Culture: Euromed Heritage experts meet

Project Phase IV discussed at MESERUO conference

17 October, 15:46

(ANSAmed) - BRUSSELS, OCTOBER 17 - EU officials and cultural experts discussed the Phase IV results of the Euromed Heritage program at a Center for Mediterranean Europe Studies (MESEURO) conference on Wednesday.

Founded in 1998, Euromed Heritage defends the cultural heritage of countries around the Mediterranean basin. With a current budget of 71 million euros, it finances historic building renovations, water conservation projects, restoration of books and manuals, and the creation of audiovisual archives.

At today's conference, experts pointed to the October burning of Aleppo's ancient Arab market, or souk, the May attacks on the desert oasis town of Ghadames, in Libya, and the vandalizing of mausoleums, churches and synagogues in Egypt and Tunisia, as examples of the destruction of precious human heritage, which must be protected.

''We're looking for ways to read these new scenarios as they unfold. Culture is crucial in understanding burgeoning new civil societies,'' said MESEURO co-founder and vice president of the European Parliament, Gianni Pittella.

''The program has gone beyond intercultural dialogue, and is now actively working in human sector development,'' according to Alberto Cortezon Gomez from the European Commission. ''Cultural capital, and spending on conversions and restorations, must not be considered a cost, but an investment,'' added Euromed Heritage legal expert, Jean-Louis Luxen. ''Heritage protection contributes to the harmonic development of cities, while tourism, if mismanaged, can destabilize local communities.'' Final Phase IV results of will be presented in Fez in January 2013. (ANSAmed).

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