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Published on : Wednesday, June 24, 2015
On June 23, UNESCO and the Comité Colbert, an association of French luxury houses and cultural institutions, launched a poster campaign to raise public awareness of the need to foster creativity and safeguard cultural heritage.
Under the hashtag #Committed to heritage and creativity, UNESCO and the Comité Colbert, in collaboration with French Customs and with the support of the company JC Decaux, invited each individual to play a part in protecting heritage and encouraging creativity. Posters bearing this message and a visual was visible in French airports and the streets of Paris this summer.
UNESCO works to promote creativity and its role in societal development through many programs, especially in connection with the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
UNESCO draws on several legal instruments to protect cultural heritage, including the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972), the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003), and the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1970). The purpose of these international conventions is to mobilize individuals and cultural institutions and strengthen action by governments to recognize the importance of culture, fight illicit trafficking and combat the destruction of heritage.
In an address, the Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has declared that “the theft, pillage and illicit trade in artefacts are the outright negation of peoples. They reduce history to the level of merchandise. They are seriously detrimental, and often irreversibly so, to the collective memory and social cohesion. Culture is a driver of creativity, inspiration and the urge to surpass oneself, and each of us can play a part in keeping it alive.”
As for the Comité Colbert, it can draw on France’s rich heritage of craftsmanship to nourish creativity and innovation, its core values, which must be advocated. “Creativity cannot express itself, gain recognition and prosper unless intellectual property rights are strictly respected, for this ensures that creators receive fair compensation for their labors,” notes Elisabeth Ponsolle des Portes, President and CEO of the Comité Colbert.
Intended to be international in scope, this pilot campaign called on each individual to spread this message in the social media and play a part in protecting heritage and fostering creativity.