15 April 2020
UNESCO is launching initiatives to support cultural industries and cultural heritage as billions of people around the world turn to culture for comfort and to overcome social isolation during the COVID-19 sanitary crisis, which is hitting the culture sector hard.
UNESCO launched a global social media campaign, #ShareOurHeritage to promote access to culture and education around cultural heritage during this time of mass confinement.
The closure of heritage sites, museums, theatres and cinemas and other cultural institutions is jeopardizing funding for artists and creative industries, and for the conservation of extraordinary places and the livelihoods of local communities and cultural professionals. COVID-19 has put many intangible cultural heritage practices, including rituals and ceremonies, on hold, impacting communities everywhere. It has also cost many jobs and across the globe, artists, most of whom rely on ancillary activities to supplement income from their art, are now unable to make ends meet.
“Now, more than ever, people need culture,” said Ernesto Ottone R., Assistant UNESCO Director-General for Culture. “Culture makes us resilient. It gives us hope. It reminds us that we are not alone. That is why UNESCO is doing all it can to support culture, to safeguard our heritage and empower artists and creators, now and after this crisis has passed.”
More information on UNESCO’s response to COVID-19 in the field of culture can be found here.