The 12th Annual Advisory Forum on the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe (20-22 September) opened today in Łódź, Poland, focusing on “Cultural Routes: the social and creative dimensions of cultural heritage in a post-industrial context”.
The 2023 Advisory Forum is organised by the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe (EPA) and the European Institute of Cultural Routes, in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.
Participants from 40 EPA member states and representatives from 47 certified Cultural Routes are exploring “the role of cultural heritage in the construction of a peaceful and democratic society” within post-industrial societies and linking it with contemporary challenges to heritage posed by conflicts, natural disasters, and climate change.
The Forum was opened by the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Bjørn Berge, by the Minister of Development and Technology of Poland, Waldemar Buda, and by the Deputy Mayor of the city of Łódź, Małgorzata Moskwa-Wodnicka.
The Deputy Secretary General Bjørn Berge emphasised that Łódź is particularly relevant to the theme of this year’s Forum, through the city’s post-industrial change and transformation following the decline of the textile industry and the successful efforts to harness its renowned industrial and art nouveau heritage. “This Forum will be an opportunity to share, discuss and learn from the good examples of how cultural heritage can overcome the broad range of current challenges and thrive in the twenty-first century – and serve as a rallying point for European creativity and identity”, he said.
The Forum programme includes a High-level Dialogue with the participation of Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe and representatives of four EPA member States: Poland, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, and the Republic of Moldova. A video message from the Minister of Culture of Ukraine, Rostyslav Karandieiev, on the theme of post-conflict and post-disaster recovery and reconstruction will be broadcast during the 3-day event.
Over three days, Forum participants from Council of Europe member States, cultural heritage academics and practitioners are providing evidence of how Council of Europe standards, policies, and initiatives such as the Cultural Routes programme contribute to the dynamic evolution of European cultural heritage preservation and promotion, harnessing digital platforms and inclusivity to bring heritage to life through citizens’ participation and local community involvement.