Protecting cultural diversity is vital for peacebuilding in the Middle East, the head of the UNESCO Irina Bokova said at Madrid Conference today. [...] “Violent extremists target both heritage and human lives – they target victims and minorities from all backgrounds, Shebak, Turkmen, Yezidis, Muslims, Christians..." [...] “Violent extremists target schools, because they know the power of knowledge to counter their rhetoric drawing on false visions of faith and history," Irina added.
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The many ways in which countries can cooperate in promoting cultural heritage and intercultural dialogue were the main topics discussed by the foreign ministers of Greece, Italy, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Peru, Bolivia and Mexico in the “Ancient Civilizations” conference held in Athens on Monday. [...] Well-known Greek and foreign archaeologists, professors and museum directors from these ten countries spoke about the proposed actions and successful examples of culture management.
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Irina Bokova, the director general of Unesco, talked about how culture was instrumental to economic growth, citing a 2015 study that said the arts generated 29.5 million jobs worldwide, more than the auto industry. “Development without culture cannot be sustainable or equitable or inclusive,” she said. Other discussions at the conference resonated more subtly with the most salient issues of the day, including panels on refugees, censorship, heritage preservation and cultural diplomacy.
During the second half of the 19th century, Tihosuco, a small town in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, was at the center of the indigenous rebellion called the Caste War. Overwhelmed by economic hardships, constant and increasing taxation, repression by Yucatecos (the local population of European descent), and more, the Maya revolted against Mexico, hoping to recover their territory and heritage.
The non-governmental foundation [Zhang Boju and Pan Su Cultural Development Foundation] was set up by the late Mr Zhang's grandson, Mr Lou Kaizhao, 54, to promote traditional Chinese culture, at a time when President Xi Jinping has called for "cultural self-confidence" and the development of China's cultural soft power. The foundation also has the long- term goal of recovering cultural relics that have been lost overseas, in keeping with Mr Zhang's endeavour throughout his life to protect Chinese cultural heritage from falling into foreign hands.
Two rare busts rescued from the Isis group's destruction of the ancient city of Palmyra will soon be heading back to Syria, after a painstaking restoration in Italy [...] "This is an example of an issue we hold dear: that of cultural diplomacy, the fact that culture can be an instrument for dialogue between people, even when circumstances are difficult," Italian culture minister Dario Franceschini said.