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UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage: Feasibility study launched

01-06-2006 (Paris)
UNESCO has now launched a public consultation on the objectives, practicalities, costs and expected results of a “World Day for Audiovisual Heritage” to be celebrated annually on 27 October to build global awareness of the various issues at stake in preserving the audiovisual heritage.
Sound recordings and moving images in any form are vulnerable, and easily discarded or deliberately destroyed. Too much of the world’s 20th century audiovisual heritage is now lost, and much more is slipping beyond recovery because of neglect, natural decay and technological obsolescence. Unless public awareness of the importance of preservation is increased, this trend will continue.

Therefore, in response to a proposal by the Czech Republic in October 2005, UNESCO’s General Conference approved the proclamation of 27 October as the annual World Day for Audiovisual Heritage. The World Day for Audiovisual Heritage can be a means of building global awareness of the various issues at stake in preserving the audiovisual heritage. In accordance with normal practice, a feasibility study has been commenced to test the objectives, practicalities, costs and expected results of such an annual commemoration.

The date is significant. On 27 October 1980, the General Conference adopted the “Recommendation for the safeguarding and preservation of moving images”, the first international instrument to declare the cultural and historical importance of film and television recordings, and calling for decisive steps to ensure their preservation.

In today’s digital age, that call is going out to an even wider spectrum. More recent initiatives, such as the “World Appeal for the Preservation of Broadcast Heritage” (initiated by the International Federation of Television Archives) – which has so far garnered over 10,000 signatures - will also be embraced in the feasibility study.

Public consultation is a crucial part of the feasibility study, and it is open to everyone. UNESCO has therefore established an online platform with background documents, a public forum and a questionnaire.

The questionnaire can be completed online or can be downloaded and returned to:

Archive Associates Pty Ltd
100 Learmonth Drive
Kambah ACT 2902
Australia
Email: ray@archival.com.au
Fax: +61 2 6231 6699

The close-off date for comments in July 31.
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