Friday, October 01, 2010

UNESCO and the Smithsonian sign a Memorandum of Understanding for cultural and natural heritage

On 17 September, UNESCO Assistant Director General for Culture Francesco Bandarin signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding with Francine C. Berkowitz, Director of International Relations of the Smithsonian Institution. This is an unprecedented agreement between the two institutions for cooperation on cultural and natural heritage programs.

Together the Smithsonian and UNESCO will develop programs and work together on a wide range of projects, including a travelling exhibition and an international conference on the 40th anniversary of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention in 2012. Other initiatives will be directed to conserving natural World Heritage sites, developing outreach on World Heritage and indigenous issues, conducting research on the means of preserving the world's languages, activities for the dissemination of traditional music, and aiding in the recovery of Haiti's cultural heritage following January 12 earthquake.

The Smithsonian Institution with its 19 museums and 137 million objects, artworks and specimens in its collections is not only "America's attic" but one of the great scientific and curatorial institutions in the world.
Francesco Bandarin and Francine C. Berkowitz

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