European Heritage Days

Journées européennes du patrimoine
European Heritage Days National Coordinators to Celebrate Heritage and Communities during the Plenary Meeting in Madrid

Between 17th and 19th October 2016, Spanish Cultural Heritage Institute / Instituto del Patrimonio Cultural de España (IPCE) in Madrid will bring together European Heritage Days National Coordinators, as well as representatives of the Council of Europe, the European Commission, European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards and the European Heritage Label, for an annual plenary meeting dedicated to Heritage and Communities and the future of Europe’s most valuable cultural heritage festival. The representatives of 45 European countries/regions that celebrated the 32rd edition of European Heritage Days will gather to exchange experiences from this year’s event and set a new vision for 2017-2020.

The meeting will take place at the inspiring setting of the architecturally unique IPCE building, where a series of sessions will be held to cover the most important aspects of the festival.

The meeting programme will open on Monday with a session dedicated to the Heritage Communities theme, which was at the heart of this year’s European Heritage Days. Focusing on the roles of people in heritage management and on the synergy of this year’s common theme with Faro convention, the session will highlight key ideas behind the 2016 events and introduce the objectives for European Heritage Days 2017-2020.

The rest of the meeting programme on Monday will cover the future of European Heritage Days with an aim to encourage discussions on the best ways to further the event’s visibility and empower more citizens to become a part of it. The second day will be dedicated to presenting new features of the European Heritage Days Portal, which has become instrumental to information sharing between local event organisers, national coordinators and European Heritage Days visitors. 

“This year’s Plenary Meeting is the crowning celebration of Heritage and Communities which involved 50 000 events from more than 45 European countries and regions in 2016. The network of national and local organisers and volunteers that has taken ownership of both their everyday heritage and the celebration of the Days creates a unique passionate community that demands and demonstrates excellence on all levels, respond to societal challenges, explore the value of heritage and fosters authentic relationship between people and places.

I would like to use this opportunity to thank them all for their extraordinary efforts in promoting and preserving Europe’s most valuable heritage sites for the benefits of all nations.  I would also like to express our gratitude to IPCE, which has invested a great deal of time and effort to provided us with an opportunity to meet and collaborate on furthering the heritage awareness among European citizens, but also to uncover some of Madrid’s cultural treasures,” says Jelena Močević, European Heritage Days Programme Manager, Council of Europe.

The institute will organize a full-day visit to the Lozoya Valley, whose unique landscape, local traditions and heritage communities involved around the 15th century Monastery of Santa María de El Paular  represent a great example of both a unique opportunity to explore heritage, as well as the challenge of incorporating heritage resources into everyday community life.

Designed to inspire participants for great new ideas, the annual European Heritage Days Plenary Meeting will help develop an even richer programme for 2017 and beyond. The joint efforts of the passionate communities behind the project will work to make the stars on the European Cultural Heritage Map shine even more brightly, while empowering a greater understanding and appreciation of shared European values.

Featured photo: Wikipedia