UNESCO management body΄s Monitoring Committee has been inactive for 5 years
CORFU. "We have not officially received the document from the Ministry of Culture," says the Mayor.
The Ministry of Culture has appointed its representatives that will participate in the Monitoring Committee of the amended memorandum of cooperation for the management of Corfu Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The steps for the body to become active again are slowly being completed, following the decision of the Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni to appoint the five full and five alternate members of the UNESCO monument's management body.
The Ministry of Culture representatives
According to the ministerial decision, the following are appointed as representatives of the Ministry of Culture: the Director of the Directorate of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Antiquities Julia Papageorgiou with Sofia Stavrianopoulou as Deputy Director, the Director of the Directorate for the Restoration of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Monuments Themistocles Vlachoulis with Stavroula Hilda Gounali as the Deputy Director, the Director of the Directorate of Protection and Restoration of Modern and Contemporary Monuments Ioanna Karani with Evanthia Alverti as Deputy Director, the Director of the Corfu Antiquities Inspectorate Diamanto Rigakou with Angeliki Roditi as Deputy Director and the Director of the Service of Modern Monuments and Technical Works of Epirus, North Ionian and West Macedonia Vassilios Kaskanis with Maria Kaxira as Deputy Director.
According to a statement by Mayor Meropi Ydraiou, who is the Committee's President, the procedures both on the part of the Municipality and the Ionian Islands Region had been completed and what was left was the necessary actions by the Ministry of Culture for the appointment of members who would participate. "In a recent visit I had to the Ministry of Culture, I was informed that the issue would be settled very soon. Immediately after, the body will be constituted and start operating. It is something that we are also looking forward to," Mrs. Ydraiou had told Enimerosi on 12 November.
11 days ago
However, the ministerial decision that was expected had already been issued 11 days ago and specifically on 1 November with the Central Corfu Μunicipality appearing in the distribution table of the decision as the recipient for actions.
Enimerosi spoke again with Mrs. Ydraiou, where the latter said that she was later informed of this development and that the Municipality is waiting for the Ministry of Culture's official decision. "We have not received the document officially yet. When we see the members, the body will be convened for the first meeting. We have already formally asked all the participating bodies to appoint their members to the Committee," said Mrs. Ydraiou.
What is surprising, however, is how the President of the Committee was not aware of something that is eagerly awaited and that will make the body that has the overall responsibility, supervision and control of Corfu Old Town management plan's implementation to finally start operating.
The Committee had last met in 2017 under Mayor Kostas Nikolouzos. In the time that followed, the Committee's term expired and the time-consuming procedures required for it to be reconstituted, combined with the 2019 elections and the pandemic, made the body, which has not met in years, inactive.
"If the Committee was operating, various actions would be evaluated and monitored through it and corrections would be made where necessary. The most important thing is that the body is based in Corfu and it is the only body that involves local bodies and is chaired by the Mayor herself," the President of Corfu Technical Chamber Yiannis Metallinos told Enimerosi.
It is worth clarifying, however, that several of the issues raised by the Old Town management plan are dealt with according to their nature and subject matter by the responsible body that participates in the Monitoring Committee, as the latter mainly has a coordinating role for the actions to be implemented.