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45th anniversary of Krakow listed by UNESCO


September 7–9 2023


This year marks the 45th anniversary of Krakow’s listing as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. On this occasion, the ICC organised, together with the City of Krakow, an outdoor exhibition “Treasures of Krakow” and released the publication “I see you, Krakow. A notebook of thoughts for the 45th anniversary of Krakow on the «UNESCO World Heritage List»”.


The city of Krakow was listed by the UNESCO as one of the first twelve sites in the world and the only European city. As of now, the list amounts to 1,157 sites. In Krakow, the entire urban complex, including the Wawel Hill, the Old Town, the former Stradom suburb and the royal city of Kazimierz, has been recognised as a World Heritage site. This decision by the UNESCO came as a culmination of the efforts of the Polish conservation community and launched a nationwide campaign for the renewal of Krakow’s monuments, neglected as a result of the policy of communist authorities. Already in the autumn of 1978 the Social Committee for the Renovation of Cracow Historical Monuments (SKOZK) was established.


The programme of events organised to celebrate the anniversary included panel discussions and lectures. On September 7, the exhibition dedicated to SKOZK was officially opened at the Krzysztofory Palace and the Europa Nostra Heritage Hub was inaugurated. There was an official event of the European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award 2023, which this year was awarded to the conservation of the Veit Stoss altar in St. Mary’s Basilica. For September 8 a special session at the Krakow City Council Meeting Room was planned. One of the speakers was Prof. Jacek Purchla, who delivered a paper entitled “The Past of the Future”. On September 9, the Copernican Procession marched through the streets of the Old Town.


As the authors of the publication “I see you, Krakow...” note, “when Krakow became a UNESCO listed city, the list founders were not yet clear what it would be in the future, so listing a city, admittedly historic, but at the same time still vibrant was exceptionally far-sighted and innovative. It heralded our contemporary thinking about heritage as something dynamic – something that requires protection, and at the same time something with which and in which we live; something we are responsible for and also make use of; also something that changes over time.” For years, the ICC has been involved in activities aimed at reflecting on what heritage is, how to protect and interpret it.


More information: about the exhibition, download the publication

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