UNESCO launches the second phase of the World Heritage and Museums programme in cooperation with three prestigious World Heritage cities: George Town, Melaka (Malaysia) and Vigan (the Philippines)
Thanks to the generous and renewed funding from the government of Japan through UNESCO, three historic towns will design and implement a variety of activities, which strengthen the ties between World Heritage and local communities through museums and creative industries.
The 3-day inception workshop took place from 29-31 October 2018 in Georgetown, combining classroom discussions, group work and field visits. Over 70 participants came together and shared their understanding of common challenges such as increasing development pressure; traditional skills and community legacies now in danger because of generational and demographic changes; as well as the alienation of younger generations from their cultural roots.
Proud of centuries of cultural diversity, and as towns of great commercial ports, these three cities have committed to carrying out projects such as the revival of traditional kilns; supporting creative industries and enhancing the World Heritage brand; participatory cultural mapping; exhibitions focused on the communities’ memories; and outreach activities to tighten the bond between young citizens and their heritage. The project also aims to foster lasting cooperation amongst professionals of the sub-region, building on previous experience in the Mekong countries.
The representatives from the three World Heritage cities will meet again, during and after completion of the project, to assess respective progress and share experiences.
The opening session of the 3-day workshop was successfully organized by the George Town World Heritage site’s management authority – GTWHI - with the presence of YB Yeoh Soon Hin, Heritage, Culture and Arts Committee Chairperson of the Penang Tourism Development; Mr. Shinichiro Kanaya, Consul-General of Japan in Penang; and Mr. Juan Carlo S. Medina, Mayor of Vigan City, who shared with all participants a warm moment of celebration for the project’s promising start.