As the central point for advice and information on the collective cultural heritage, the CIE, the Centre for International Heritage Activities, is a logical new partner for Power of Culture.
Projects in the area of international heritage have been around for decades. But the know-how acquired in the projects has never been collected before. In order to establish a knowledge base for heritage projects, the CIE was established in 2006. This centre concentrates on activities involving collective cultural heritage. The CIE offers advice and assistance for on-going and new projects in this area, is compiling a database of heritage activities, maintains a network of international experts, and strives to put the topic on the agenda of a broader public. The CIE also responds to concrete local projects in countries like Australia or Sri Lanka.
Inventory will be taken of the current state of heritage activities and research in Sri Lanka, South Africa, Indonesia and Surinam in 2007. The results will be presented during four country theme days, the first of which will focus on Indonesia.
Because the activities often overlap, the CIE is not only concerned with collective heritage projects, but also with culture and development. In Afghanistan, for example, museums are being restored to their former glory in Kabul. The funds for restoring the bazaar of Tashgurghan - destroyed by the Soviets in 1981 - are not yet sufficient, but the reconstruction of the National Museum in Kabul has already commenced. The first exposition will open there in April 2007, with pictures of the Tashgurghan bazaar before its destruction. A significant increase in regional tourism is often listed among the positive effects expected from projects of this type. But in Afghanistan, the objective is to restore the cultural heritage that is essential to retaining cultural identity.