European Heritage Days

Journées européennes du patrimoine
7 Grand Prix and the Public Choice Award Winners Presented at the European Heritage Congress

Among 28 cultural heritage projects that won the 2016 EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards, seven were recognized with Grand Prix and the Public Choice Awards on this year’s European Heritage Congress that took place between 22nd and 27th May in Madrid. On the third night of the congress, all the winners of this prestigious prize were celebrated at Awards Ceremony, when seven most remarkable projects were given special endorsements.

Selected by a team of independent expert juries, these projects received a €10,000 prize as Grand Prix laureates and inspiring initiatives that support the work in the field of cultural heritage. The recognition is intended to further help the development of the projects and promote ideas that can make a positive difference in heritage conservation and enhancement. The winners were chosen in four categories and include the following cultural and historic landmarks:

Category Conservation

- Traditional Watermill in Agios Germanos, Prespes, Greece

- The King's Little Pathway in El Chorro gorge, Malaga, Spain

- Wimpole Hall’s Gothic Tower in Wimpole, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom

Category Research

- Conservation study of the village Gostuša in Pirot district, Serbia

Category Dedicated Service

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

- Mrs. Giulia Maria Crespi, Milan, Italy

Category Education, Training and Awareness-Raising

- ‘Adopt a Monument’, Tampere, Finland

“The quality and diversity of this year's projects highlight the dedication and the excellent skills of the winners and their teams. Once again the winning projects reveal the positive impact that the heritage sector has on enhancing civic responsibility, social cohesion, sustainable economic growth, regional and local development and also in inspiring creativity and innovation,” said Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport.

In addition to the Grand Prix juries, these sites were also supported by 8,000 people from all over Europe who voted online for their favorite landmarks. The Public Choice Award thus illustrates the interest of general public in European cultural heritage and its readiness to actively contribute to its preservation.

In addition to celebrating the 2016 Europa Nostra Awards winners, the event was also a convenient occasion to address the future of cultural heritage matters. Namely, both Plácido Domingo, world-famous opera singer and President of Europa Nostra, and EU Commissioner Navracsics made a reference to the earlier proposal to make 2018 the year of cultural heritage, which is a significant step in expanding the celebration of cultural heritage of Europe. While Mr. Navracsics reminded that this “indicates the importance of heritage and provides an excellent opportunity to enhance awareness of our cultural heritage and its educational potential,” Mr. Domingo emphasized the emergency of this issue:

“At a time when the European Union is confronted with many political, economic and social challenges, this initiative has a very special meaning. Cultural heritage, indeed, connects people across generations and across borders, generates economic growth and fosters social inclusion. This would be an unprecedented opportunity for the EU Institutions, the Member States and Europe's civil society to join forces to ensure that cultural heritage takes its rightful place in all relevant EU policies and actions.”

Full press release available on the official website of Europa Nostra.

Photo credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/europanostra/