Meeting reports

  Funeral Heritage Report 2012 - 2013  
  presented at the ICD Meeting of FIAT-IFTA  
  Perth, Australia; Friday 15 March 2013  

 

     
 

To preserve the Global Funeral Heritage – tangible and intangible – FIAT-IFTA has established June 2008 in Barcelona at the 10th International Convention the

FIAT-IFTA Funeral Heritage Steering Committee.

Committee members:          

Henry Keizer, Chairman
Dirk Van Vuure Jr., Secretary
Teresa Saavedra, 2nd Vice president FIAT-IFTA
Dirk van Vuure Sr., Secrertary IAFM
Rolf Lichtner
Eduardo Vidal
Fernando Sanchez Tulla
Representative France: 
Muriel Ghys, of the Association of Friends of the French Funeral museum.                                                                                                   

In 2011 FIAT-IFTA has founded the Funeral Heritage Advisory Committee.
This Committee advises, informs, documents and identifies special Funeral Heritage projects.

FIAT-IFTA Funeral Heritage Advisory Committee

Committee members:

Dr. Rolf Lichtner –Chairman, Germany
Prof. Dr. Peter Harbison, Ireland
Mme Muriel Ghys, France
Dr. Sergey Yakushin, Russia
Mr. Jorge Luis Tamayo Gaviria, Colombia
Mr. Xin Bingyong, P.R. of China
Mr. Fernando Sánchez Tulla, Spain
Mr. Francisco Javier Rodríguez Barberán, Spain
Mr. Yoland Tremblay, Canada.

In 2011 FIAT-IFTA has founded IAFM – International Association of Funeral Museums to create a global platform for funeral collections.

Activities undertaken since the previous report presented to the ICD Members at the meeting in Dublin, June 2012

1. Application to acquire the status of NGO at UNESCO Intangible Heritage Convention.

Decision at the 7th session, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, 3 to 7 December 2012.
The Committee,
Having examined Document ITH/12/7.COM/16.a,
Recalling Article 9 of the Convention and Chapter III.2.2 of the Operational Directives,
decides that the following organization satisfies the criteria set out in the Directives and recommends to the UNESCO General Assembly ( Paris, November 2013) to be accredited to provide advisory services to the Committee: 
International Federation of Thanatologists Associations Netherlands NGO-90253.

 

2. The 6th Meeting FIAT-IFTA Funeral Heritage Steering Committee, September 4, 2012 at the Clubhouse of the International Club du Lys, Chantilly, FRANCE

Attending persons:
Mr. Henry Keizer, Chairman of the Committee
Mr. Claus-Dieter Wulf, President FIAT-IFTA
Mr. Dirk van Vuure Sr., representing Mr. Dirk van Vuure Jr., Secretary of the Committee
Mr. Fernando Sánchez Tulla, Member
Mrs. Muriel Ghys, Delegate of “Les Amis du Musée Funéraire” and member of the FIAT-IFTA Funeral Heritage Expert Advisory Committee
Mr. Gerard Knap, Assistant to the Secretary
Absentees:
Mrs. Teresa Saavedra, 2nd Vice president of FIAT-IFTA
Mr. Eduardo Vidal Regard, Member
Mr. Dr. Rolf Lichtner, Member and Chairman of the Funeral heritage Expert Advisory Committee
Special guest:
Mrs. Isabelle Ducreau, representing Reed Expo, organizer of the FUNÉRAIRE

1.  Opening

Mr. Henry Keizer opens the meeting and welcomes FIAT-IFTA President Mr. Claus-Dieter Wulf. He expresses his regret that Mr. Eduardo Vidal and Mr. Rolf Lichtner are unable to attend and explains that Mrs. Teresa Saavedra is representing FIAT-IFTA at the CONACULTA meeting in Mexico City. A special welcome to our guests.

2.  Adoption of the Agenda

The Members adopt the Agenda.

3.  Presentation and approval of the Notes and Conclusions

The Notes and Conclusions of the 5th meeting of the Steering Committee 6 September 2011 in Lamorlaye are approved. Subsequently the Notes and Conclusions of the 1st Meeting of the FIAT-IFTA Funeral Heritage Advisory Committee and of the 1st Meeting of the Members of IAFM – International Association of Funeral Museums held both on 17 November 2011 at the Funéraire Expo in Le Bourget are approved.

