International Conference on UNESCO Conventions Takes Place at Umelka

The EU-UNESCO conference 'Slovakia and Cultural Diversity' at Umelka. (Photo by TASR)

Bratislava, November 23 (TASR) – An international conference called Slovakia and Cultural Diversity began at the Slovak Art Forum in Bratislava on Wednesday, taking place as part of Slovakia’s EU Council Presidency vis-a-vis the implementation of UNESCO conventions, TASR learnt on the same day.

Being organised under the remit of Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak, the conference was set to be attended by representatives from the embassies of Spain, Romania, Austria, Bulgaria, Russia, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia.

“We’re linking the European Union’s priorities with those of UNESCO, including digitisation and cultural diversity. The digital market is part of all spheres [of human activity] in the modern age. This also concerns the preservation of cultural heritage, with UNESCO supporting the preservation of both living and non-living culture,” general secretary of the Slovak Commission at UNESCO Edita Filadelfiova said in the opening address.

She noted that it’s no coincidence that the Slovak Art Forum, colloquially known as Umelka, has been selected as the venue for the conference. Pavol Kral, chairman of the Slovak Union of Plastic Arts, which is headquartered at Umelka, provided a more detailed explanation: “It’s the oldest gallery in Slovakia, providing exhibition services for more than 90 years without interruption. Other galleries emerged after WWII. This was the first functionalist building in Slovakia, with one unusual element being the fact that it wasn’t built by the state, but by artists for themselves.”

Moreover, it was in this building where the end of communism in Slovakia began in 1989 and where the ‘Public against Violence’ political movement was set up during the Velvet Revolution, added Kral.