iHERITAGE project to create first-ever, most comprehensive register of the Mediterranean intangible heritage
iHERITAGE project lead partner, the Network of Castles and Medieval Towns (Italy), held the second 'Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) Focus Group Meeting' on the 7th of April following the first meeting that took place on the 4th of February 2021.
During the focus group meetings, Mr. Lucio Tambuzzo, creator of the iHERITAGE project concept, introduced the strategies of safeguarding and valorization of intangible cultural heritage adopted in Sicily, namely: the Register of Intangible Heritage of Sicily (REIS), instituted by the Region of Sicily and considered as the first implementation of the 2003 UNESCO Convention principles at Euro-Mediterranean level, as well as the Register of Intangible Heritage of Local interest (REIL), instituted by circa 100 Municipalities of Sicily.
This comes in relation to the promotion of the creation of and REIM - Register for the Mediterranean Intangible Heritage as one of the many ambitious aims of the iHERITAGE project at Mediterranean level. The REIM will act as the first and most comprehensive register for intangible cultural heritage of the Mediterranean.
Each partner of the ICH focus group has the responsibility to analyze and create a database of the local, regional and national register of Intangible Cultural Heritage elements in each partner country. The main output of this collection will be the creation of REIM as well as the creation of AR/VR products for the enhancement of the intangible heritage. The REIM will not be devoted to new inscription of ICH at country level, but should be seen as a promotional and divulgation media tool in order to facilitate access to already inventoried ICH elements in other local, regional, national registers of Med countries, instituted according to the principles set in the UNESCO Convention of 2003.
Project team members from Egypt, Jordan, Italy, Lebanon, Portugal and Spain took turns introducing the focus of intangible cultural heritage in these Mediterranean countries during the meeting. These include but are not limited to: food, silk production, folklore dances, traditional poetry, literature, celebrations and rituals, dialects and local languages, crafts, knowledge, living human treasures and more. Partners are requested to appoint ICH experts to act as consulting professionals and help in the technical development of the REIM. Some partners have already appointed renowned ICH experts such as Prof. Hani Hayajneh from Jordan, Dr. Nahla Emam from Egypt and Mrs. Inmaculada Cortés from Spain. Prof. Hayajneh, UNESCO Consultant and Facilitator highlighted the importance of a community-based method of inventorying, also for the nomination of elements for the lists and for the accomplishment of safeguarding plans.
Another important output of the project will be the creation of the application for the CRESPIEM - Regional Centre for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage of Mediterranean Countries, to be recognized as Category 2 UNESCO centre, like other six centres already operating throughout the world. The aim of the CRESPIEM is to implement common strategies and methodologies for the safeguarding and enhancement of intangible heritage of the Mediterranean.
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