4. Update on the FIAT-IFTA application for NGO accreditation with UNESCO

Chairman Mr. Henry Keizer informs that the decision on the status of NGO with UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage will now be taken at the 7th Session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. This Session was planned to be held in Grenada in the last week of November but is transferred to the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, 3 -7 December 2012. All papers required for the application are approved by the UNESCO Committee and FIAT-IFTA – officially registered in the Netherlands - will be actively supported by the Dutch Embassy.
Mr. Atanas Argirov, President of the Bulgarian Funeral Association – ICD member for Bulgaria – will contact the Director General of UNESCO Mrs. Irina Bokova (of Bulgarian nationality) to inform her on the position of FIAT-IFTA.

5.  Defining subjects for study and research by the Members of the FIAT-IFTA Heritage Expert Advisory Committee

One month ago the FIAT-IFTA Secretariat has forwarded to all Members of the Heritage Advisory Committee a request to formulate subjects eligible for study and research. Among the replies the most striking proposal is to start a comprehensive study on the variety of Funeral Music. This subject was already proposed by Mr. Dr. Rolf Lichtner and an article has been published in the Second FIAT-IFTA Funeral Heritage Report 2012 by Prof. Volker Kalish, Düsseldorf. Other subjects (funeral clothing and rituals) of study and the involvement of the Funeral Museums  have been discussed. Agreed is that a Newsletter will be distributed among as many as possible interested persons and institutions to make an inventory of the possibilities. Mr. Claus-Dieter Wulf will put the subject on the Agenda of the next EFFS Meeting in November 2012. Mrs. Muriel Ghys points out the interest of religious music.

6.  Membership I.A.F.M.

Members agree that this will be a long-term project. Possibly the Committee and the Board of IAFM should reconsider the price of Membership. Most institutions and Museums have financial problems. The following measures have been or will be taken:

  1. Development of extensive and detailed information
  2. Emphasizing the exchange possibilities between museums
  3. Incorporation of dedicated website.

7.  Evaluation of the Second edition of the FIAT-IFTA Heritage Report
Members appreciate the lay out and quality of the articles. A mix of event, historic and scientific funeral heritage information. More participation of National members is requested. The general idea must remain to give an interesting tour d´horizon of all cultural funeral heritage aspects and ceremonial activities.

8.  Planning of the edition of the Third FIAT-IFTA Funeral Heritage Report

It is agreed that the next edition will be presented at the 2014 FIAT-IFTA Convention at the BEFA Expo in Düsseldorf, Germany. In addition a discussion is engaged on the situation of the Association of ‘Les Amis du Musée Funéraire’ in Paris. The Committee has the opinion that a Funeral Museum in France should have an international and not a national presentation. Of course the French Funeral branch should support this initiative financially. The possibilities in this matter of the FIAT-IFTA Heritage Steering Committee are limited.
-  Mr. Sanchez Tulla announces the publication of the FIAT-IFTA/ MEMORA Calendar 2013 featuring in three languages: funeral sayings and proverbs.  -  The FIAT-IFTA Heritage presentation at the Funéraire Expo 2013 will be discussed with Mrs. Isabelle Ducreau. Condition: attractive, lively and not a static presentation.

9.  Closing of the Meeting

Chairman Mr. Henry Keizer thanks all attendees of the meeting in particular FIAT-IFTA President Mr. Claus- Dieter Wulf. The next meeting is foreseen to be held next year early September in Chantilly, France.

Note: The IAFM Calendar 2012/2013, an initiative of FIAT-IFTA, sponsored by Mémora International, has been sent to the Members together with THANOS Magazine 69, February 2013.

 

3. 7th Meeting FIAT-IFTA Funeral Heritage Steering Committee,Tuesday, September 10, 2013, 09.30 – 11.30 AM, Clubhouse of the International Club du Lys,  Lamorley, FRANCE

Attending persons:
Mr. Henry Keizer, Chairman of the Committee
Mrs. Teresa Saavedra, 2nd Vice  President FIAT-IFTA
Mr. Dirk van Vuure Sr., representing Mr. Dirk van Vuure Jr., Secretary of the Committee
Mr. Eduardo Vidal Regard, Member Heritage Committee
Mr. Gerard Knap, Assistant to the Secretary
Absentees:
Mr. Dr. Rolf Lichtner, Member and Chairman of the Funeral Heritage Expert Advisory Committee
Mr.  Sanchez Tulla, Member Heritage Committee
Mrs. Muriel Ghys, Member of  Heritage Committee
Special guests:
Mrs. Isabelle Ducreau, representing Reed Expo, organizer of the FUNÉRAIRE
Mr.  Antonio Morais, representing Reed Expo, organizer of the FUNÉRAIRE

1.  Opening
Mr. Henry Keizer opens the meeting. He expresses his regret that Mr. Sanchez Tulla and Mr. Dr. Rolf Lichtner are unable to attend. A special welcome to our special guests.

