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Cooperation of the Baltic Sea States

For a number of years the Department of Cultural Heritage has been actively participating in the activities of the Monitoring Group of Cultural Heritage of the Baltic Sea States (hereinafter, the Monitoring Group) and its specialised working groups.
 
The Monitoring Group was set up in 1997 with the aim to promote regional cooperation of the Baltic Sea States in the area of protection of cultural heritage. The members of the Monitoring Group are representatives of national cultural heritage organisations of 11 Baltic Sea countries (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden) whose purpose is to develop regional cooperation in order to protect the heritage significant to all the countries, to share knowledge and experience, to formulate cooperation priorities as well as to initiate and support concrete regional proposals and initiatives.
 
Taking into consideration the variety of activities and interests of the Monitoring Group, specialised groups according to the areas of their competence were set up: the Maritime Heritage and Coastal Protection Group, the Underwater Cultural Heritage Group, the Building Preservation and Practical Maintenance Group and the Historic Towns Group. Recently, following structural changes, a new 20th century Cultural Heritage Group was set up; the Group started its activities as from 2014.
 
The following specialised working groups have been in operation as from 2014:
 
The Maritime Heritage and Coastal Protection Working Group identifies the impact of industrial and recreational development of cities and towns on and risks of such development to maritime and coastal heritage, raises the awareness of the society as well as initiates and implements concrete cooperation projects.
 
The Underwater Cultural Heritage Working Group addresses relevant problems of the protection, research and management of underwater heritage (sunken ships, harbours and remnants of coastal settlements), conducts common projects and raises the awareness of the society about underwater archaeology. By joint effort, the Code of Good Practice for the Management of the Underwater Cultural Heritage in the Baltic Sea Region, http://mg.kpd.lt/LT/7/Underwater-Heritage.htm, was prepared.
 
The 20th century Cultural Heritage Working Group was set up in order to explore the 20th century architectural heritage and the legacy of the Soviet heritage, to assess social and economic significance of this heritage to the society as well as to address relevant problems of heritage preservation.
 
Representatives delegated by the Department of Cultural Heritage actively participate in the Monitoring Group as well as all specialised working groups.
 
In 2009-2011, Lithuania chaired the Monitoring Group; the position of the chairman of the Group was held by Alfredas Jomantas, Head of the Heritage Registry, Public Relations and Education Division, who was delegated by the Department of Cultural Heritage. During the three years of Lithuania's presidency, the following main tasks and projects were carried out:

- A new website of the Monitoring Group was developed www.mg.kpd.lt;

- The 4th Forum of the Baltic Sea States "Cultural Heritage: Modern Challenges" was organised in Riga in 2010; the Forum was attended by 250 participants;

- The project "Sustainable Historic Towns: Urban Heritage – Good for the Climate!" was implemented;

- A list of 100 most important historic ships of the Baltic Sea was compiled;

- A documentary on underwater heritage was filmed;

- Seminars on heritage education, digitalisation, crime prevention and other relevant topics with the participation of more than 400 people were organised;

- The activities and common initiatives of the Monitoring Group were presented in two meetings of the Baltic Sea Committee of Senior Officials and 17 conferences, forums and other events;

- A publication was prepared – the 6th report of the Monitoring Group's activities in 2009-2011 "Cultural Heritage Cooperation in the Baltic Sea States 2009-2011". http://testinis.kpd.lt/failai/u9/Report_6_2012_one-by-one_pages.pdf
 
More information on the activities of the Monitoring Group and its specialised working groups is available at www.mg.kpd.lt
 

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