United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Director-General inaugurates an exhibition of drawings of the Cultural Heritage of the Croatian Coastline

On 21 April 2008, UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura joined Jasen Mesić, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Culture and Mirko Galić, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of the Republic of Croatia to UNESCO and Rut Carek, Secretary-General of the Croatian National Commission, for the inauguration of an exhibition showcasing the historical monuments and sites along Croatia’s spectacular Adriatic coast.

The exhibition, featuring the drawings of the award winning Croatian artist, Hrovje Šercar, who was also present, had been organized by the Permanent Delegation of the Republic of Croatia to UNESCO at the Organization’s Paris Headquarters.

In his remarks, Mr Matsuura observed that the imaginative drawings of Hrvoje Sercar were “a testimony to the importance that your country attaches both to its cultural heritage and to creativity.”

Recalling that he had been Chairman of the World Heritage Committee in 1998 when the Old City of Dubrovnik had been removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger, as a result of a major restoration project undertaken by Croatia in cooperation with UNESCO, Mr Matsuura said that he had been able to see for himself “the excellence of the restoration” during his official visit in 2002.

Observing that “Croatia’s collaboration with UNESCO in the field of culture at the international level is commendable”, the Director-General congratulated it for its swift ratification of all the relevant UNESCO Conventions and in particular the 2001Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage. In this regard, Mr Matsuura paid special tribute to Mr Mesić, a specialist in underwater heritage “whose active role in the drafting and subsequent promotion of the 2001 Convention is much appreciated”. Continuing, he noted that Croatia had taken the initiative to create the International Centre for Underwater Archaeology in Zadar, which had been approved by 34th session of the UNESCO General Conference as the first Category 2 Centre in this field under UNESCO’s auspices.

In thanking Croatia for its contribution to the international efforts to promote cultural diversity and for hosting the Fourth South East Europe Heads of State Summit in Opatija, Croatia in 2006 as well as the fourth session of the Conference of Ministers of Culture in Zadar in 2007, the Director-General reiterated UNESCO’s gratitude to the Croatian authorities for actively supporting its efforts to safeguard the cultural heritage of South-East Europe “in pursuit of our common goal of ensuring a sustainable future based on peaceful coexistence for all people of the region”.

Secretary of State Jesen Masić and the Ambassador Mirko Galić, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of the Republic of Croatia to UNESCO emphasized their support for UNESCO’s work in the field of culture and their pride in Croatia’s diverse heritage.

Author(s): Office of the Spokeswoman - Source: Flash Info N° 050-2008 -  Publication Date: 22-04-2008

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