Closed museums, canceled concerts: the corona pandemic has given the global cultural industry a hard blow.
The G20 countries want to arm themselves against this - and against climate change.
Rome - The culture ministers of the G20 countries met in Rome with a comprehensive agenda on cultural protection and the effects of climate change and the corona pandemic.
The politicians of the 20 most important industrialized and emerging countries want to speak by Friday about how cultural heritage and goods can be protected from environmental change and criminal machinations.
Support for the sector that has been hit hard by the corona pandemic will also be an issue.
According to the organizers, it will be the first official G20 culture ministerial meeting.
Last November, the culture ministers met as part of the G20 under the then presidency of Saudi Arabia - albeit digitally via video.
On Thursday evening, the host country Italy, which currently holds the G20 presidency, intends to open the meeting with a ceremony in the famous Colosseum in Rome. In addition to Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini, Prime Minister Mario Draghi is also expected there. For some participants there is also a concert, led by the Italian star conductor Riccardo Muti, in the palace of the President of the Republic.
The Minister of State for International Cultural Policy, Michelle Müntefering, came from Germany. The SPD politician has two programs with her that she wants to present at the meeting. One is a plan to protect cultural assets more quickly in the event of a disaster, as she announced on Thursday. The mechanism should be able to save buildings or objects quickly. The plan provides for experts and technical equipment to be made available - within a few hours.
The German Cultural Council was pleased with Müntefering's project. You support the initiative, said the managing director of the association, Olaf Zimmermann. "We have just had to experience in our own country what fundamental damage floods cause," he said, referring to the most recent severe weather disasters in Germany. A task force is needed worldwide that can quickly bring expertise and technical equipment to places where cultural assets are in danger.
Müntefering's second program revolves around the international networking of scientific institutions that are active in the field of cultural preservation.
Regarding the effects of Corona, she said the pandemic had shown how crucial the cultural and creative sectors are - not only for the economy, but also for the social and psychological well-being of our societies.
Italy also put digitization on the agenda for the meeting in Rome.
In addition, it should also be about the illegal trade in works of art.
In Italy, a special police unit of the Carabinieri belonging to the Ministry of Defense is responsible for this.
In addition to politicians, representatives from organizations such as the UN cultural authority Unesco were also expected.