Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

6. Development of the particular cultural profile of the city


6.1 Development of the particular cultural profile

Paris was in the past known for its intellectual life in cafes: Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir come immediately to mind. Now there is more diffusion as Paris has opted for architectural imprints left by Presidents of the Republic but without consciousness for the real conditions and still stuck to a nostalgic past reminiscent of not only the French Revolution and the days of Victor Hugo, but also what Siegfried Kracauer ascertained when writing about the times Jacques Offenbach spend in Paris.

Types of profiles

Cities in their own complexities develop unique profiles within them as there are differences between areas with governmental buildings more often better kept and services than other, more neglected because the poorer areas where migrant workers and people with low incomes live.


Loss of cultural profile

Nicholas P. Stavroulakis describes this to be the case of Salonika:

Today one searches almost in vain for some trace of this now vanished world. The names of the streets have changed, the mosques, shorn of their minarets function as storehouses or lie in ruins. People are ignorant or indifferent to the whereabouts of the city’s synagogues, or who the Kapancis or Allatinis were who built the great town houses now abandoned. Here and there, as a pavement stone or even a revetment in a latrine, can be found a fragment of marble baring either Hebrew or Arabic and Osmanli inscriptions recording the name of some rabbi or the chronogram of a mosque or fountain. That this should have happened, given the acute changes that have affected our world in this century, is not cause for surprise itself. What is strange is that this period of some 500 years in the life of Salonika as a city has been all but forgotten. A great poly-ethnic, polyglot and poly-religious city was transformed as if by incarnation into Thessaloniki, a city whose present inhabitants lay claim only to its antique past. This antique past, bizarrely, is reflected only with difficulty in Thessaloniki’s present form and character.

Nicholas P. Stavroulakis, (1993) Salonika – Jews and Dervishes, Athens p.4-5

Of equal importance are certain landmarks or outstanding buildings people retain in their memories when thinking of that particular city. These may be the typical postcard images but they are powerful enough to evoke this general impression that this particular city can be identified through that metaphor since linked to many other, equally significant things.


These two examples are not as of yet a clear analysis of cultural profiles; both cities have outstanding symbols, while historical meanings are manifested in buildings, like the Gedaechtniskirche left standing as a ruin caused by bombing to remind of the terrible atrocities committed during Second World War. Literally speaking, the ‘memorial church’ serves to remind people daily about that war which took place 1939-45 and brought so much destruction upon the city of Berlin. However, since German reunification some stronger reminders have to be included, such as the Holocaust monument beside Brandenburger Gate as well as the Neue Museum on the museums' island to be reached by the once famous avenue 'Unter den Linden'.

Gaining in cultural profile by various means


6.1.1 Risks of re-imaging the city

When it comes to imagine a city from a poetic angle, Voula Mega went beyond mere postcard descriptions, in order to seize upon something which would characterize a particular city. There is something unique when walking along the Seine past Shakespeare company and looking over to Notre Dame, or else to stand in Prague on the famous bridge and sense where Kafka once lived. These time and spaces of special places retain over time a definite meaning, even though there have to be distinguished the myth of a city and what images can be projected upon it as it reflects them in a certain way. Here Paris can serve again as a model insofar as reference is made to it being a city of love, when at the same time this myth holds only conditionally as intellectual and social life has altered into a gambit of the few who know still their way through the city. It is a tough place.

Cafe in Paris                                                 @ Hartmut Schulz

As of late, a new term has made the rounds: city branding. Taken from commercial advertisement and public relations strategies, it is argued that if a city is to be successful in attracting visitors, then it must brand itself in a specific way. Even then, the risk of doing that is to over emphasize but a few features at the neglect of an entire different city with other potentialities, but which seem not to have a commercial value on the tourist market. Since cities have also to heed inner city competition, they learn from each other by not adapting success models practiced elsewhere, but rather seek to invent their own specific brand. Naturally such approach and activity reflects how easily mayors and leading figures in the citys administration can be misled by overadapting to a leading idea, the latest being the 'creative city'.

