Extraordinary meeting of the Ministries of culture of South-East European Countries. Ca’ Giustinian. Venice, Italy. 20 November 2010
The high-level ministerial representatives from South-East Europe will meet to discuss and enhance regional cooperation for the safeguarding and promotion of cultural heritage. The meeting is organized with the support of the UNESCO Venice Office, and within the framework of the “Cultural Heritage – a Bridge towards a Shared Future” project, financed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Italian Cooperation for Development).
Participants, representing high-level official from Ministries of Culture, from the following countries : Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Greece, Slovenia and Turkey will be observers. The Director of the Directorate General for Development Cooperation of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Elisabetta Belloni, will participate in the opening ceremony.
The conference will serve to present the results of the "Cultural Heritage – a Bridge towards a Shared Future” project, financed by the Italian Cooperation for development and implemented by the UNESCO Venice Office over the period 2005-2011, and to discuss future strategies for action.
This project, thanks to the establishment of a “Trust Fund for Cultural Heritage in SEE” managed by the UNESCO Venice Office, has served as the main operational arm of the plans of action approved by the Annual Ministerial Conferences in South-East Europe on Cultural Heritage, initiated in 2004 on the occasion of the celebration of the reconstructed Mostar Bridge. The 6th edition of these conferences was held in Cetinje, Montenegro, in April 2010.
Over this period, 18 projects have been implemented in 9 SEE countries. Among them: the preparation of an Archaeological Map of Albania; the support to training courses at the Centre for Restoration of Monuments in Tirana, Albania; the support to Traditional Arts and Crafts in Bosnia and Herzegovina; the Support to the rehabilitation of 3 museums on national history and the World War II in Bosnia and Herzegovina; the promotion of Thracian archeological heritage and cultural tourism in Bulgaria; the support to the establishment of the International Centre for Underwater Archaeology in Zadar, Croatia; the Promotion of the Macedonian Cultural tangible and intangible Heritage; the support to the establishment of the National Agency for Inspection and Restoration of Monuments in Moldova; the promotion of Museums and cultural heritage in Montenegro; the promotion of Cultural Heritage Information Centres and cultural tourism in the region of Transylvania, Romania; the promotion of medieval fortresses along the Danube, Serbia; Capacity-building courses for SEE ministries of culture on public communication about cultural heritage; and, the support to the preparation of multinational candidature file for the inscription on the World Heritage List.
The Conference will also serve, within the framework of an International Working Group (IWG), to discuss coordination and future activities among the various regional centers of excellences on cultural heritage established with the support of UNESCO in the SEE region : the Centre for Restoration of Monuments in Tirana, Albania; the International Centre for Underwater Archaeology in Zadar, Croatia; the Regional centre for Digitisation of Cultural Heritage in Skopje, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; the Regional Center for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The meeting, finally, will serve to prepare the 7th Annual Ministerial Conferences in South East Europe on Cultural Heritage, to be hosted by Serbia in 2011.
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