Europe’s experts in the field of heritage will meet this week at the 2016 European Heritage Heads Forum (EHHF) in Bern to share common goals and discuss priorities in the cultural heritage sector. Organised by the Swiss Federal Office of Culture in collaboration with EHHF and Troika partners, the Forum takes place annually and connects professionals and researchers in the field of cultural heritage from across Europe. This year it will last from 18th to 20th May, when numerous presentations, workshops and plenary sessions will be held to explore heritage-related strategies and projects.
Within this year’s programme, European Heritage Days will be presented as one of the main activities of the Council of Europe’s work in the field of cultural heritage. Now celebrated in 50 European countries, this locally-led initiative has grown into the most widely celebrated cultural event in Europe and as such has a continued support of European Commission and Council of Europe. In 2015, European Heritage Days recorded the largest number of visitors thus far, enabling more people to discover the richness of Europe’s shared heritage which “deserves to be better known by European citizens,” as stated European Commission’s Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe.
With a record number of 30 million estimated visits in 2015 and increased engagement of both visitors and organising institutions across all participating countries, European Heritage Days significantly contribute to achieving this goal. It helps in furthering the efforts in both raising awareness of the heritage around us and encouraging people to participate more actively in its preservation and enhancement.
The presentation of European Heritage Days at this year’s EHHF will be held on the second day of the conference, 29th May. With the EHHF network being so diverse, this is an opportunity for the project to gain visibility among people who share similar goals and gather relevant feedback and ideas for future work. Since its establishment in 2004, the network represents a unique way for members and participants to promote remarkable work on heritage preservation and enhancement, which are shared goals of European Heritage Days as well.
Photo credits: Workshop Session (EHHF annual Meeting 2015). EHHF.