Launched in 2002, The Europa Nostra Awards Scheme recognizes outstanding achievements in the field of cultural heritage and represents a prestigious prize for heritage-related projects in Europe. Aiming to support cultural heritage conservation and enhancement, the prize is awarded annually across four categories by The European Commission and Europa Nostra.
This year, the committee chose 28 remarkable projects from 16 European countries to promote their value and support their further development. The winners were announced on the 7th of April and include various historic and archaeological gems in Ireland, United Kingdom, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Belgium and the Netherlands.
This year, 187 applications from 36 countries were submitted and the abovementioned projects were chosen based on a number of criteria outlined in Study on the Impact of the EU Prizes for Culture. The categories in which the prizes are awarded each year include:
Europa Nostra Awards in the Conservation category aim to reward outstanding achievements in the cultural heritage conservation, enhancement and adaptation to new uses. The areas for which the Awards are given include architectural heritage, industrial and engineering structures and sites, historic urban environments or townscapes, as well as historic parks and gardens, archaeological sites and various works of art. In 2016, the prizes for this category are given to 12 projects from 8 different countries.
Research and Digitisation
The research category supports outstanding research that leads to tangible effects in the conservation and enhancement of cultural heritage. This year’s winners include 5 projects from 5 different countries.
Individuals and organisations that demonstrated outstanding long-term contributions to cultural heritage conservation, protection and enhancement are recognized in the Dedicated Service category. The 2016 winners come from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy and Norway.
Education, Training and Awareness Raising
Any initiative that could be considered outstanding in the European context and that aims to educate or train on the value and best practices in cultural heritage conservation and enhancement can apply for this prize. There are 8 winning projects from 8 countries for the year 2016.
The full list of winners can be found here. Congratulating the winners, Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport emphasized the value cultural heritage has:
“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.”
Together with Plácido Domingo, the world-renowned opera singer and President of Europa Nostra, Navaracsics will present the awards on the awards ceremony on 24th May 2016 at the historic Zarzuela Theatre in Madrid. The winners will be presenting their projects in the morning prior to the awards ceremony and will also have an opportunity to participate in the European Heritage Congress taking place between 22nd and 27th May in Madrid.
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/europanostra/sets/72157666639229205