Press release 2016 eu prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards



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2016 EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards:

28 winners from 16 countries announced

Brussels / The Hague, 7 April 2016 - The European Commission and Europa Nostra today revealed the winners of the 2016 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards, Europe’s highest honour in the heritage field. The 28 laureates from 16 countries have been recognised for their exemplary achievements in conservation, research, dedicated service, and education, training and awareness-raising. Independent expert juries assessed a total of 187 applications, submitted by organisations and individuals from 36 countries across Europe, and selected the winners. Citizens from around the world can now vote online for the Public Choice Award and mobilise support for the award-winning project(s) from their own or another European country.
The projects chosen by the juries are excellent examples of creativity, innovation, sustainable development and social participation in the heritage field throughout Europe. Among the remarkable initiatives awarded in 2016 are: the renovation of a suspended walkway built on the steep sides of a gorge which has opened up an area of phenomenal natural beauty to all visitors, thus attracting a new wave of tourism to the region (Spain); the development of an industrial style of digitisation which resulted in the digitisation of nearly 9 million zoological, botanical and geological specimens, from across Europe and beyond, of tremendous value to researchers everywhere (the Netherlands); the efforts of the employees of a national museum who worked hard and without pay for three years in order to keep the museum active in a difficult political situation, as well as of the activists who assisted them (Bosnia and Herzegovina); and an awareness-raising project which encourages citizens to ‘adopt’ monuments of cultural and historic significance in their communities, to care for them and to put them back into use (Finland). For the first time, an Award has also been presented to an outstanding project from Iceland: the rehabilitation and conversion of the French Hospital in Faskrudsfjordur into a museum. 
I warmly congratulate the winners and their teams for their exceptional work. Thanks to their talent and commitment, numerous European cultural heritage treasures have been safeguarded and revitalised for the benefit of present and future generations. Their projects raise awareness of cultural heritage as a strategic resource for Europe’s society and economy. Cultural heritage unites people, builds bridges between the past, the present and the future. At the same time, it generates economic growth, promotes sustainable development and fosters social participation and inclusion - which is today more vital than ever. That is why we support this Awards scheme and other heritage projects through our Creative Europe programme and will continue to do so,” stated Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport. 
All these award-winning achievements prove that heritage matters to Europe and its citizens. Cultural heritage is a driver for sustainable economic development and a cohesive force for our multicultural societies, as has been widely acknowledged by EU Institutions and is clearly demonstrated in the recent report ‘Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe’. I am delighted that this year’s Awards Ceremony will take place in my native town Madrid, in particular at a location with such a special heritage as the Zarzuela Theatre,” added Plácido Domingo, the renowned opera singer and President of Europa Nostra. 
The winners of the European Heritage Awards 2016 will be celebrated during a high-profile event co-hosted by EU Commissioner Navracsics and Maestro Plácido Domingo on the evening of 24 May at the historic Zarzuela Theatre in Madrid. The European Heritage Awards Ceremony will assemble up to 1,000 people, including heritage professionals, volunteers and supporters from all over Europe as well as top-level representatives from EU institutions, the host country and other Member States. During the ceremony, the seven Grand Prix laureates, each of whom will receive €10,000, and the Public Choice Award winner, chosen from among this year’s winning projects, will be announced.
The winners will also present their remarkable heritage accomplishments during the Excellence Fair on the morning of 24 May at the headquarters of the College of Architects of Madrid and participate in various networking events to be held during the European Heritage Congress in Madrid (22-27 May) organised by Europa Nostra in the framework of its network project 'Mainstreaming Heritage', which has the support of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. 
TRANSLATIONS




CONTACTS
For Europa Nostra

Elena Bianchi +31 70 302 40 58

Joana Pinheiro +31 70 302 40 55

Twitter: @europanostra



For the European Commission

Nathalie Vandystadt +32 2 2967083

Axel Fougner +32 2 2957276



TO FIND OUT MORE
About each winning project:

information and jury’s comments,

high resolution photos and videos
Creative Europe website

Twitter: @europe_creative

Commissioner Navracsics website







2016 Award Winners

(listed alphabetically by country)



