International Conference

“Venice between past and future: the metropolis challenge”

Forte Marghera, 7 May 2014


To promote the implementation of the Faro Convention, the Council of Europe’s Venice Office organized an international conference that was held on 7 May at Forte Marghera.

The approval of the Venice Charter on the Value of Cultural Heritage for the Venetian Community was one of the main items on the agenda. The Venice Charter recognizes the value and the potential of the Faro Convention principles and commits to them by identifying what Venetians can do regarding their application.

Considering the leading role of communities as the starting point, the Venice Charter promotes the development of a network of local associations in order to disseminate the principles of the Convention and exchange good practices.

At the same time, the document encourages the creation of heritage commissions which are conceived as a public space where synergies between heritage communities, local associations, cultural institutions and local authorities can be initiated.

Two cultural activities took place during the conference. These are the inauguration of the exhibition “Viazo A-Lai, en route with the wind rose” and the illustration of arts and crafts of the Roma tradition by the association Rom Kalderash.

A heritage walk around Forte Marghera, which is a 19th century fort converted to cultural workshop, highlighted the relationship between the fort and the territory and concluded the conference.   

The courage to protect humanity’s cultural heritage

Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti, 25 October 2014


The first edition of the Cultural Heritage Rescue Prize award took place on 25 October in Venice. The prize was established to reward “the courage and determination of those fighting to preserve culture as universal heritage”. The 2014 Cultural Heritage Rescue Prize went to Professor Maamoun Abdulkarim, Syria’s director general of antiquities and museums, for his efforts to protect art and culture during the Syrian civil war.

In the context of the award ceremony, the Council of Europe’s Venice Office organized a meeting on the protection of cultural rights and heritage in conflict areas. World renowned experts in the field of culture took part in the debate which centred around the essential connection between human and cultural rights.

The Cultural Heritage Rescue Prize is thus an example of how to fulfil the aims on the Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Heritage for Society (Faro Convention).  In fact, as stated by article 1 of the Faro Convention, the parties not only agree to “recognise that rights relating to cultural heritage are inherent in the right to participate in cultural life, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights” but also to “recognise individual and collective responsibility towards cultural heritage”.