The Director-General opens an exhibit « Cesis – A Town where the Past Meets the Future » with the Latvian Minister of Culture

On 28 March 2006, Koďchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, inaugurated an exhibition entitled “Cesis – a Town where the Past Meets the Future” with Mrs Helena Demakova, Minister of Culture of Latvia, and Mr Gints Skenders, Mayor of Cesis.

Ambassador Lappuke, Latvia’s Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, also attended the ceremony.

The exhibition was organized in Paris on the occasion of the 800th anniversary of the Latvian city of Cesis, with which UNESCO was associated pursuant to a decision adopted at the 33rd session of the General Conference.

In his opening remarks at the ceremony, the Director-General referred to the watercolours displayed at the exhibit which “nicely illustrated the rich past and unique cultural heritage of Cesis” and paid tribute to Latvia’s “strong and enduring determination to preserve its culture and national language and transmit them to future generations”. He also expressed satisfaction with the country’s active participation in the wide range of activities in the Organization’s fields of competence since joining UNESCO in 1991.

The opening ceremony was preceded by a bilateral meeting, during which Mr Matsuura and Minister Demakova discussed the past and future collaboration between Latvia and UNESCO.

The Director-General highlighted the excellent cooperation in the field of culture: the historic centre of Riga had been the first Latvian site to be inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1997 and the Baltic Song and Dance Celebrations of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania was proclaimed a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2003.

Mr Matsuura underlined the importance of the comprehensive body of UNESCO’s normative instruments in the field of culture. He expressed his satisfaction about Latvia being among the first ten Member States to have ratified the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The Minister informed the Director-General of the progress made as regards the Latvian National Library Project, in which UNESCO had been involved through the International Commission of Experts since 1999. Mr Matsuura said that he was happy to accept the Minister’s invitation for him to attend the foundation-laying ceremony of the new library building scheduled for 2007.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokesperson
  • Source:Flash Info n°48-2006
  • 30-03-2006
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