24.01.2011 -

Promoting Heritage and Dialogue in South-East Europe. International Workshop at the German Historical Museum

Author(s): UNESCO Venice Media Advisory N°2011-01

Source: UNESCOVENICE PRESS 24-01-2011


An international workshop, “Dealing with difficult heritage, educating on history” for South-East European museum curators will take place at the German Historical Museum, (Berlin, Germany) on 27-28 January 2011. The workshop is organized in cooperation with the German Historical Museum, the German Commission for UNESCO and the UNESCO Venice Office. It will highlight the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) and in particular the International Holocaust Remembrance Day during the publicized “Hitler and the Germans. Nation and Crime”, exhibit at the German Historical Museum (15 October 2010 until 27 February 2011). This workshop is also the first follow-up to the international conference on “National History Museums in Southeast Europe: learning history, building shared memories” (Thessaloniki, Greece, 18-19 October 2010), organized by the UNESCO Venice Office, to promote UNESCO’s overall strategy on heritage and dialogue.

Enclosed please also find the Director General of UNESCO’s message concerning the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust.

Discussions will focus on sharing best practices in museum management and the new responsibilities and challenges history museums have towards providing youth and the public with high quality cultural and historic education while transmitting unprejudiced knowledge. It is an opportunity to reflect on the educational and civic role of history museums, and the methods by which, through innovative museology, museum and heritage professionals seek to analyze, commemorate and contextualize difficult periods in a national community’s history. It will also serve as a platform for South East European museum curators to deal with issues of “difficult heritage” and conflicting memory discourses, in particular in relation to issues of crime, violence and genocide since many of these countries share similar conflicting and complex memories and experiences. It is an attempt to reconstruct a common European memory while coming to terms with individual transnational issues within the context of the European Union integration process.

Senior officials and chief curators from the German Historical Museum, representatives from international organizations (Council of Europe) as well as museum directors and experts from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey as well as invited directors and experts from other European museums and professional institutions (such as, the Peace Memorial in Caen, France; the National Museum of the Risorgimento in Turin, Italy; the International Association of Museums of History) will be participating.

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