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Consell de Formentera adds voice to European Day of Languages

foto 2020 dia europeu llenguesThe Formentera Department of Language Normalisation reports that, aside from adhering to the European Day of Languages on Saturday 26 September, the department has added its name to a proclamation by the Govern balear favouring diversity of European languages and cultures and efforts to foment and protect them.

“This day is crucial to securing the official status of Catalan in Europe”, said FDCN chief Raquel Guasch. “Keep in mind, in Spain and in the Catalan-speaking lands in particular, there are still milestones of linguistic normalisation that we’ve yet to reach”, she continued. “Catalan still doesn’t benefit from the prestige and presence of its status as an official language. This is about highlighting the importance of language policies within public administrations”, she insisted.

Guasch said preserving the Catalan language was key, and remarked the Consell’s adoption earlier this year of revised nomenclature for towns, roads and public spaces in urban areas on the island was “essential...the visibility of toponyms means our attention to this subject is crucial”.

Promoted by the Balearic divisions of exterior relations and language policies, week-long celebrations around the European Day of Languages were joined by different island councils in the Balearics, the Federation of Local Entities in the Balearic Islands (FELIB), the Palma municipal government and Europe’s Network to Promote Linguistic Diversity.

The keynote act is a 7.00pm lecture tomorrow (Friday) at the Balearic parliament by Antoni Llabrés. The doctor and professor of law at the UIB will speak about the legal aspects of multilingual regions and language rights. The talk will be livecast at diaeuropeullengues.caib.cat.

24 September 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Old La Mola windmill welcomes back visitors

foto 2020 moli vellThe Formentera Department of Patrimony reports that from 12 August La Mola’s historical windmill, El molí Vell de la Mola, is reopening for free public visits on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from 5.00pm to 8.00pm.

One of seven wind-powered flour mills on Formentera and a key component of the island’s ethnological patrimony (the machinery that rendered flour milling possible remains intact within), the building is included in the local catalogue of cultural heritage sites. At the November 2019 Consell de Formentera plenary, members of the assembly voted to initiate proceedings to afford the windmill official protection as a cultural interest site, or BIC.

The monument is property of Fundació Illes Balears. Past partnership agreements with local government meant the foundation was responsible for staffing the site so it could be visited. That is, until difficulties with the particular formula led to consensus around the idea of leasing the site under the proviso that visits be allowed. For the next years, opening hours and visits will be handled directly by the Consell de Formentera.

12 August 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Submissions accepted for Consell’s 2020 research grant, now worth €8,5k

foto antic moll de la savinaThe Formentera heritage office has launched a call for applications for the Consell’s research grant, recently subject to a €2,500 funding increase bringing the value of the award to €8,500 in 2020.

The terms of the call are already available on the BOIB regional gazette website, and interested researchers have until 11 September to submit applications. The initiative is designed to promote scientific research in the arts, humanities or social sciences on Formentera.

“Over the years submissions have taken on scale and importance in step with the grant itself, and a fresh funding impulse had become necessary”, confided department chief Raquel Guasch.

At the close of submissions, a review committee will be formed by several individuals to evaluate projects based on scientific interest, coherency, methodology and each researchers' professional experience.Research must be conducted within 12 months of the announcement of the recipient.

Last year prize money went to a project led by Antoni Ferrer Abárzuza, Doctor of History, Autonomous University of Barcelona, and titled “Remembering the rural farmer: Gathering oral accounts of traditional productive activity on Formentera (dry farming, vineyard production, livestock farming, etc)”.

4 August 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Consell joins SOS Patrimoni push to help pinpoint and protect underwater archaeological heritage

foto 2020 SOS PatrimonioThe Formentera Department of Patrimony reports that Formentera has added its name to an initiative promoting efforts to locate, document and safeguard underwater artefacts of archaeological heritage. Accordingly, informational material has been printed in a bid to spotlight features of such fragile cultural legacy, the pillaging it has long been subject to, and the need for local collaboration in enhancing what we know about these repositories of our shared history and steps to protect them.

Patrimony consellera Raquel Guasch noted that the campaign, known as SOS Patrimoni, was mainly intended for dive centres, fishermen and other groups whose connection to the sea means they are more likely to know where submerged archaeological artefacts lie or to stumble upon them over the course of their work.

“Leave items where you find them”
The patrimony chief emphasised the importance of leaving artefacts where they are found: “For archaeologists, crucial historical insight is lost when objects are taken out of their context. Preservation is moreover rendered extremely difficult when objects are removed from the water”.

Because questions of cultural heritage fall within the remit of local island authorities, individuals who come across underwater archaeological artefacts are asked to contact the Consell de Formentera by calling 971 32 12 75 or by emailing patrimoni@conselldeformentera.cat.

Architects of the current campaign have kept the look and objectives of previous SOS Patrimoni iterations that were overseen by other government institutions and centres such as the Catalonia Centre for Subaquatic Archaeology, the National Museum of Subaquatic Archaeology and the Consell Insular de Mallorca.

The island’s adhesion to the campaign is linked to the plan to prepare a map of undersea archaeological features, a project that was launched in 2015 by the Balearic Institute of Studies in Maritime Archaeology and one which is due to conclude after its most recent initiative.

29 July 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Consell tenders out creation of Formentera’s first catalogue of roads

foto 2020 cataleg de caminsThe Formentera heritage office reports that bidding has opened for the contract to complete a registry of island roads. Local decision makers voted in plenary in January to prioritise preparation of a catalogue covering some three hundred local roads as part of Formentera’s Pla Insular de Gestió del Patrimoni Cultural (Cultural Heritage Management Plan) for 2020 and 2021. The contract is valued at €170,000 (VAT not included) and the selected firm will have three years to produce the catalogue.

Patrimony consellera Raquel Guasch said the call for bids was “an important step in the creation of the first catalogue of island roads—essential to understanding local history”. “The finished product will contain both technical descriptions of local roads and insight into anthropological, cultural and heritage aspects to enhance the strength and value of the catalogue. According to the terms of the invitation to tender, the enterprise must be piloted by a five-person interdisciplinary team including a cultural anthropologist, two historians, a topographer and a legal expert.

Guasch said limited human resources were to blame when an earlier agreement between local government and Obra Cultural Balear failed to take wing in 2012. Information collected at that time about the location, description and historical interest of roads in Porto-salè, La Miranda, Cala Saona and Es Cap de Barbaria will be incorporated into the present undertaking, the consellera said.

In addition to descriptive insight and valuations related to sites’ appeal as monuments of heritage, the document will look at other aspects such as ownership and legal claims. Guasch insisted the endeavour would be both time- and labour-intensive, and impossible for the Consell to undertake with internal resources.

Work will require review of documental archives, creation of a database and web-based viewing programme and drafting of archival reports, not to mention interviewing local residents and building an individualised file index.

6 July 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

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