Annual meeting of the General Assembly 16.05.201702/05/2017
Annual Meeting of the General Assembly of the Regional Center for Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in South – Eastern Europe under the auspices of UNESCO, May 16, 2017.17/05/2017
“The Intangible Cultural Heritage in
Official opening: 16 May 2017, 17:30h, Sofia Largo Downtown
The Regional Centre for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in South-Eastern Europe under the auspices of UNESCO with the support of the Ministries of Culture and the Museum Institutions from the member states of the Regional Center, presents an exhibition showing dozens of unique photographs, representing samples of the intangible cultural heritage /ICH/ of the countries of the region. More than fifty photographs have documented a variety of elements of the intangible cultural heritage of the region that show bright and varied patterns of folk traditions and customs, forms of expression, knowledge and skills, objects, artifacts, and cultural spaces recognized by communities as their cultural heritage.
The Agreement between UNESCO and the Government of Republic of Bulgaria regarding the establishment in Sofia of a Regional Centre for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in South-Eastern Europe under auspices of UNESCO (Category 2) was signed on October 25, 2010 in Paris (France).
On March 16, 2011 Bulgarian Parliament adopted the Law on ratification of the Agreement and then it enters into force.
On February 20, 2012 the UNESCO Director-General, Ms Irina Bokova, officially inaugurated in Sofia the Regional Centre for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in South-Eastern Europe under the auspices of UNESCO.
Cofounders of the Sofia Centre are Ministry of Culture of Republic of Bulgaria, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Bulgaria and Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
The necessary funds for the running costs of the Sofia Centre are provided by the Bulgarian Government. For this purpose a specific article in the Bulgarian Cultural Heritage Act is amended.
Until today, for its six years of existence the Regional Centre developed a network that resulted in 16 member states: Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Türkiye and Ukraine. For that period the member state countries subscribed more than sixty elements in the different categories of the UNESCO Lists of the Intangible Cultural Heritage:
- The Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
- The UNESCO Register of Good Safeguarding Practices
- The List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding
The Regional Centre in Sofia is one of the seven world centres devoted exclusively to intangible cultural heritage.
The Mission of Regional Centre Sofia is to promote the cooperation in the field of intangible cultural heritage on national, regional and international level; To carry out initiatives for safeguarding and popularization of the intangible cultural heritage of the countries in South-Eastern Europe;To promote the UNESCO Convention 2003 for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and contribute to its implementation in the South-Eastern Europe.
The specific functions of the Centre are to Encourage and coordinate the research of practices of safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage elements applied in the South-Eastern European countries according to Articles 11, 12, 13 and 14 of the 2003 Convention; To organize training courses with the scope on the 2003 Convention and its Operational Directives, policies fostering the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage etc.; To expand international, regional and sub-regional cooperation through networking with institutions operating in the sphere of intangible cultural heritage, especially those established under the auspices of UNESCO (category 2), in order to coordinate activities, exchange information and knowledge on safeguarding intangible cultural heritage, and promotion of best practices.
The exhibition is realized by the team of the Regional Centre with the cooperation of the Sofia Municipality and the Sofia History Museum.