The Korea Herald


UNESCO workshop on writing cultural heritage reports convenes in Jeonju

By Choi Si-young

Published : Feb. 26, 2024 - 15:09

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A poster for a workshop on protecting cultural heritage, which was attended by UNESCO member countries. (Cultural Heritage Administration) A poster for a workshop on protecting cultural heritage, which was attended by UNESCO member countries. (Cultural Heritage Administration)

The Cultural Heritage Administration on Monday convened a five-day international meeting on empowering countries to write up better progress reports on protecting cultural heritage, in line with a UNESCO convention.

About 100 government officials and UNESCO representatives from 42 countries in the Asia-Pacific region will discuss improving their collective submission of progress reports, mandated every six years under the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province.

“As the Asia-Pacific region is due to submit periodic reports by June 30, this workshop aims to provide each state party’s officials with the knowledge and skills to effectively navigate the new reporting systems,” the CHA said in a statement.

South Korea is one of five countries -- alongside India, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Malaysia -- elected to represent the region on the UNESCO committee overseeing convention practices. Seoul, last elected in 2020, will see its third term end this year.

The five-day event at the National Intangible Heritage Center in Jeonju will not be open to the public but the report to be turned in by the countries will be published online next year, according to the CHA.

“The Cultural Heritage Administration reaffirms its commitment to playing a leading role in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage and contributing to sustainable development in the international community,” it added.

Meanwhile, the agency will host a delegation fielded by the International Council on Monuments and Sites to inspect petroglyphs or rock carvings at the Bangucheon, a stream in Ulsan, sometime between March 2024 and June 2025

Last month, the agency applied to add the petroglyphs to UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. The Bangucheon encompasses a series of historical sites in Ulsan’s Ulju-gun, including the Cheonjeon-ri and Daegok-ri petroglyphs, both designated as national treasures.

Overseas, the CHA is engaged in several official development assistance projects. For the next three years, the agency will aid Cambodia’s efforts to preserve Angkor Wat.

Another ODA project is underway in Egypt as the agency-run university plans to set up a center within the Manial Palace Museum in Cairo that will keep digital replicas of key pieces of cultural heritage currently housed in six state-run institutions in the Egyptian capital.

“It’s about what we can contribute to and how we take advantage of knowhow learned there,” a senior CHA official said of the outreach efforts.