ZAGREB, February 27, 2020 – Heritage is our most important resource and we have to manage it wisely and rationally, as well as invest in it and protect it, Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek said in Dubrovnik on Thursday at the opening of an international conference on European cooperation in the protection of cultural heritage from risk.
Dubrovnik is the conference host because it is a symbol of coping with natural disasters and war, and today with a large number of visitors, Minister Obuljen Koržinek said.
The conference “Strengthening European Cooperation for the Protection of Cultural Heritage from Risk” is being held from 26 to 28 February in the organisation of the Ministry of Culture as one of Ministry’s two central events during Croatia’s presidency of the Council of the European Union.
“We have to realise that heritage is our most important resource, which we need to manage wisely and rationally, as well as invest in it and protect it. By doing that we will pass it on to future generations,” Obuljen Koržinek said.
She also said that it was too soon to assess the effect of the novel coronavirus epidemic on culture tourism. “The situation is changing from day to day, but right now nothing indicates that we have to think about long-term restrictions. If we act responsibly, we will withstand the crisis. There is no room for panic. There has been a slowdown in tourism, cancellations of stays in Italy, but the situation will calm down,” Koržinek said.
Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Franković said that tourism growth was contributing to the influx of money, which was putting destinations under UNESCO protection at risk of urbanisation in order to maximise profit.
“Tourism is the main economic activity in Dubrovnik. As many as 80% of people live off tourism. That is why when adopting measures, we have to bear in mind that we cannot destroy tourism, but achieve sustainability with the aim of improving our citizens’ quality of life,” Franković said.
One of the priorities of Croatia’s presidency of the Council of the EU in the field of culture is the protection of cultural heritage, especially risk management of cultural heritage. The European Union has also highlighted the field of cultural heritage as one of its priorities in the last decade.
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