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Cultural Heritage School 2: Greece-USA for the protection of cultural heritage from climate change

Featured Cultural Heritage School 2: Greece-USA for the protection of cultural heritage from climate change

A three-day seminar "Cultural Heritage School 2", was held at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall from February 8 to 10, 2024 and organized by the Ministry of Culture, the US Embassy in Athens and the Hellenic Section of the International Council of Museums (ICOM).

At the seminar, which was organized with the support of the Office of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the National Research Foundation, more than 90 cultural professionals from around the world discussed the implications but also the ways to protect cultural heritage monuments from climate change.

The Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni, welcoming the start of the seminar's work, highlighted the diagnosis and treatment of the effects of the climate crisis on cultural heritage as a priority for Greece and the United States, but also as an issue that needs a coordinated and sustained international effort. The US Consul General in Thessaloniki, Jerry Ismail, welcomed the opening of the conference, highlighting the close cooperation between the US and Greece for the protection of cultural heritage, one of the priorities of the Strategic Dialogue between the two countries.

The seminar was attended by cultural heritage professionals from Greece and countries of SE Europe and the Mediterranean, with participation of speakers from the USA, Spain and the United Kingdom. Among other things, the tools of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the documentation and protection of cultural heritage, the international context of climate change and the effects of weather phenomena and climate change over time on cultural heritage, both in monuments and museums and in the cultural sector, were presented..

"This particular series of seminars is just one of the many and rich fruits of the extremely fruitful cooperation between the Greek Ministry of Culture, the State Department of the United States and the American Embassy in Athens, which in recent years, like the relations between our homeland with the United States, is constantly developing and expanding into new areas, both cultural heritage and contemporary culture and creative industry," said the Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni, who referred, among other things, to her recent meeting with the Deputy Secretary of State of the United States Minister of State for Education and Culture Lee Satterfield, during which "the idea was raised to create a new series of similar seminars in the field of combating the illegal trafficking of antiquities and works of art, again with the broad participation of experts and professionals of cultural management from the countries of Balkan".

"The Greeks are very aware of the devastating consequences of climate change and the United States believes in the role of Greece as a world leader in raising awareness about the negative effects of climate change on cultural heritage," the US ambassador to Greece emphasized, among other things George Tsounis, adding that "our commitment to work with Greece to mitigate the effects of climate change is not limited to the protection of cultural heritage. We are proud to be working with Greece, as it is hosting the 9th "Our Ocean" Conference in Athens this year, which is a unique opportunity to raise awareness among world leaders and young people about the protection of the marine environment."