UNESCO continues its cooperation with NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’

The ‘River of Tolerance’ Art Festival, held under the auspices of the world organisation, will receive a video greeting

Text: Magdalena Gigova

In a special letter to the ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ National Endowment Fund, UNESCO expresses its wish to continue the successful cooperation with our donative organisation.


The close relations between the two institutions were officially strengthened by a contract in 2015, and in 2020, the patronage of the ‘River of Tolerance’ International Youth Art Festival, traditionally held at the Sarafs’ House in Samokov, was reaffirmed. The decision of the UNESCO Director General, Ms Audrey Azoulay, was communicated to us by her Assistant for Priority Africa and External Relations, Mr Firmin Edouard Matoko. He praised the role of the festival in intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding, and wished the event success.


The correspondence between the world and the Bulgarian organisations was enriched with yet another letter. Slava Ivanova, Executive Director of NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ recently received a message from Mr Ernesto Ottone, Assistant Director-General of UNESCO, responsible for the culture sector. He kindly informed that he had instructed Mr Toussaint Tiendrebeogo, Secretary of the 2005 Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, to prepare a video address to the ‘River of Tolerance’ International Youth Art Festival.


The event is being organised for the fourth consecutive time, but has never before been held online.


That is why UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General thanked NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ for overcoming the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly, the video address will discuss the issues of culture during the crisis caused by coronavirus and ways for the creative sector to overcome it.


‘In these difficult times, it is more important than ever to support young artists and to promote the significance of the arts for general well-being and personal growth,’ wrote Mr Ottone.


He added that 2021 has been declared by the UN as the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development.


‘I have no doubt that the festival will make a significant contribution to its goals by explicitly emphasising the huge role of the visual arts not only to nurture appreciation of diversity and freedom of expression, but also in promoting the dynamics of creative processes.’


At the end of his letter, Mr Ottone wished all success to the ‘River of Tolerance’.

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