** Observer member
8th Regional Conference – 13-16 September 2010
“New Functions in Historic Spaces”
The 8th Conference of the Central and Eastern EuropeanRegion was held in Krakow, which was the first world heritage city in the region, registered in 1978. 35 participants from 16 cities participated at the meeting, arranged by the Municipality of Krakow in co-operation with the Budapest Regional Secretariat. The guests of the conference met first at the traditional welcome dinner on the evening of the 13th of September.
Next day the conference started with the ceremonial opening of Kazimierz Bujakowski, Deputy Mayorof Krakow. The participants were also greeted by Lee Minaidis, Deputy Secretary General of the Organization of World Heritage Cities on behalf of the General Secretariat.
Dr. Katalin Kiss, Coordinator of the Central and Eastern European Region, Head of Department for the Protection of Settlement Heritage gave a report about the regional work of the previous period. At the end of her presentation she announced her retirement from work for the Budapest Municipality and from the regional coordinator’s post. As a remembrance of the history of the Region since the first Budapest regional conference in 1996 a slide show was displayed about the previous conferences and other events of the Central and Eastern European Region. The participants of the meeting, among whom many people had taken part also in the earlier events, some of them even from the very beginning of the Region’s establishment, remembered this 14 year period with nostalgia.
The theme of the conference „New Functions in Historic Spaces” was introduced by Stanisław Dziedzic, Director of Culture and National Heritage Department of Krakow.
In the afternoon session representatives of Moscow, Budapest, Warsaw, Rhodes, Novgorod, Wieliczka and Kotor showed in spectacular presentations how historic buildings and areas are used for new functions in their cities.
During the afternoon sight-seeing tour the participants visited the International Culture Centre on the Market square which is a good example of the adaptation of a historic palace for a modern function.
On the second day of the conference a trip was organized for the guests of the conference to world heritage sites in Małopolska: they visited Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, the Bernardine convent and pilgrimage complex where the restoration of the baroque stations could also be studied and Wieliczka Salt Mine, whose amazing underground system with salt decorations and statues is now used for touristic and healing purposes.
The third, last day of the conference started with a visit to the Schindler’s Factory where the exhibition “Krakow under Nazi Occupation 1939-1945” was displayed.
At the last conference session Krakow conservators presented the forms of protection on the UNESCO world heritage area of Krakow and the Krakow fortress system. A presentation about the fortress system was also made by the conservator of the City of Przemyśl, a guest invited by Municipality of Krakow.
Denis Ricard, secretary general of the OWHC gave a presentation about the plans of the General Secretariat for the future of the Organization. On the occasion of her retirement the Secretary General expressed his appreciation to Dr. Katalin Kiss, Coordinator of the Central and Eastern European Region for her outstanding role in the establishment of the OWHC.
The representatives of the member cities agreed that the Regional Secretariat should stay in Budapest and Mrs. Kiss’s assistant, Mr. Ákos Capdebo from the Department for the Protection of Settlement Heritage would continue the regional coordinator’s work.
The 8th Conference of the Central and Eastern EuropeanRegion ended with the ceremonial signing of the Krakow Document in which the member cities present declare that they belong to the Central and Eastern EuropeanRegion of the OWHC and also give a conclusion of the professional exchange of views stating that regenerated buildings positively affect the public space.
We must express our special thanks to Prof. Jacek Majchrowski, Mayor of Krakow for hosting this unforgettable conference and to Stanisław Dziedzic, Director of Culture and National Heritage Department and his staff for the perfect organization.
4th Regional Conference – 17-19 September 2002
The Central and Eastern European member cities of the OWHC held their fourth regional conference on 17-19 September, 2002 in Budapest. By now it has become a regular, bi-annual meeting with the introduction of the new members of the region and with the discussion of the current questions in the form of round-table talks. This year two member cities, Kazan and Bardejov, who participated two years ago only as observers, introduced themselves with spectacular slides and films.
The theme of the first round-table talk could be characterized best by the slogan of the conference: “Our common duty is to preserve our values; their preservation is our common pride.” The topic of the second discussion was the tabling and approval of the Organization’s 2001-2003 work program.
Fourteen cities of the region were represented by delegations consisting mostly of mayors and experts on the protection of the architectural heritage, namely: Banská Štiavnica (Slovakia), Bardejov (Slovakia), Biertan (Romania), Budapest (Hungary), Cracow (Poland), Kazan (Russian Federation, Republic of Tatarstan), Kutná Hora (Czech Republic), Moscow (Russia), Osijek (Croatia), Riga (Latvia), Split (Croatia), Toruń (Poland), Vilnius (Lithuanian Republic), Warsaw (Poland). The UNESCO World Heritage Center was represented by Dr. Tamás Fejérdy, current Chairman of the World Heritage Committee.
At the end of the conference, the representatives of the participating cities signed the 4th Budapest Document, in which they confirmed their intention to work in common in the field of heritage preservation. It was a pleasure for all of us to have Mr. Denis Ricard, Secretary General of the Organization of World Heritage Cities, honour the Conference with his presence.
After the conference, the regional secretariats had their meeting on 19-20 September, 2002, also in Budapest where they discussed the future tasks in the field of the regional work. The General Secretariat was represented by Mr. Denis Ricard, Secretary General and Mr. Juan Manuel Martínez, Programs Coordinator; Rhodes, the host city of the next general assembly, represented by Ms. Lee Minaidis, Deputy Mayor, and Mr. Litsa Ftaklaki, Director; the Southern Europe and Mediterranean Region represented by Rafael Pérez de la Concha Camacho from Cordoba; the Latin-America Regional Secretariat represented by Mr. Vicente Aboites from Guanajuato; the Northwest European Region Secretariat represented by Ms. Siri Elvestad from Bergen; the North-African Regional Secretariat represented by Ms. Sémia Yaïche-Akrout from Tunis and the Central and Eastern European Region represented by Mrs. Dr. Katalin Kiss from Budapest.
The chief patron of the Conference was the Mayor of Budapest, Dr. Gábor Demszky, and both events were actually organized by the Head of the Department for the Protection of the Settlement Heritage of the Mayor’s Office, Mrs. Dr. Katalin Kiss, and staff. A publication is being prepared on the events and speeches delivered at the Conference.