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SECOND LETTER CONCERNING STATE PURE-BRED ARABIAN STUDS - NEW FACTS
2nd OPEN LETTER
Warsaw, March 31 2016
His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland, Professor Piotr Gliński
His Excellency Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Republic of Poland, Mr Krzysztof Jurgiel
Your Excellency Prime Minister, Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Your Excellency Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development,
In my previous letter to both Ministers of 24 February 2016 I argued that in my opinion an appropriate legal, organizational and financial framework is required for Poland to ensure the highest quality and future development of national pure-bred Arabian horse studs, which are a Polish and global cultural, natural and historical heritage. I also drew attention to the need for a deep reflection concerning the direction and form of the recent changes in the Polish Arabian horse studs.
In particular I addressed a request to the Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Culture and National Heritage, to consider a decision to initiate the procedure of entering the Polish pure-bred Arabian studs in Janów, Michałów and Białka, including the historical building complexes which house them, on the UNESCO List of World Heritage in accordance with the qualification set out in Art. 1 and Art. 2 of the 1972 Convention of World Cultural and Natural Heritage. I believe it is highly likely that cultural and natural assets, which in my opinion the Polish Arabian studs are in the light of the Convention, fulfill an exceptionally wide range of criteria for entry on the UNESCO List of World Heritage, i.e. criteria I, III, IV, V, VI concerning cultural assets and criteria VII and IX concerning natural assets. In accordance with the UNESCO procedure applicable in such cases I also called for drawing up, in line with UNESCO’s guidelines, a Management Plan for the Polish pure-bred Arabian Studs. I also requested you, Messrs Ministers, to consider the grounds for including the rich historical tradition of breeding Arabian horses in Poland in UNESCO’s „Euro-Arabian Dialogue”.
To my previous observations and proposals I would like to add new facts, which in my opinion provide a significant precedent for the changes I propose, i.e. initiating the procedure of entering the state pure-bred Arabian studs and the facilities of the Janów, Michałów and Białka farms on the UNESCO List of World Cultural Heritage.
As a result of recent investigations we established, that since 2010 Falconry is already on the UNESCO list. This is a niche but at the same time a highly prestigious discipline characteristic particularly of the Arab countries. It was found eligible for the list on the basis of the „UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage” adopted in 2003. It emerged that the countries being depositaries of this heritage (so called member states) entered on the UNESCO list are Qatar, United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, that is countries which boast of great achievements in Arabian horse breeding and are equal partners for Polish breeders.
This seems to be a particularly strong and obvious precedent. And in view of the fact that there are no formal or substantive obstacles for considering the breeding of Arabian horses, understood as an intangible tradition, knowledge and experience passed from generation to generation in Poland for over 200 years, to be an Intangible Cultural Heritage of humanity, there seems to be no reason to refrain from initiating the procedure provided for by the Convention for a phenomenon of this type.
It is to be noted that the 2003 Convention concerning intangible cultural assets was meant by the UNESCO General Conference as a supplement for the older „Convention for Safeguarding World Cultural and Natural Heritage” of 1972, to which I referred in my letter of 18 February and above in this letter. Needless to add, Poland is a signatory to both these conventions.
I would also like to emphasize that I am of the opinion that the Polish state Arabian studs and the historical facilities which house them also fulfill the definition of Art. 1 and Art. 2 of the 1972 UNESCO „Convention for Safeguarding World Cultural and Natural Heritage” as well as 7 of the 10 criteria for entry on the UNESCO List on the basis of the provisions of this Convention. It is also to be remembered that for entry on the UNESCO List on the basis of the above Convention it is sufficient to fulfill only 1 criterion (with the exception of criterion VI, which must be applied in conjunction with any other entry criterion).
I am convinced that the activities I propose are consistent with Polish raison d’etat and will contribute to the development and popularization of Polish as well as global breeding of pure-bred Arabian horses. They will also become a source of promotion, prestige and pride for Poland, emphasizing the great value and effectiveness of 200 years of, frequently heroic, breeding effort of generations of breeders, horse lovers and aristocratic sponsors of this unique activity. In this way this exceptional story, which started in Poland early in the 19th century due to the passion and commitment of the nobility of eastern Poland, will be appreciated and admired in a way that corresponds to its rank, and will be promoted worldwide.
I would like to once again appeal to both Ministers to use this moment of concern, both in Poland and abroad, for the fate of unique Polish studs, to save and safeguard this great monument of Polish and world heritage for future generations.
Once again my letter is available in the public domain as an open letter, in the hope that the solutions I propose will meet with interest and support from the community of Arabian horse lovers. And that the resulting dialogue surrounding this contentious issue will assume a more constructive form.
Łukasz Łuniewski (Lucas Lunevsky) chairman of the board
Arabian Horse Culture International Institute email: email@example.com Wspólna street 50A/35 00-514 Warsaw POLAND
We would like to thank the Law Firm DKK for their pro bono legal assistance in writing this letter:
Read also the 1st Open Letter from February 24 2016: