28.11.2011 - ODG

In Seoul, Director-General Meets Key Ministers and Inaugurates Regional Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage

With three new Korean traditions freshly added to the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, the moment was fitting for Director-General Irina Bokova to inaugurate the International Information and Networking Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region, in Seoul on 28 November.

This Centre will specialize in drawing up inventories, archiving, networking and safeguarding intangible heritage in the region, working with centres in China and Japan.

"We live in a globalized world, and the more interconnected we become the more we need to protect our intangible heritage," said Mrs Bokova. "It is important for people’s self-esteem and it is a source of cultural diversity."

In the course of the same day in Seoul, the Director-General met with Environment Minister Yoo Young Sook who expressed interest in setting up an internship program with UNESCO to encourage "active cooperation through human resources exchange."

The Minister of Culture Sports and Tourism, Mr Choe Kwang-shik, stressed his government’s interest in expanding arts education programmes in elementary and lower secondary school. Following a resolution adopted by the 36th General Conference and initiated by the Republic of Korea, an international week of arts education will be celebrated the last week of May, for which the Minister asked for UNESCO’s support, in particular to bring other countries on board.

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