25 Feb 2018

The Italian Youth Forum of UNESCO Giovani conquers Matera and will me you all again in Trieste

Three intense days of meetings, exchanges, comparisons, immersed in the various UNESCO themes, surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of the Sassi di Matera, in the symbolic places of the European Capital of Culture 2019. The first UNESCO National Youth Forum closes with an extraordinary result : many ideas and renewed commitment for the 300 members of one of the largest youth organizations in the UNESCO world, which is preparing for a new year of challenges and goals to be achieved. The next meeting for 2019 is in Trieste: the members, gathered in the assembly, have in fact approved the candidacy dossier of the city to host the next year’s Forum.

The Plenary Assembly at the Auditorium Gervasio

The three days of work, which is one of those promoted by the MIBACT within the official program of the European Year of Heritage that will take place during the arch of 2018, and falls on the 25th anniversary of the inscription of the site “I sassi e il park of the rock churches “in the List of World Heritage Sites, opened with a plenary assembly at the Gervasio Auditorium. Many personalities involved, coming from the world of institutions, culture, the third sector, intervened on stage, in an event broadcast live on the social channels of the Association. Also the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, and the MEP member of the Culture Commission Silvia Costa, sent a video message to the participants.

“The social impact of culture is important because it transforms the social sphere of our country”, commented Pierluigi Sacco, Professor of Economics of Culture at the IULM University of Milan. “We are used to conceiving the heritage as a stratification of a number of people who in the past have had a tangible role (artists, musicians …). We must also think about significant historical moments, such as the great moments of social and cultural content, passing from the economic impact of culture to the social impact that this generates “.

The President of the Italian National Commission for UNESCO, Franco Bernabè, stressed that “Matera is a symbol of the redemption of the protection of cultural heritage. Diversity must be seen as a value and not as an element from which to defend oneself. We live in a society where heritage is conceived as a consumer good, heritage protection must go beyond this idea. The process of European integration makes heritage protection an important challenge, we have to move in this direction. Culture is not only hereditary, it is also based on a process of evolution and prosperity, a process based on creativity “.

“The cultural institutional structure needs agents of culture”, were the words of Luisa Montevecchi, Director of Service I, Coordination MiBACT – UNESCO Office. “The idea is to gather more and more young people as agents of culture. The presence of 53 UNESCO sites must stimulate an awareness of the wealth of the territory “.

Paolo Verri, Director of the Matera Basilicata Foundation 2019, former guest of the National Assembly in Naples last year, addressed words of great appreciation for the initiative: “We find here what we started in Naples and I am proud of the Basilicata and Matera region . An explorative itinerary of tangible and intangible heritage among the places, people and projects of Matera 2019: “heritage at stake”, happy to have collaborated with the Italian Youth Association for UNESCO at this event, registered on the bill of events for European Year of Heritage MiBACT. It is extremely important to live the heritage, it is the people and projects that affect the valorization and the life of the heritage itself “.

Fabio Maccione, Senior Public Affairs Manager of Flixbus Italy, main partner of the event: “it is essential to connect the European heritage network, to bring to light the less popular realities. With the new collaboration established between FlixBus and UNESCO Giovani, we support the desire to discover and compare ourselves: we are all part of a change “.

Lorena Aldana, Member of the European Cultural Heritage expert, focused on cultural diversity “as an opportunity to unify the heritage at European level. The 4 pillars of this year of culture – participation, sustainability, protection and innovation – draw a link between local and European heritage. We need to think about new solutions to protect heritage, more integrated and sustainable approaches. Share new methods of protection and explore new paths to maximize the potential of cultural heritage. Young people as ambassadors of this new message “.

Teresa Gualtieri, National Vice-President of the FICLU Italian Federation of Clubs and Centers for UNESCO, recalled the widespread presence of FiClu throughout Italy “to promote the spread of UNESCO awareness throughout the country”.