UNESCO-EU Collaboration Enhances Access to Central Asian Heritage Sites

UNESCO and EU Restore Four Historical and Cultural Sites in Central Asia

A large-scale regional project implemented by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) regional office in Almaty in collaboration with the European Union (EU) has successfully restored and rehabilitated four historical and cultural sites in Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The results of this project, titled Silk Roads Heritage Corridors in Central Asia – International Dimension of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, were recently presented in Astana on July 9.

The project aimed at preserving and promoting the cultural heritage of the Silk Road and enhancing the tourism potential of Central Asian countries by strengthening human and institutional capacity in heritage management. Rehabilitation works were carried out at the ancient Kulan settlement in Kazakhstan, the medieval city of Krasnaya Rechka in the Kyrgyz Republic, the Tajik National Park in Tajikistan, and Itchan Kala in Khiva, Uzbekistan.

EU Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Kęstutis Jankauskas, highlighted the significance of reviving the old Silk Roads as a means of enhancing cooperation between the EU and Central Asia. He emphasized the importance of cultural heritage preservation in laying the foundation for future development and promoting cooperation between the regions.

The project received praise from Amir Piric, director of the UNESCO regional office in Almaty, who commended the successful rehabilitation works and capacity-building efforts carried out as part of the project. The restoration works focused on enhancing tourist infrastructure, preserving historical elements, and training local specialists in heritage management.

Among the sites restored were the ancient settlement of Kulan in Kazakhstan, the medieval city of Krasnaya Rechka in the Kyrgyz Republic, the Tajik National Park in Tajikistan, and the historic city of Itchan Kala in Uzbekistan. These sites hold significant cultural and historical value and play an essential role in promoting tourism and preserving the region’s rich heritage.

The project not only contributed to the restoration of these sites but also emphasized the importance of culture in sustainable development. UNESCO and EU’s collaborative efforts in preserving cultural heritage and promoting tourism are expected to enhance the region’s visibility internationally and strengthen ties between Central Asia and the European Union.

Overall, the restoration and rehabilitation of these historical and cultural sites exemplify the successful partnership between UNESCO, the EU, and Central Asian countries in preserving and promoting the region’s cultural heritage for future generations.



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