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Sixth anniversary as a World Heritage Site

By Antonio De Jesús Aguado

More than fifty dancers, poets, musicians, bakers, film makers and public servants will participate in the Second National Conference of World Heritage starting July 3.

On July 7, 2008, San Miguel de Allende and the Shrine of Jesus the Nazarene of Atotonilco were appointed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Last year the Sanmiguelense Council of Art and Culture (CONSAC) held the first National Congress of World Heritage to create a forum for dialogue and intelligent thinking regarding the economic development of the city. This year, the main topic will be cultural journalism as a marketing strategy to obtain world financial resources, gastronomic tourism, architecture and urbanism for the World Heritage cities. The conference, open to the general public, will be held from July 3-5 at the Hotel Misión on salida a Querétaro.

During the inaugural day, July 3, at 11am, CONSAC will hand over the Seventh of July Medal, which was originally designed and created in wood by Genaro Almanza and Maruja González. Currently fashioned in melted silver with a gold bath, the medal represents the generation of wealth based on effort and work of the indigenous citizens of the Mexican World Heritage Cities in providing Europe with help in the development of its economy. The 2014 the medal will be presented to filmmaker Demetrio Bilbatúa Rodríguez.

Bilbatúa, born in Spain in 1935 and a resident of Mexico since 1970, has been a prominent reporter of Mexico’s life, receiving much national and international recognition for his work. For more than 50 years he has been a producer and cameraman, revealing the beauty of the ordinary. Also, through detailed frames, he has shown the geography and disorganized growth of cities, the construction of public works and the efforts of Mexicans.

Some of the keynote speakers will be Francisco López Morales, director of World Heritage of the National Institute of Anthropology and History; Nuria Sanz Gallego, in charge of the Latin American and Caribbean section of the World Heritage Center from the UNESCO; Isabel Rigol Savio, member of the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS-CUBA); cultural journalist from Radio Red, Humberto Musacchio; and Harry Grappa,the Veracruz secretary of tourism. The editor of Artes de México, Margarita de Orellana, will also give a lecture and, on Friday, July 4, will present the book Elogio de la cocina mexicana, Patrimonio Cultural de la Humanidad.

The event’s organizers have summoned the ten Mexican cities appointed as World Heritage Sites. This year, Veracruz is the guest of honor. Tlacotalpan Veracruz will present the ballet Doña Elena, and the Ariles band of traditional music will perform on Friday, July 4, at 7pm in plaza at La Luciérnaga. The performance will be repeated on Saturday, July 5, at Universidad Allende. These presentations are free.

Students of architecture from the Universidad de León have constructed ten mockups of the Mexican World Heritage Cities, which will be exhibited at the Museum Casa de Allende.

To enroll in the conference, go to Scholarships are available.


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