The UNESCO Chair in Cultural Heritage Management was established in 2000 at the National University of Colombia (branch of Manizales), at the request of the Columbian State. To celebrate its inauguration, a series of workshop-courses were organised from 18 to 28 June 2000. The courses concerned cultural management of historic centres within the context of integrated heritage and welcomed approximately thirty municipal heritage authorities from five Andean countries (Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela(Bolivarian Republic of)). Participants were introduced to new cultural management techniques and the new concept of “comprehensive” heritage, including the enhancement of historic centres, monuments, and sites, in parallel with the valorisation of expressions of intangible heritage like music, oral traditions, and holidays.
Support from the France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement focused on inviting and welcoming participants to the workshops, and on publishing the proceedings under the title: “Memorias Cátedra UNESCO Gestión integral del patrimonio en centros históricos” (UNESCO Chair Memoires – Comprehensive Management of Historic Centres.)
At the end of the first session, it was decided to offer the workshop again the following year, in 2001. Two French university experts were able to attend that series due to support from the France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement.