27.04.2011 - UN in Albania

Citizens – a key role in revitalising historical buildings

©UNDP in AlbaniaTraditional Albanian house in Berat

Berat, 27 April 2011 – Representatives of different public and private bodies which deal with utilising the Cultural Monuments, the Regional Directorate of National Culture, Municipality Urban Planning Office and Tourism Office, Construction Police, Immovable Property Registration Office, banks which credit house restoration, local businesses and organisations dealing with cultural heritage and tourism, took part today in a two-day seminar on informing and raising the awareness of the citizens of their irreplaceable role in the preservation and revitalisation of historical buildings.

United Nations in Albania news (27/04/2011) : The citizens had an informing and constructive dialogue on the increase of their role and cooperation with public and private entities to maintain and revitalise the Cultural Monuments. On a practice oriented basis the seminar treated issues regarding legislation, regulations and existing practices within the country and in the world, in order to carry out the property and technical documentation of Cultural Monuments, restoration funding, equipping and using the historical buildings for business purposes, family tourism, etc.

“We started with the concept that maintenance of Cultural Monuments is an obligation for their owners, as well as a national and international obligation, especially for cities such as Gjirokastra and Berat which are part of UNESCO World Heritage list. The Cultural Monuments are a privilege for their owners, but also for the community, offering them huge opportunities for development; in this process, having the citizen in focus, all the public entities, businesses, banks and civil society organisations should participate actively - said Sadi Petrela, the Director of the Organisation on the Preservation and Development of Gjirokastra.

The outcomes of the seminar and public surveys which are taking place in both cities will be published in a practical guidebook that will serve the citizens for the maintenance of their houses which are Cultural Monuments, as well as for their revitalisation.

The Coordinator of the UN Joint Programme “Culture and Heritage for Social and Economical Development” Erkan Ozçelik said that the Project “Revitalisation of the buildings – Cultural Monuments and the key role of the citizens” comes at the right time and treats one of the global priorities of the present, attempts for the preservation and revitalisation of Cultural Monuments.

The seminar is organised with the support of the One UN Joint Programme “Heritage and Culture for Social and Economical Development” and is being implemented by the Gjirokastra Conservation and Development Organisation in cooperation with the Institute of Monuments and the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, Youth and Sports. A similar seminar will be organised in the coming days in the city Gjirokastra also.

Funded by the Spanish Fund for the Millennium Development Goals Achievement, the program aims to assist in strengthening the social and economical development of the country through its rich culture and heritage. With a budget of USD 3.2 million and implemented by UNDP and UNESCO, the programme is assisting the cultural institutions in Albania to increase local capacities in the field of cultural heritage administration.

For more information, contact:

Nora Kushti
UNDP Communications Manager

Source : http://www.un.org.al/subindex.php?faqe=news&newsid=310

Links : Historic Centres of Berat and Gjirokastra (World Heritage List)

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