Category Conservation

▪ Conversion of De Hoorn brewery into a creative hub, Leuven, BELGIUM

▪ Byzantine Church of St. Peter in Kastania, Mani, GREECE

▪ Traditional Watermill in Agios Germanos, Prespes, GREECE

▪ The French Hospital in Faskrudsfjordur, ICELAND

▪ The Diocletian Baths: charterhouse and open-air pool, Rome, ITALY

▪ Museum Oud Amelisweerd in Bunnik, Utrecht, THE NETHERLANDS

▪ Fort Kijkuit in Kortenhoef, Noord-Holland, THE NETHERLANDS

▪ Cathedral and Diocesan Museum in Santarém, PORTUGAL

▪ The King's Little Pathway in El Chorro gorge, Malaga, SPAIN

▪ Six Churches in Lorca, Murcia, SPAIN

▪ Knockando Woolmill in Aberlour, Moray, UNITED KINGDOM

▪ Wimpole Hall’s Gothic Tower in Wimpole, Cambridgeshire, UNITED KINGDOM
Category Research

▪ Preservation of underwater archaeological sites, European project coordinated in Copenhagen, DENMARK

▪ ‘Granaries of Memory’, Bra, ITALY

▪ Digitisation of the Naturalis Biodiversity Center’s collection in Leiden, THE NETHERLANDS

▪ Conservation study of the village Gostuša in Pirot district, SERBIA

▪ Prehistoric Picture Project. Pitoti: Digital Rock-Art, Cambridge, UNITED KINGDOM


Category Dedicated Service

▪ Employees and Activists of the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo, BiH

▪ Mrs. Giulia Maria Crespi, Milan, ITALY

▪ Friends of the Storfjord, Sunnmøre, NORWAY


Category Education, Training and Awareness-Raising

▪ ‘The Great War through the eyes of a child’, Roeselare, BELGIUM

▪ ‘Star in School’, Karlovac, CROATIA

▪ ‘Adopt a Monument’, Tampere, FINLAND

▪ Preserving and promoting dance heritage, Berlin, GERMANY

▪ ‘The Little Museum of Dublin’, Dublin, IRELAND

▪ Cultural Heritage Education Programme: “Apprendisti Ciceroni”, Milan, ITALY

▪ Sustainable Development of Mourela Plateau, Peneda-Gerês National Park, PORTUGAL



▪ ‘Heritage Schools’, Bristol, UNITED KINGDOM
A Europa Nostra Award is also presented to a remarkable heritage achievement from a European country not taking part in the EU Creative Europe programme.
Category Dedicated Service:

National Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve "Niasvizh", Niasvizh, BELARUS

Background
EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards
The European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards was launched by the European Commission in 2002 and has been run by Europa Nostra since then. It celebrates and promotes best practices related to heritage conservation, research, management, voluntarism, education and communication. In this way, it contributes to a stronger public recognition of cultural heritage as a strategic resource for Europe’s economy and society. The Prize is supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. 
In the past 14 years, organisations and individuals from 39 countries have submitted a total of 2,540 applications for the Awards. Concerning the number of entries by country, Spain is first in the ranking, with 480 projects, followed by the United Kingdom, with 276 applications. Italy occupies third position (239 entries), Germany fourth (190 entries), and France is in fifth place (114 entries). With regard to the categories, Conservation has had the most submissions (1,524). Next comes Education, Training and Awareness-Raising (378), then Research (319), and, finally, Dedicated Service to Heritage (297).
Since 2002, independent expert juries have selected 426 award-winning projects from 34 countries. In line with the number of entries, Spain tops the list with 59 awards received. The United Kingdom is in second place with 58. Italy comes third (33 awards), Germany fourth (28 awards), and Greece fifth (25 awards). Regarding the categories, Conservation has the most winners (256) followed by Dedicated Service to Heritage (63), Education, Training and Awareness-Raising (55), and, lastly, Research (52).
A total of 88 Grand Prix of €10,000 have been presented to outstanding heritage initiatives, selected from among the award-winning projects.
The EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards has further strengthened the capacity of the heritage sector in Europe by highlighting best practices, encouraging the cross-border exchange of knowledge and connecting various stakeholders in wider networks. It has also brought major benefits to the winners, such as greater (inter)national exposure, follow-on funding and increased visitor numbers. In addition, it has raised awareness of our shared heritage amongst the general public while highlighting its intrinsic European character. The Prize is therefore a key tool to promote Europe’s heritage.

