Montclair State University hosted a world-renowned architect and a liaison officer to the United Nations, both of whom gave presentations along with a Montclair State professor to community members who attended the Inserra Chair’s event earlier this week.
Collaborating with the Center for Heritage and Archaeological Studies, the Global Education Center and the AMICI Italian Club to organize the event, the Inserra Chair hosted “UNESCO Heritage Sites in Italy: World Records and Local Challenges,” on Thursday, Nov. 12.
This roundtable discussion was aimed at raising awareness of the work done by the foundation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and took place on the 70th anniversary of UNESCO’s founding.
The event had various speakers, a Q&A section and light refreshments for the guests to enjoy. There were three presenters: Ricardo de Guimaraes Pinto, liaison officer of UNESCO Office in New York; Deborah Chatr Aryamontri, Instructional Specialist faculty member at Montclair State; and Gaetano Pesce, renowned Italian architecture and designer.
All three speakers had very different cultural, educational and professional backgrounds and united together through their deep belief in the value of preserving different cultures, art forms and architecture around the world. UNESCO is a specialized agency of the UN that speaks to this belief. According to de Guimaraes Pinto, the goal of this agency is to use education, science, culture, communication and information to build peace in the minds of all people around the world.
UNESCO has significantly impacted the ability of developing countries’ to preserve their specific cultural heritage and raise awareness of these issues to the international community. According to de Guimaraes Pinto, his main role as liaison officer since he started four years ago is “to promote the protection of cultural heritage in conflict situations as dealt with by the UN Security Council.”
After the three presentations were completed, a panel of experts, including both de Guimaraes Pinto and Chatr Aryamontri, answered questions from the audience on various topics, from the future of UNESCO to the specific ideology of each of the experts. The goal of the event was to spread knowledge about UNESCO’s mission and raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities offered by Italy’s rich heritage.