2.  Adoption of the Agenda

The Members adopt the Agenda. Mr. Vidal asks to insert the item of the annual Calendar on the Agenda.

3.  Presentation and approval of the Notes and Conclusions of the 6th Funeral Heritage Steering Committee meeting, 4 September 2012

The Notes and Conclusions of the 6th meeting of the Steering Committee 4 September 2012 in Lamorlaye are approved. Mr. Knap draws the attention of the attending members to the fact that the Newsletter ( mentioned in item nr. 5) has not been issued. It will be done this year. Mr. Keizer observes that ( item 6) renewed efforts will be made to involve all funeral museums in IAFM and to promote the exchange of knowledge.

4. Report of the FIAT-IFTA Funeral Heritage Initiatives Meeting, 16 March 2013, Perth, Australia during the annual I.C.D. Meeting

Mrs. Saavedra informs that at the I.C.D. meeting Australian and international attendees listened to the interesting presentation of Mrs. Li Hua : Chinese Funeral Culture. At the Initiatives Meeting Mrs. Li Hua presented an introduction on the Shanghai Funeral Humanism Museum owned by the Fu Shou Yuan Group. Also at the Initiatives Meeting Mr. Vidal presented the by Memora, Spain owned archeological collection. The attendance and interest of Australian funeral directors was remarquable.

5.  Update on the FIAT-IFTA NGO accreditation with UNESCO at the 19th session of the General Assembly at UNESCO Headquarters in November 2013
Mrs. Saavedra reports that, accompanied by Mr. Knap, she has met at UNESCO headquarters Mrs. Drobna, Chief NGO relations of UNESCO. Also present Mrs.Wismans , cultural attaché of the Dutch Embassy.
In this meeting Mrs.Wismans has pointed out the importance of the relation between FIAT-IFTA and the Dutch Embassy in Paris as any request of FIAT-IFTA to add a funeral heritage site or tradition on the UNESCO list must pass through the standard procedures of the Dutch government. FIAT-IFTA is registered and established in the Netherlands. Mr.Knap will contact the responsible person at the Dutch Center for Intangible Heritage in Utrecht, Mr. Albert van der Zeijden
In this meeting Mrs. Drobna emphasized the possibilities for NGO’s to familiarize with the UNESCO procedures and to attend annual  NGO trainings and international meetings. The next NGO meeting will be in December 2013 in Baku, Azerbaijan. Other options for UNESCO NGO’s are:
a.         Consultation for specific projects
b.         Patronage
c.         Focus on the cultural identity of communities and on local traditions.
Both Mr. Keizer and Mr. Vidal conclude that the main goal of FIAT-IFTA is to raise awareness and to support our Members to safeguard funeral heritage.

6.  CFA (P.R. of China): new member of FIAT-IFTA Funeral Heritage Steering Committee

All members of the Steering Committee agree that a new Committee member from P.R. of China will be most welcome. Mr. Keizer advises that the President of FIAT-IFTA  Mr. Claus-Dieter  Wulf will send an official invitation letter to the President of CFA Mr. Qi Xuesen and to Vice President of CFA Mr. Wang Jisheng.

7.  Preparations of the publication of the FIAT-IFTA Funeral Heritage Report 2014

Letters asking for papers to be published in the next edition of the FIAT-IFTA Funeral Heritage Report to be presented at the FIAT-IFTA Convention 2014 in Dusseldorf  will be forwarded to our National Members, to Museums and to the Members of the FIAT-IFTA Expert Advisory Committee, chaired by Mr. Dr. Rolf Lichtner. Theme of this publication will be: Funeral Music and Funeral Traditions.
Mr. Vidal announces that Memora intends to publish the FIAT-IFTA Memora Calendar for the year 2014. Also discussed is an earlier, more sophisticated publication of Memora which could be developed by FIAT-IFTA.
A discussion follows on the unique information displayed on this Memora Funeral Heritage edition. Interesting idea is also to bring the Funeral Museums in contact with the organizer of Funeral Exhibitions and to have museum displays on the Exhibition floors. Mr. Saavedra  bring up the idea to make a global inventory in a library system of Funeral Heritage. National Members will be informed at the next ICD meeting.

8.  Organization of the FIAT-IFTA Conference at the FUNERAIRE in November 203, Le Bourget, FR

Chairman Mr. Henry Keizer explains that the I.C.F. ( International Cremation Federation) will have its AGM during the Funeraire Expo. A Conference will be held on the Theme: Funeral Protocols and Funeral Music. Mrs. Saavedra adds that FIAT-IFTA has spoken with CFA Vice President Mr. Wang Jisheng in Hong Kong and that he is most willing to contribute to this Conference. Mr. Knap will contact his office in Shanghai.