The risk is more or less the same question about substantial inputs a city makes into its cultural and social life while its economy must entail elements of social justice. Yet if cities have become mega machines, there is the temptation to engage in overt activities while neglecting the substantial need for a diverse and just system which ensures everyone  benefits from a city being open to the world and at the same time dynamically diversified to deal with different needs. Its innovative capacity does rest upon intellectual and cultural resources which can bring about a varied and sound response to various challenges. Otherwise, a city will have its characteristical share of poor and rich districts with several other ones in-between the low and high scale in terms of weath and poverty. The interdiction is what makes a city become alive, that is when the streets are humming with people, but which also seek a way to find solutions on how living in the 21st century shall entail global as much as local migrants. Hence cities differ already in terms of openness to newcomers and its capacity to absorb them without the consequence of over alienation resulting in new forms of ghettos being formed by under- as much as over-privileged. Thus the question is to what extent the thesis of Andre Loeckx still holds when he expounded upon his thesis during this speech in 1994 about the fragmented city.

Berlin – re-imagining itself as capital under new terms (lessons learned out of the past e.g. Reichstag building receives a glass dome whereby the architect wishes to emphasize modern politics as being much more transparent; but this connotation has also a negative aspect when thinking about the ‘glaeserne Mensch’: the glass human being. Given surveillance methods and video cameras everywhere for security reasons, the individual is observed wherever he or she happens to be. Articles appear about how being under constant surveillance alters the life of an individual. In the film ‘Life of the others’, a stasi officer doing the surveillance of a writer and his girlfriend, an actress, begins to identify himself with the persons under his surveillance. In the final end, he rescues the writer from certain arrest by hiding the type writer before the police come to search his flat. The records kept thereafter by the Gauk Behoerde (administration) reveal how many people have spiel on one and collaborated with the Stasi to complete and to update records about this particular person under suspicion.

6.1.2 Negative image

Usually a negative image is associated with a city being filthy, high crime rate and poverty spilling over from the streets into the low quality housing, but this is not the only reason for a negative image. For instance, a city can also be considered as dishonest with everyone ready to cheat on the other. Reputations like these are difficult to gauge but they do exist. For instance, Brussels has both a positive and a negative image, and this is mainly due to inherent contradictions with both rich and poor elements living side by side, and only intermingling when there is no possible avoidance of the other.

In dealing with images, the myth of the city has to be taken into account. If people go to Paris to find love, they end up so doing simply because they expect it. This is the self fulfilling prophecy, so to speak, even though some natural ingredients help along the way to ensure that 80% of those going to Paris with such an expectation end up finding what they sought.

The weighing off the positive against the negative, that was and is not the case of Athens where a negative image prevailed for a long time. It was for many tourists or visitors at first the smog. It showed itself in the number of nights tourists would spend in Athens; if at all, then at the most 1 1/2 days, enough to visit the Acropolis and the Archaeological Museum, before they set sail to travel immediately to one of the islands for the rest of their vacation. Also for many Athens was simply too loud. A noisy city robs some of their sleep, while others are disturbed by this kind of liveliness. It could be the noise of a motorbike making its way up hill or some neighbors arguing loudly while trying to sleep at noon but in vain. Also music can be played through the entire night and not the moon but the sounds from the drummer along with the lead singer hangs forever, so it seems, over the city and its roofs. Set against that are ways of finding a way through a city with many hidden corners of beauty and even spots where it does not feel at all to be in the city. That is especially in Athens the case around Lycabettou Hill with the tiny church at the top besides the Acropolis one of those unforgetable landmarks. It is also where Kolonaki attracts those who wish to feel the pulse of Athens being afterall the capital and not just any Greek city. And so Athens had to undertake some tremendous efforts to shake off this negative image. It did so by getting rid of the smog by tightening restrictions for the cars but also by doing some extraordinary things. It was a dream of both Melina Mercouri and Tritsis to unify the archaeological sites around the Acropolis. Today this is a historical place with no cars chasing people off the street. The landscape of Ancient Greece has become visible again, and with it there is a sense of being able to link important spots in the city by just walking. At the same time, the modern Metro is a train which runs through museums and which is loved by all. A station like Keramikos has become a famous cultural hub while everyone agrees with the kind of aesthetics on display inside the metro. As Doug Tilden, the chief architect of Attico Metro said, it is a matter of making a technical system which is really neutral become adaptable to the local circumstances. Once people connect in such a way that there is an ease to moving about, it transforms the city in its entirety. To that can be added the new street car which travels along the coast line and in so doing takes the bathers to their favorite spots.

