European Year of Cultural Heritage: 100 Years of Czech Cultural History and Stories

Throughout 2018, the European Year of Cultural Heritage, the European Union is celebrating Europe’s diverse cultural heritage to provide an opportunity to discover and explore common heritage in all its forms.

The event “100 Years of Stories”, organized on 5 July in cooperation with the Association of Citizens of Czech Origin “Ceská beseda” Sarajevo, was such an opportunity, to remind of the Czech culture in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to mark the centennial of the independent Czech Republic.

Addressing the audience, the Head of the Political and Economic Section of the EU Delegation to BiH, Jan Snaidauf, pointed out that the European Union pays great attention to promoting cultural heritage and common values and that the European Year of Cultural Heritage is an opportunity to celebrate this since cultural heritage is one of the vivid examples of our shared values.

“Culture has a unique power to bring us together, to help us to get to know each other, understand our differences and appreciate what we share,” Snaidauf said, noting that while the past, culture and common European roots are shared, it is important to think about the future.

Noting the success of the Czech Republic in the European Union, still a relatively new member, which is prospering economically and in many other different aspects, Snaidauf reminded that Bosnia and Herzegovina can follow the Czech example in the European integration process.

The significant contribution of the Czech community to the development of modern industry, architecture, culture and art across Bosnia and Herzegovina serves as a reminder of common roots, a common past and common European cultural heritage that needs to be nourished and preserved for future generations.

Klára Von Kriegsheim Kadlecová, the Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Bosnia and Herzegovina, spoke of the long history of Czech organisations and associations and their contribution to preserving Czech culture and tradition in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Speaking about the common past and cultural heritage across Europe, Kadlecová reminded of a number of festivities dedicated to the celebration of cultural heritage organized in the Czech Republic, one of which is celebration of Slavic literacy and languages.

This rich, cultural evening included a performance of traditional songs by the Trytone Choir from Liberec, a reading of Aleksa Šantić’s poem “Emina” in Czech and local language, and the opening of an exhibition dedicated to Jan Hus, the notable Czech philosopher and a key figure in the Czech reformation.

Participants at the event had an opportunity to visit the permanent exhibition of the Museum of Literature and Performing Arts of BiH – MAK, also a cultural heritage monument, which hosts original manuscripts of famous Bosnian and Herzegovinian writers.

The EU has provided strong support to cultural heritage in the past and will continue beyond the European Year of Cultural Heritage, given the fact that it is one of the key elements of overall EU policy in the region. Over 2,580 events have so far been organized marking the European Year of Cultural Heritage, engaging over one million people throughout Europe and enabling them to become closer and more involved with their cultural heritage.

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