CIE Heritage Day South Africa to be continued as Internet platform

June 2008 -

The Centre for International Heritage Activities is a knowledge centre and a network organisation in the area of shared cultural heritage and culture and development. It organised the third CIE Heritage Day on 5 June 2008. After past heritage days for Indonesia and Suriname, this year the event highlighted the range of heritage in South Africa. Appropriately, the day started in the Moravian Church in Zeist, which has direct ties with Genadendal in South Africa.

The primary objective was to exchange information and experience in order to explore possibilities for improving cooperation in the field. The morning was reserved for a plenary session, with lectures and poster presentations devoting attention as broadly as possible to projects. Chair of the International Council of Museums in South Africa, Professor Henry Bredekamp, gave a lecture on cooperation in the area of shared cultural heritage after February 2008. That was the month in which Dutch junior minister Timmermans visited South Africa to intensify this cooperation.

Other lectures addressed important themes in the heritage field shared by South Africa and the Netherlands, including constructed heritage, Afrikaans, underwater technology and museum collection digitisation. In the afternoon, the participants divided into working groups to discuss and map the issues of and opportunities in cooperation. Joint recommendations were formulated to enhance the cohesion of heritage projects.

In order to ensure that the network members will be able to maintain contact and exchange project knowledge and expertise, the CIE developed and presented an Internet platform. This platform will be the central point where all information can be found on international heritage projects and where members can join in discussions. The platform will soon be launched on the CIE website. The Heritage Day was more than a simple conference. Hopefully it will help to establish more cohesion in heritage projects and to create a field in which projects are generally known.

Annemarie Willems works at CIE. She specializes in Surinam cultural heritage.