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Monday, 31 May 2010 09:20

The Second Forum of the Amber Route Cities Has Come to an End

Written by  Anna Sado

The second forum of the Amber Route Cities has finished. The meeting this year seemed to be of smaller rank than before, even though there were twice as many participants. Over 160 participants from Poland and other countries signed up for the forum, 120 people were accredited.

The forum this year was planned as an international event, unfortunately the expected representatives from Lithuania, Germany (the mayors of Kiel, Frankfurt and Stuttgart had accepted the invitations) and the Kaliningrad Region did not turn up. Representatives of a few towns in southern Poland didn't manage to come, either, for they were struggling with the flood. The international rank of the event was emphasised by the presence of a large and important group of representatives from Ukraine – good cooperation with the Rivne Region, where amber is mined, is very important for the development of Polish amber industry.

Compared to last year's edition of the forum, which had gathered 60 representatives of local authorities and 40 guests, the forum this year seemed to have a lower rank, even if the number of participants was higher. Nevertheless, the initiative of annual meetings of the representatives of the towns situated on the Amber Route is very popular, mainly due to the opportunity for the participants to exchange their experiences – this very aspect of the forum seems to be the most valued by the participants. For them, this is the way to find out about the initiatives taken by particular cities, to share their experience with others and together take actions aiming to promote cities using amber.

Let us learn from the best

Kalisz is definitely a leader in the field of promoting cities using amber. The city was able to commence an international project "Amber Expedition" thanks to the financial support of the European Union and close cooperation with the surrounding cities. The reconstructed Roman wagon, which had been displayed at the exhibition at the Amber Museum in Gdańsk is one of the elements of the project. Among other elements are: a historical fair "To Get Amber", a cycle of exhibitions "The Magic of Amber", and a film, which is a kind of report of the project realisation and includes some educational elements. Added to that, an amber feast is planned for the second weekend of June (June 11th -13th, 2010) in Kalisz. During the feast a conference under a slogan "Kalisia on the Amber Route", fashion and jewellery shows as well as ancient style parade and gladiator fight shows will be held.

Thanks to the project, realised together with other cities located on the Amber Route (among the others: Martin, Sopron, Ptuji and Adria) Kalisz was able to show how a city can build its image based on the gold of the Baltic. Konin is already making use of the example set by Kalisz. The city of Konin is currently realising "Konin – Setidava 1850", a project created by the Public Project of City Promotion. So far they have managed to mint local denarius, and other activities are scheduled for the future. Amber, or the amber discoveries, to be precise, in the recent archaeological digs estimated to be over 12,000 years old – are going to be used by Grodzisk Mazowiecki. The project that may connect smaller cities or towns is the Greenways route – set along the former trade routes. The aim of the Greenways is to activate places, using amber heritage – currently there are 6 parts of this route in Poland, and they are aimed mostly at the people who don't own their own vehicles.

"Amber attracts people"

The Second Forum of the Amber Route Cities received very good feedback from the participants. The initiative is going to continue for the next few years, but the first two editions have already shown that its most important purpose is integration of activities of the cities taking part in the project. The event could be summed up quoting Andrzej Bojanowski's, Vice-President of the city of Gdańsk, speech welcoming the participants of the forum: "Only through common goals we are able to reach wide range of recipients. The initiative of the Forum proves that amber attracts people. Let us use this fact while fulfilling our common mission, creating new trade and business relationships as well as building our position in the world."

Anna Sado

Anna Sado

Trade journalist specialising in jewellery related topics. Since 2007 has been co-creator of the amber portal amber.com.pl

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