Europa Nostra
#6 - 15 May 2020
Dear Collegues & Friends,
We are delighted to send you the 6th edition of our Europa Nostra Digital Agora newsletter, a week after historic Europe Day celebrations across our continent. On this occasion, marking the 70th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration, Europa Nostra organised an engaging programme of intense online activities throughout the day.
Together with the Europeana Foundation, we have co-hosted the sold-out webinar ‘Cultural Heritage: a powerful catalyst for the future of Europe’ on behalf of the European Heritage Alliance. Around 500 participants from 60 countries from Europe and beyond, representing the wider cultural heritage world, followed an open and lively conversation between high-level heritage decision-makers from the European Institutions, Member States and civil society. The Webinar participants discussed the need for a “European New Deal for Cultural Heritage” as a way to achieve a new Renaissance of the European project. The full recording of the webinar is now available for you to (re)watch.
It was a special honour and pleasure to welcome to the webinar Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth. We are delighted to share with you her forceful and enthusiastic opening speech. In her address, “our” Commissioner whose wide portfolio covers the “Europe of the Hearts” and “Europe of the Talents”, recalled that cultural heritage is Europe’s soul, as it embodies Europe’s history and identity, bridging our past, present and future.
The eminent speakers also discussed the major role that culture and cultural heritage should play in the EU and national plans for the recovery and transformation of Europe's society and economy, and renewed their commitment to support and engage in the pan-European heritage movement during and after this unprecedented crisis.
They were invited to react to and discuss the Europe Day Manifesto ‘Cultural Heritage: a powerful catalyst for the future of Europe’ published on the same day by members of the European Heritage Alliance. The Manifesto puts forward important and concrete ways in which cultural heritage can act as a catalyst for positive change so as to ensure a greener, more equitable, prosperous and cohesive Europe. We now invite you to join the hundreds of individuals and organisations who have already supported our Manifesto (the French version is also available and other translations are under way!). Read, sign & share here.
As highlighted in our Manifesto, the current crisis must be used as an opportunity to promote more innovative and sustainable forms of tourism.This is why we particularly welcome the European Commission Communication on Tourism and Transport in 2020 and beyond presented on 13 May. This EU plan, which provides guidance on how to safely resume travel and reboot Europe's tourism after the pandemic, addresses and encourages the cohesive and inclusive power of cultural heritage to promote local tourism, using technologies and adapting to more sustainable tourism approaches, while ensuring its safeguard.
We are particularly proud this week to support MuseumWeek, the social media worldwide festival for cultural institutions. From 11 to 17 May, the cultural world is highlighting the value of togetherness through 7 dedicated hashtags: #heroesMW, #CultureInQuarantineMW, #togetherMW, #MuseumMomentsMW, #climateMW, #technologyMW and #dreamsMW. Like many of you, we have also actively participated! You can see our posts here.
To end, let us start the weekend by watching again the heartwarming Europe Day online concert “Hope through Music” performed by the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO). This musical performance by 112 Young European musicians playing from their homes in 30 different countries and conducted by Maestro Vasily Petrenko, ended with the "Ode to Joy", the European Anthem, as a contribution to Europa Nostra's "#Ode2Joy Challenge".
We are delighted to continue working with EUYO as partners of the Global Ode to Joy project which will soon be launched by the world-renowned conductor Marin Alsop from USA as a contribution to the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven.
We wish you an inspiring and enriching journey through our Digital Agora and related online platform! Please, share your contributions for inclusion in our next editions with Manon Richard (
On behalf of the Europa Nostra Agora Team,
Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović
Secretary General
Europe’s Cultural Gems - This free open source web app, conceived by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, maps cultural and creative places in European cities. The main purpose is to capture diversity in culture and creativity among European cities. Cultural gems includes data on selected cultural venues from OpenStreetMap, and information provided by European cities, universities, and other public and private organisations. Everybody can contribute! Check the map and find more information here
UNESCO with Google Arts & Culture are curating 40 online exhibits to discover a selection of stunning World Heritage Sites. Delve into these stories of natural landscapes, historic cities, archaeological sites, religious buildings and protected wildlife through fascinating photographs, videos and background information. Here’s our pick of lesser-known heritage sites across Europe: Grimeton Radio Station (Sweden), Canal du Midi (France), Messel Pit Fossil Site (Germany), Risco Caído and the Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria Cultural Landscape (Spain), Plitvice Lakes National Park (Croatia).
Lombardy, Italy - Take a green virtual tour of Lombardy’s stunning landscapes while they are bathed in warm sunshine. inLOMBARDIA, Official Tourism Board of the Lombardy Region, has compiled a list of webpages and social media offering virtual and in-depth information about outstanding green space in the area, including the Villa Carlotta on Lake Como, the Campo dei Fiori Park, the Sacri Monti, and the Via Francigena.
Liveurope’s Digital Tour -To mark this year’s Europe Day, Liveurope, a platform of 16 music venues, has initiated a digital tour to celebrate through music, culture, creative, and boost the new European talent of tomorrow. Handpicked by the bookers of music venues across Europe, these artists embody what makes our European music scene so diverse and unique. So keep an eye on this page and on Liveurope’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts (every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11:00 am) to discover some of the artists that are shaping the future of European music!
Eurovision Song Contest 2020 - The 2020 Grand Final of this historic European competition should have taken place on 16 May in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Although the event was unfortunately cancelled this year, the show will go on! ‘Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light', will air on Saturday 16 May at 21:00 CEST. Public service broadcasters from 46 countries will broadcast the show. In addition to spotlighting the 41 songs of 2020, the unique production will include special performances from popular artists from Eurovision’s past. 2020’s artists will also join together, from their locations across Europe, in a unifying performance of 1997's Eurovision winner Love Shine A Light by Katrina And The Waves. You can also explore Europeana’s Gallery of singers and musicians from the 65 years of the Eurovision Song Contest, as found in the collections of Europe's museums, galleries, libraries and archives.
Happy 250th Birthday to the Royal Opera of the Palace of Versailles - On the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the Versailles Royal Opera on 16 May 2020, join the week-long celebrations organised on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)! Discover this baroque gem through the messages and memories shared by several artists, conductors, and prominent personalities, such as Catherine Pégard, President of the Palace of Versailles and President of the Network of European Royal Residences, a member organisation of Europa Nostra. To read more, the “Connaissance des Arts” magazine is giving free access to its special issue on the Royal Opera until Sunday 17 May 2020.
European Heritage Weeks - The European Historic Houses Association is organising Facebook live visits of Historic Houses across Europe. Tune in the EHHA Facebook page on 16 May at 18:00 CET to virtually discover the Enniscoe House (Ireland), the Malmgård Estate (Finland) and the Castello di Thiene (Italy).
#CetÉtéJeVisiteLaFrance: A hashtag to save heritage - A campaign was launched on social media to support touristic sites in France that are heavily affected by the lockdown measures. Using the hashtag #CetÉtéJeVisiteLaFrance, historic sites can post virtual postcards and prepare visitors for the post-confinement period. This initiative was launched by the Patrimoine 2.0 collective, a group of entrepreneurs and start-ups in the heritage sector, with the support of the Fondation du Patrimoine, the Mission Stéphane Bern, La Demeure Historique, Patrivia and Adopte un Château. See the campaign on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
#OperaTellers - This Instagram storytelling video series features contributions and reflections on an opera piece, with the aim to promote dialogue among cultures, though music. Watch the second episode dedicated to “La Cenerentola” - Rossini's Cinderella - and check their Instagram stories to discover more about the origins of this fairytale.
Global Facebook Video Conference: “Industrial Heritage in the Covid-19 Aftermath” - On 16 May 2020, follow a video conference with 20 industrial heritage experts, from 20 different countries around the world, who will talk about the consequences of Covid19 through industrial heritage lenses, each one for his/her country. The event is run by “Studio Associato Virginia”, an association of professionals working in the field of archival and documentary assets, with a focus on industrial heritage. Discover the speakers and programme, and watch the conference on this Facebook page.
IMPORTANT: Do not forget to join & contribute to our conversation on social media with the hashtag #EuropaNostraAgora on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook! We also invite you to follow the just-launched Twitter account of the European Heritage Alliance!
ILUCIDARE - This EU funded project (Horizon 2020), in which Europa Nostra is a partner, aims to establish an international network promoting heritage as a resource for innovation and in international cooperation through a diversity of collaborative activities, such as capacity building, focus groups and the ILUCIDARE Special Prizes. The consortium has recently uploaded new useful resources studies, reports and documents on topics related to heritage, innovation and international relations. Stay tuned on 28 May for the announcement of the ILUCIDARE Special Prizes shortlisted projects, chosen among the submitted applications to the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards.
Lithuania: Virtual European Capital of Culture Forum 2020:Culture in the time of Corona” - On 20-22 May 2020, the organisers of Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022 are organising the annual forum of the European Capital of Culture online and, together with the Creative Europe Desk in Lithuania, initiate a discussion bringing together European artists, cultural creators, private and public sectors, aimed at exchanging views on cultural innovations and the future. Detailed programme, speakers and broadcast available on this page.
Interpret Europe web conference: “Fostering heritage communities” - The conference, gathering 166 attendees from 36 countries, took place online on 8-11 May and is now reopened for registration for those who could not attend. Download the conference proceedings, and recordings of 63 workshops, presentations, round table talks and inspiring insights into some of the places people come from. All material will be accessible until 31 May.
Lecture: “Why, How and By Whom? The Safeguarding Archaeological Assets of Turkey (SARAT) Project” - Find out more about this 2020 Europa Nostra Awards winner in category Education Training and Awareness-Raising by watching this presentation of its final results. The SARAT project has had a considerable impact on the protection and appreciation of Turkey’s rich, diverse, and at times threatened, archaeological heritage. SARAT carried out four interconnected programmes to strengthen the skills and increase knowledge and awareness of heritage amongst heritage professionals, heritage-related people and the general public. Read more.
Digital Conversation: “Museums in a Covid World: ICOM UK & British Council Celebrate #IMD2020” - ICOM UK, in collaboration with the British Council, organises a programme of digital conversations on Monday 18 May (12:00 – 13:30 BST) to celebrate International Museums Day 2020. The 2020 theme to mark the occasion is Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion. There will be three short panel discussions on Zoom with professionals in the sector exploring various threads of the theme including disability, access and digital technology, framed within the current context of COVID-19. Programme, speakers, and registration here.
“Davit Gareji – Multidisciplinary Study and Development Strategy” International Conference: Proceedings available - In 2018, during the European Year of Cultural Heritage, Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank Institute decided to include the Davit Gareji monastic complex in our List of 7 Most Endangered heritage sites in Europe. The nomination of this site was made by the Georgian Arts and Culture Center (GACC), Europa Nostra’s country representation in Georgia. The aim of the conference, which took place on 19-21 April 2019 in Tbilisi, was to stimulate multidisciplinary studies of the Site, to highlight the threats faced by the complex’s natural and cultural heritage and to enhance a dialogue to develop an action plan and strategies to restore the site. Read the proceedings here, including a foreword by Europa Nostra’s Secretary General.
EUROPE DAY WEBINAR & MANIFESTO “Cultural Heritage: a powerful catalyst for the future of Europe” - On 9 May 2020, on the occasion of Europe Day which this year marked the 70th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration and the launch of the process of European integration, Europa Nostra and the Europeana Foundation co-hosted the sold-out webinar ‘Cultural Heritage: a powerful catalyst for the future of Europe’ on behalf of the European Heritage Alliance. The eminent speakers discussed the major role the cultural heritage sector should play in the unprecedented plans that EU Institutions and Member States are preparing for the recovery and transformation of Europe's society and economy. They were invited to react to and discuss the Europe Day Manifesto ‘Cultural Heritage: a powerful catalyst for the future of Europe’ published on the same day by members of the European Heritage Alliance. Through this Manifesto, the cultural heritage world expresses its readiness to contribute to Europe’s immediate social and economic recovery, as well as to the longer-term advancement of the European project. You can watch the webinar recording here, as well as sign and share the Manifesto here.
European Commission: On 13 May 2020, the European Commission presented its Communication on Tourism and Transport in 2020 and beyond, providing guidance on how to safely resume travel and reboot Europe's tourism after the pandemic. Culture and cultural heritage are addressed in this important Communication, in particular when it comes to promoting local tourism based on the rich diversity of Europe’s culture and nature; using technologies to support and reinvent cultural tourism; and promoting sustainable tourism approaches that valorise Europe’s landscapes and cultural diversity while protecting and restoring Europe’s natural capital. Read the Press Release by the European Commission here and see the Live Press Conference here. Read the full Communication here.
European Parliament warns “Europe risks losing its heart and soul” : As the European Commission works on a new proposal for the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027, Sabine Verheyen, Chair of the Committee on Culture and Education of the European Parliament, calls for doubling the budget of the Creative Europe programme. Due to the health crisis and the related lockdown, Verheyen stresses that many small cultural organisations and operators face ruin and ‘Europe risks losing its heart and soul’. She calls on the EU to invest more on culture (including cultural heritage) and to double the modest budget for Creative Europe to 2.806 billion. Read Press Release here and social media message here.
NEMO: Final report on the impact of COVID-19 on museums in Europe - Museums have experienced unprecedented economic and social consequences in the last few weeks due to the coronavirus. To better understand the status quo and what might come next, NEMO launched a survey to map COVID-19’s impact on the museum sector, to which around 1,000 museums in 48 countries responded. The final report analyses and documents a sector that, although it is experiencing financial setbacks, is agile and able to adapt to the new (digital) normal. It also includes recommendations urging for immediate action, for mid-term considerations and for long-term strategy with regard to:
  1. Economic support for museum operations;
  2. Investment in digital cultural heritage; and
  3. Making museums fit for crises
“No to a return to normal” - Appeal by 200 celebrities from the world of art and science from across the world calling upon leaders – and all of us as citizens – not to 'return to normal' after Covid-19 lockdowns. “The pursuit of consumerism and an obsession with productivity have led us to deny the value of life itself : that of plants, that of animals, and that of a great number of human beings. Pollution, climate change, and the destruction of our remaining natural zones has brought the world to a breaking point.” write actress Juliette Binoche and astrophysicist Aurélien Barrau, who have initiated the opinion piece published in French newspaper Le Monde and a series of other media outlets across the world.
Living Heritage - UNESCO is launching a web platform to share and exchange experiences of living heritage in the context of the pandemic, both in terms of its impact and the diverse ways in which communities turn to their living heritage as a source of resilience and recovery. Some communities can no longer access the cultural and natural spaces and places of memory necessary for expressing their intangible cultural heritage. Many traditional practices are being transformed in the context of the pandemic to support and reinforce public health measures. For example, artists in Peru and China are creating face masks using traditional design and techniques and Amazigh communities in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains share poetic verses related to COVID-19. Discover other stories and share your own here.
EC Call for tenders: European Expert Network on Culture (DG EAC) - This call for tenders has an aim of contributing to the improvement of policy development in the field of culture in Europe through the setting up of an effective network of leading European centres and experts on culture. This network will be called to advise and support the Commission in the analysis of cultural policies, as well as of policies pertaining to the cultural and creative sectors. Deadline: 4 June 2020. More information here.
Italy - The Council of Minister approved measures proposed by Dario Franceschini, Minister for Cultural Heritage and Tourism, to support the sectors of culture and tourism, seriously affected since the beginning of the coronavirus emergency. The “Decreto Legge Rilancio”, worth 5 billion euros (1 billion euros for culture and 4 billion euros for tourism), will support businesses, state museums, cinemas, theatres, artists, as well as the creation of digital platforms to provide access to cultural heritage. Read more.
France - In a videoconference with artists on 6 May 2020, French President Emmanuel Macron announced support measures for artists and called on the culture and creative world to ‘invent a new model’ and help education and youth. The measures include tax exemptions for artists, a temporary fund for the audiovisual sector and an investment of 50 million euros for the National Music Centre (CNM). French Minister of Culture Franck Riester added that a major public procurement programme to support young creators will be launched. Read more.
Spain - The Government approved measures to support the cultural sector to cope with the COVID-19 crises worth 780 million euros in a Royal Decree adopted on 5 May. The package includes notably access to unemployment benefits for artists, grants for the performing arts and audiovisual sectors, as well as reinforced support for the book and fine arts sector. To guarantee the access of SMEs in the cultural sector to liquidity and economic financing, the Ministry of Culture and Sports will inject 20 million euros into CREA SGR, a pan-European financing institution. Read more.
Bulgaria - At a press conference held on 11 May, Minister of Culture Boil Banov has announced the Government's decision to strengthen the independent cultural sector by supporting its needs with nearly 2.5 million euros. Out of the total, 1.4 million euros will be directed to freelance artists and independent cultural organisations through the Ministry of Culture and 1.1 million euros will be allotted through the National Culture Fund. 250,000 euros will be granted to the theatrical, musical, dance visual arts sector with another 400,000 EUR for distribution. 350,000 EUR will support innovative projects performed by one artist and specifically created for the Internet. More information here.
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