10.11.2010 -

A “bridge” towards a shared future: Supporting cultural cooperation in South East Europe

© UNESCO Venice OfficeMinisterial Conference, Cetinje 2010

On 20 November 2010, Ministries of Culture from SEE Countries will meet in Venice thanks to the support of UNESCO and the Italian Cooperation for Development, to strengthen regional cooperation in cultural heritage.


The UNESCO Venice Office - Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Italian Cooperation for Development are organizing an international conference aimed at re-launching the process of regional cooperation for the safeguarding and promotion of cultural heritage in SEE.

Invited participants will include deputy-ministers and high representatives from the Ministries of Culture of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy, Greece, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia. The Director of the Directorate General for Development Cooperation of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Elizabetta Belloni and the Director of the UNESCO Venice Office, Engelbert Ruoss will also be participating.

The conference venue will be the historic Palazzo Ca’ Giustinian (home of the Biennale of Venice) overlooking the Grand Canal. This privileged meeting location underlines the role of Venice and of its cultural institutions as a platform for international cultural cooperation. The conference programme also includes a visit to the pavilions of the Biennale of Architecture and will conclude with folklore performances of traditional SEE music at the Ridotto Theatre at Hotel Monaco.

Discussions will be oriented towards the application of the Declarations and the action plans approved by the annual Ministerial Conferences on Cultural Heritage in SEE, initiated in 2004 upon initiative of the Italian Government within the framework of the celebrations for the inauguration of the reconstructed Mostar Bridge, and coordinated by UNESCO through the UNESCO Venice Office. The 6th edition of these conferences was held in Montenegro in April 2010.

This event will also be an opportunity to publically present the results and conclusions of the ‘’Cultural Heritage-a Bridge towards a Shared Future’’ project, financed by the Italian Cooperation for Development and managed by the UNESCO Venice Office. This joint collaboration has implemented 18 activities in 9 SEE countries over the last five years (2005-2010) underlining the importance of cultural heritage as a fundamental instrument for achieving mutual understanding, dialogue and sustainable development. The conclusion of this project during UNESCO’s International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures also demonstrates that cultural diversity can positively contribute to the building of peace and the reinforcement of cooperation in SEE countries.

Enclosed please find the provisional conference programme for 20 November 2010 in Venice.


Mr Matteo Rosati

UNESCO Venice Office – Culture Unit

tel.  +041-260-1511

Email: m.rosati@unesco.org

Author(s): UNESCO Venice Media Advisory N°2010-09

Source: UNESCOVENICE PRESS 10-11-2010

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