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Siberian Rock Art
African Pictograms
Exhibition
Galicia's Rocks

 

 

Unfortunately, we have noted that all of the above causes of decay and destruction of Rock Art can be
found in Namibia as well as in other parts of the world: uncontrolled tourism, insufficient number of guides, unsatisfactory training of personnel in
surveillance and information tasks, licensing of economic activities for the exploitation of land resources in sites which are of prime archaeological
and environmental importance, such as the granite quarrying activity in the Spitzkuppe area, only very recently prohibited by correct and far-sighted
decisions on the part of the Government authorities in Namibia, who have heeded the recommendations given them by SARARA, IFRAO and UNESCO.

This is a first concrete step towards the safeguard and the conservation of the heritage represented by Rock Art sites, globally intended, comprising, that is, all the archaeological deposits in and around shelters and carved rocks, but much has still to be done towards improving the general administration of
these sites.

We must start off from the assumption that it is our moral and ethical duty to transmit the cultural heritage of the past to future generations, conserving it and enriching it so as to enable our children to understand the basis on which the
civilisation of the Third Millennium is built.

By revealing the past we can make it a focus of education: only through knowledge can we attain the understanding of universal values and therefore the understanding and respect for the different cultures of all times, of all ethnic groups, of the natural inborn dignity of every man, which must be able to transmit and elaborate his culture for each new generation.

Discussing these themes, and in general agreement on this "Rock Art philosophy", the Group of Ten, under
the starry dome of the Namib Desert sky, decided to plan and set up an exhibition for an international
public, that would travel the world with the motto - borrowed from the environmentalist "Save Black Rhino" - "SAVE ROCK ART".

Therefore this exhibition will not deal with scientific aspects such as dating, chronology, meaning, but will offer a general perspective on a human phenomenon of capital importance :
Rock Art embodies the oldest and longest season of human spirituality.
Namibia was chosen as an example to be shown to a public which has little or no information about the existence and value of Rock Art.

We specialists, scholars working in museums, universities, organisations, who have been meeting all over the world, during study missions and conferences, feel it is our duty to spread the philosophy of "knowledge towards conservation".

 

Namibia, Brandeberg - Grosse Dom Schlutch
Rock Art: Ostrich - The calcspar dripping,
that are covering the rock face, posing serious
difficulties for the conservation of the land's
cultural heritage.
Photo: Léo Dubal, Tactygraphic Lab, Berne

 

Namibia, Twyfelfontein
Petroglyph : giraffe
Photo: Daniel Seglie, CeSMAP.

 



Namibia, Twyfelfontein
Rock Art photographed by
Prof. Jan Deregowski, Aberdeen University

 

 

Namibia, Twyfelfontein
"African Centaur" is the name of this outstanding
representation. This rock is a special example of
the symbolic and metacognitive value of Rock Art.
Photo. Daniel Seglie, CeSMAP

 

 

 

I wish to extend a particular word of praise to Shirley-Ann Pager, who did her utmost in guaranteeing the best
results for the mission, and, by providing texts and suggestions, further helped to make this exhibition an
instrument of information and education for all.

Lastly I would like to thank the CeSMAP staff who helped to set up the first stage of this event and
Prof. Peter Katjavivi, Heritage Council of Namibia Director and Vice Chanchellor of Namibia University,
Dr. Petter Johannesen, Consul of Namibia in Italy, Dr. Damir Dijakovich UNESCO.

When the exhibition returns to Italy from the last planned stage in Windhoek in Namibia, it will become
a permanent section in the Rock Art Museum housed in the 14th Century Palazzo del Senato
degli Acaja in Pinerolo, and it will tell us whether our message was acknowledged and accepted.

D.S.
Pinerolo, August 1997
(English translation by Enzo Secondo)

 

The photographs were all taken during our trip through Namibia's North-West; those dealing with conservation problems were nearly all taken by myself, as this was the task assigned to me in the Group of Ten.

I wish to extend a particular word of praise to Shirley-Ann Pager, who did her utmost in guaranteeing the best
results for the mission, and, by providing texts and suggestions, further helped to make this exhibition an
instrument of information and education for all.
Lastly I would like to thank the CeSMAP staff who helped to set up the first stage of this event and
Prof. Peter Katjavivi, Heritage Council of Namibia Director and Vice Chanchellor of Namibia University,
Dr. Petter Johannesen, Consul of Namibia in Italy, Dr. Damir Dijakovich UNESCO.
When the exhibition returns to Italy from the last planned stage in Windhoek in Namibia, it will become
a permanent section in the Rock Art Museum housed in the 14th Century Palazzo del Senato
degli Acaja in Pinerolo, and it will tell us whether our message was acknowledged and accepted.

D.S.
Pinerolo, August 1997
(English translation by Enzo Secondo)

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