Bahrain sets up region’s first heritage centre
Manama, April 29, 2012
Bahrain has become the first country in the Middle East to open a regional world heritage centre which aims to help protect and showcase cultural and natural heritage in the Arab world.
The Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage (ARC-WH), located next to the Bahrain National Museum, was opened by Culture Minister Shaikha Main bint Mohammed Al Khalifa yesterday (April 28).
"The Culture Ministry has always been committed to heritage conservation and protection," she said during a ceremony.
"The opening of the ARC-WH in Manama reinforces our position, as well as enables us to further support the region in presenting its diverse heritage resources."
The first meeting of the centre's governing board also took place yesterday with chairwoman Shaikha Mai leading a review of its plans for its first year of operation.
Upcoming activities include the development of an Arabic language website dedicated to world heritage with a focus on the Arab region and providing assistance to the 19 Arab countries, as classified by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), with properties on the World Heritage List.
Other projects include the translation into Arabic of important publications about world heritage and strengthening the network of world heritage experts in the Maghreb region, as well as organising a regional workshop and annual regional meetings.
Plans for ARC-WH were first established by the General Conference of Unesco at its 35th session in 2009.
Its establishment is part of celebrations marking Manama being named this year's Arab Culture Capital and the land allocated for the centre and financial support was provided by the government.
A year-long cultural programme is being carried out by the Culture Ministry, which seeks to invite Arabs to discover the culture, heritage and identity of different parts of the Arab world.
Each month follows a different theme, with art, architecture, design and heritage already celebrated and museums, poetry, literature, Arab cinema, Arabic singing, the environment, theatre and the 'homeland' are in the pipeline. – TradeArabia News Service