Negative image - further examples:


6.1.3 Examples of 2 strategies: city branding and re-imaging through sports

City branding

Berlin bear

Venice – gondola

The tourist item and by which a city becomes identified with e.g. Pisa and the crooked tower, Athens and the Acropolis, Rom and the Coliseum

Industrial reproduction of culture / serial / counter productive for tourism once negative experiences start setting in and original values loose their meanings / especially with regards to cultural heritage the loss of authenticity (Jacek Purchla in Krakow)

See the review by Christopher Benfrey (2008) “The insididious side of brand loyalty”.  Book review of Steven Heller, Iron Fists – Branding the 20th Century. Totalitarian State. Phaidon Press. Printed in the International Herald Tribune: Global Edition of the New York Times. August 2 – 3, 2008, p. 8

6.2 Media language and Communication

6.3 Gaining in cultural profile by various means

6.3.1 The building is the message

6.3.2 Being a university town

6.3.3 Through world exhibition enhance the cultural profile – e.g. EXPO ‘67

6.3.4 Historical town

6.3.5 Improving accessibility of a city

6.3.6 Integration into the region – cultural marketing e.g. Ruhr 2010 – Essen

6.3.6 Profiling by altering the skyline

Cities seek specific profiles by making the most of the assets they have available. In terms of location, it matters whether close to the sea or high up in the mountains. More specific becomes the sky profile or how a city can be recognized already at a distance e.g. New York and the skyscrapers, but what change once the Twin Towers no longer existed after 911.

In a more refined sense, skyline is linked to building heights and what forms the buildings take on when kept to a certain height e.g. Berlin – Staub Hoch 4. Very different is Leipzig with its city villas which allow for space in-between the houses so that anyone passing by can look into the backyard. This is not the case in Berlin where houses are built side by side to incorporate the ‘Brandmauer’ in which there are no windows as it is adjacent to the next block of flats.

The lack of breathing spaces in-between houses can be felt everywhere when cities become to cramped. That is why identity, street and design do play a role. More so it becomes a matter where culture can and does take place and unfolds spontaneously. Certainly there are cultural quarters as was known in the past the red light district or the area where all ware houses are located.

6.4 Profile development through Creative Cities Network in Canada

6.5 The European experience

6.5.1 Dresden

6.5.2 Munich: city and nature with a very specific cultural profile

6.5.3 Glasgow: 1990 – 2020: mass imagination of the future city

6.6 A first evaluation

Cities preferred to live in or not

Munich – city and nature link, many historical buildings, university and research, opera, theatres, entertainment districts etc. – crucial for firms to locate since their highly qualified employees want something for themselves and their families: what cultural needs are satisfied? What gives a specific cultural profile? Baverian folklore and highly advanced cultural interactions (Pinakothek, Lembach house, city museum, German museum etc.) along with the castles and other buildings left by King Ludwig II with the Ludwig Strasse of 1 Kilometer being an edifice itself to underline what was thought then to be an act of craziness took on with passing times a visionary aspect. To this belong as well cafes and book stores, literary houses and addresses where famous writers like Thomas Mann or painters like Paul Klee lived.

