Walls event to focus on culture and heritage

Walled towns from across Europe will be in Derry this week to take part in a four day symposium on the economic and cultural value of heritage.

The symposium - which takes place between Wednesday and Saturday - is organised by the Holywell Trust’s City Walls Heritage Project and Derry City Council.

In all, 28 walled towns, all members of European Walled Towns (EWT), will be in the city for the event.

EWT is an association which promotes friendship and professional co-operation amongst walled towns.

It was last in Derry in August 1993 when its visit helped accelerate the reopening of the walks around the top of the City Walls which had been closed for security reasons.

In a packed programme, the delegates will be addressed by tourism and heritage ministers from north and south of the border as well as taking part in practical workshops looking at how the Walled City connects with the rest of the historic city core.

Also on the agenda is an examination of Raphoe in County Donegal as a heritage town and how well the Causeway Coastal Trail connects Northern Ireland’s key heritage sites, namely the Walled City, Dunluce, Giant’s Causeway and Carrickfergus.

The 80 delegates are keen to network with the aim of identifying practical trans-national heritage projects which will attract cultural and economic investment.

Malta’s Joseph Spiteri, President, European Walled Towns, said: “I look forward to the coming four days of our meeting in Derry to be a fruitful meeting which will benefit all the member towns and cities of the European Walled Towns and their citizens.”

Organisers are keen for as many community organisations, heritage organisations, professional groups and student groups to take part in the event.

Registration fee for community groups and NGOs is £10 (£5 concessions) per day. Businesses and government bodies can attend at special days rates of £25.

Any group wishing to take part must pre-register by close of business today (Tuesday). Contact Marie or David on Tel: +44 (0) 28 71261941.

For further details, go to www.walls400.com/symposium