Europa Nostra
#12 - 26 June 2020
Dear Colleagues & Friends,
At the end of the Croatian Presidency of the EU (January - June 2020), which coincided with an unexpected and unprecedented crisis, we are delighted to welcome the Croatian Minister of Culture, Nina Obuljen-Koržinek, who recorded a special message for our Agora. One of the priorities of Croatia’s EU Council Presidency in the field of culture was the preservation of cultural heritage, and in particular the management of risks in cultural heritage, as evidenced by the conferenceFostering European Cooperation for Cultural Heritage at Risk” that took place on 27-28 February 2020 in Dubrovnik, in which Europa Nostra actively participated. On 26 May, the Council adopted important Conclusions on risk management in the area of cultural heritage which recall the importance of protecting cultural heritage against many and various threats (natural hazards, climate change and man-made disasters).
Sadly, during the Croatian Presidency we also witnessed, several times, these natural and man-made threats to our shared cultural heritage. The Croatian capital, Zagreb, was hit by a strong earthquake last March, which caused severe damage to many historic buildings, followed by the brutal demolition of the National Theatre of Albania in Tirana, which was included on the 2020 List of 7 Most Endangered Heritage Sites in Europe, by the local authorities in May.
As the Croatian Presidency of the EU prepares to pass the torch to the German Presidency of the EU (July - December 2020), we wish to warmly thank and pay tribute to Minister Nina Obuljen-Koržinek for her dedication and support as contributor to our Europe Day Webinar and as an endorser of our European Heritage Alliance Manifesto “Cultural Heritage: a powerful catalyst for the future of Europe”.
The German Presidency shall - among others - be an opportunity to launch the Conference on the Future of Europe. As recently agreed by the EU Council of the EU this Conference will seek to involve a wide range of citizens and stakeholders in the debate on Europe's future in the coming decade and beyond. Europa Nostra, in collaboration with other members of the European Heritage Alliance, stands ready to make sure that the Voice of Cultural Heritage is duly included among the civil society participants and contributors at this important Conference which is expected to end during the French Presidency of the EU in the first semester of 2022.
Today, we wish to congratulate the MEPs of the Renew Europe party, on their excellent position paper advocating the need for “A European Cultural Recovery”. We fully endorse this important paper, which highlights the strategic role that cultural and creative industries (including cultural heritage) play for Europe and its citizens. The work on this document was coordinated by Laurence Farreng, MEP, Member of the Culture and Education Committee. In her forceful video message posted on social media, Laurence Farreng outlines the paper’s proposals for a comprehensive European cultural recovery plan, including a.o. a closer association of culture and tourism by protecting and promoting our heritage, and by ensuring the development of a more sustainable form of tourism that respects our historic cities and heritage sites.
As highlighted by our Agora update of last Friday featuring a special video message of Sabine Verheyen, MEP, Chair of the EP Culture Committee, the European Parliament has been fighting very forcefully, alongside civil society actors, to ensure that the needs and the huge potential of our shared culture and cultural heritage are duly included in the immediate and longer-term EU recovery plans. We are very pleased that, at its meeting on 22 June, the European Parliament’s Committee on Education and Culture, reiterated that cuts to the cultural and education programmes (Creative Europe, Erasmus and Solidarity Corps) made by the Commission in its new MFF proposal for 2021-2027 are “unacceptable”, stressing that these sectors were severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis and need increased support to recover.
Only by joining forces can we amplify our voices. In such spirit of cooperation and bridge-building, European Commissioner for Culture Mariya Gabriel, launched the Creatives Unite - a resource platform for and by the culture & creative sectors - initiative last April. In this frame and for the first time since the outbreak of COVID-19 crisis, the livestream webinarUnited for a New Future. Reflect. React. Plan’ took place this morning allowing for an open and lively dialogue of the cultural and creative sectors with the European Commission (Mariya Gabriel), the European Parliament (Sabine Verheyen, Christian Ehler and Petra Kammerevert) and the Council (Nina Obuljen-Korzinek).

