On 2nd December, 2015 European Commission announced a list of nine new sites recommended for the European Heritage Label list. This prestigious award aims to encourage people to respect their heritage and is designated by an independent panel set up by the Commission, which selects a number of sites across Europe that celebrate common heritage and symbolize shared historical values.
Among the sites selected this year, Olomouc Archdiocesan Museum in the Czech Republic was chosen as one of the country’s most important testimonies of European cultural heritage. Commenting on the reception of the award, the director Michal Soukup says:
“We perceive the Label as confirmation of the world-class of the Archdiocesan Museum, and also as a support of opportunities of the proper building and exhibitions in it. We are proud of the Label and believe that it will bring new visitors to the Museum. At the same time we perceive it as a big commitment.“
The museum represents a landmark of Moravian European presence and is the first site in the Czech Republic to be designated European Heritage Label. Set in Olomouc Premyslid Castle, Archdiocesan Museum takes care of some private works of art, as well as historical works that belong to the state and to the church. The essential collection counts over 85,000 artifacts and constantly attracts both domestic and international tourists.
This year, the Museum also participated in European Heritage Days, when it allowed free entrance to visitors interested in Moravian history. Between 11th and 12th September, the Museum was opened to local history enthusiasts and researchers interested in Moravian history, heritage and tradition.
A particularly interesting site at this year’s European Heritage Days was the Museum of Art in Olomouc, which attracted more than two thousands of visitors. According to the institution’s website, the visitors were offered many types of different events – from the traditional ones such as guided tours and workshops to “street” tours and a theatrical guided tour, which is to become a permanent part of the museum’s offer.
As outlined in the official 2015 European Heritage Label Panel Report, the European significance of the Archdiocesan Museum is in the fact it “showcases the European dimension of the patronage of the archbishops and Moravian aristocracy.” Both the objects themselves and the ways they are managed represent “an important testimony of the importance and care for cultural heritage in this part of Europe.”
Along with the other shortlisted sites, Archdiocesan Museum is to be officially designated as a European Heritage Label in February, 2016.