The seventh annual regional meeting of experts on Intangible Cultural Heritage in South East Europe will take place in Sofia, Bulgaria, on 27-28 May 2013. The event, organized by the Sofia Regional Center on Intangible cultural heritage in South-East Europe, with the support of the UNESCO Regional Office for Culture and Science in Europe (Venice, Italy).
The regional encounter is a follow-up to the previous meetings (Arbanassi, Bulgaria, June 2007; Safranbolu, Turkey, May 2008; Zagreb, Croatia, April 2009, Râmnicu-Vâlcea, Romania, May 2010; Belgrade, Serbia, May 2011; Athens, Greece, May 2012) which have been organized to enhance a common understanding of opportunities and challenges linked to the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage in the region, such as: national inventory policies, the process of revitalization, the management of sustainable cultural tourism, the role and involvement of the local communities, the transnational dimension of intangible cultural heritage, as well as training and capacity-building.
The annual meetings serve as a regional platform for sharing knowledge and good practices, and stimulating a collective reflection on the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage as a key asset of South-East European cultural diversity.
The meeting in Sofia will focus its debates on three topics: the status of implementation of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in the respective countries of the region; cases and best practices in promoting intangible cultural heritage as a driver for local sustainable development (tourism, private/public partnerships); and proposals for common action in the areas of training and capacity-building. The meeting will also allow experts to discuss, more specifically, the various ways of integrating intangible heritage in tourism and development policies, while fostering the responsible and ethical use of these living assets and forms of expressions.
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