Religious Items a Key Part of World's Culture, Says Holy See

PARIS, APRIL 28, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See hopes that the international Convention on the Protection of the Diversity of Cultural Contents and Artistic Expressions at least mentions the importance of religious items.

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In a formal request presented Wednesday, the Holy See’s permanent observer to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Monsignor Francesco Follo, asked that the convention, which is in the planning stage, mentions in its preamble the importance of cultural assets of religious interest.

He presented the request to the Plenary Assembly of the UNESCO’s Executive Council, held in the French capital.

According to the prelate, the international community must recognize cultural assets of religious interest as being an integral part of the cultural and artistic heritage of the entire world, as it is a question that affects “the objective aspects of cultural diversity.”

“It must be said that the convention does not take these types of assets or their particular character into account,” said Monsignor Follo.

Thus, he appealed for greater consideration to be given “to the religious aspect, which is not a simple appendage in people’s lives, but is part of their legitimate aspirations.”

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