UNESCO promotes powerful symbols of unity and mutual understanding in South East Europe. Balkan Bridges Speak project takes off with Meriç
Within the framework of its global initiative “Culture: A Bridge to Development”, UNESCO is organizing in co-operation with the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Governorate of Edirne, the Balkanika Foundation, the Turkish National Commission for UNESCO, the Municipality of Edirne, Bahçeşehir University, Trakya University, and the Chamber of Commerce of Edirne, a regional encounter which aims to bring together culture professionals, municipalities, intellectuals, universities, and private counterparts from South East Europe. This regional encounter titled “The Meriç Bridge Speaks” will take place on 24 and 25 November 2012 in Edirne, Turkey.
This event is included within the framework of the global initiative “Culture: a Bridge to Development”, which aims at building on the power of culture as a dynamic force of co-operation and innovation, creating opportunities and mechanisms for inclusive economic development, social cohesion, and peace. The Governor of Edirne, Mr Hasan Duruer, The Mayor of Edirne, Mr Hamdi Sedefçi, Dr. Abdurrahman Çelik, Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Director General of Copyrights, and the Rector of Bahçeşehir University, Prof. Dr. Şenay Yalçın, will participate in the event with Yolanda Valle-Neff, Director of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), who will represent the Director-General of UNESCO during the meeting.
This event on the iconic bridge of Edirne is the first of several events within the “Balkan Bridges Speak” project, to be hosted in 2013 across South East Europe to highlight bridges as powerful symbols of unity and mutual understanding. It will feature round tables on the Organization’s priority areas of work, artistic and cultural performances, public readings, and provide an opportunity for literary personalities, national and local authorities, experts, private partners and universities of the sub-region to exchange experiences.
Three round tables will take place in Edirne. The first one, “Culture as a motor for social cohesion and peace”, will discuss the roles and responsibilities of governments, civil society and the private sector to work together to formulate policies that promote diversity, creativity and innovation. The second one, “Rivers, cities, history - a discussion between Mayors”, will envisage the first steps to create a cooperative network between the cities with historical bridges included in the project. The third one, “Bringing history back home: reconciliation through the return of cultural objects”, will touch upon issues of reconciliation, restitution, return and recovery, against the background of the provisions of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property and of the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects.
- Lynne Patchett, Chief of Executive Office, Culture Sector
- Maria Gropa, Executive Office, Culture Sector
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