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27 Aug 2015

Belarus plans to accede to Community-led Urban Strategies in Historic Towns program

MINSK, 27 August (BelTA) - Belarus intends to accede to Community-led Urban Strategies in Historic Towns (COMUS), a joint project of the European Union and the Council of Europe, BelTA learned from Natalia Khvir, the head of the historical and cultural heritage protection office of the department for the historical and cultural heritage protection at the Belarusian Culture Ministry of the Republic of Belarus.

The COMUS project is a logical continuation of the projects implemented by the Council of Europe in previous years such as Kiev Initiative and some others, the aim of which was to assess the current state of historic towns in several countries of Eastern Europe. The project is focused on revitalization of these cities, raising large-scale investments both within and outside the country.

The current project involves six countries: Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia. Every country has designated the historic town which will be the venue for meetings of experts, seminars, and master classes by foreign specialists. "The aim of such events is to equip the local community with a set of tools to protect the historical and cultural heritage, to teach them how to do it and how to use the available historical and cultural heritage in the territory of a historic center and earn money on its use", Natalia Khvir noted.

Mstislavl has been designated a historic town in Belarus which will be in the focus of attention of foreign specialists in 2015-2016. On 17-18 September Tbilisi will host a session of the second EU Eastern Partnership Culture Program which is being implemented with the technical support of the British Council and the Council of Europe’s public program "Community-led Urban Strategies in Historic Towns". The six cities of the participating countries, including the Belarusian Mstislavl will be presented at the Tbilisi session. The memorandum on the accession to the project will be signed by representatives of the culture ministries in Tbilisi.

The national coordinator shall provide a report on the work done on the project every month, Natalia Khvir reported. Belarus has prepared the country report on the historical and cultural heritage in the country. The COMUS project is expected to help popularize the historical and cultural heritage of Belarus, and create the positive image of the country, Natalia Khvir added.

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