First international donors’ Conference for cultural heritage in KosovoUNESCO is organizing the First International Conference of Donors for Cultural Heritage in Kosovo on May 13 (Room X), in collaboration with the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), the Council of Europe and the European Commission. The aim of the conference is to help in the restoration, protection and preservation of the many Christian and Islamic monuments, and other sites of major historical importance, which were targets of destruction in Kosovo.
Seventy-five monuments are in need of urgent repair or restoration, according to a joint document prepared on the basis of reports2 by UNESCO and the Council of Europe. This document, which contains information on 48 Orthodox monuments, 14 Islamic/Ottoman monuments and 13 examples of vernacular architecture and other historic sites will be considered by the Conference. The monuments surveyed require work which will cost, in the initial phase, 40 million euros.
Among these monuments is the Dečani monastery, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2004. Dating from the 14th century, this jewel of Romanesque Byzantine architecture houses numerous Romanesque Gothic sculptures and some 60 icons. The interior of the church is almost entirely covered in remarkable frescos of more than 1,000 saints.
Søren Jessen-Petersen, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Kosovo, Terry Davis, Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Fabrizio Barbaso, Acting Director-General of the European Commission, and representatives of other international and non-governmental organizations, representatives of donor nations and foundations will take part in the Conference, which will be opened and chaired by UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura.
This conference follows the High-level Conference on Strengthening Co-operation in South-East Europe3, which took place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on April 4-5, 2002.
Press conference from 12.45 p.m. to 1.15 p.m., Room X
Audiovisual media will dispose of several minutes to cover the start of the Donors’ Conference (10 a.m.)
Journalists wishing to cover the conference are required to seek accreditation from the Press Relations Section: Isabelle Le Fournis, + 33 (0)1 45 68 17 48 - firstname.lastname@example.org
2.http://www.unesco.org/culture/heritage/kosovo1, http://www.unesco.org/culture/heritage/kosovo2 and http://www.coe.int/