6.6.1 Migration and immigration: the constant flux of people

6.6.2 Demographic changes: from booming town to shrinking cities

Factors of change


6.6.3 After the failure of multi culturalism what model of integration?

Challenges to the governance of cities  – Cultural and Human Rights

Challenges to cities being able to govern themselves are numerous and often quite unpredictable. Most predictable are economic down-turns and related reactions by poverty stricken populations. It has been a cultural asset of artists that they contribute even in great uncertainties to the dignity of mankind. They uphold creative work even when conditions are not perfect.

Upholding human dignity is rarely matched by what cities consider to be a normal performance. For lack of a better term, the latter can be called ‘main stream culture’. It is directed towards entertainment and leisure, or what critics would call the art of intertwining culture with such economic activities, that various cultural classes are content as to what they can experience and attain in spaces having a distinct character to suit their purposes and identities. Football crowds enjoy a Saturday afternoon game, while others prefer theatres, music halls, exhibitions and demanding lectures. The diversity of cultural services offered mark by itself the best way to uphold social cohesion without the one or other distinctive cultural class getting necessarily into conflict with the others.

Normal functioning of a city is based on a shared consensus with taxi drivers, garbage collectors, police officers, mailmen, etc. being at street level the first visible presences of the city in terms of official, semi-official and private tasks being performed by a composition of roles and interactions with the public at large in reference to some specific clients. Best presented at the street level may be what takes place in New York with politics adding to beg a difference between Wall and Main Street.

In the literature of Brecht, but also in terms of taking some public spaces more serious, there has been talk about the market place. When reference is made to Ancient Greece, then the agora is meant to say the society of that day functioned in a very special way. Here culture, politics and economics intertwine even more directly. For setting prices and knowing what laws apply in trading commodities while acquiring specific services means often stepping off the street and getting some first hand answer to questions posed or needs are articulated. That can include paying the water bill, getting extra keys or shoes made while traders may argue what prices the final retailer or shop keeper has to pay for delivery of goods. Economists speak of the value chain. It may be helpful to keep in mind that cities need always supplies of tons of food and this on a daily basis. There used to be a hinterland, in today’s global economy, food comes from all parts of the world and fresh fish is flown in from afar. That means all sorts of logistics are involved or what advices for entrepreneurial strategies suggest is the art of networking since markets are marked by qualitative knowledge required to know when customers shall really continue to demand the same things.

All while these activities go on, there are various system components which have to function e.g. electricity, water management, waste disposal, food supplies etc. But already a serious indication of changes in governance have been noted when the elected council of New York City voted in 2008 to extend the possibility of the mayor to stay in office another, that is third term and automatically also itself, thereby overturning a basic tenant of democratic rule. The latter aims to limit those in power to a certain time period e.g. the President of the United States can only be elected twice for a four year period and thereafter cannot be any more a candidate. Staying in power too long has adverse impacts upon governance although those who have run a complex city like New York tend to claim they need to stay to see the city through the next phase of crisis as spelled out at Wall Street and the crisis in not only the American but equally the world economy. What they overlook is that two referendums by citizens expressed clearly that they do not wish a change in the rules and would favour Mayor Bloomberg not to serve a third term. [16]

These arguments can be backed up by any observer of political processes at city level with high risk of corruption, ineptitude and neglect of basic services to the whole population and not merely to some special groups. Most of the succession problems stem from those who have grown too fond of being in power. They enjoy the special privileges, but no longer care enough for other people. More and more they tend to be surrounded who know how to profit from their illusion to be very special persons.

