The fifth regional seminar of the Southeastern European Experts Network on the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, entitled From National Implementation to Regional Cooperation was held in the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade on May 12-14, 2011 under the auspices of UNESCO.
The Seminar was opened by Minister of Culture Predrag Markovic, who emphasized, that it “represents a place where countries can share their experiences in the field of intangible cultural heritage that is very important to all of us. Each country safeguards not only its own intangible heritage, but that of other countries as well, which contributes to better cooperation and understanding among the nations. The safeguarding of heritage has special importance, as intangible cultural heritage ensures the preservation of diversity and peace among the nations. Intangible heritage help us know ourselves and learn to live with others.”
Head of the UNESCO Venice Office’s Culture Unit, Anthony Krause, stated that the seminar in Belgrade offered an opportunity to present and discuss the implementation of national measures for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage.
According to him, it was a platform of discussion and exchange of information on the inventorying-making process, a key element in the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage. “The seminar should define new forms of institutional cooperation, exchange, and partnership among institutions in the region and beyond. Additional actions should be identified, supported and encouraged in Southeastern Europe,” Krause said.
The conference comprised experts from Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Slovenia, Turkey, and Serbia. Experts shared experiences on the implementation of national measures for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage; defined ways to promote regional and international cooperation; and offered a platform of exchange of information on the inventory-making process.
The seminar in Belgrade addressed three major topics: “Implementing the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage”, “Identifying and Inventorying Intangible Cultural Heritage”, and “Training and Capacity-Building”.
Annual conferences serve as regional platforms of exchange of knowledge and information on good practices, and promotion of the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage as a key element of the cultural diversity of Southeastern Europe.