First Forum on the Cultural Heritage of the People's Republic of China and CEEC 16+1, Belgrade, May 22-23, 2017
The Forum was organized by the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia in cooperation with the State Administration for Cultural Heritage of China and the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage with the aim to create more channels of international communication between the People's Republic of China and CEEC would be opened and experts from relevant fields gathered to exchange ideas and explore the potential and mechanisms of cooperation.
The initiative to hold the event came during a visit by a delegation of the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia to China in early September 2016, an idea then backed by the Minister of Culture of the People's Republic of China, Luo Shugang. The initiative received support from all prime ministers of Central and Eastern Europe and China and became part of the Guidelines for Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern Europe, a document signed in Riga in November 2016.
The forum was opened by Minister Vukosavljevic and the administrator of the State Directorate for Cultural Heritage of the People's Republic of China Liu Yuju. In addition to Serbian and Chinese experts, experts from Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Albania, Lithuania, Montenegro and Slovakia participated in the Forum.
Following the Forum, on May 24-25, 2017, the Ministry of Culture and Information organized a two-day study tour for 6 Chinese experts participating in the Forum. Chinese experts, accompanied by their Serbian counterparts from the Ministry of Culture and Information and the Republican Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments, visited certain sites of Serbian cultural heritage listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and Tentative World Heritage List (Felix Romuliana Monastery Manassia, Rajačka pivnica, Smederevo Fortress) but also other important sites and cultural monuments in Serbia (Golubac Fort, Lepenski Vir, Trajan's Bridge, etc.).
On that occasion, May 23, 2017. a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia and the National Cultural Heritage Administration of the People's Republic of China on exchanges and cooperation in the field of cultural heritage. The memorandum is a very important step in the future cooperation between the two countries in the field of cultural heritage protection. This document foresees the cultural exchange and cooperation of cultural heritage professionals. It provides for joint programs, training and exchange of information on cultural heritage conservation, conservation and restoration practices, as well as exchange of experience and study activities in the field of archeology and all related fields covered by cultural heritage. The Memorandum of Understanding provides a platform for more direct, concrete and successful cooperation between the cultural institutions and institutions of the two countries acting within the framework of the protection of cultural heritage.