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Intangible cultural heritage: New strategies for sustainable development, tourism and partnerships

Nestinarstvo, messages from the past: the Panagyr of Saints Constantine and Helena in the village of Bulgari
23 May 2013 – The seventh annual regional meeting of experts on Intangible Cultural Heritage in South East Europe will take place in Sofia, Bulgaria, on 27-28 May 2013. The event, organized by the Sofia Regional Center on Intangible cultural heritage in South-East Europe, with the support of the UNESCO Regional Office for Culture and Science in Europe (Venice, Italy) will bring together experts from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey.

The regional meeting will focus on three topics: the status of implementation of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in the respective countries of the region; cases and best practices in promoting intangible cultural heritage as a driver for local sustainable development (tourism, private/public partnerships); and proposals for common action in the areas of training and capacity-building. During the meeting, experts will also discuss on ways to integrate intangible heritage in tourism and development policies, while at the same time fostering the responsible and ethical use of these living assets and forms of expressions.

This annual meetings serve as a regional platform for sharing knowledge and good practices, while stimulating reflection on the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage as a key asset of South-East European cultural diversity. It is a follow-up to the previous meetings held respectively in Bulgaria in 2007, Turkey in 2008, Croatia in 2009, Romania in 2010, Serbia in 2011, and Greece in 2012.

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