Chair: E. Scherer, Austria
Cultural diversity is the most obvious characteristic of the countries and regions along the river Danube. Within the territories of ten nation-states (Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldavia and Ukrainia) the Working Community of Danube Regions comprises 38 regions of various sizes and of various constitutional nature. The variety is represented in many fields: In religion, in architecture, especially in the field of rural architecture, in folklore, languages and gastronomy. Ethnic groups live scattered like the stones of a mosaic, thrown together in the course of historical events, often enough by warfare. The digital cultural map of the Danube, produced by the Working Community, which highlights objects of cultural heritage, counts within a distance of roughly 25 km on both sides of the river the following number of objects : Germany 349, Austria 728, Slovakia 164, Hungary 692, Croatia 186, Serbia 509, Bulgaria 210, Romania 82, Moldavia 71, Ukrainia 16. It goes without saying, that the condition of many of these objects varies also from perfection to ruinous state. While the competent experts for the classification, renovation and restoration of the cultural heritage are present everwhere, it is the financial abilities of the governments, that is standing in the way of restoration. In some cases the conviction of the opinion leaders is missing to grasp the potential of their cultural heritage for regional development. One of the most important tools for creating a positive stance on government level is most probably provided by information on financial sources. For this reason the conference on cultural heritage and new technologies is incorporating the subject of financing into its agenda.