April 7, 2017

Asmara – City of Dreams

Asmara – City of Dreams

Architecture Exhibition held in Cape Town, South Africa

Asmara Art Deco Exhibition was recently staged in the city of Cape Town, South Africa. H.E. Saleh Omar Abdu, Eritrean Ambassador of the State of Eritrea to the Republic of South Africa and SADC Countries opened the exhibition. Diplomats, officials of the government of South Africa and Eritreans living in Cape Town attended the official opening.

The Eritrean Embassy in South Africa indicated that the exhibition is being staged under the theme “Asmara: City of Dreams”. It is part of the campaign underway in 16 cities of 9 countries with a view to placing Asmara in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Over 10 years ago this exhibition was opened in Berlin showing in 16 venues in Europe, Israel and Africa.

H.E. Saleh Omar Abdu, gave briefing on Eritrean history during which he pointed out that Eritrea is endowed with yet untapped historical, cultural and natural heritages. He reiterated that Eritrea societal values based on living in harmony and respect to one other is a unique asset. The Ambassador finally said that “Asmara: City of Dreams” is a gem of world inheritance and has an excellent choice of becoming UNESCO’s world heritage site.

Diplomats, Invited Guests, exhibition organizers Peter Herrmann and Corne Schoemann, who described Asmara art deco exhibition as astonishing and impressive.
In 2001 the Eritrean government decided to protect the entire city centre of Asmara as a national monument. Asmara is Africa’s secret modernist city, having survived the troubles of the Second World War, 40 years of Ethiopian occupation, and a thirty-year war of liberation almost unscathed, the city today is home to one of the largest ensembles of modernist architecture anywhere in the world.

Eritrea has applied to have, capital of Eritrea, put on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The goal of the exhibition is to support this application. This exhibition wants to draw international attention to this cultural heritage says Mr. Christophe during the opening briefing. Visitors of the exhibition will sign an appeal that Asmara’s architecture becomes a UNESCO World Heritage site. The list of signers will be submitted to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee before it makes its decision on the application added Dr.Conrad. It will attract culture minded people from all over the world to visit these cities and thereby help them preserve heritage. The exhibition wants to contribute to the debate about evaluation of classical modernism, the globalization of modern architecture, its historic value, and also about effects in terms of urban planning. However, Asmara is the only larger city in the world where a whole variety of architectural movements and their predecessors is assembled in the centre in one ensemble.

Over hundreds visitors signed in support of Asmara Art Deco to be enlisted into UNESCO world heritage, diplomats, friends of Eritrea residing in Cape Town attended the opening ceremony during which they put their signatures in the Asmara World Heritage Appeal document.

By Embassy Media – London 06 April 2017

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