Culture firmly on the agenda at G20 in Italy
Earlier this year, ICCROM participated in a series of international webinars organized by the Italian Ministry of Culture and introduced by the culture minister Dario Franceschini, under Italy’s Presidency of the G20. The webinars were a precursor to the upcoming G20 Culture Ministerial meetings in Rome on 20 and 30 July, ahead of the G20 Leaders’ Summit in October.
Experts from around the world came together online to help set the agenda for the discussion of cultural issues at the G20. The core themes covered were the fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural goods; the impact of climate change on cultural heritage; creative industries and the digital revolution; and the interaction between culture, training and education.
Since assuming the G20 Presidency at the end of last year, Italy has sought to prioritise culture as one of the key instruments for driving the global recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. This follows the commitment made at the first meeting of G7 culture ministers in Florence in 2017 to make such ministerial meetings a fixture of major international forums.
Similarly, a clear message to G20 leaders emerged from the webinars: culture has transformative power. It can help regenerate economies and societies, promote the necessary behavioural change to tackle climate change, and contribute wealth through creative industries and digital access to cultural heritage. All of which makes culture indispensable as countries and territories relaunch themselves in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Webinar 1: Protection of cultural heritage and illicit trafficking – the future will give us back our past
Held on 9 April 2021, the first webinar addressed policies and actions for safeguarding and protecting cultural heritage in crisis zones and disaster-hit areas, with a focus on the fight against unlawful trafficking of cultural goods.
Webinar 2: Addressing the climate crisis through culture – preserving cultural heritage, supporting the green transition
Held on 12 April 2021, the second webinar focused on environmental issues, particularly the impacts of climate change on cultural heritage and the measures for ensuring its protection and conservation. Participants emphasised the role of culture in ensuring a successful “green transition”, in view of two upcoming climate summits – the Pre-COP26 in Milan and COP26 in Glasgow.
“Addressing climate change necessitates risk based urban and territorial planning in historic cities that seeks to consider multiple hazards, including biological ones like the COVID 19 pandemic we are currently experiencing” Rohit Jigyasu, ICCROM
Webinar 3: Building capacity through training and education – human capital, the driver of culture-led regeneration
The final webinar, held on 13 April 2021, focused on the need to promote education and training, while reaching out to communities and younger generations to improve their awareness of the value of cultural heritage. Capacity building was highlighted as key to enabling culture-led regeneration.
“While considering the use of technology for training and education at global level, we must realise the differences in its use and access in various parts of the world” Webber Ndoro, Director General, ICCROM
The full program and list of participants is available at the Italian Ministry of Culture website.