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“World Heritage – Protection, Interpretation, Use”

A meeting of site managers of World Heritage properties of religious interest was held in Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, Poland from 25 to 27 November 2019 to discuss “World Heritage – Protection, Interpretation, Use”.

World Heritage site managers meeting “World Heritage – Protection, Interpretation, Use” organized by the Bernardines Monastery in Kalwaria Zebrzydowska and the Centre for World Heritage within the National Heritage Board of Poland celebrated the 20th anniversary of the inscription of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska: the Mannerist Architectural and Park Landscape Complex and Pilgrimage Park on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Among the UNESCO World Heritage sites there are many different places of worship and religious belief, representing different cultures and traditions of the world. About 20% of World Heritage properties have a direct or indirect connection with religion or spirituality. In Poland, four out of sixteen World Heritage properties represent heritage of religious interest: Kalwaria Zebrzydowska: the Mannerist Architectural and Park Landscape Complex and Pilgrimage Park (inscribed in 1999), Churches of Peace in Jawor and Świdnica (2001), Wooden Churches of Southern Małopolska (2003) and Wooden Tserkvas of the Carpathian Region in Poland and Ukraine (2013), and many others such as World Heritage cities which include religious buildings.

A number of meetings for World Heritage site managers have been organized by the Centre for World Heritage within the National Heritage Board of Poland. They aim to foster cooperation, discussion and training for the guardians and managers of Polish properties, as well as monument conservation services, about World Heritage protection, and provide a platform for exchange of their vast practical experience.

The focus of the meeting in Kalwaria Zebrzydowska was World Heritage preservation and related philosophy, challenges, expectations, commitments and consequences. Discussions also focused on heritage interpretation and the need to fully understand site’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). Professor Anna Mitkowska presented the process of preparing the nomination file for Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, while managers and guardians of Polish World Heritage properties of religious interest shared their experience on the protection and management of sites.

The meeting provided also an opportunity to present the UNESCO Initiative on Heritage of Religious Interest. Dr. Hae Un Rii, President of ICOMOS PRERICO, the Scientific Committee for Places of Religion and Ritual, presented the objectives of this programme. Dr. Manana Vardzelashvili, representative of the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia, outlined the case study on management of the World Heritage property “Historical Monuments of Mtskheta”.

Among main conclusions was that such meetings are an effective way to create cooperation and dialogue among all stakeholders working for World Heritage – site managers, local communities, conservation services and World Heritage focal points. They are an occasion where theory meets practice, and are greatly needed.

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Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, Poland
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lundi 25 novembre 2019
mercredi 27 novembre 2019
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