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“What I propose to discuss with you is how cultural heritage can itself be a “trampoline” for social and economic development, in the same way that agriculture, water resources, power supplies or transportation systems have traditionally been perceived. Even in settings of abject poverty, cultural legacies, though once dormant, can become powerful catalysts for change.” — His Highness the Aga Khan, May 15, 2013, UNESCO Conference, Hangzhou, China.

“Culture is what makes us who we are, it gives us strength, and it provides answers to many of the challenges we face today,” said the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, as her organization and China announced earlier this month an international congress on culture, which is now underway in Hangzhou, China.

The congress which began on May 15 for 3 days has brought together some 450 policymakers, leaders from development institutions, representatives of the private sector, civil society, academia, and the…

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