UNESCO Heritage Area in Brazil Hosts Cave Art Congress for 40 Countries

Painting in cave at Serra da Capivara National Park
Professionals and lovers of archaleogy from almost 40 countries should arrive in São Raimundo Nonato, in the northeastern Brazilian state of PiauÀ­ next week. This is the number of nationalities to be represented at the Global Rock Art – the International Cave Art Congress (Congresso Internacional de Arte Rupestre).

The event to be held between June 29 and July 3 should take place at Serra da Capivara National Park, an area declared UNESCO World Heritage, .

The region, according to researchers and archaeologists, has the greatest concentration of rock painting in the world. The park is located in the southeast of the state of Piauí­, covering parts of the cities of São Raimundo Nonato, João Costa, Brejo do Piauí­ and Coronel José Dias.

The park has a great concentration of archaeological sites, most with rock paintings, in which very ancient signs of human presence may be identified (dating back 100.000 years). Currently, 912 archaeological sites have been identified, among 657 with rock painting.

The expectation is for the city to receive over 1,200 people among researchers, historians, scientists, archaeologists and students prepared to learn about and discuss this expression of the presence of man in the Americas.

"Undoubtedly, it is an event that only strengthens Piauí­ and its people. Our intention is to operate with respect to the environment, to invest in research and also to generate income, to contribute to sustainable development of the region," pointed out the president of the Deliberative Council for the State at the Sebrae, Ulysses Gonçalves Nunes de Moraes.

Promotion of the congress has changed the routine of residents and tradesmen in the region. "We are promoting a series of consultancies and training at hotels, inns, restaurants, snack bars and services like taxis so that the enterprises in the region may receive the visitors as best as possible," explained the Sebrae superintendent for the state, Delano Rodrigues Rocha.

As the hotel network in São Raimundo Nonato is still too small to supply all the tourists in the city, the Sebrae and Fumdham (Museum Foundation of the American Man) put in practice the concept of bed and breakfast housing, in which the homes of residents are made into inns. The idea is used in several events, with satisfactory results in the generation of income.

"Around 120 houses have been selected. The reservations are done by Fumdham, and the training of the residents was done by the Sebrae, which is granting all the support for the owners to be prepared to receive those participating in the congress and other visitors of the event," explained the manager of project "Development of Tourism in Serra da Capivara", Mônica Negreiros.

According to the manager, the owners of residential inns did much training and consultancy, always focusing on development of tourist activity in the region.

Global Rock Art is promoted by the International Federation of Rock Art Federations, the Brazilian Association of Rock Art and Fumdham, with the support of the Federal Government, the Government of the State of Piauí­, the Ministry of Tourism, Sebrae, Serra da Capivara National Park, Vale do São Francisco Federal University, the Federal University of Piauí­, CNPQ, Petrobras, the Ministry of Culture, the Institute for National Artistic and Historical Heritage (Iphan) and the Brazilian Environment and Renewable Natural Resource Institute (Ibama).

Sebrae

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