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16 November 2013 Minister of Culture Honored With Italian Paestum Archaeology Award
Minister of Culture Honored With Italian Paestum Archaeology Award

The XVI Edition of Mediterranean Exchange of Archaeological Tourism is an opportunity of high professional profile and of great international significance, held annually from Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th November 2013 in Paestum. This year, the Mediterranean Exchange of Archaeological Tourism honoured Culture Minister Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa by granting her the Paestum Archaeology Award, in the presence of renowned diplomatic and cultural figures, including the Italian Culture Minister and Dr. Talib Al-Refai, the World Tourism Organisation Secretary General.

The award was a tribute to the Culture Minister's diligent efforts to protect Bahrain's cultural and archaeological heritage and serve humanity by boosting intercultural communication all over the world. Bahrain's delegation comprised Director of the Regional Centre for World Heritage Dr. Mounir Bu-Shanaqi who was granted the Paestum Archaeology Award in 2005 when he was serving as UNESCO Deputy Director General for Culture.

H.E Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammad Al-Khalifa, Minister of Culture, expressed her gratitude and appreciation for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to the Bahraini delegation and thanked Italy for its efforts to serve the world heritage and. H.E praised the Mediterranean Exchange of Archaeological Tourism as “ an opportunity not be missed in order to to exchange experiences aimed at harmonising heritage with tourism”.

The Minister of Culture said the world has grown more aware of economic and social challenges resulting from the fast-paced growth of the tourism sector. H.E Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammad Al-Kahlifa, Minister of Culture underscored Bahrain's efforts to develop tourism and maintain its cultural heritage by promoting it locally and abroad, pointing out the kingdom's celebration of the 25th Anniversary (silver jubilee) of Bahrain National Museum, the first contemporary museum in the Arabian Gulf.

H.E also cited steps and initiatives taken by Bahrain to boost its status on the world heritage map, including the Pearl Trail and Qala’at Al- Bahrain , which are inscribed on the World Heritage List. The Minister of Culture underlined the cultural significance of such sites, stressing the kingdom's commitment to the vision of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

H.E Sahikha Mai Bint Mohammad Al-Khalifa, also said the Culture Ministry is making enormous efforts to attract tourists from all over the world, stressing Bahrain's commitment to using tourism as a means to achieve sustainable development.
It is worth mentioning that Mediterranean Exchange of Archaeological Tourism is a place where institutions and Foreign Countries, Regions, Municipalities, Chambers of Commerce, Tourism Promotion Companies, Archaeological Parks, Trade Associations, Professional and Cultural Associations, Tourist Companies, Service Companies, Publishing Houses, take part to the exhibition hall promoting their territory, and in the frame of ArcheoMeeting. They have the opportunity to hold press conferences and present new projects in dedicated meeting rooms.

The Paestum Archaeology Award, established in 2005, is awarded to those who contribute, through their commitment and intercultural dialogue, to the valorisation of cultural heritage and the promotion of archaeological tourism.The area adjacent to the Temple of Ceres (Exhibition Hall, Experimental Laboratories of Archaeology and two Conference Rooms), the National Archaeological Museum (ArchaeoVirtual, Conferences, Workshop with Foreign Buyers), the Early Christian Basilica (Opening Conference, ArchaeoWorking and Meetings with the Protagonists) are the new locations for the 16th edition of the Exchange in agreement with MiBAC, in order to valorise the archaeological area of the ancient city of Paestum.
This year prestigious collaborations will enhance the program, while ArcheoWorking, ArcheoFilm, Experimental Laboratories of Archaeology, Meetings with the Protagonists, Paestum Awards for Archaeology, ArcheoVirtual multimedia exhibition designed to unveil the new frontiers of scientific research related to the ancient world, will be replicated.
Indeed, Paestum Borsa is the e only exhibition hall in the world dedicated to archaeological heritage and the first international event of interactive and virtual technologies, the event represents the meeting place for professional business and an important moment for debate on cultural heritage issues such as protection and promotion, on which international governmental organizations, institution, professional associations, superintendents, archaeologists, museum directors, academics (more than 300 speakers participated in 50 conferences and meetings during the previous edition) confront themselves;150 journalists were accredited, having an extraordinary media feedback on many magazines, newspapers, radio and television programmes.


Participation in the 43rd Fine Arts Exhibition Bahrain Map