Mintimer Shaimiev meets with ICOMOS experts

8 August 2014, Friday

On August 8, Tatarstan State Counsellor, Chairman of Trustees Board of “Revival” Regional Foundation Mintimer Shaimiev met with ICOMOS experts Susan Denyer (Great Britain) and Alkiviades Prepis (Greece) within the framework of promotion of Sviyazhsk in UNESCO World Heritage List.

The dossier of the island town of Sviyazhsk was submitted to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in 2012 as a mixed cultural and natural complex, and its technical assessment was positive. However, it was decided to consider specialists’ proposals on consulting with ICOMOS experts regarding the nomination criteria.

On August 6, ICOMOS experts arrived in Kazan with a consulting mission by the invitation of Russia, and spent the whole day in Sviyazhsk. They visited cultural and historical monuments, and inspected restoration works.

In the morning ICOMOS experts, Russian and Tatarstan specialists discussed outstanding universal value of Sviyazhsk monuments at UNESCO department.

Mintimer Shaimiev told the guests about development of the republic, priority programmes being implemented, including preservation of historical heritage.

“Your visit and your opinion are very important for us. We really need it. The great work was done in Bolgar, so we have to find the ways to make Sviyazhsk recognizable. Therefore, one foundation was established for two sites. This balance is really important for us. It is a stabilizing factor for our society,” he said.

“We have come by the invitation of Russian Federation and Tatarstan to give our recommendations to World Heritage Committee. I have worked in the organization for 12 years and have seen many changes, including new dialogues being established between ICOMOS, World Heritage Committee and member states. We are very glad to be here and I believe we are doing good work to improve the dossier. We visited Sviyazhsk yesterday, we were told about everything in details. Today’s discussion with your experts was also very important and we are willing to continue the dialogue,” Susan Denyer said.

Alkiviades Prepis, in his turn said: “It is not my first time in Russia, but I am visiting Kazan for the first time. I was impressed by the combination of modern and historical buildings in your beautiful capital. And it goes together with your national peculiarities. Co-existence of two religions is especially important for me. And also I like the policy you conduct in the sphere of preservation of monuments. Historical heritage helps us to understand ourselves and each other.”
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