The Minister of Culture of Cuba, Alpidio Alonso Grau, officially inaugurated the Workshop “Towards a Strategy to Update and Harmonize the Tentative Lists in Latin America and the Caribbean”, which will be in session in Havana from 5 to 7 November.
In her words of welcome, the Director of the UNESCO Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean, Katherine Muller-Marin, brought to mind two highly significant events for the Cuban capital, in whose context the Workshop is being held: the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of Havana on 16 November, and, on the same day, the 40th anniversary of the declaration of the Historic Centre of Havana as a National Monument of the Republic of Cuba, a decision that paved the way for its inscription on the World Heritage List in 1982.
Chairing the meeting are the Specialist from the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, César Moreno-Triana; the Director of the UNESCO Regional Office for Culture, Katherine Muller-Marin; the President of the National Council for Cultural Heritage of Cuba, Sonia Pérez Mojena; the Minister of Culture of Cuba, Alpidio Alonso Grau; the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Culture of Cuba, Kenelma Carvajal Pérez; the President of the Regional World Heritage Institute in Zacatecas, Mexico, José Francisco Román Gutiérrez; and the representative of ICOMOS, Alfredo Conti, of ICCROM, Isabel Rigol, and of the IUCN, Elena Osipova
“These historic events naturally inspire us to highlight the work of one of the greatest promoters of World Heritage, Dr Eusebio Leal Spengler, Historian of the City of Havana and President of the Network of Offices of the Historian and Conserver of Heritage Cities in Cuba”, stated the UNESCO Representative in a heartfelt tribute to the outstanding Cuban intellectual, who has been granted the highest awards worldwide, including the Medal for the 70th Anniversary of the Organization in honour of his personal contribution, and that of his team, to the conservation of the Historic Centre of Havana.
The Director of the Regional Office for Culture stressed that the work to update and harmonize the Tentative Lists is included in the expected outcomes of the Regional Action Plan for World Heritage in Latin America and the Caribbean (2014-2024), as well as in the Subregional Plans for World Heritage in the Caribbean, South America and Mexico, and Central America, as an important contribution to the global strategy to implement the UNESCO World Heritage Convention.
The Workshop was an ideal occasion to grant the award of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and the Regional World Heritage Institute in Zacatecas , a category 2 centre under the auspices of UNESCO, to the Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean of the Organization for its fruitful work in promoting peace among nations through education, science and culture.
In his speech, Minister Alonso Grau expressed his satisfaction at celebrating Heritage, not only Natural Heritage, but Cultural Heritage, built by human beings, the result of the peoples’ creation, which identifies them.
“Eusebio is an indispensable referent when speaking of dedication to conserve this veritable treasure, namely, a people’s cultural heritage,” asserted the Minister of Culture. He praised the fact that, in the context of the workshop, a fitting tribute was being paid to a figure who had done so much for the conservation of Havana, and, above all, so Havana can continue to preserve the values it has received from humanity.
The Regional World Heritage Institute in Zacatecas, a UNESCO category 2 centre under the auspices of UNESCO, the World Heritage Centre of the Organization and the UNESCO Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean organized this Workshop, primarily aimed at harmonizing, at the regional level, the Tentative Lists of the States Parties to the 1972 Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.
This seeks to implement a strategy that will strengthen the credibility and representativity of the World Heritage List, both by promoting categories under-represented in Cultural and Natural Heritage, as well as increasing the future inscription of new nominations from the Region.