This week the third meeting of the European project DECRA was held in Pula, Croatia
This conference has been co-organized by the French Federation of Cultural Routes, the Danube Comepetence Center, the city of Pula and the Chamber of Commerce of Croatia. the central themes that were presented were, on the one hand, the Faro Convention and the valorization of the Local Heritage and on the other hand, the connections of the Cultural Routes with the tourist sector.
The three-day program was started with a presentation of the different participants, as well as different projects within their networks. On the part of the AEPJ, Victor Sorenssen, as director, and Peninah Zilberman, founder and CEO of the Tarbut Foundation in Sighet, Romania, member association of the AEPJ, participated.
After experiencing a couple of local initiatives where the rich historical heritage of Pula was presented, an open discussion was opened in the form of a forum, with the participants of DECRA plus a delegation of tour operators. The discussion was moderated by Vlasta Klaric, from the Libertas University of Croatia. The topics discussed were of great interest for both the operators and the route managers, since they shared complementary perspectives on the connection between inhabitants and tourists, promotion at European and local level, and of course, a recurring question , the relationship between tourism and values in the cultural sphere.
One of the initiatives that was presented in Pula was the heritage experience on the island of Brijuni, where they combine in a very limited territory contemporary heritage (the house of Tito), and ancient heritage, from Roman times. This combination, the use of a certain narrative and the way of understanding heritage contents opened the doors to later debates, and were very present when dealing with the Faro Convention.
The Faro Convention, its meaning, definition, its relationship with the Cultural Routes and its particular approach to the concepts of heritage and community, were presented by Isabelle Brianso of the University of Avignon. Isabelle not only sheds a lot of light on an issue that many times has not been sufficiently explained, but also present it in a very revealing comparison between the perspective of the UNESCO on the one hand, and the of the CoE, on the other. Brianso's presentation served as a starting point for different work sessions where the delegates talked about the validity of Faro, the transferability in their own work experiences, and of course, sharing some practices related to the participation of the local community in heritage projects.
In this sense, it is worth mentioning the role of Peninah Zilberman, who presented different initiatives that she carries out in her "Marmures Routes to Roots" project, where the participation of the local community is not only wide, but also It extends to very autentic cultural experiences, such as the participation of local artisans, musicians with a strong emphasis on seeing the heritage from an integrating and broad perspective.
In the final sessions, the delegates worked on looking for joint strategies to develop Faro's framework, transmit its values, its context and its content among the different networks of the Cultural Routes. In this sense, from the AEPJ, a working paper will be sent to all the members so that they can follow the development of the themes worked on in this European project.