By clinging to power they will deprive the younger generations from gaining in time sufficient knowledge and experience to further the governance of the city. At the very core of democratic rule is therefore free election based on peaceful transitions of power in time. Where that has not been respected, those in power have all the makings of being dictators of one kind or another to the disadvantage of the rule of law and to the well being of the people. Mugabe in Zimbabwe is a prime example, but also the plights of Communism had been till 1989 the fact that there was no rule to safeguard a peaceful transition of the general secretary who was not merely the leader of the party, but automatically as well the head of state. No one is irreplaceable. It is a danger if those in power fashion reality according to their wish and need to stay in power. If everything becomes subject to that wish, then it spells deep troubles ahead for both the citizens of that city and for the way governance is made impossible.

Governance includes numerous measures to ensure that people in the city can lead a civil and creative life. Several conditions must prevail to make that possible. It leads directly to how systems are designed to serve certain purposes, but due to changes, but also flaws in their design, they can be and become ever more over time ‘unjust’. Especially when the city has to cut back due to a financial crisis, and New York is being hit hard by the current economic crisis in 2008, it seems that the millions spend have to be matched by how a city becomes eligible for federal funds made available for that purpose. That puts the system in a two ended way of accountability: to the citizens or more specifically those who supposed to be helped by the system and those learning in the administration how to remain within budgetary limits and still make things possible. There is an overall policy expression of human solidarity with those in needs and unable to care for themselves. The homeless ones on the streets with but a shopping cart their only home an expression thereof.

Before reflecting specific measures any city administration may adopt, it becomes crucial to consider here what cultural planning can do since it would mean to use culture as ‘soft power’ to find alleviations for problems of citizens otherwise confronted by often demeaning and anti-human measures. Cultural measures presuppose that it is possible to give dignity to the human being by participating him- or herself in a life enriched by what others have known to give an uplift to the spirits and which allows a kind of visionary practice in order to get out of trouble. As the poet from Zimbabwe Chirikure, after he was asked at the Literature Festival in Berlin [17]about Africa known through death more than on how people there live, answered this is a wrong question. He took the point further. He asked, what is the difference of a person, whether out and down in the streets in London or else in Mugabe’s land? In each case different stories are behind such a person as to why he or she ended up in the street. More important is, so he thinks, what language they speak, for not everything they think and say will fetch them off the street. Culture and language which lend dignity to man, woman or child, go together like water and air, land and people. There are important leaps possible in eyes cast in the round while not all disturbances can stop people from going on. Most important is here the poem by Chirikure in face of an undecided election in Zimbabwe, his homeland, after Mugabe did not give up but instead clung onto power due to his military and police officers mainly responsible for all the atrocities have grown afraid of what would follow if he would step down and others take over the responsibilities of government. He has something in mind when referring metaphorically to move on from ‘total peace’ and ‘total balance’:

Time to Move On

Sitting in the white wintry sun
Watching birds winging in total peace
The mind switches to one’s bare feet:

Two feet         
Lucky to still have them both
Ten toes
Blessed to still have them all.

Who made that stupendous blunder?
The feet, straying in the wrong area?
The mouth, blurting the wrong party slogan?

Wrong area?

Who decides that?

Party slogan?

Who designs that?

Two feet
For perfect mobility
Ten toes
For total balance

Time to move on
Where the feet’s heart desires. [18]

Dealing with cultural poverty, illiteracy, cultural assertion, cultural dominance, cultural conflicts and stagnant cultures

Coming forward with new initiatives is like giving the city a cultural impulse as starting premise out of which many new things can develop.

The problem is claim of success when in reality actions but superficially erase memories of bad times for but a short moment like going to the cinema and forgetting what reality awaits one outside once the movie is finished.

‘How real is reality?’: there is a trust element in this question which needs to be figured out. The painter Gerhard Richter would say seeing and conceiving is not one and the same. In-between are various forms and grades of deception and distortion. The more realistic an artist describes the situation, the more can be learned out of the difficulties he faced when painting. Solutions are often found in culture ‘unconsciously’, by letting intuition, dreams, feelings guide people when expressing themselves. That is not to say it is something ‘irrational’, but the wish to off-set a completely regulated life is needed if people are to meet and to stay connected over a period of time. A reality without a horizon has, therefore, no visible contact with people happy and alive, but also dreaming and moving forward as children grow up and learn to stand on their own two feet.