Europa Nostra and the European Heritage Alliance applaud the “Creatives Unite” initiative. We stand ready to build the much needed synergies with colleagues from the wider world of culture and creative sectors/industries in order to ensure that Next Generation EU policies for Europe’s successful recovery and revival, including the European Green Deal, duly include a strong cultural and creative component.
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
We are Europe - The European Travel Commission has partnered with Euronews to create a unifying post-COVID-19 media campaign reflecting on the beauty, diversity and soul of Europe. The campaign, which will air on Euronews’ TV and digital platforms– as well as on ETC, and its members’ digital platforms – over the next four weeks is designed to inspire people to get ready to travel again in a sustainable way and promotes the unique power of travel to bring people together. The new film, designed by Euronews’ in-house creative agency Embrace, aims to inspire curiosity and drive imagination for future trips featuring nature, culture, history and heritage experiences.
#BertelsmannCultureDigital - Bertelsmann’s cultural activities will take place online, including the authors’ forum Das Blaue Sofa (Blue Sofa) during the Frankfurt Book Fair in Autumn and the UFA Film Nights in summer. The cultural season kicked-off on 23 June with a live recording of Giacomo Puccini's "Edgar", rarely staged early masterpiece performed by the Berliner Operngruppe and led by artistic director and conductor Felix Krieger. A variety of streaming offers, live recordings, and interactive projects, all related to music, film, and literature, are planned through the autumn. There will also be retrospectives of past cultural projects such as concerts, readings, and exhibitions. The offering is available on Bertelsmann’s website, YouTube channel, and Facebook page.
A Greek Odyssey with Bettany Hughes - In this new series, the historian, author and broadcaster embarks on the journey of a lifetime – travelling across the stunningly beautiful Greek Islands from the coast of Turkey – where the mythical Trojan War took place – to the island of Ithaca in the west of Greece. Sailing through the islands, on her very own Odyssey, Bettany explores Greece from the time of the Ancients right up to the present day. She will uncover incredible new archaeological discoveries, reveal hidden treasures and secrets, explain the truth around the myths and legends of the ancient world, and visit iconic sites. An episode is aired every Friday at 21:00 on Channel 5, and the first two episodes are available to replay:
  • Episode 1: Bettany is shown shipwrecks, sunk thousands of years ago
  • Episode 2: On Ikaria, Bettany gets a lesson in honey history
The Master’s Touch Evaluation Tool - The Michelangelo Foundation just launched an online tool enabling artisans to self-assess according to the eleven criteria for excellence defined by The Master’s Touch book. Based on a detailed questionnaire, it measures to what extent an artisan fulfils the eleven criteria required to participate in the Foundation’s projects. The tool also offers a unique profiling of an artisan’s skillset, clearly identifying the areas of expertise and competence and the areas where there is scope for further development. Explore the tool to discover master artisans from across Europe and evaluate your suitability to join the community!
Religiana - This project coordinated by Future for Religious Heritage, in cooperation with many partners from across Europe, is a comprehensive resource to promote and protect European religious heritage. Featuring information on buildings from across Europe, Religiana promotes these buildings as beautiful and unique places to visit and facilitates visits by sharing practical information with users; whilst also helping preserve European heritage through highlighting restoration and financial needs. Discover Europe’s churches, chapels, mosques, synagogues, abbeys and other religious sites, via the interactive map, get inspired by insightful articles or add your building to the list.
#EuropeansAgainstCovid19 - The European Parliament has launched a dedicated hub to highlight the stories of everyday European heroes and show we can succeed with a European spirit - a spirit of solidarity and unity. These stories, including some from civil society organisations, help to spread the word on how Europeans overcome their difficulties, how they find intelligent ways to cope, and how they demonstrate solidarity with each other. Each story highlights someone behind the scenes of the crisis (researchers, hospital staff, friends, neighbours), all doing their part to fight the outbreak and make a difference. You can also get involved by telling your relatives about the initiative and sharing your own story on social with the hashtag #EuropeansAgainstCovid19.
#PalaceDay - For the fifth year in a row, Palaces across Europe are joining together on social media on 19 July to share their history, collections and behind-the-scenes pictures, highlighting their common culture and heritage. This year’s theme, music, has been an important element in Royal Courts, with wonderful operas and big concerts organised for royal events. Music has also been represented as an art, a symbol of power and is still today present in Royal Residences! Follow the hashtag #PalaceDay to discover the palaces of Europe and their musical Heritage
#WhatsTheMatterEurope - To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Austria’s accession to the European Union, the IDM (Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe) launched a unique social media initiative to make Europe more visible through very personal stories. Is there a souvenir, a picture, or another object which reminds you of Europe? Share your story (in the form of a video or photo) about your chosen object on social media using the hashtag #WhatsTheMatterEurope and mentioning @IDMVienna. You can also watch all the submitted videos on the dedicated YouTube playlist here.
#MuseumsUnlocked - Museums Unlocked is a lockdown project initiated by an Oxford University Professor of Contemporary Archaeology, Dan Hicks, to collect online creative responses on themes related to museums and heritage on twitter. Follow every day a different theme, tweet your work and share your inspiration with the online community. Keep museums unblocked and contribute to the re-interpretation and regeneration of world heritage sites and museum objects. Here is a selection of a few upcoming themes that you could follow:
  • Saturday 7 June: Animals
  • Tuesday 30 June: Trees, Plants and the Environment
  • Wednesday 1 July: House Museums, Domestic Spaces and Material Culture
  • Monday 6 July: Theatre and Performance
  • Tuesday 7 July: One Museum or Historic Place Everyone Must Visit
  • Thursday 9 - Saturday 12 July: Visit a Heritage Site or Museum and share photos of your trip
World Heritage Sites - Explore 2 million years of heritage with World Heritage Sites instagram account. This initiative puts the spotlight on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites, presenting with rich visual material each heritage site inscribed. Accompanying the photos, a detailed description of each site is offered including historic information and year of inscription. We would like to invite you to discover lesser-known heritage sites in Europe, such as the Madara River (Bulgaria), Archaeological Border complex of Hedeby and the Danevirke (Germany), Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese and its Chora (Ukraine), Alto Douro Wine Region (Portugal) and Agricultural Landscape of Southern Öland (Sweden).
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!
The Best in Heritage: 2020 online edition - Representing over 40 laureates from all over the world, some 60 acclaimed professionals will share their experiences and expertise in video-interviews that will be released over the next 3 months, with the finale at the end of September when the conference usually takes place. The 19th edition of this annual conference, organised in partnership with ICOM and Europa Nostra, kicks-off today with an opening video, including a message by Professor Tomislav S. Šola, Director and Author of The Best in Heritage, as well as the TBIH2020 IMAGINES Keynote address by Ivor Crotty, TBIH2019 IMAGINES “Project of Influence” winner for #1917 LIVE & #Romanovs100, a video interview with Katharine Uhrich, Social Media Manager at the Field Museum, winner of a 2019 Webby Award and a video interview with Søren Bak-Jensen, Director of the Workers Museum, European Museum Academy DASA Award winner in 2019. Check the conference programme and stay up-to-date by following the Best in Heritage Twitter and Facebook accounts.
UNESCO: Expert meeting on illegal excavations and online trade during COVID-19 - On 26 June 2020, ​in the framework of the 50th anniversary of the 1970 Convention, UNESCO will gather together on-line experts to discuss illicit trafficking of cultural property during COVID-19, particularly illegal excavations and online trade. The expert meeting aims to understand how the illicit trafficking of cultural property and its online sales are organised during the current COVID-19 crisis, and identify the measures taken by the different actors to reinforce the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural property and their contribution to preventing this scourge. The debate will take place online from 14:30 to 17:00 (Paris time) (ZOOM) and will be transmitted live on YouTube. Read more here.
