About Us

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20th anniversary

The year 2023 marks the twentieth anniversary of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage – twenty years since the Convention was adopted, on 17 October 2003, by the 32nd session of the General Conference of UNESCO. It is the opportunity for UNESCO, States Parties to the Convention and all stakeholders involved in the safeguarding of living heritage to highlight that living heritage belongs to all. Organised under the theme We Are #LivingHeritage, the anniversary is also the occasion to reflect on the role of the 2003 Convention in raising awareness about the diversity and richness of intangible cultural heritage and in fostering international cooperation.

Living heritage is about people, resilience and knowledge passed on from generation to generation. For this reason, the anniversary is also an invitation to governments, NGOs, universities, bearers, practitioners and those who appreciate living heritage to organize activitiesjoin UNESCO’s social media campaign (hashtag #LivingHeritage) and follow anniversary events, online or in person.

We Are
A few words about


Since 1970, CIOFF works for the safeguarding, promotion and diffusion of traditional culture. Through its activities, CIOFF aims for the following main objectives:

  • Promote the intangible heritage, through forms of expression such as dance, music, games, rituals, customs and other arts.
  • Serve the objectives of UNESCO
  • Support the activities of its members and those of non-governmental organizations working in the areas of folklore and cultural heritage
  • Serve the cause of peace and non-violence through the implementation of the above objectives

At present, CIOFF worldwide membership covers 112 countries of the World, with 63 National Sections, 32 Associate Members, 4 Partner Members and 13 Corresponding Members.

It is estimated that over 1 million people, including over 30’000 folklore dance and music groups and folk arts organizations are associated with CIOFF through their CIOFF National Sections Worldwide.


CIOFF® is an Official Partner of UNESCO, accredited to the UNESCO ICH Committee. Created in 1970, the duty of CIOFF® is safeguarding, promotion and diffusion of traditional culture and folklore.

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Ionian University

On June 29, 2021, the UNESCO Directorate of Higher Education approved the award of the UNESCO Chair on Threats to Cultural Heritage and Cultural Heritage-related Activities to the Ionian University, with Professor Stavros Katsios of the Department of Foreign Languages, Translation and Interpretation (DFLTI) and director of the Laboratory of Geocultural Analysis (GeoLab) as chairholder.

The UNESCO-approved Chair is the first in the Ionian Islands, and of particular importance for Corfu as a city inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Chair concerns the study and analysis, the provision of consulting support, the research and the teaching (at undergraduate, postgraduate-doctoral level and lifelong learning) for any kind of threat (such as environmental, economic, criminal, geopolitical, technological, terrorist, etc.). ) for the Cultural Heritage and for any activity related to the Cultural Heritage (such as threats to infrastructure, transport, tourism, etc.).

Implementing body of the action of the Chair is the Laboratory of Geocultural Analysis (GeoLab) of DFLTI, of the School of Humanities of the Ionian University. The Chair is staffed by an international interdisciplinary team of professors and researchers.

What is a UNESCO Chair?

A UNESCO Chair is: ‘a project and a team at a university or a higher education or research institution that partners with UNESCO in order to advance knowledge and practice in an area that is a priority for both the institution and UNESCO. The partnership is formalized by means of an agreement signed between the Director-General of UNESCO and the head of the institution hosting the UNESCO Chair (Rector, President, Vice-Chancellor)’.

A few words about

Sinies Cultural Association​

The committee was founded in 1983, aiming to preserve and continue the cultural heritage of the local area, Sinies. The committee has its own centre and since 2007 has been a member of the C.I.O.F.F.. The committee offers an array of activities aiming at promoting its cultural heritage as well as from other regions of Greece and abroad. This is achieved through the committee’s involvement in various Greek and European festivals. Some of the places that have been visited are: Serres, Lehovo, Athens, Naxos, Tirnavo, Larisa, Xanthi, Lagada-Thessaloniki and Epidauro, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Turkey, Serbia, Portugal and Croatia.

Our committee through participation and determination has received many distinctions. In Bratislava, Slovakia the dancing group was given second place for its presentation of dances, costumes and music. In 2016 in Belgrade, Serbia, our group were the distinguished guests of the Serbian President, in recognition of the celebration of the recession of the Serbian army from Corfu 100 years ago.

In 2018 participated in the international festival in Portugal “Mediterranean the land of 5 senses” organized by CIOFF Portugal, representing Greece.
Also since 1998 it has organized an International Dance Festival with the participation of groups from overseas, Senegal, Armenia, Georgia, Peru, Serbia, Brazil, Russia, Mexico, Taiwan, China, Paraguay and Greece.

In addition, the association has a frequent presence in the media by participating in shows dedicated to the Greek tradition in both local and major T.V channels of the territory (to alati tis gis, Kyriaki sto xorio etc)


The name of our village comes from the Latin word, “signum” meaning, light signal. The inhabitants for a better lookout point of the sea, placed sentries in the highest points of the area called Fano. These sentries would warn the locals of any possible invaders approaching via the Ionian Sea by using “light signals”

Ionian University
Sinies Cultural Association​
About Corfu


The biggest island of Ionian

Corfu is a historic island in north-west Greece, in Ionian Sea. The old town of Corfu is listed as World Heritage Site of  UNESCO, and as a greek island is well-known for the hospitality, the traditional foods, the beautifull sites and beaches and of course is a place with many influences from other cultures that are visible on the buildings, the foods, the history and Corfu’s way of life. 

In 2023 Corfu will be transformed into a center of the Mediterranean, promoting peace through tradition and modernity and showing the singularities and similarities that unite all Mediterranean countries. It will  be a great example for safeguaring and disseminating the Intangible Cultural Heritage and Cultural Diversity.

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