19.04.2012 - UNESCO Venice Office

UNESCO and Greece gather 14 countries to promote the safeguarding of Intangible Culture Heritage in South-East Europe

© Museum of Greek Folk Art - Velissarios Voutsas, 1993

Save the date for the 6th Annual Regional Meeting on Intangible Cultural Heritage in South-East Europe, scheduled on 10-11 May 2012 in Athens, and organised by the UNESCO Venice Office, in cooperation with the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Hellenic National Commission for UNESCO. The meeting - entitled “Promoting a shared vision of intangible cultural heritage in South-East Europe” - will be an opportunity to enhance the implementation of the UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, to share experiences on national measures and policies, and to reinforce cooperation on shared heritage and capacity-building.

Since 2007, the annual meetings of the South-East European Experts Network on Intangible Cultural Heritage have been organized to enhance a common understanding of opportunities and challenges linked to the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage in the region; they serve as a regional platform for sharing knowledge and good practices, and stimulating a collective reflection on the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage as a key asset of South-East European cultural diversity.

After Bulgaria, Turkey, Croatia, Romania and Serbia, Greece takes turn hosting the sixth edition of this annual meeting that takes place within the frame of the UNESCO's new global initiative “Culture: a Bridge to Development”, approved by the UNESCO General Conference in November 2011. This event will allow for a presentation of best practices in the promotion of shared heritage (multinational candidature files, common research projects, etc.) and discuss future joint activities in the area of training and capacity-building, to be developed in conjunction with the Regional Centre for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage under the auspices of UNESCO (Category 2 Centre) recently inaugurated in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Three roundtables will address the following topics of discussion: 1. Implementing the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage; 2. Promoting shared intangible cultural heritage: pilot projects and best practices; 3. Training and capacity-building: a needs assessment. The expected results are: to identify new forms of institutional cooperation, exchanges and partnerships between institutions within the region and beyond, with special focus on shared Intangible Cultural Heritage, and on regional activities for training and capacity building; and, to define follow-up activities to be supported and promoted in SEE in the afore-mentioned fields of action, and make recommendations to UNESCO in this regard.

The meeting will comprise experts from Albania; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria, Croatia; Cyprus; Greece; Italy; Republic of Moldova; Montenegro; Romania; Serbia; Slovenia; The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; and, Turkey.

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