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Cultural heritage : 5 projects to be awarded European prizes

Commission Européenne - IP/06/300   13/03/2006

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IP/06/300

Brussels, 13 March 2006

Cultural heritage : 5 projects to be awarded European prizes

The European Commission and Europa Nostra[1] announced today the five top prizes for the annual European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards. These awards were jointly launched in 2002 by Europa Nostra and the European Commission, in the framework of the Commission’s Culture 2000 programme, to recognize best practices in heritage conservation on a European level. Prizes will be presented to the laureates late June in Madrid, during a ceremony which will be presided by the Queen of Spain.

Commenting on the results announced today, European Commissioner in charge of Culture, Ján Figel’, said : “Investing for the future of our past, i.e. preserving the EU’s heritage for a better understanding by future generations, is one of the goals of the Commission’s action in the cultural area. These five projects illustrate the many facets of Europe’s cultural heritage, ranging from the restoration of buildings and sites, their adaptation to new uses, new building projects in conservation areas, urban and rural landscape rehabilitation, to care for collections, outstanding research and dedicated service to heritage conservation”.

A total of 214 applications and nominations received in various categories were assessed by independent experts and evaluated by the Heritage Awards Juries in recent months. The aims of the awards presented today are three-fold: to promote high standards in conservation practice, to stimulate trans-boundary exchanges of knowledge and skills, and to encourage further exemplary initiatives in the field of cultural heritage.

The five top Prizes, with a monetary award of €10,000 each, will be presented in the following categories:

  • Conservation of Architectural Heritage: to the 16th century Omeriye Ottoman Baths, Nicosia (Cyprus) located in one of the most neglected areas of the walled city. Their restoration and modernisation enabled to retain the traditional use, and has greatly contributed to upgrading the building environment and to preserving and promoting the multicultural character of the city.
  • Conservation of Cultural Landscapes: to the Vía de la Plata, Extremadura (Spain), an initiative carried out by the Ministry of Culture of the Regional Government on a portion of an ancient Roman road, aiming to raise appreciation for heritage and stimulating economic development. The project includes the rehabilitation of thirty-two characteristic monuments to provide various tourism or recreational facilities.
  • Conservation of Works of Art: to the Edward Chambré Hardman Photographic Collection, Liverpool (United Kingdom). The entire lifetime output - in excess of 142,000 images - of an internationally renowned portrait photographer are in the process of being catalogued, digitised, conserved and have been made accessible to view in his former house and studio, offering a unique insight into Liverpool and its people during the mid 20th century.
  • Outstanding Studies: to Dr Anna Sulimowska-Ociepka and the Technical University of Silesia for her PhD thesis on the Old Workers’ Estates in Upper Silesia (Poland) built by the coal industry in the 19th and early 20th centuries, which defines a typology, establishes their significance and proposes a much needed strategy for their revitalisation.
  • Dedicated Service to Heritage Conservation: to the Maisons Paysannes de France, a non-profit, non-governmental organisation founded in 1965 with a membership of 10,000, which strives to disseminate and preserve skills and know-how in the restoration of built rural heritage through a panoply of programmes.

In addition to the five top Prizes, nine Medals and seventeen Diplomas were awarded (details on the web site of Europa Nostra).

The Awards will be presented to the laureates at the annual European Heritage Awards Ceremony, to be held in June at the Palacio Real de El Pardo in Madrid, the participation of Europa Nostra’s President, the Prince Consort of Denmark and Ján Figel’. The ceremony will be presided over by Queen Sofía of Spain.

Websites :
www.europanostra.org/awards_2006.html

http://ec.europa.eu/culture/portal/index_en.htm


[1] Europa Nostra is a platform of over 200 heritage NGOs active throughout Europe. It is dedicated to putting heritage and its benefits a priority for public authorities both at European and national levels.


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