The Seventh Annual Regional Meeting of Experts on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) took place in Sofia

„Balkan Cuisine” culinary demonstration
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26/06/2013

The Seventh Annual Regional Meeting of Experts on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) took place in Sofia

The Seventh Annual Regional Meeting of Experts on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) took place in Sofia on 27-28 May 2013. The event was organized by the Sofia Regional Centre for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in South-Eastern Europe under the auspices of UNESCO with the support of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Culture and Science in Europe, Venice (Italy).

The meeting was attended by representatives from Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Cyprus, the Former Yugoslav Republic Of Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and many observers from the embassies of Albania, Armenia, Romania, Serbia, Greece, FYR Macedonia, as from the Ministry of Culture, Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with Ethnographic Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Bulgarian Language, Sofia University, State University of Library Studies and Information Technologies.

The seminar was divided into three working sessions:
Round-table 1: “Implementing the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003)”
During the first session, the participants presented the current state of Intangible Cultural Heritage in their own country, and described the measures that have been taken regarding the implementation of the 2003 Convention. They put a focus on the legal frame (common policies, laws, inventories, digitalization, advisory bodies, cooperation mechanisms, institutions, networks, etc.) and on the main activities implemented for the safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, including measures to increase public awareness (education programs, media campaigns, multimedia databases).

Round-table 2: “New strategies for sustainable development, tourism and partnerships”
Three presentations were given in the session to illustrate the possibilities for inclusion of ICH in cultural tourism:”Architectural Ethnographic Complex Etar – The living Bulgarian tradition”, presented by Ms. Petya Bonev, AEC “Etar””Local gastronomy and traditions, important tools for sustainable development in Transylvania”, presented by Mr. Mihai Dragomir, Mioritics Association, Romania”Cultural Marketing and Tourist Information Centres: the Astra National Museum Complex”, presented by Mirela Cretu, ASTRA National Museum Complex, Sibiu, Romania

Round-table 3: “Capacity building and training in South-Eastern Europe”
Some proposals and recommendations have been made by the participants, specifically about the activities of the Regional Centre in Sofia and the development of a network of experts in the field in ICH in SEE.

Presentations of the participants can be found here: UNESCO Office in Venice