New anti poverty measures in New York:

“The 42-year-old federal poverty standard, which is pegged to the annual cost of buying basic groceries, is widely viewed as outdated and off-target. The city’s formula would take into account the money families must spend annually on necessities including rent, utilities and child care. But it would also factor in the value of financial assistance received, like housing vouchers or food stamps.” [19]





6.6.4 The obvious and hidden costs of a cultural profile orientated cultural planning strategy

6.7 For a refined cultural planning strategy to base the cultural profile on ‘memory’ of a city

A city which is filled with memories can inspire the next generations to do likewise great things. There is not so much cultural planning needed as much more cultural knowledge has to be passed on. As this can attract and motivate people to become creative themselves, their activities shall give colour and profile to this specific place. It is a crucial question but what makes people become highly creative? Is it the lay out of streets, the way of moving about, the accessibilities to all kinds of resources or just a certain kind of energy which goes with this flavour of life for life?

Definite is that cultural planning can emphasize upon the time horizon and find ways to link memories of lived through experiences with knowing what lies ahead in future through set goals e.g. becoming a European Capital of Culture in 2017, in order to make living in the present a much more conscious experience.

Memory base

Once actions are undertaken and experiences are made, culture shows different ways of organizing memory. From people keeping diaries to documentaries depicting what took place, different cultural and political significances are worked out. Some of them may have become turning points in history. Other actions have given the place a real name. Still some may provide insights into what potentiality the place has. All in all, the linkage between individual and various collective memory levels tend to show mediation between past, present and future is continuing. Since memory is an abstraction alone on the basis that not all can be recounted, to remain as memory alive it will require cultural terms which preserve and keep alive these memories. In various countries this can translate itself into official holidays or even into a specific policy e.g. in Israel never to forget the Holocaust and which is linked to Jerusalem lest this holy city is forgotten then the hand will fall off – a sort of draconic measure reminding of the Middle Ages. Naturally it is absurd to try to frighten people into remembering something. A closer look may reveal instead some deep scars left behind by those who have invaded and left such traces that the inhabitants should keep in mind if they try again to resist the occupying authority e.g. Israel in the Gaza strip.

City museum

A city museum is all the more crucial if such a memory base is to be accessible to all inhabitants of the city. The work with memory allows fore mostly people to reflect changes and insofar as they become knowledgable as to what has been achieved in the meantime, they can refine the measures to applied for the tasks ahead. Recalling what it used to be like is setting against modern urban development some notion coming close to sentimentality but which is in fact a consistent sentiment for a city and its people performing so well that the scope of activities find affirmation in the enjoyment of life.


Annex 5: UNESCO Declaration on cultural diversity

If cultural planning is a method by which politicians of a city can relate in a creative way to culture, it is to ensure that they can enable thereby a diversity of cultures. This is a demand which has been raised by UNESCO:

UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity [20]

The UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity was adopted unanimously by the General Conference at its 31st session on 2 November 2001.  The Declaration was born of the wish of the Member States to define a standard-setting instrument, in the context of Globalization, for the elaboration of their national cultural policies, while respecting international rules and fundamental rights. It is the first time the International community has possessed a legal instrument which raises cultural diversity to the rank of  “common heritage of humanity”.






The Declaration sets out to respond to 2 major concerns: firstly, to ensure respect for cultural identities with the participation of all peoples in a democratic framework and, secondly, to contribute to the emergence of a favourable climate for the creativity of all, thereby making culture a factor of development.


Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions

General Conference adopts Convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions








The General Conference of UNESCO, meeting in Paris from October 3 to October 21, today approved (148 votes for, two against, four abstentions) the Convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions, an international normative instrument that will enter into force three months after its ratification by 30 States.

