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FYR of Macedonia/ 3.4 International cultural co-operation  

3.4.5 Cross-border intercultural dialogue and co-operation

There are no exact strict government programmes to support trans-national intercultural dialogue, but certain programmes are channelled via the Ministry of Culture or intergovernmental organisations. The Ministry of Culture supports specific trans-national activities for young people or youth groups, through funds available for travel grants, language or cross-cultural training courses. In 2005 the Ministry of Culture supported 14 projects focussed on developing and understanding cultural pluralism, intercultural and interethnic dialogue etc.

An example of lack of cross-border dialogue and co-operation was the 2012 refusal of Bulgaria and Serbia to give copies of several archaeological artefacts that were found on Macedonian territory at the beginning of the last century. Namely, the Cultural Heritage Protection Office has asked the Serbian and Bulgaria museums for replicas of golden masks, an ancient vase and a helmet (all from a tomb near village of Trebenishte) for the newly established Archaeological Museum in Skopje. The Belgrade museum replied that the artefacts were too sensitive, and the Sofia museum asked for an unreasonable price.

In November 2012 the Ministry of Culture organised a ministerial conference to enhance cross-border cooperation between the national museums in South-East Europe. The conference gathered ministers of culture from South East Europe, directors of national museums, as well as representatives of the European Commission, the RCC Task Force on Culture and Society, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), and International Council of Museums (ICOM). With a joint ministerial statement a Museum Network in the South-East Europe was established, in order to foster cooperation among national museums in the region and to develop projects at regional and international levels.

As a result of good co-operation between the Macedonian National Library in Skopje and the "Yunuz Emre" Institute from Ankara (Turkey) in the project "Reconstruction of the Balkan cultural heritage", 3 544 manuscripts and 1 000 fragmented pages (in total 900 000 pages) in Arabic, Turkish and Persian languages were digitalised in 2013. In the second phase of the project an electronic and printed catalogue will be published.

For more information, see our Intercultural Dialogue section

Chapter published: 06-10-2015

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