Organisation des Nations Unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture

The Director-General opens an exhibition on Czech living traditions

On 17 February 2009, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, opened an exhibition on Czech living traditions at the Organization’s Headquarters in the company of Mr Vaclav Jehlicka, Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic and Ambassador Petr Janycka, Permanent Delegate of the Czech Republic to UNESCO.

The exhibition is entitled “Homo Faber”, and was organized in the framework of the current Czech presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Director-General highlighted UNESCO’s fruitful cooperation with the Czech Republic referring, in particular, to the country’s support for the Comenius Medal programme and for the UNESCO/Czech Republic Co-Sponsored Fellowships Programme. “In recent years”, Mr Matsuura said, “this generosity has been expanded to include funding for flagship projects, notably in post conflict situations […] or post disaster situations within the framework of Tsunami early warning systems”.

Turning to culture, the Director-General underscored the country’s energetic engagement with the 1972 World Heritage Convention, as well as its role in the drafting of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. “I am delighted, therefore, to inform you that the Ambassador has just presented me with the Instrument of Ratification of the Convention, demonstrating the determination of the Czech authorities to safeguard the country’s intangible cultural heritage”, said Mr Matsuura.

The Director-General went on to mention the “Slovácko Verbuňk, Recruit Dances”, which had been proclaimed a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2005, and which is now included on the Representative List of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity, along with the 89 other expressions of the former Masterpiece programme. Mr Matsuura expressed his satisfaction at the prospect of discovering the full scope of living traditions practiced in the Czech Republic at the exhibit.

During their bilateral discussions prior to the ceremony, Minister Jehlicka informed the Director-General of a number of national initiatives aimed at promoting and safeguarding both the country’s tangible and intangible heritage. He also expressed his authorities’ appreciation of Mr Matsuura’s leadership at the head of UNESCO over the past nine years.

Auteur(s): La Porte-parole - Source: Flash Info N° 024-2009 -  Date de publication: 19-02-2009

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