INA and UNESCO conclude agreement to safeguard, digitize and make accessible 70 hours of audiovisual programming

Paris, 18 December—Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, and Laurent Vallet, CEO of the National Audiovisual Institute (INA, France’s repository of radio and television archives) today signed an agreement to preserve 70 hours of audiovisual programming from UNESCO’s valuable collections and make them available to the public.

Cooperation between UNESCO and INA began ten years ago on the occasion of the Organization’s 60th anniversary. To mark the 70th anniversary, INA and UNESCO decided to reinforce this partnership, undertaking both to preserve and make accessible to the general public a selection of 70 hours of audiovisual programming that includes film, video and audio material. 

UNESCO is in possession of exceptional audiovisual archives containing thousands of items, which bear testimony to 70 years of the world’s cultural history and to the Organization’s activities. As is the case with audiovisual heritage anywhere, these collections are vulnerable, perishable and at risk of being forgotten unless they are digitized and shared with the greatest number. Such is the double challenge the new agreement sets out to meet. 

INA is presently mobilizing the range of its technical capacities to secure the preservation and enhancement of UNESCO’s audiovisual archives: digitization of material, its organization and the development of a multiple-use offer for different audiences. 

UNESCO’s material will be accessible to the public on INA’s websites and to professionals on inamediapro.com. It will also be made available to researchers, teachers and students at INA THEQUE centres and partner multimedia libraries across France. INA will also make this audio and video material available for cultural and educational purposes. 

“The agreement signed today marks a new decisive step in raising awareness of the need to implement a safeguarding and digitization plan for UNESCO’s audiovisual archives. Similarly, in order to safeguard audiovisual heritage, INA invites Member States to reinforce national policies and support safeguarding and enhancement measures for all of UNESCO’s collections,” declared Laurent Vallet, CEO of INA. 

“This partnership reinforces the strong relationship that already exists between UNESCO and INA. It will help enhance the value of a shared memory, which also sheds light on the recent history of humanity. This is a very concrete way to preserve fragile documents and contribute to the dissemination and sharing of know-how at the service of peace,” said Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO.