of their co-operation) is particularly aware of this new trend. Indeed, universities from the Northern Hemisphere join universities from the Southern Hemisphere to carry out their museographical projects. Whether in Africa or in Central America, the effects of this new phenomenon can be observed.

Something else can be observed: the association of some universities with museums in order to set up their educational programmes and in the long run to increase the understanding and appreciation for elements of close local heritage.

Tourism and management of cultural heritage

The main issue, with a process for the enhancement of heritage at a municipal level, is the involvement of the local population to this wide enterprise. The keys to successful local development lie in the increase of the attractive value of a place and in the improvement of the quality of the structures welcoming the visitors in a tourist site.

Besides the success of this operation lies the involvement of the population with the transformations concomitant to a better cultural offer. Local decision-makers must take into account the population's interest and its wish to open up for tourism development.

In this context, educating the people becomes a fundamental part of heritage management.

Thematic cartography is also a choice tool for developing tourism activities in relation with heritage management.

Intangible heritage

Sharing a culture with the greatest number of people does not necessarily mean focusing on ostensibly visible cultural signs. Ways of living also convey important cultural values. For example, food or medicine cannot find a place in this theoretical framework. However, the publication of intangible forms in the book, disk, CD-Rom format, etc. often remains the best way to keep a trace of them.

In terms of the preservation of cultural heritage, we have to say that the means and the raw materials are plenty whereas age-long traditional knowledge is lacking. Hence any national endeavour for the safeguard of the built heritage should go along with the preservation of traditional professions.

Besides the restoration of the built heritage can sometimes entail the revitalisation of age-old traditions and becomes hence a factor for the regeneration of these traditions.

Moreover, the oral heritage like universal tales and legends is beyond the space and time of all cultures and sometimes fixes itself in written literature. This oral heritage is also an excellent tool for exploring cultures, opening up to others and of course developing a culture of peace.

General remarks on the scientific and technical programme

Out of all the interventions in this scientific and technical programmes, 69 papers were given. Out of these, 45 came from Spanish speaking universities and 25 came directly from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. It goes without say that the proportion of papers is unusual for an international meeting.

Beside one has to salute the immense efforts of the Polytechnic University of Valencia to mobilise so many academic resources on the theme of heritage, especially in the context of this dense national concentration. The efforts of this university, its intense activity in the past five years and its numerous research works and publications on the theme of heritage should also be saluted.

The increasing involvement of students in this Seminar should also be mentioned. In addition, the presence of national delegations, representing much more than just one institution and in fact standing for a group of universities working on this mobilising theme, should be pointed out and they should be thanked for their outstanding work.

Friday 14 September 2001
Plenary session: the XXXth Anniversary of the World Heritage
Convention (2002): Mobilisation of human, technical and financial resources

The network giving immediate priority to the signature in 2002 of a Pact of universities, the creation of a dialogue Committee or an advisory/orientation Committee, with the most active universities in the network. Priority is also given to the organisation of international Seminars on a single and precise theme. The membership to the Pact and Committee should also include the central headquarters and the UNESCO chairs while respecting the geographical distribution.

Forum UNESCO - University and Heritage should become the instance to which the universities could go to seek help in the emerging field of heritage.

The network should also seek to lower the existing differences between universities, between those that have some experience in the field of heritage and those that have less experience or those who cannot afford such means.

are the key words of this meeting. Indeed, the universities involved in the heritage management under Forum UNESCO - University and Heritage should, in their own interest, work together with a consistent approach and with a view to continuity through a flexible but helpful structure for all our activities for education, research and publicity about heritage. Of course, this should be done in a spirit of mutual help and sharing.

Plenary session: Projects and activities of Forum UNESCO - University and Heritage: for an impulse and the implementation of the World Heritage Convention on the occasion of its Thirtieth Anniversary: Proposals submitted by the universities.

Numerous projects were announced by universities listed along with the commitments.

Thank you very much for the collaboration of the sessions' chairpersons. We also wish to thank Marielle Richon, from the UNESCO Headquarters, for her help in drafting this report.

Philippe Dubé
Professor, Université Laval (Canada)
General Rapporteur
Saturday 15 September 2001

Last update 05/06/01


Meetings & workshops

Reference Documents



University network