20.04.2012 - ODG

Director-General meets with Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism

© Gürcan ÖZTÜRK

During her visit to Istanbul, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova met with the Turkish Minister of Culture and Tousim Ertuğrul Günay. The Minister highlighted the cooperation between his country and UNESCO in the field of World Heritage.

The role of culture as a tool for mutual understanding amongst different cultures and peace building in the sub-region was one of the topics they discussed with particular attention, notably through the sharing of technical expertise in the preservation of cultural heritage, the transfer of know-how and cultural exchange.

The fight against illicit trafficking of cultural property and the restitution of cultural objects were identified as areas of particular interest. There is a need for enhanced cooperation in view of the important number of archaeological sites throughout the country and for the numerous excavations for which the Minister asked for national and local authorities’ special attention in ensuring the application of rigorous legislation and standards for the protection of cultural property.

The Minister welcomed the proposal by the Director-General to support regional and sub-regional capacity building in fighting illicit traffic of cultural objects in South East Europe.

Following the meeting, the Director-General met with private sector representatives and Presidents and General Directors of the Vehbi Koc, Acev, Enka and Sabanchi Foundations. They discussed social responsibility issues in the areas of education and cultural heritage preservation.

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