Understanding pre-industrial structures in rural and mining landscapes
3–5 NOVEMBER 2005
Malta was represented by:
Revd Dr Joseph Bezzina, Chairperson, Mgarr ix-Xini Regional Park Action Committee
Dr Monica Vella, Mayor, Xewkija Local Council
On behalf of the
Mgarr ix-Xini Regional Park Action Committee
The main theme of this Naples meeting was Exploitation and preservation of Landscape: from Roman Law to the European and International Regulations
The meeting was held at the:
Università degli Studi di Napoli-Facoltà di Giurisprudenza
Consorzio Interuniversitario Gérard Boulvert
Via Porta di Massa, 32. 80134 Napoli (Italy)
Thursday, 3 November
The gathering began with a management committee meeting at 5.30 in the evening. The meeting discussed, among other things, the report of the previous third meeting held in Odense University, Denmark, and the conclusions arrived at.
Friday, 4 November
This day was reserved for a plenary session organised by COST A27 in conjunction with the Dipartimento di Diritto romano e Storia delle scienza romanistica of Naples University. The seminar was directly related to the meeting’s theme: Sfruttamento, tutela e Valorizzazione del territorio: dal diritto romano alla regolamentazione europea e internazionale / Exploitation and preservation of Landscape: from Roman Law to the European and International Regulations. A total of sixteen lectures were delivered from 9.00 in the morning and 7.30 in the evening.
The session was opened by Professor Luigi Labruna, Presidente del Consiglio Universitario Nazionale.
§ The first five lectures were related to landscape problems in the Roman World. The speakers discussed various aspects of Roman law and the protection it offered towards the preservation of land and landscape.
§ The next six lectures treated the subject from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age. The speakers showed how the changing conditions and new developments led to significant changes in landscape.
§ The last five lectures discussed European and International Regulations. These regarded the protection of cultural diversity in International Law; Protection by development; the Management of Cultural Heritage; Competences between state and region; and Historic landscapes characteristics and their management.
The session was concluded by Professor Luigi Capogrossi Colognesi of La Sapienza Univiversity, Rome.
Saturday, 5 November
The morning of the third day was reserved for the four Working Groups. Working group 1 and 2 met between 9.00 and 11.30. Working groups 3 and 4 met between 12.00 noon and 14.30 p.m.
Malta, represented by Dr Bezzina and Dr Vella, took part in the second and fourth WG. In WG4, Dr Bezzina, helped by Dr Vella, delivered a power-point presentation on the Mgarr ix-Xini Regional Park. This presentation was specifically related to the archaeological survey and the excavation operation that took place in several areas of Mgarr ix-Xini valley during summer 2005. The initial finds and the importance of the site were demonstrated and explained to the participants. The presentation together with the stunning slides generated quite an interest among those present and in fact we were congratulated for a job well done.
Late in the afternoon, between 15.30 and 18.30, the Management Committee met once again for a concluding session. Mr D. Gronbaek, representative of the COST office and science officer of Action 27, clearly laid out the reasons of this A27, namely:
(1) the exchange of ideas between nations of the European Union for the better understanding of pre-industrial structures in rural and mining landscapes;
(2) the eventual publication the findings related to projects carried out under the auspices of A 27;
(3) the dissemination of such publications within EU structures and in participating countries; a dissemination of research that should make it more possible to apply for specified EU funds in these fields.
The budget of A27, it was stated, will again amount to €80,000 for the year 2006. This budget was being used, almost in its entirety, for the organisation of the COST meetings. As a result, no funds were being left for publications. So as to cut down on costs, Mr Gronbaek suggested that:
(1) each nation should be represented by only one person on the Management Committee; and that:
(2) each working group should not be made up of more than four members; that is sixteen members for all the four working groups.
These suggestions were voted upon. Malta’s vote was in favour for the first suggestion; against for the second. Both suggestions however were approved by the majority.
The chairman of each WG, in conjunction with COST A 27 direction, will choose in a most transparent manner, it was affirmed and promised, the other three members to form part of the WGs.
This means in practice that Malta will have only one representative in the next meeting, if a second member is not chosen for the WGs and if external funds are not provided for such extra participation.
This was followed by a presentation by the Greek representatives on the venue of the next meeting and next international conference. The venue will be the Greek island of Samos. The conference will discuss: Cultural landscapes: economy and cultural developments.
The Management Committee adjourned at six in the evening.