Hungary has been a member of UNESCO since 1948; its General Conference was presided by Hungarian women in 1974 and 2011. A staff of three operates the Secretariat of the Hungarian National Commission for UNESCO within the Ministry of Human Resources. In the cultural domain, among others, eight Hungarian sites were added to the World Heritage List between 1987 and 2002 (two of them are transborder sites). An international project on The Danube Limes, the line of the frontiers of the Roman Empire, was adopted as World Heritage in 2021 but the Hungarian government withdrew its involvement at the last minute.
Hungary ratified the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2006 and the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in 2008. The body responsible for the implementation of the Convention in Hungary is the Hungarian Open-Air Museum in Szentendre; a national inventory was also set up. Currently, four items are inscribed on the UNESCO world list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, two of them with other countries. The national inventory of intangible cultural heritage contains 44 items.
Hungary is also party to the Memory of the World Register. In 2015, the 7th Hungarian item was added to the Memory of the World Register.
The European Folklore Institute is a regional centre for the safeguarding, revitalisation and diffusion of traditional culture and folklore in Europe: it was founded in 1996 by the Hungarian government and UNESCO.
The Structural Funds of the European Union finance a considerable number of cultural heritage projects, with the largest amounts going to built heritage restoration and upgrading.
Hungarian operations have been active in applying for European cultural grants since Culture 2000. In the latest seven-year period they coordinated 12 Creative Europe projects and participated in about 70 more. Winners can get matching funding from the National Cultural Fund (NKA) to cover part or all of their own contribution.
Hungary also takes part in the cultural co-operation programme of the Visegrad Fund, as well as of the Central European Initiative and the EU strategy for the Danube Region.
Following 2010 Pécs, in 2023 Veszprém will be European Capital of Culture. Preparations are under way with concerted efforts of the government, local authorities, and civic operations.
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