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EHD 2003 - Cultural landscapes

National theme: “Cultural landscapes”
27-29 September 2003

The selection of the topic of the European Heritage Days in Bulgaria held in 2003 – “Cultural landscapes” – was prompted by its actuality both at all European as well as at national scale. This selection is in synchrony with the recognition of the concept “cultural landscape” in the legislation of a number of European countries, as well as in many international documents, among which stands out the European Landscape Convention (Florence, 2000).

For the first time since the European Heritage Days are held in Bulgaria, this topic stresses on the modern concept for the inseparability of the heritage and its essence as combination between cultural and natural assets. It also reflects the main thesis of the Convention f Florence – the deep concern about the preservation and stable development of the environment, the necessity to protect the individual outlook of typical landscapes, created in the course of time, as part of European identity and to cooperate on a large scale in this field.

The main objective of the 2003 JEP emission is to raise the sensitivity, interest and knowledge of the general public – and especially of the children and youth – to Bulgarian landscape as a harmonious combination and unity of natural and human creative works, to cultivate responsibility to the inherited assets. Some of the most important aims set by JEP are: to identify outstanding Bulgarian cultural landscapes, revealing the identity and variety of the Bulgarian natural and cultural heritage; to point out the values of Bulgarian landscape as resource for ecological and cultural tourism, in accordance with the national strategies in this field; to mobilize expert and social support for the forthcoming Bulgarian ratification of the European landscape Convention – Florence 2000.

In JEP 2003 participated dozens municipalities, museums, units of the Ministry of environment and Waters and of the Ministry of Education and Science, as well as NGO from all over the country. All programs focus the attention of the participants and the general public to these unique combinations of elements of the cultural and natural heritage, revealing its identity and variety and which are emblematic for each settlement in Bulgaria.

Main events of JEP 2003 in Bulgaria

1. Participation of children and young people from all over the country in the VIІІ International Photo-experiment “Monuments of culture”, held annually under the aegis of the council of Europe.
2. International photo-exhibition of the prize-winners of the VIІІ international photo-experiment “Monuments of culture” held in the French cultural institute (Sofia, 24 September – 5 October)
3. Official opening ceremony of the European Heritage Days 2003 in Bulgaria, by the Deputy Minister of culture (natural park “Russenski Lom”, 27 September) with accompanying happening in Russe:
* Exhibition “The natural and cultural heritage of the Natural park “Russenski Lom” – revealing the results of the Heritage Class, held in September with the participation of students of the high schools in Russe
* International exhibition “Natural landscape”
* Plain-air and exhibition “Ecoart ІV”
* “Bat” installation – the ruins of an old building in the center of Russe turned into an art phenomenon and message
4. National workshop of experts on the problems related to the identification, preservation and socialization of the cultural landscapes (Russe, 27 and 28 September). In its work participated experts and representatives of the national administration, municipal administration and local authorities, non-profitable organizations, the mass media, etc. The dialogue among the participants passed in an atmosphere of deep concern about the identity and preservation of the Bulgarian cultural landscape, special interest in its potential as resource for stable development, involvement to the European assets and standards and constructive approach to the problems discussed. The participants in the National workshop unanimously adopted the final document named as “Recommendations” addressing it to all state institutions related to legislation, the management, preservation, use and socialization of the Bulgarian cultural landscape.
5. Vаrious events from the programs of the participants all over the country (with great satisfaction could be pointed out a number of programs in the municipalities in Russe, Smolyan, Silistra, Kazanlak, Blagoevgrad, Yambol, Shoumen, Plovdiv, Veliko Tarnovo, Goze Deltchev, Vraza, Gabrovo, Stara Zagora, Kotel, Dryanovo, Nessebar, Kirkovo) – official opening ceremonies of the Days with hoisting of their flag, performances, concerts, games, competitions, exhibitions, lectures, indoor and outdoor school classes with children on the topic of the Days, Heritage classes, cultural itineraries, inauguration of restored monuments of culture, discussions, scientific forums, etc.
6. Free access to museums and monuments of culture and organized guided visits for students groups and the public
7. Active participation of the national and especially of the local mass media with materials on the topic of the Days, presenting all events.

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