One of the key events of the Forum – the opening of the memorial sign dedicated to the World Heritage Site “Historic Center of St. Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments” – was held today at the Peter and Paul Fortress. The event was timed to the 70th anniversary of UNESCO as well as the 25th anniversary of the inclusion of the historic center of St. Petersburg in the organization’s World Cultural Heritage List.
Georgy Poltavchenko, Governor of the city, Vyacheslav Makarov, Head of Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg, Alexander Drozdenko, Governor of the Leningrad region, and Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General, took part in the event.
“This memorial sign will remind both our contemporaries and descendants that St. Petersburg is the historical and cultural heritage of the whole mankind”, said Georgy Poltavchenko in his greeting speech.
He drew attention to the fact that it has been 25 years since UNESCO took the responsibility for the protection of the historic center of St. Petersburg and groups of monuments related to it. Those weren’t just separate ensembles, but whole areas of historical architecture, suburban palaces, parks and homesteads.
“St. Petersburg is famous in the whole world for its unique architectural ensembles and magnificent suburban areas”, said Vyacheslav Makarov. “Millions of tourists come to our city to enjoy the beauty of the Northern capital of Russia. Our common goal is to protect this cultural and historical heritage and transfer the love and respect for the creations of our ancestors to the future generations. The memorial erected in the heart of St. Petersburg – on the Zayachiy Island – will be the reminder that our city is the place everybody in the world is entitled to”.
Irina Bokova noted that UNESCO and Russia have close links as they work together for the good of the Russian people as well as the whole world. The Director-General also reminded that St. Petersburg became the motherland of the first Academy of Arts and Sciences and welcomed the first scientific discoveries into the world.