The result of a long process of maturation and two years of intense negotiations, punctuated by numerous meetings of independent and then governmental experts, this text which takes the form of an international normative instrument, reinforces the idea already included in the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, unanimously adopted in 2001, that cultural diversity must be considered as a "common heritage of humanity", and its "defence as an ethical imperative, inseparable from respect for human dignity." In 2003, Member States requested the Organization to pursue its normative action to defend human creativity, a vital component of the Declaration, as explained in Articles eight and eleven.

The Convention seeks to reaffirm the links between culture, development and dialogue and to create an innovative platform for international cultural cooperation; to this end, it reaffirms the sovereign right of States to elaborate cultural policies with a view "to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions" and "to create the conditions for cultures to flourish and to freely interact in a mutually beneficial manner" (Article 1).

At the same time, a series of Guiding Principles (Article 2) guarantees that all measures aimed at protecting and promoting the diversity of cultural expressions does not hinder respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms "such as freedom of expression, information and communication, as well as the ability of individuals to choose (them)…". As well, the "Principle of openness and balance" ensures that when States adopt measures in favour of the diversity of cultural expressions "they should seek to promote, in an appropriate manner, openness to other cultures of the world".

The rights and obligations of Parties (Articles 5 to 11) include a series of policies and measures aimed at protecting and promoting the diversity of cultural expressions, approaching creativity and all it implies in the context of globalization, where diverse expressions are circulated and made accessible to all via cultural goods and services.

Thus, Parties, recognizing the fundamental role of civil society, will seek to create an environment that encourages individuals and social groups "to create, produce, disseminate, distribute and have access to their own cultural expressions, paying due attention to the special circumstances and needs of women as well as various social groups, including persons belonging to minorities and indigenous peoples", and "to recognize the important contribution of artists, others involved in the creative process, cultural communities, and organizations that support their work, and their central role in nurturing the diversity of cultural expressions."

It should be stressed that international promotion and cooperation, especially in the case of developing countries, is at the heart of the Convention (Articles 12 to 19). To this effect, the creation of an International Fund for Cultural Diversity, has been provided for (Article 18). Resources for this Fund will come from voluntary contributions from Parties, funds allocated by UNESCO’s General Conference, diverse contributions, gifts or bequests, interest due on resources of the Fund, funds raised through collections and receipts from events organized for the benefit of the Fund, or any other resources authorized by the Fund’s regulations.

The concern to ensure coherence between the Convention and other existing international instruments guided States to include a clause (Article 20) aimed at ensuring a relationship of "mutual supportiveness, complementarity and non-subordination" between these instruments. At the same time, "nothing in the present Convention shall be interpreted as modifying rights and obligations of the Parties under any other treaties to which they are parties."

The Convention establishes a series of follow-up mechanisms aimed at ensuring efficient implementation of the new instrument. Among these, a non binding mechanism for the settlement of disputes allows, within a strictly cultural perspective, possible divergences of views on the interpretation or application of certain rules or principles relatives to the Convention (Article 25) to be dealt with. This mechanism encourages, first and foremost, negotiation, then recourse to good offices or mediation. If no settlement is achieved, a Party may have recourse to conciliation. The Convention does not include any mechanism for sanctions.

Finally, it should be recalled that UNESCO’s Constitution provides a mandate to both respect the "fruitful diversity of (…) cultures" and to "promote the free flow of ideas by word and image", principles that are reaffirmed in the Preamble to the Convention. The Organization, which celebrates its 60th anniversary next month, has spared no effort to fulfill this double mission. With this Convention, it completes its normative action aimed at defending cultural diversity in all of its manifestations, and most especially the two pillars of culture: heritage and contemporary creativity.

Please also consult:

§      Cultural Diversity

§      Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Cultural Property – 1970

§      Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage – 1972

§      Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage - 2003

Publication Date : 20-10-2005

Author(s) : Bureau of Public Information/Press Release No. 2005-128

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