2016 UNESCO/Jikji Memory of the World Prize awarded to Iberarchivos Programme
The 2016 UNESCO Jikji Memory of the World Prize was awarded to the Iberarchivos Programme for the Development of Ibero-Ameran Archives, at a ceremony in the city of Cheongju in the Republic of Korea on 1 September, where the programme was represented by its coordinator Martha Marina Ferriol Marchena and by Berta García del Real Marco of Spain’s Historical National Archives.
Frank La Rue, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information recognized the outstanding contribution to documentary heritage preservation of Iberarchivos, which was rewarded with the US$30,000 Prize on the recommendation of the Bureau of the Memory of the World Programme’s International Advisory Committee.
“Today we honour the innovation and leadership of those working, often below the radar and against significant odds, to safeguard documentary heritage in their cities and communities. The creativity and determination of today’s award winners are inspirational for all of us,” said Mr La Rue.
Iberarchivos is the laureate of the 6th edition of the UNESCO/Jikji Memory of the World Prize. It is recognized for its outstanding achievement in the area of preservation and accessibility of Ibero-America's documentary heritage.
Iberarchivos was established in 1998 as an initiative for cooperation and integration among Ibero-American countries to promote access, organization, description, conservation and dissemination of the documentary heritage that contributes to the consolidation of the Ibero-American cultural space. It has since become the main cooperation programme for archives in the region.
The programme has strengthened links among professionals in the region and helped boost their capacities. It has also promoted a wide range of different types of Ibero-American archives, including national and municipal archives as well as those of human rights institutions and indigenous peoples, for example. Iberarchivos works with 16 countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain, the Dominican Republic and Uruguay.
This year’s ceremony was symbolically held at the Cheongju Early Printing Museum, located on the site of Heungdeoksa Temple. This is where Jikji, the first book ever printed with movable metal type, was published in 1377, 78 years before the Gutenberg Bible, demonstrating the advanced printing technology and flourishing publishing culture of the late Goryeo Dynasty in Korea.
In his congratulatory remarks at the Prize award ceremony, Frank La Rue stressed the successful partnership between UNESCO and the city of Cheongju, which every two years distinguishes outstanding projects for the preservation and promotion of unique and rare documentary heritage. Mr La Rue also expressed his gratitude to the Korean authorities for their continued support.
The UNESCO/Jikji Memory of World Prize, the first and only prize in the field of documentary heritage, was established by UNESCO in 2004 to commemorate the inscription of Jikji on the Memory of World Register. Funded by the Republic of Korea, the Prize is awarded every two years to individuals or institutions that have made a significant contribution to the preservation and accessibility of the documentary heritage. As such, the Jikji Prize promotes the objectives of the Memory of the World Programme to preserve the world’s documentary heritage as a platform for dialogue, mutual respect and understanding among peoples and between societies, in order to strengthen the ground for cooperation and peace, and to ensure its wide accessibility as a common heritage of humanity.
Contact: Roni Amelan, UNESCO Media Services, r.amelan(at)unesco.org, +33(0)145681650
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