Wednesday, December 8

Protecting cultural heritage and reactivating culture, two goals on the G20 cultural agenda

The first cultural summit of the G20 is closed in Rome after approving a final declaration with two key objectives; first protect cultural heritage from climate change and second, that culture plays a fundamental role in the recovery after the coranavirus crisis, after being one of the sectors hardest hit by the closure of museums, theaters and cinemas.

The meeting was held under the rotating presidency of Italy and the host Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini, underlined at a press conference that the 32-point statement, supported unanimously, marks a before and after in the history of the G20 (Group of twenty industrialized and emerging countries), because for the first time this forum, traditionally economic, has given a leading space to culture.

Dario Franceschini was consequently optimistic for the future.

“First I want to announce that the G20 of culture is going to be a permanent appointment and that the next presidency will be held by Indonesia. And I want to recall a phrase from the writer Umberto Ecco who said that all wars and hatreds of the past and present arise because they do not you know each other well enough, and the culture must make you know each other; this is your task. “

“This is what we have done and we will continue to do when organizing this G20,” he stressed.

Among the points approved in the declaration is the one that recognizes culture as the engine of regeneration and sustainable and balanced growth.

The ministers indicate that culture, which “was severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic” like other sectors, “helps to cope with pressures and growing economic, social and ecological gaps, contributing to the regeneration of economies and societies. , strongly affected by COVID-19 “.

Importance of the digital transition to facilitate access to culture for all

The document also stresses the importance of the digital transition and the role that technologies can play in facilitating access to culture for all, promoting diversity and inclusion.

On another point, it encourages the protection of cultural heritage against calamities, natural disasters, illicit traffic and terrorism and, in this regard, the ministers undertake “to recognize any threat to cultural resources as a possible loss of irreplaceable cultural property, capable of to violate human rights, affect cultural diversity, and deprive individuals and communities of valuable sources of meaning. “

Finally, the participants in the meeting make a series of requests to governments, including “recognizing culture as an integral part of political agendas” and considering the role it can play in “national and international post-pandemic recovery strategies.”

Protection of jobs related to culture

They also request that governments ensure that “culture professionals and companies have due access to employment, social protection, innovation, digitization and business support measures.”

They are convinced that “multilateral efforts, with Unesco at the center, are crucial for the preservation and promotion of culture” and therefore welcome “the activation of international mechanisms for rapid response to emergencies aimed at protecting and preserve cultural heritage damaged or endangered by conflicts and disasters, including in the context of United Nations peacekeeping operations. “

The G20 on Culture began on Thursday with an opening session at the Colosseum in Rome and continued with a concert conducted by the Italian maestro Riccardo Muti at the Quirinale Palace, headquarters of the Italian State Headquarters, while this Friday the meetings continued in the historic Barberini Palace, a stone’s throw from the iconic Trevi Fountain.

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