UNESCO Director General is confident of fruitful co-operation with Moscow

UNESCO Director General Koichiro Matsuura spoke about the fight against smuggling cultural values as an important trend in UNESCO's co-operation with Russia.

This is an experimental co-operation project in which Russia takes part. Its aim is to create a global network of the fight against smuggling cultural values, said the UNESCO Director General at the session of the Russian presidential Council of Culture and Arts in Moscow on Tuesday.

He expressed confidence in the successful continuation of co-operation between Russia and UNESCO.

Koichiro Matsuura pointed out the important role of Russia in implementing the projects for the preservation of the non-material heritage. He said that quite recently he announced the second list of masterpieces of the oral non-material work, which includes also non-material cultural values of Russia.

In connection with this the UNESCO Director General expressed the hope for the earliest ratification of the Convention on the Protection of the Non-Material Cultural Heritage by all member-countries of this organisation. He said that this step would make it possible to spread UNESCO's control to non-material cultural values, including in Russia.

Koichiro Matsuura spoke about UNESCO's successful co-operation with the Hermitage. We have started a new project for the development of that museum which can be called a symbol of a universal ideal of preserving cultural traditions of the world, he said.

Speaking about the Bolshoi Theatre, the UNESCO Director General said that conditions should be created in it for the work of artistes of the whole world.

Koichiro Matsuura also reminded the audience of his recent visits to North Ossetia and Tatarstan. These trips, he said, convinced him how rich the Russian republics are in cultural heritage and how strong cultural contacts are between Russian regions.

Matsuura called for more intensive efforts in protecting the cultural heritage of the world. We should not weaken our efforts in protecting the cultural heritage in the whole world, he said.

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