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On Europe Day the SOS Culture Project highlighted the colors of cultural diversity

12.05.2012 16:23 Age: 5 yrs

Europe Day celebrations started on May 12th at Northern Avenue, with traditional European music, cuisine, dances and an atmosphere of joy. The SOS Culture Project was – as many other EU funded projects – among the participants.The project is implemented by the Foundation for the Protection of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC) in cooperation with two partners: dvv international – Georgia Country Office and Research on Armenian Architecture Foundation (RAA). The traditionally celebrated Europe Day is a combination of various events, which represent the cultural diversity of Europe and showcase the partnership between EU and Armenia.

"Europe Day is a special occasion for the European Union. Not only does it mark the beginning of European integration, but it also symbolizes common European values. Today we celebrate Europe in Armenia and we hope that all participants, especially the youth, will learn more about the EU and EU-Armenia cooperation", said Traian Hristea, the Head of EU Delegation to Armenia.

The cultural program included Polish and Hungarian dances, a Lithuanian handicraftsmaster class and German punch-making. The information fair represented over 50 educational, environmental and human rights programs, implemented with the support of the EU delegation in Armenia. In the SOS Culture booth the visitors of Europe day could inform themselves about beautiful though hidden and neglected cultural monuments like the Nadarbazevi Palace in Georgia or Deghdzut Monastery in Armenia. The SOS Culture Team offered interested passers-bye postcards of the cultural assets to raise awareness for the issue.

“The Europe Day was a wonderful occasion to present the SOS Culture Project and to reach out to a broader public to raise attention for its unique and important cultural and conservative mission”, says program manager AgnessaKarapetyan. The Armenian Team was supported on Europe Day by GeorgiJikia from dvv international - Georgia Country office. He is the responsible project manager for SOS Culture in Georgia.

The project aims to raise local as well as international attention for ruined monasteries, abandoned churches, chapels, medieval caves, ancient graveyards and prehistoric cult sites located in the remote Armenian/Georgian Border regions. In many cases these neglected cultural assets will only survive in future if local people start to care and preserve them.

To reach this objective the project partners have established SOS Culture Youth Clubs in villages near the monuments. From June 2012 onwards young villagers will learn in these clubs to advocate for the preservation of the monuments with the tools of photography and video film. Moreover they will be introduced to the basic skills of how to preserve a monument and how to promote it to tourists.

The photos and short videos created in the SOS Culture Youth Clubs will be published in English, Armenian and Georgian on www.sosculture.eu website and will be presented during exhibitions and public screenings. The website will not only become the first comprehensive and public accessible database about cultural assets in the Armenian/Georgian border regions but will also offer touristic information to attract more visitors to these regions.