04.06.2014 - UNESCOPRESS

UNESCO and the city of Valencia join forces to safeguard intangible cultural heritage

A group of 'falleras', in Valencia, Spain.

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, is pleased that the city of Valencia has decided to host an expert meeting in early 2015 to discuss the challenges faced in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage.

"Intangible cultural heritage is among the most valuable forms of expression of the world’s peoples. It is a means through which we understand the world around us; it also allows us to transmit the core values ​​of our cultural identity to future generations. Yet it is extremely fragile. Although in the eyes of the communities concerned, the meaning and value of these ancient traditions have not weakened over time, they are now facing unprecedented threats related to globalization processes."

"Culture is a renewable resource par excellence, and as such it constitutes a major dimension of sustainable development. We must take care not to deplete some of its manifestations and allow them to die out as a result of unsustainable and decontextualized exploitation. In this context, the reflection that will be undertaken at this expert meeting is both urgent and timely. It should lead to the sharing of good practices with a view to the adoption of codes of ethics, particularly as regards promoting and building awareness on intangible cultural heritage."

The expert meeting will be held in Valencia at the request of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage to begin work on a model code of ethics that can guide States Parties in their safeguarding activities, including advocacy and awareness building. The meeting, which will be inaugurated by the Director-General, will focus on several case studies, such as the famous Fallas of Valencia, satirical festive events involving wide citizen participation in all of the communities where they are celebrated.

"Once again, Spain has demonstrated its commitment to the promotion and protection of culture as an essential factor for development. Spain is a major player in the life of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, as evidenced through the support it has provided to developing countries to strengthen their safeguarding capacities, as well as through the many elements it has succeeded in inscribing on the Lists of the Convention. With twelve elements inscribed to date, Spain is among the five best-represented countries. Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) is also an important partner of UNESCO through the International Network Forum UNESCO-University and Heritage."




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