BRUSSELS, 25-3-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — The winners of the 2014 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards are unveiled today by the European Commission and Europa Nostra. The 27 laureates, selected from 160 nominated projects across 30 countries, are honoured for achievements in four areas: conservation; research; dedicated service; education, training and awareness-raising. The award ceremony will take place on 5 May at the Burgtheater in Vienna, under the patronage of the President of Austria, Heinz Fischer. Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, and Plácido Domingo, the opera singer and President of Europa Nostra, will jointly present the awards. Six of the winners will be named as Grand Prix laureates, receiving €10 000 each, and one will receive the Public Choice Award,chosen in an online poll conducted by Europa Nostra. As well as celebrating excellence in cultural heritage work, the EU Prize aims to promote high-quality skills and standards in conservation.
“I would like to warmly congratulate this year’s winners and their teams, whose passion and dedication is so inspiring. Europe’s heritage is one of our most precious assets. It builds bridges between the past and present, promotes growth, fosters social inclusion and attracts tourism. But many of these works of art and human ingenuity, which have conveyed beauty through the centuries, are increasingly fragile. Their survival depends on long-term investment in preservation and maintenance. I am delighted that our new Creative Europe programme will continue to support the Prize, as well as many other transnational initiatives, and that cultural heritage will continue to benefit from substantial EU funding from different sources including the regional funds and research,” stated Commissioner Vassiliou.
“This year’s achievements demonstrate that, even in challenging economic circumstances, heritage projects can mobilise talented and passionate people and rally support from public and private sources. Thanks to their skills, commitment and generosity, numerous historic sites have been revitalised and the lives of so many individuals have been embellished and enriched. I hope that our partnership with the European Commission will continue to grow in strength and impact, spreading even wider European excellence in the heritage field,” added Plácido Domingo.
2014 Award Winners (listed alphabetically by country)
Category 1 – Conservation
Category 2 – Research
Category 3 – Dedicated Service
Category 4 – Education, Training and Awareness-Raising
A Europa Nostra Award is also presented to projects from two European countries not taking part in the EU Culture Programme (2007-13):
This year’s winners of the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards join the 360 laureates recognised by the European Commission and Europa Nostra since 2002. Specialist juries made up of independent experts from across Europe assess the nominated projects in four categories: conservation; research; dedicated service; education, training and awareness-raising. All the winners receive a plaque or trophy. The six Grand Prix winners also receive €10 000 each.
The awards have been supported by the EU Culture Programme, which invested almost €40 million in co-financing heritage-related projects between 2007 and 2013. Other EU programmes have also provided support: in the same period, the European Regional Development Fund allocated €6 billion for the protection and preservation of cultural heritage, development of cultural infrastructure and support for cultural services such as vocational training, arts and heritage education. The EU Programmes for Research and Technological Development have provided a further €150 million for cultural heritage since 1998.
The new Creative Europe programme, which has a budget of nearly €1.5 billion over the next seven years (9% more than previous levels), will continue to support transnational cooperation projects in the heritage field.
As well as its intrinsic value, cultural heritage brings a significant contribution to job creation and growth. Spending on conservation of cultural heritage by public and private bodies is worth an estimated €5 billion a year. Figures published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show that 40% of worldwide tourism has a cultural dimension. Cultural heritage is also a key resource for sustainable development and social cohesion.
Europa Nostra – the Voice of Cultural Heritage in Europe – is a growing citizens’ movement for the safeguarding of Europe’s cultural and natural heritage. With its vast pan-European network of members (organisations and individuals), associates and partners, Europa Nostra is a highly influential lobby for cultural heritage. It also campaigns to save Europe’s endangered monuments, sites and landscapes. In 2013, Europa Nostra celebrated its 50th anniversary.
The 2014 award ceremony in Vienna is part of Europa Nostra’s annual European Heritage Congress, which will be held under the patronage of the President of Austria, Heinz Fischer. The European Commission, its Representation in Austria, the Austrian Federal Ministry for the Arts and Culture, Stiftung Fürst Liechtenstein, the Erste Stiftung, and Austrian national public broadcaster ORF are among the partners of the 2014 Congress.
To find out more
European Commission: Culture
Follow Androulla Vassiliou on Twitter @VassiliouEU
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