Project Iron Bridge - Saving an Industrial Icon: Online Lecture - The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB), Europa Nostra UK and English Heritage are hosting a free online webinar on 22 July (16:00 - 17:00 BST) to hear about the recent European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award 2020 winning conservation project led by English Heritage. The Iron Bridge is the world's first bridge constructed of iron, and a symbol of the Industrial Revolution. After surveys discovered dangerous structural cracks, English Heritage embarked on the largest conservation project in its history, preserving the Iron Bridge for the future. Sara Crofts, Chair of Europa Nostra UK, will introduce the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards scheme, followed by the Head Collections Curator at English Heritage Matt Thompson who will speak about the history of the structure, the conservation work undertaken and the future of the industrial icon, finishing the lecture with a Q&A session. More information and registration here.
Webinar “Europe’s Medieval Pasts: a Manifesto - Continental Perspectives” - In this second online Forum on 30 June (14:00 BST), participants will discuss how the MERC (Medieval Europe Research Community) Manifesto complements the Scottish-oriented perspective (presented on 25 June) by introducing European perspectives on strengthening appreciation of the cultural resources embodied in the medieval archaeology. This event will allow heritage professionals from across Europe to learn about the Manifesto by reflecting on European experiences of building awareness of medieval archaeology. Contributors will provide short presentations based on international case studies intended to illustrate why medieval archaeology matters beyond the field of archaeology, and how the strengths of medieval archaeology can contribute to shaping a better post-pandemic world. Registration here.
Online Conference: 16th History of European Integration Research Society (HEIRS) - The Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH) is organising an online conference on 30 June (12:00 - 17:30 CET) on the theme: what does the digital European historiography look like? The blossoming of covid crisis related collecting platforms show how the digitisation of many social relations have opened the opportunity for historians to create their own archives on current events. More generally, the sources produced by European institutions have increasingly been made available online. Beyond EU archives, European platforms of transnational collections of digitised sources like Europeana have shown how rich such collections can be but also how difficult it is to overcome the national silos. More information on programme and registration here.
Online Course: Creating a Digital Cultural Heritage Community - KU Leuven is offering a free online course for professionals and volunteers in cultural heritage institutions, as well as teachers, students and amateurs, to learn how to create user engagement with digital cultural heritage. Over 7 modules, the instructors will teach you how to create and reflect on user engagement with online collections, how to curate and annotate digital cultural heritage, what strategies can be used to educate audiences, how to access and use digital repositories and platforms as well as how to creatively engage with photography and dance content. This MOOC is developed by the Fifties in Europe - Kaleidoscope and CultureMoves projects, which are co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility of the European Union. You can find more information and enroll here.
ENCATC Magazine: Issue n°01, June 2020 - ENCATC Magazine is a new digital publication with its inaugural issue launched in June 2020. It is meant to educate, entertain, raise awareness, and inform on various topics related to cultural management and policy. Contributors are leading academics, researchers, experts, practitioners, and policy makers recognised by the industry we belong to as influencers. For the magazine, they provide exclusive content, insight, innovative industry practices, and personal stories. Download your free copy here.
Meeting of the European Council on 19 June. On 19 June, the members of the European Council met via video-conference to discuss the EU recovery plans to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. In particular, EU leaders discussed, for the very first time, the European Commission’s proposal for a new recovery instrument and for the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027. A physical summit is planned for mid-July in Brussels to discuss concrete proposals on these issues. Read the remarks made by President of the European Council Charles Michel following the video-conference, here. Ahead of this important meeting, Europa Nostra urged EU leaders to take into account the messages of the European Heritage Alliance Manifesto 'Cultural Heritage: a powerful catalyst for the future of Europe', and for these to be reflected in the EU recovery budget and related programmes.
The European Commission launches consultation on digital cultural heritage. Advanced technologies bring unprecedented opportunities for the digitalisation, conservation and research on cultural heritage, as well as for a broader, more democratic online access. It is essential to ensure that the cultural heritage sector is equipped with the best tools, resources, knowledge and skills to make the most of the digital transition. The European Commission has launched a consultation to evaluate the Commission Recommendation of 27 October 2011 on the digitisation and online accessibility of cultural material and digital preservation. The aim of this consultation is to gather the views of citizens, competent authorities in the Member States, national and regional cultural heritage institutions, international organisations, concerned stakeholder umbrella organisations. Take part in this consultation and help the European Commission shape the appropriate policies and actions to preserve Europe’s heritage assets! Access the consultation here. The deadline for responding is 14 September 2020.
