There has been some good news on the UNESCO front. In my post a couple of months ago about the Alchemist's House I told you about the fears some of us have for Cesky Krumlov and the fate of its historic buildings in the face of high levels of unsustainable tourism and inappropriate developments which are killing the heritage goose that lays the golden eggs. I was involved in helping a group of concerned local residents write to UNESCO asking for action to be taken.
And I am glad to report that UNESCO appears to have heeded their appeals. In the report that went to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee meeting in July it was reported that: “In February 2007, the World Heritage Centre received information concerning the inappropriate use of certain buildings of the Historic Centre of Cesky Krumlov from representatives of the local community (non-governmental organizations based in the Historic Centre of Cesky Krumlov)”. And it was agreed that the World Heritage Committee “requests the State Party to provide to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2009, an up-dated report on the progress made ....... on the state of conservation of the property, including guidelines for the use of the monuments within the Historic Centre of Cesky Krumlov.”
The local Cesky Krumlov newspaper has reported that UNESCO is asking for an audit. My Czech friends are delighted, but know this is only the beginning of changing the disastrous policy for managing this wonderful town. As for me, of course I will help further if I can, although it needs to be their initiative. It is said that this old town demands a toll of those that fall in love with her. If by using my skill in community empowerment I pay part of her toll, so be it. It will be interesting to see what else this beautiful but demanding mistress asks of me.