9. Date and location of the 8th Funeral Heritage Steering Committee meeting

The next meeting is planned on the first Tuesday, September 2014 during the HYGECO Trophy event.

10. Closing of the meeting;
lunch in the Clubhouse offered by HYGECO International
Members of the FIAT-IFTA Heritage Steering Committee thank HYGECO International for offering the location and for the hospitality. Chairman Mr. Henry Keizer closes the meeting.   
                                                                                                                                                                      
September,  2013.


4. 9th Meeting FIAT-IFTA Funeral Heritage Steering Committee, Thursday, September 17, 2015, 05.00 PM – 06.00 PM, Royal Carlton Hotel, Bologna – Room NETTUNO

Notes and Conclusions
Attending persons:
1st Vice President Teresa Saavedra
CFA Vice President Wang Jisheng
Chinese translator: Ms. Weng and delegation members
Eduardo Vidal Regard
Guest: ICD delegate U.K.: Emerson de Luca
Gerard Knap, Henny Knap-Go
Not attending persons:
Committee Chair Henry Keizer
Dirk van Vuure Sr.
Fernando Sanchez Tulla
Rolf Lichtner
Muriel Ghys

1. Mrs. Saavedra opens the meeting which by exception takes place in Bologna during the Funeral Industry Convention. She welcomes Committee member Mr. Wang and guest Mr. Emerson de Luca.

2. The Agenda is adopted.

3. Report on the FIAT-IFTA NGO accreditation with UNESCO. Mrs. Saavedra thanks the great support by the Chinese delegation present at the Unesco State Party meeting and brings in memory that we received congratulations for several Unesco ambassadors. Mr. Knap attended the NGO Forum meeting in Paris, November 2014. The next NGO Forum meeting will take place in Windhoek, Namibia. Mrs. Saavedra has the intention to attend. All agree that we are still in the learning process as NGO organization. The Chinese CFA delegation had a puzzling experience at a NGO meeting in Beijing, July 2015. The Committee needs to pay special attention to: a) the meaning of the notion: International NGO for all ICD Members; b) the way FIAT-IFTA should operate as member of the Unesco NGO Forum community and c) to our relations with the ambassadors of the Unesco State Parties.

4. Report on the Pilot Projects of the FIAT-IFTA Heritage Questionnaire. The Committee has received Pilot Projects of 13 ICD Members. Regretfully the CFA contribution was not included in the Report. The Committee has carefully selected the following Pilot Projects:
a. SPAIN: revival of the play: Don Juan Tenorio performed live in Spanish monumental cemeteries;
b. AUSTRALIA: Death rituals in “Dreaming”, a custom that lays down the pattern of life and death for the Arboriginal people of Australia;
c. UNITED KINGDOM: the tradition and meaning of the Funeral Cane in the UK;
d. ITALY: the tradition and rituals in Venice of the Gondola serving as aquatic hearse;
e. JAPAN: the rituals of the traditional Funeral procession;
f. TURKEY: Traditions of Mass Dining & Mutual Forgiving;
g. PORTUGAL: Traditions of the ‘On Foot’ Funeral Services;
h. AUSTRIA: Special Funeral Ceremony of the honorary members of the Burgtheater ( Austrian National Theater).

The members of the Committee have no judgment about the selected Pilot Projects neither about the not selected Pilot Projects. The Committee has merely made a selection based on criteria of the Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage Convention. The Committee will approach the selected National Members and propose to continue with further required procedures. Finally the committee members are pleased with the result so far.

5. Membership of I.A.F.M. – International Association of Funeral Museums. The main problem that has to be tackled is the lack of cooperation with the existing Funeral museums.

6. Other business. Mrs Saavedra shows a book edited in Equador by the Junta de Beneficiencia de GUAYAQUIL: Cementerio Patimonial de Guayaquil, a magnificent study of the artistic qualities of this monumental cemetery. This book describes the various historic, cultural, artistic and musical itineraries that can be followed in the cemetery. It thus gives a view on the nation’s history. FIAT-IFTA will contact the director of the cemetery.

Mr. Wang Jisheng assures that CFA will continue to support all efforts of the Committee in connection with the great importance of cultural heritage for the Chinese nation.

Mrs. Saavedra thanks Mr. Eduardo Vidal for the work he has done for the Committee and in particular for providing the annual Funeral Calendar by Memora, Spain. Mr. Emerson De Luca (UK) will proposed to be new Committee member. Mr. Knap will inform Chair Henry Keizer and President Marc Poirier

7. Date and location of the 10th Funeral Heritage Steering Committee meeting.

Will be determined in due time in consultation with Mr. Henry Keizer.




 
     
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