Greek Ministry of Culture: Fur is not Cultural Heritage
In the light of, a provocative initiative from the Regional Directorate of Primary Education in Kastoria, namely, the introduction of a school program entitled "Fur: Environment and Culture", which was, fortunately, finally cancelled, by the Ministry of Education, we would like to highlight a very important decision from the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports through their Directorate of Modern Cultural Assets and Intangible Cultural Heritage, which has been deliberately silenced by the fur industry.
In 2016, the Hellenic Fur Federation filed an application for the inclusion of fur production in the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The inclusion in the inventory, of this, entirely financially motivated activity, would mean that the fur industry would be promoted, protected and misrepresented as an artform.
The request was rejected unanimously by the Directorate named above because, " this activity, which is based on the killing of animals exclusively for the exploitation of their fur, is not compatible with sustainable development, which is a necessary requirement for a practice to be considered within the scope of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage UNESCO (2003). "
The Directorate also agreed that, as this application, coming as it does from vested interests within the fur industry of the region, has exclusively financial motivations, it is neither sufficient nor compatible with the purposes of the Convention.
Despite this rejection, teachers and MP’s in Kastoria continue to blatantly, and without proper justification, present the fur industry, as a cultural asset and an example of ‘sustainable development’, for the sole purpose of serving the financial interests of a small cabal of businessmen, who are profiting from cruelty towards animals. This attempt to introduce the ‘Fur: Environment and Culture", program into schools, proves the nefarious influence of the fur lobby throughout the region of Kastoria. The ministry of Education must find those responsible for this and these individuals must be held accountable.
Both the Regional Directorate of Primary Education in Kastoria and the MP’s who rushed to defend this school program, must be made to explain, how a business sector with purely economic interests can be allowed to influence educational policy, and to create school programs, that not only inures children to cruelty towards animals, but also, encourages them towards an outdated and anachronistic world view. These barbaric practices, which are increasing condemned throughout the international community, serve only to bring our nation into disrepute.
Despite the fur industry’s claim that they are providing an invaluable economic base for what would otherwise be an impoverished region, the truth is, as is clearly demonstrated by the high unemployment figures for this region, the over reliance on the fur industry as a source of employment, has in reality stifled the development of truly sustainable economic growth in the region.
Finally, we would like to congratulate the Directorate of Modern Cultural Assets and Intangible Cultural Heritage, for working assiduously behind the scenes, for the protection of our true cultural heritage and ethical values, even when these run contrary to the financial interests of the fur cartels and the barbaric practices which they shamelessly promote.
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