Within the framework of a technical cooperation between India and Israel, a workshop on the management of World Heritage sites and Jewish heritage in India was held from 1 to 3 May 2006 in Cochin, India, organized by the Archaeological Survey of India in cooperation with the World Heritage Centre under an earmarked contribution by the Government of Israel to the World Heritage Fund.
The workshop was attended by 22 participants, including Mr Babu Rajeev, the Director-General of Archaeological Survey of India, Professor Michael Turner, Chair of the Israel World Heritage Committee, Dr Gideon Avni, Director of the Excavations and Survey Department of the Israel Antiquities Authority, as well as site managers of WH sites in South India and representatives of academia, NGOs, local communities and the World Heritage Centre (please find list of participants attached).
The interventions by the speakers highlighted the cultural significance and uniqueness of the Jewish cultural heritage in India, as recognised by the Indian Central and State Governments, academia, NGOs and local communities. Furthermore, site managers of World Heritage sites and cultural-heritage professionals from India and Israel presented key management issues of the World Heritage sites of which they are in charge, discussed their experiences and exchanged information. Special attention was given to the documentation of the traditions and rituals of the living communities at World Heritage properties, sustainable tourism, comprehensive management plans including mid-term and long-term conservation planning and site specific guidelines.
The workshop resulted in concrete recommendations and conclusions in the spirit of the World Heritage Convention, notably concerning the systematic documentation of Jewish cultural heritage in India and the exchange of information between cultural-heritage professionals in India and Israel (please find the conclusions and recommendations attached).
The discussion on these topics will be continued at the second workshop foreseen under this bilateral technical cooperation, scheduled to take place in Israel in August/September 2006.