Cultural Heritage: a key resource for Europe
Cultural heritage is one of Europe's biggest assets. It generates multiple socio-economic, cultural and environmental benefits, as acknowledged in the EU Council’s Conclusions on ‘Cultural heritage as a strategic resource for Europe’ and in the Commission’s Communication, both adopted in 2014, and in the European Parliament’s Resolution ‘Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe’ implemented in 2015.
The Report ‘Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe’ (CHCFE) provides compelling evidence of the value of heritage and its positive impact on Europe’s economy, culture, and society, as well as the environment. The nearly 300-page CHCFE Report, with its Executive Summary and Strategic Recommendations, was produced by Europa Nostra together with five partners – ENCATC, Heritage Europe, International Cultural Centre (Krakow), Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation (Leuven) and the Heritage Alliance (London).
The 10 key findings of the two-year European project CHCFE presented in the concluding Report are:

1) Cultural heritage is a key component and contributor to the attractiveness of Europe’s regions, cities, towns and rural areas in terms of private sector inward investment, developing cultural creative quarters and attracting talent and independent businesses – thereby enhancing regional competitiveness both within Europe and globally.

2) Cultural heritage provides European countries and regions with a unique identity that creates compelling city narratives providing the basis for effective marketing strategies aimed at developing cultural tourism and attracting investment.

3) Cultural heritage is a significant creator of jobs across Europe, covering a wide range of types of employment and skill levels. The heritage sector is estimated to produce up to 26.7 indirect jobs for each direct one, much more than, for example, the car industry with a quotient of only 6.3. The number of people directly employed within Europe in the heritage sector is estimated at over 300,000 but the added potential of cultural heritage lies in inducing job creation in other sectors, indirectly created jobs amounting to 7.8 million person-years.


4) Cultural heritage is an important source of creativity and innovation, generating new ideas and solutions to problems, and creating innovative services – ranging from digitisation of cultural assets to exploiting cutting-edge virtual reality technologies – with the aim of interpreting historic environments and buildings and making them accessible to citizens and visitors.

5) Cultural heritage has a track record of providing a good return on investment and is a significant generator of tax revenue for public authorities both directly from the economic activities of heritage-related sectors and by extension through heritage-oriented projects leading to further investment.

6) Cultural heritage is a catalyst for sustainable heritage-led regeneration.

7) Cultural heritage is part of the solution to Europe’s climate change challenges, for example through the protection and revitalisation of the huge embedded energy in the historic building stock.

8) Cultural heritage contributes to the quality of life, giving character and ambience to neighbourhoods, towns and regions across Europe and making them popular places to live, work in and visit – attractive to residents, tourists and representatives from creative fields alike.

9) Cultural heritage provides an essential stimulus to education and lifelong learning, including a better understanding of history as well as feelings of civic pride and belonging, and encourages cooperation and personal development.

10) Cultural heritage combines many of the above-mentioned positive impacts to build social capital and helps deliver social cohesion in communities across Europe, providing a framework for participation and engagement as well as fostering integration.

Europa Nostra
Europa Nostra is the pan-European federation of heritage NGO’s which is also supported by a wide network of public bodies, private companies and individuals. Covering 40 countries in Europe, the organisation is the voice of civil society committed to safeguarding and promoting Europe’s cultural and natural heritage. Founded in 1963, it is today recognised as the most representative heritage network in Europe. Plácido Domingo, the world-renowned opera singer and conductor, is the President of the organisation. Europa Nostra campaigns to save Europe's endangered monuments, sites and landscapes, in particular through ‘The 7 Most Endangered’ programme. It celebrates excellence through the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards. It also contributes to the formulation and implementation of European strategies and policies related to heritage, through a structured dialogue with European Institutions and the coordination of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3.

Creative Europe
Creative Europe is the new EU programme to support the cultural and creative sectors, enabling them to increase their contribution to jobs and growth. With a budget of €1.46 billion for 2014-2020, it supports organisations in the fields of heritage, performing arts, fine arts, interdisciplinary arts, publishing, film, TV, music, and video games as well as tens of thousands of artists, cultural and audiovisual professionals. The funding will allow them to operate across Europe, to reach new audiences and to develop the skills required in the digital age.

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