2019 Activity Report of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe published. The Activity Report of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe for 2019 has recently been published and is now available for download. The Report includes information about received Awards, highlights from events, training, Chairmanships of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and the certification of five new Cultural Routes. Find these and other news in the published report.
Open letter to French President Emmanuel Macron on the issue of wind turbines - Europa Nostra figures among the signatories of a letter initiated by our member organisation Vieilles Maisons Françaises. In this letter addressed to French President Emmanuel Macron, 11 associations in the fields of cultural heritage and the environment - at national, European and international levels -, and Stéphane Bern, author and TV journalist, express their concern about the consequences of wind turbines on our cultural and natural heritage sites, our environment as well as our health and well-being. The signatories also put forward 3 concrete proposals to be implemented as soon as possible. Read the letter here (in French).
Research on the effects of COVID-19 crisis on cultural and creative workers across Europe. The COVID- 19 crisis has had a tremendous impact on culture and the creative sectors, including cultural heritage. The MAX project (Makers' Mobility Pilot project, co-funded by the European Union and coordinated by European Creative Hubs Network in partnership with Fab Lab Barcelona, UPTEC and Makery) is working to record the damage that the workers in culture have suffered, in order to advocate towards governments and the European Commission for pertinent actions. Contribute to the research on the effects of COVID-19 on CCI workers, including museums and cultural heritage professionals, by filling-in in this survey.
Call for entries European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2021 - Europe's top Awards in the heritage field are now open for submissions. The Awards, run by Europa Nostra with the support of the EU Creative Europe programme, recognise outstanding conservation projects, innovative research, the longstanding dedication to heritage of professionals and volunteers, and exceptional initiatives in awareness-raising, training and education. In 2021, up to 30 remarkable heritage achievements from all over Europe will be awarded. Of those, up to 4 winners will receive a Grand Prix with a monetary award of 10,000 Euro. One winner will also receive the Public Choice Award following an online vote. In addition, from among the submitted applications, two ILUCIDARE Special Prizes, supported by the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme, will also be awarded for excellence in heritage-led innovation and international relations. Deadline: 1 October 2020. Watch video and apply.
Croatia - The Ministry of Culture has allocated HRK 300 million for loans to the cultural and creative industries as part of a second package of measures aimed at restarting the production and distribution of cultural content, which was approved by the European Commision on 17 June. The programme envisages HRK 300 million in loans for enterprises which will be able to get a bank loan of up to €800,000 at an interest rate of a maximum of 2%, with the state guaranteeing the entire amount of the loan. This measure applies to enterprises such as architects, audiovisual activities (including videogaming), heritage, design, performing arts (theatre, dance and music), books and publishing, media, and applied and visual arts. Read more.
ENCATC Education and Research Session: Call for Proposals - There are open calls for the 2020 ENCATC Education and Research Session (9-11 November) that will be held during the 2020 ENCATC Digital Congress "Cultural management and policy in a post-digital world – navigating uncertainty". ENCATC invites proposals for: research paper presentations, teaching demonstrations, a special language session in Spanish, and a special session for PhD Candidates. Proposals from any relevant discipline will be considered, provided that they make an original academic and professional contribution to the study and practice of cultural management and cultural policy. Deadline: 26 July. More information here.
European Capitals of Culture: Call for Experts - The AEIDL-led ‘Capacity Building for European Capitals of Cultureproject is seeking professionals from a variety of disciplines to join its pool of experts. This expert group will help bridge gaps in skills in the implementing teams of European Capitals of Culture. In particular, experts are sought in the following areas: audience development; conflict resolution; change management; legal (including intellectual property rights and licensing agreements for culture); monitoring and evaluation in the cultural sector. Experts in management, communications, coordination and international relations are also needed. The call for experts will remain open throughout the project (30 June 2021). More information and application here
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