Brussels, 5 June 2009
Seven winners of the 2009 European Union Heritage Grand Prizes announced
The seven Grand Prize winners of the 2009 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards were announced today. An additional 21 Awards were also granted during the official European Heritage Awards Ceremony in the Teatro Antico in Taormina, Sicily (Italy). The Grand Prizes, each worth €10,000, went to projects in Finland, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.
In his message Mr Ján Figel’, the European Commissioner responsible for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, underlined that the chosen projects and people involved in them " show that heritage is not simply about restoring and conserving things from our past, it is also about actively bringing our common heritage into the present and making it a part of our daily lives. ''
The Grand Prizes were presented by Her Royal Highness The Infanta Doña Pilar de Borbón, President of Europa Nostra, and by a representative of Commissioner Figel'. The Awards highlight exceptional conservation, research and education achievements, as well as dedicated service to heritage conservation.
This year, a total of 138 applications and nominations from 24 countries were received in the various categories and assessed in situ by independent experts. The best of these were selected by one of four Heritage Awards Juries in a series of recent meetings. 28 were short-listed to receive an Award, and from these, seven were selected to receive a Grand Prize. Each of the seven Grand Prize winners received an amount of € 10,000.
The European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards were jointly launched in 2002 by the European Commission and Europa Nostra to celebrate outstanding initiatives within the European cultural heritage sector in categories ranging from the restoration of buildings and their adaptation to new uses, to urban and rural landscape rehabilitation, archaeological site interpretations, and care for art collections. Also awarded are prizes for research, for education and awareness-raising projects related to cultural heritage, and for dedicated service to heritage conservation by individuals or organisations.
The aim of the Awards is to promote high standards and high-quality skills in conservation practice, and to stimulate the trans-border exchanges in the area of heritage. By spreading the 'power of example', the Awards also aim to encourage further efforts and projects related to heritage throughout Europe.
The Awards are financed through the EU Culture Programme, which aims at promoting cross-border mobility of those working in the cultural sector; encouraging the transnational circulation of cultural and artistic output and expertise, and fostering intercultural dialogue . The Programme also funds the European Union Contemporary Architecture Prize, the European Union Prize for Literature and the European Border Breakers Awards (EBBAs) for contemporary music.
For more information on the Award Laureates and the Awards Scheme, please contact:
Elena Bianchi , Heritage Awards, Europa Nostra,
T +31 70 302 40 58, E firstname.lastname@example.org
The seven Grand Prizes and the 21 Awards were as follows:
Category 1 — Conservation:
Category 2 — Research:
Category 3 — Dedicated service:
Category 4 — Education, training and awareness-raising: