Europa Nostra
#11 - 19 June 2020
Dear Colleagues & Friends,
We are delighted to send you our weekly Europa Nostra Digital Agora update on the day when EU leaders are digitally meeting to discuss the #NextGenerationEU recovery plan and the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), as recently proposed by the European Commission. As the European Voice of Cultural Heritage, Europa Nostra, together with other members of the European Heritage Alliance and with other representatives of the wider culture and creative sectors in Europe, such as Culture Action Europe, are today united to urge EU Leaders to ensure that our shared culture and cultural heritage - as powerful catalyst of positive change - are duly included in the plans for Europe’s recovery and revival.
We are delighted that the European Parliament is fighting very forcefully in the same direction. In a video message recorded especially for our Agora Sabine Verheyen, MEP, Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Culture and Education, explains why the European Union should make much larger investments in Europe’s culture and creative sectors, including cultural heritage. We are grateful for Ms Verheyen ongoing strong political support, as demonstrated during her participation in our Europe Day Webinar and her endorsement of our European Heritage Alliance Manifesto.
As we are stepping up our efforts across Europe in response to an unprecedented crisis, let us seize the opportunity of the forthcoming European Music Day 2020 celebrations on Sunday 21 June to express our great admiration and solidarity for all musicians who have been particularly affected by the pandemic. We applaud what they have all done for us during the lockdown to keep our morale high through various forms of digital performances. May they get the (financial) support which they deserve for restarting their vital art, as advocated - among others - by Maestro Jordi Savall, our dear friend and laureate of our Helena Vaz da Silva Award , who has recently initiated the creation of the Federation of the European Professional and Independent Historic Music Ensembles (for more info see below). We all hope that these and other musicians will be able to return to their live audiences at various (historic) concert venues across Europe.
As our dear friend and Council member Jorge Chaminé proudly advocates, “music is the European cultural identity par excellence”. Echoing the message of Beethoven, he also reminds us that it is time to “change the tone” and to place our shared cultural heritage and values where they belong: at the very heart of the European project. Jorge Chaminé, who is also the President and Founder of the European Music Centre based in Bougival, France, has also recorded a special video message for our Agora on this special occasion.
Europa Nostra will continue to proudly support the European Music Centre project in Bougival, which includes the restoration of Villa Viardot, and which together with the House of Georges Bizet will occupy - physically and spiritually - the central space within this innovative pluri-disciplinary project. The restoration of Villa Viardot, is made possible thanks to the support of Stéphane Bern and his Mission for endangered heritage together with the Fondation du Patrimoine. We are proud that the restoration works have started on the occasion of our European Cultural Heritage Summit organised in October 2019 in Paris.
In this year when we commemorate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven, let us indeed get inspired by Europe’s extraordinarily rich musical heritage to shape a better and more harmonious future for the present and next generations. Let us listen again to the immortal “Ode to Joy” - the European Anthem since 1972 - composed and written by two visionary cultural founders of Europe: Ludwig van Beethoven and Friedrich Schiller.
While the “Ode to Joy” conveys a strong message of brotherhood, solidarity and tolerance, Beethoven’s “Pastoral Symphony” musically depicts the harmonious unity between mankind and nature. These positive values ought to be used as a source of inspiration at a time when our societies are threatened by many divisive forces, forms of injustice, and natural disasters. For all these reasons, Europa Nostra is a supporter of the Beethoven Pastoral Project and has endorsed, alongside the 300 artists signatories, the Declaration “Stand with Arts and Nature!” launched on 5 June on the occasion of World Environment Day.
Let us also mention our fruitful partnership with the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO), who organised a heartwarming Europe Day online concert “Hope through Music” last 9 May. 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" launched by our President, Maestro Plácido Domingo on the occasion of the European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018. We invite you to watch the creative video reinterpretations (#1, #2 and #3) that have been shared online in the frame of our #Ode2Joy Challenge launched in 2018, and why not, make your own performance at home or close to home on this year’s European Music Day?
For all the above reasons, together with EUYO and a dozen international partners, we are delighted to support the Global Ode to Joy project which will soon be launched by the world-renowned conductor Maestra Marin Alsop from USA as a contribution to the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, which aims to mobilise a global community with messages of solidarity, shared joy, understanding and compassion. The healing and unifying power of music knows no frontier, in Europe and across the Globe.
To end, we hope that all these European initiatives related to our musical heritage will inspire you for this weekend’s celebrations of not only the European Music Day, but also the Summer solstice. There could be no better place to watch it than the famous prehistoric monument of Stonehenge in the United Kingdom. Luckily, you can watch live from wherever you are in the world thanks to the sunrise and sunset live coverage that will bring you the best views. The sunset coverage will be streamed on 20 June at 20:26 GMT and the sunrise coverage on 21 June at 03:53 GMT on the English Heritage Facebook page.
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
European Union Youth Orchestra: A Tribute to Ezio Bosso - The EUYO will dedicate a concert to the memory of Ezio Bosso, an award-winning Italian composer and conductor and a great European, who sadly passed away at the age of 48 on 15 May 2020. Following this tragic loss, Silvia Costa, former chair of European Parliament’s Culture and Education Committee, recalled that “Bosso said that only Beethoven’s Ode to Joy could be the anthem of the European Union, since Beethoven was a fan of a united Europe and because friendship and joy, the two concepts at the beginning of the anthem, are the two words that are and must be the basis of the union of Europeans”. This special concert will take place at the Teatro Comunale Claudio Abbado di Ferrara (Italy) on 24 September 2020. 
Berliner Philharmoniker in the Waldbühne – the most memorable moments - Since 1984, the Berliner Philharmoniker have given open-air concerts at the end of the season in front of up to 20,000 spectators at the famous Waldbühne. Unfortunately, the live performance has to be cancelled this year. Highlights from Waldbühne concerts of the past with commentary from members of the orchestra will be live streamed on 20 and 21 June. The programme includes works by American, French and Russian composers, presented by the great conductors and soloists of our time.
Austria: Grafenegg Festival 2020 - One of Europe's most important orchestra festivals, blending music, nature and architecture into an all-embracing work of art will take place from 14 August to 6 September 2020 under special protective measures with an adapted programme. Concerts are performed on the Wolkenturm, an award-winning open air stage characterised by its imaginative design of concrete, steel and glass.On the occasion of the opening concert on 14 August, Simon Höfele will play Konstantia Gourzi’s new trumpet concert, followed by Beethoven’s triple concert with Rudolf Buchbinder. In a blog post, composer in Residence Konstantía Gourzí tells more about her relationship with Beethoven.
700 Voices, One Choir: Choirs all around the world had to stop physical rehearsals due to the confinement, but they have not stopped their activity. Choirs in Catalonia (Spain), have joined forces to promote their local musical and literary heritage with the project “Un sol cor” for Sant Jordi. They have been invited to perform the piece by the musician Francesc Vila, Oració al Senyor Sant Jordi, with lyrics by Salvador Espriu, one of the most important Catalan poets. The relationship between musical heritage and the poet is well known. This project is an initiative of the General Directorate of Popular Culture and Cultural Associations of the Generalitat de Catalunya in collaboration with the Catalan Federation of Choral Entities and the Choral Movement of Catalonia. Watch the video here.
Europe: Heritage in Action - Europa Nostra’s annual magazine features cultural heritage stories usually from the former host country of the annual European Heritage Summit, with our latest ‘Europe Special’ edition on the occasion of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. Over the years, the magazine has documented many fascinating European heritage stories dedicated to music from across Europe, which we would like to share with you:
Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra, Greece - A magnificent music tour at the archaeological monuments of the city of Thessaloniki offers the city’s State Symphony Orchestra with a video recording released a few days ago. The initiative was launched in celebration of the International Museum Day on 18 May 2020, when members of the Orchestra gathered in many heritage sites around the city and played famous classical works to showcase their support to the thousands of closed museums and archaeological sites that have been most affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra has been very active during the pandemic with activities that include the launch of new video series taking part in the The Beethoven Pastoral Project and more music tour videos around the city. Enjoy the music tours in Thessaloniki’s most iconic cultural heritage sites that highlight the city’s cultural richness and diversity and justify its title as a city that has always been a crossroad of cultures.
Federation of European Professional & Independent Historical Music Ensembles (FEPIMHE) - Maestro Jordi Savall, Europe’s famous conductor and viola da gamba virtuoso, has initiated the creation of a federation which is aimed at all independent orchestras, vocal, and instrumental ensembles engaged in the recovery of the traditions and period instruments of the European Musical Heritage, using historical performance techniques, both vocal and instrumental. This mobilisation aims at providing a common voice at European and national levels as well as defending the common artistic and material rights of the members and advocating for financial resources and support for artistic projects promoting the European musical heritage. If you are interested to join, you can send an email to  info@fepimhe.ue.
#OdeToJoyIE - Ireland’s music organisations have come together to invite everyone to perform the Ode to Joy in a tribute to the frontline workers on European Music Day on Sunday 21 June 2020. To launch the tribute, some of Ireland’s finest musicians and singers will perform Ode to Joy in a variety of styles, streamed live from the steps of the National Concert Hall at 18:00. Then, musicians and music lovers are encouraged to make their own performance from their doorstep while maintaining physical distancing. Please feel free to live stream your own performance from home on 21 June on your own Facebook Live and Instagram Live using the hashtag #OdeToJoyIE. More information and live stream here.
Europe’s Culture – close to you: the European Commission launches a social media campaign focusing on sustainable cultural tourism and promoting the re-discovery of Europe’s diverse treasures, both natural and cultural. The aim is to encourage Europeans to discover the beauty and richness of destinations close to their homes, in a safe and sustainable way. Europe’s culture – close to you features existing cultural offers – both physical and digital – supported by the EU and its partners, such as the winners of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards, traditional and online exhibitions, protected natural sites, stunning architecture, music festivals etc. To find out more about interesting sites and hidden cultural gems close to you, follow the hashtag #EuropeForCulture, originally created for the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.
#DiscoveringEurope - Following the European Commission’s recently published strategy for recovery ‘Tourism and transport in 2020 and beyond’, Europeana has launched its ‘Discovering Europeseason to highlight Europe’s rich natural beauty and cultural heritage and inspire travel to local and alternative destinations. Throughout the summer, Europeana will feature cultural jewels and hidden gems across the continent in galleries, blogs and learning scenarios which highlight the diversity and beauty that Europe offers. Cultural heritage institutions can get involved by sharing their own collections which celebrate the beauty of Europe and local attractions online with the hashtag #DiscoveringEurope. You can explore all initiatives on the Discovering Europe browse page.
GEM #EdSkillsShare - Engage with new museum and heritage learning professionals each week through the Education Skills Sharing Sessions organised by the Group for Education in Museums (GEM). These now weekly digital discussions on Twitter aim to connect education departments at museums and heritage sites across the globe with the GEM audience in a Q&A style format. Every Thursday from 15:00-17:00 GMT a different learning department will host a #TwitterTakeover on the GEM Twitter account and moderate a live discussion where participants can chime in to ask questions and the moderator will answer and share examples from their organisation. More information here.
Artsy: 7 Curators Using Instagram to Provide Access to Museums during Quarantine - The art online platform has compiled a list of 7 curators to follow on Instagram to get access to art pieces beyond institutional walls. While museum accounts can sometimes be promotional, curators’ feeds offer personal and specialised perspectives. Many curators regularly share artworks related to their own research—often pieces that aren’t displayed in prominent positions in galleries. From Europe and beyond, they all raise-awareness of our shared culture and cultural heritage. Check the list here.
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!
#HispaniaNostraContigoEnCasa - Europa Nostra’s country representation in Spain, Hispania Nostra, is organising online conferences (in Spanish) to learn and experience heritage from renowned experts. Since April, already 13 conferences have taken place online, on topics such as the lyrical heritage of the Zarzuela, the history of Spain through objects, the Casa Natal de Velázquez in Seville, or even the plague in history and art. You can replay these conference on Hispania Nostra’s YouTube channel here and register for one of the upcoming conference:
EUNIC Online Launch Event of the Report ‘Working in Fragile Contexts: the Importance of Cultural Relations’ will take place on 24 June, 11:30 CET. At a workshop held in November 2019 in Nicosia, EUNIC colleagues together with experts from EU Delegations and universities discussed the challenges of working in fragile contexts and how obstacles can be overcome through a cultural relations approach. Participants had the opportunity to showcase examples where cultural programmes have made an important contribution to conflict prevention and reconciliation. The launch event will present the report and recommendations made during the workshop, and stimulate a discussion among stakeholders and colleagues operating in fragile contexts. Colleagues from EU institutions, the EU Delegations, EUNIC members and clusters as well as other practitioners interested in the topic are invited to join the launch event. Register here.
Protect2Save: Cultural heritage challenges Climate change - The final WebConference of the Interreg Central Europe project ProteCHt2save will take place on 23 June, organised by the Municipality of Ferrara and ISAC-CNR with the support of Danube University Krems.The ProteCHt2save project contributes to capacity building in the public and private sectors to mitigate the impacts of climate change and natural hazards on cultural heritage sites, structures and artefacts. The project focuses primarily on the development of feasible and tailored solutions for building resilience of cultural heritage to floods and events of heavy rain. More information about the programme and registration here.
PERICLES Webinar: ICOMOS France: a definition and five principles for the enhancement of heritage areas - The second webinar of the PERICLES series, will take place on 24 June (13:00-14:00 CET). Organised in partnership with ICOMOS France, it will feature two speakers presenting the scientific actions carried out by ICOMOS France in favour of sustainable management of natural and cultural heritage. Isabelle Palmi will give an overview of the objectives and actions taken by ICOMOS, more specifically by the French branch. Jean-Pierre Thibault will present the five principles of economic and social valorisation of a heritage area advocated by ICOMOS France. This will emphasise an integrated approach to “heritage”, bringing together nature and culture in an inseparable way. More information and registration here.
Digital Co-creation Lab: Commons Sense: Let’s Create a Bottom-Up European Democracy - In the frame of the Cultural and Creative Spaces and Cities (CCSC) project, the European Cultural Foundation and the University of Antwerp, in cooperation with l’Asilo and Boekman Foundation, are organising a digital co-creation lab on 22 and on 29-30 June. Participants will explore new ‘homes of commons’, as spaces of encounter between EU and local level, where the EU learns from the territories and local actors who in turn can be empowered and take closer part in EU decisions. More information and registration here.
Webinar: The fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural goods - On 24 June at 10:30 CET, the European Historic Houses Association and NETcher (Social Platform for Cultural Heritage) are organising a webinar more specifically for private owners of historic houses. Guest speakers include Ghislain Dursel, owner of Heks Castle in Belgium and former president of European Historic Houses, David Wigg-Wolf from the German Archaeological Institute and Member of the NETCHER consortium, as well as Sarah Durdin Robertson from Huntington Castle in South East Ireland and TV producer. More information and registration here.
The European Commission launches 'Re-open EU', a web platform containing essential information for a safe relaunch of tourism in Europe in the post-Covid period. Europeans will now be able to plan their holidays confidently as the platform provides real-time information on travel and health measures, as well as services, including museums and heritage sites openings. Developed by the Joint Research Centre, 'Re-open EU' is part of the European Commission's Tourism and Transport package of 13 May to help European tourism resume safely. As free movement and cross-border travel are key to tourism, an interactive map offering updates on national measures and advice for visitors are available for each EU Member State. Europeans are also able to browse country-specific information at their ease.
European Commission: “Adapting to Climate Change” - As part of its Green Deal, the European Commission is launching a new strategy to help the EU adapt to climate change effects. It will focus on encouraging investment in eco-friendly solutions, climate-proofing the economy, making key infrastructure more resilient, adding climate factors to risk management practice and stepping up prevention & preparedness. You can contribute to this strategy by:
  • Providing feedback to the roadmap by 30 June
  • Responding to the public consultation by 20 August
More information here.
European Year of Rail 2021: The European Parliament and the Council are soon expected to adopt the European Commission proposal to make 2021 the European Year of Rail, to support the delivery of its European Green Deal objectives in the transport field. A series of events, campaigns and initiatives in 2021 will promote rail as a sustainable, innovative and safe mode of transport. It will highlight its benefits for people, the economy and the climate and focus on the remaining challenges to create a true Single European Rail Area without borders. Railways, tramways and their infrastructures are part of Europe’s industrial heritage. EFAITH, the European Federation of Associations of Industrial and Technical Heritage is starting a campaign to raise awareness on this important heritage and aims to establish a database of threatened rail heritage. Citizens and organisations can contribute by reporting endangered rail heritage through the questionnaires available online.
Publication: “European Cultural and Creative Cities in COVID-19 times. Jobs at risk and policy the response” - Using cultural jobs statistics from Eurostat and the JRC’s Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor, this report identifies highly vulnerable cultural jobs and creative cities. Despite the unprecedented challenges raised by the COVID-19 pandemic, some cities are already experimenting new event formats to better reach local inhabitants and nearby communities, while ensuring the financial sustainability of cultural activities. Both national and city governments have issued a wide range of policy measures to maintain Europe’s cultural capital alive, while giving cultural institutions, companies and workers the time to get prepared to post-COVID times. The report written by Valentina Montaldo, Pier Luigi Sacco, Valentina Alberti, Francesco Panella and Michaela Saisana is available here.
European Council on Foreign Relations: European Solidarity Tracker - The coronavirus crisis is a major test for European solidarity. In the early stages of the crisis in particular, many member states called for “more solidarity” and a coordinated European response to deliver it. Against this backdrop, Rethink: Europe developed a tool that collects and visualises solidarity among EU member states and EU institutions. The European Solidarity Tracker documents a dense network of mutual aid and cooperation across Europe and illustrates the critical role the EU has played throughout the coronavirus crisis. This stands in stark contrast to claims of a total lack of European solidarity. By recognising that solidarity comes in different forms, the European Solidarity Tracker illustrates how no one member state or group of countries alone can be fully sovereign in this crisis.
INES#talent - INES, the Innovation Network of European Showcases co-funded by Creative Europe, has opened applications for its young artist pool INES#talent! This application is open for musicians of all genres, solo or in bands. All artists from or residing in the participating countries can apply before 31 July 2020. This year over 70 talents will be selected and get the chance to drive their international careers forward by performing at 20 showcase festivals in 19 European countries over the course of the next 2 years. This is a unique opportunity for upcoming artists to present their music to industry experts, trend-setters and decision-makers from all over Europe. More information and application here.
Destination of Sustainable Cultural Tourism Awards 2020 - Launched during the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, this Awards scheme organised by ECTN in partnership with Europa Nostra, ETC and NECSTouR, seeks to contribute to its legacy. The theme of the third edition of the Awards is “Special Interest Tourism Development and Promotion based on Cultural Heritage”. The Awards enhance the visibility of European cultural tourism destinations, create a platform for sharing experience and knowledge, and promote networking between destinations. The Awards contest is open to tourist destinations across Europe, to showcase their results and outputs in sustainable cultural tourism under five selected categories. Apply by 1 July here.
ISOCARP Award for Excellence 2020 - Established in 2005, this Award honours plans in the design phase as well as projects in progress or already implemented. The Award is open to a wide range of professionals and institutions operating in the domain of urban and regional planning: architecture and/or urban planning companies; cities (public administrations and/or urban development agencies); university departments and/or research institutes; NGOs, and freelancers. The Award is bestowed in two categories: Grand Award and Merit Award. The Award winners will be announced during the official ceremony at the 56th ISOCARP World Planning Congress in Doha, Qatar in November 2020. Submit your entry by 30 June here.
European Hub for Civic Engagement - this project by Das Progressive Zentrum, Alliance4Europe and Citizens for Europe, encourages new forms of digital cooperation and solidarity in European civil society. It envisions a digital platform that allows civil society actors across Europe to create a feeling of community, share ideas and resources, as well as rethink funding opportunities. The team is currently setting up a testing group of diverse CSOs from around Europe to give regular feedback on the prototype. If you can commit to contributing some time to the project and want to be among its first users, join the testing group. This briefing explains what this would entail. If you cannot commit to the testing group, you could also fill in this short survey on the core functions of the Hub.
Young European Ambassadors from the Western Balkans - This platform is a creative network of future young game changers from across the Western Balkans and the European Union. Although YEAs come from different backgrounds, all of them share an interest in learning about EU values, and to promote the opportunities that the EU offers. Most importantly, YEAs are open to sharing ideas and developing their talents – towards inspiring change within their communities, the Western Balkan region, and across the EU. If you are aged between 18-29, live in the Western Balkans and see yourself as a potential leader and positive influencer, then applying is easy! Whatever your passion, if you have an inspiring message to share – the Young European Ambassadors network is looking for you!
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