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Brussels, 6 May 2003

Award of the European Union/Europa Nostra Prizes for cultural heritage on 9 May in Brussels

Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission responsible for education and culture, and Otto von der Glabentz, Executive President of the Europa Nostra cultural foundation, will present the European Prizes for cultural heritage on Friday 9 May at 10.15 in the Palais d'Egmont, in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Lorenz. Six first prizes, each worth 10 000 euro, will be awarded to outstanding projects in the fields of architectural heritage, landscapes and collections of works. They will also reward cultural studies and exceptional services to heritage by an individual or group. The Europa Nostra foundation was supported by the "Culture 2000" programme in organising these European Union prizes.

"Preserving, restoring and making known our European cultural heritage is a crucial task because, in an expanded European Union open to dialogue with other continents, culture in general and cultural heritage in particular are effective tools for highlighting both our cultural diversity and our common heritage. I am therefore pleased that the European Union's Culture 2000 programme is supporting the organisation by the Europa Nostra foundation of these Prizes for cultural heritage", said Viviane Reding.

In supporting the organisation by Europa Nostra of these prizes between 2002 and 2004, the European Commission wishes to promote best practices and stimulate exchanges at European level in the heritage field. The support given by "Culture 2000" to Europa Nostra amounts to 150 000 euro for each annual series of prizes. The ceremony on Friday 9 May, Europe Day, relates to projects submitted in 2002. Europa Nostra received 282 projects from 33 countries. The winners were selected by a jury of independent experts.

Projects submitted to the jury included: the restoration of collections (equipment, costumes, etc.) in the theatre of the castle at Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic, the restoration of an 18th-century garden in Ireland and the preservation of a 1930s airport in Denmark.

The press is invited to the award ceremony at the Palais d'Egmont. A press release with the name and description of the six First Prizes will be distributed.

Information on the Europa Nostra foundation and on the competition relating to the European Union's heritage are available on the foundation's website:

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