» Culture and development at the centre of Director-General’s visit to Cuzco, Peru
25.02.2011 - ODG

Culture and development at the centre of Director-General’s visit to Cuzco, Peru

© UNESCO/Nancy Chappell - UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova meeting with the Peruvian Minister of Culture Juan Ossio, in Lima on 22 February 2011, during her official visit to the country

Continuing her official visit to Peru through the city of Cuzco, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova delivered an address at the Regional Centre for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage of Latin America (CRESPIAL) on 23 February 2011.

She thanked the Peruvian Government and the CRESPIAL for their support and efforts to protect cultural heritage in the region and keep it alive for future generations.

The Director-General held a meeting with CRESPIAL Director Jaime Urrutia, who presented the CRESPIAL's ongoing work program and forthcoming projects.  For her part, Irina Bokova underlined the important role the CRESPIAL plays to strengthen the integration and cooperation between member countries with regards to the protection of cultural heritage.

Also that day, Irina Bokova participated in the special ceremony held in the Historical Regional Museum Casa Garcilaso in Cuzco, where the Peruvian Vice-Minister of Culture Bernardo Roca Rey announced the archaeological discovery of a group of ancient tombs belonging to the Wari culture found on the jungle-covered eastern slope of the Andes in Cuzco.  Archaeologists and anthropologists believe this is one of the most important discoveries made in southern Peru.

On this occasion the Vice Minister also presented the Archbishop of Cuzco with the colonial-time painting “Martirios de Santa Margarita” after its restoration. It had been looted from the temple “Nuestra Señora de Belén” in Cuzco in 2006 but was found in Bolivia in 2007 by Interpol, a strong partner of UNESCO in the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural objects.

“This significant case clearly demonstrates the usefulness of updated and carefully prepared inventories and registers of cultural objects such as the National Register of Cultural Goods,” noted the Director-General.

On 24 February, Irina Bokova travelled to the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its scientific finding this year.

Before returning to Lima, from where she left the country, the Director-General also visited the city of Trujillo in northern Peru. Trujillo’s historic centre is currently in UNESCO’s World Heritage Tentative List, which are properties that state parties consider to be cultural and/or natural heritage of outstanding universal value and therefore suitable for inscription on the World Heritage List in the future.

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