Three newly certified cultural routes were awarded certificates at the opening of the 11th Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe Annual Advisory Forum, held in Chania, Crete, Greece.
The existing 45 Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe were joined this year by three new ones, including the Women Writers Route (WWR). The route follows the footsteps of women writers from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, connects 6 countries and so far, includes 14 very diverse women writers. Speaking at the award ceremony, Andreja Rihter, President of the Women Writers Route, pointed out that they were particularly proud of the fact that this was the first Cultural Route of the Council of Europe to be based in Slovenia, as literature is one of the cornerstones of Slovenian culture. “But it is also true that the monument to national poet France Prešeren is erected at the central city square – while women’s role is limited to the symbolic muse behind his back and a historic muse leaning from the window on the opposite side of the square. By founding Women Writers Route we are pushing ladies back in the picture, both historically and symbolically – since the destinies of many of them have been ignored and pushed aside,” she said.
More than 400 participants gathered in Crete: representatives of cultural routes, the member countries of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, the programme’s collaborators and partners, and the European Institute for Cultural Routes, which organises the annual meeting together with the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, in cooperation with local partners. This year’s Forum was organized under the theme “Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe: Safeguarding European Values, Heritage and Dialogue”, and the event was held under honorary patronage of the President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou.
Numerous participants exchanged experiences, good practices, discussed problems, challenges, the future and development directions of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe programme. Representatives of the Cultural Routes and the Enlarged Partial Agreement countries met in special sessions, and B2B meetings were also organised.
In addition to the Women Writers Route, this year the Cultural Route of the Council of Europe certificate was awarded to the Fairy Tales Route and the Historic Cafés Route.