The Government of Honduras and the UNESCO Cluster Office for Central America will hold a discussion workshop on 2 September on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the inscription of the Mayan Site of Copan on the World Heritage List.

This was reported on Monday 17 August by the organizers of the event through a virtual press release, which was attended by, among others, the Director of the UNESCO Multi-Country Office, Esther Kuisch-Laroche, and the Under-Secretary for International Cooperation and the Promotion of the Chancellery, Norma Cerrato.

The celebration of this fortieth anniversary is an appropriate occasion to reflect also on the role of cultural heritage in sustainable development, on the scope of the objectives of Agenda 2030, as well as on the importance of safeguarding and conserving the Outstanding Universal Value of the sites that keep the memory of humanity.

In view of the current health emergency in the region and the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a number of virtual science activities were coordinated to celebrate the event.

The inaugural discussion was also part of the global ResiliArt movement, launched by UNESCO in the context of the Covid-19 crisis, to highlight the situation of the cultural and creative sector during the pandemic, showing its strategies of resilience and co-construction of ways to cope with the emergency, as explained by Ms Kuisch- Laroche.

Copan, a national pride

Vice-Chancellor Cerrato recalled that due to the pandemic, the vast majority of exceptional sites, such as the Mayan Site of Copan, closed their doors to visitors during the confinement. This situation, she said, "in many cases poses significant risks to preservation and also creates a distance between the properties, cultural sites and the communities that protect them."

However, she stressed that in these difficult times, society has turned its eyes to culture because it has found its foundations and, therefore, the role that cultural sites and cultural professionals play will be of particular importance in the recovery phase, once the health emergency is overcome.

"Our ancestors made an important contribution to the benefit of humanity in the field of science, art and culture. If today's Hondurans are capable of
following this example of the great Mayan builders, sages and creators, we? also have the capacity to build a great country, a great Honduras," Cerrato said.

The inauguration of the virtual celebration will feature high-level representation from the Honduran authorities, UNESCO and the Regional World Heritage Institute of Zacatecas (Mexico) and the Mundo Maya Organization.