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The European Voice of Civil Society committed to Cultural Heritage




Dear Colleagues and Friends,

It is our pleasure to send you this Summer edition of the Europa Nostra Newsletter, which brings together the highlights of our activities carried out during the last three months.

Later this month, EU leaders will meet in Brussels to discuss concrete proposals on the EU recovery plans in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Ahead of this important meeting, Europa Nostra, acting also on behalf of the European Heritage Alliance, has deployed an intense advocacy campaign urging EU leaders to put culture and cultural heritage where they belong: at the very heart of Europe’s recovery and revival. This campaign included addressing individual appeals to all Presidents of the EU Institutions, each of the 27 EU Heads of State or Government, as well as all the EU Ministers in charge of culture and the Member States’ Permanent Representatives to the EU in Brussels. With these letters, we have also conveyed to the EU leaders the compelling messages of the European Heritage Alliance Manifesto ‘Cultural Heritage: a powerful catalyst for the Future of Europe’ launched on 9 May.

The European Heritage Alliance Manifesto puts forward 7 interconnected ways in which cultural heritage can be a positive catalyst for change in Europe. This Manifesto was presented at the sold-out Europe Day Webinar, which the Europeana Foundation and Europa Nostra co-hosted on behalf of the Alliance on 9 May. High-level EU decision-makers took active part in this webinar and warmly welcomed our timely Manifesto. The Manifesto is available in 13 languages and has been signed by over 700 prominent signatories and heritage supporters (full list here). If you haven’t done it yet, we encourage you to read, sign and share this important Manifesto.

At a time when Europe is struggling to overcome an unparalleled crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the cultural heritage world can and should contribute to Europe’s recovery and revival. Why? Because our cultural heritage is not only the foundation of our shared history and memory, but also a solid bridge between our past, our present and our future. When presenting the ambitious EU recovery plan on 27 March, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said: “This is Europe's moment”. We would like to add: ‘This is our Cultural Heritage’s moment!’.

We count on you to help us rally the support of all EU leaders for an ambitious “European Deal for Cultural Heritage”, to be incorporated across many EU policy priorities, as a major cultural, social, economic and green contribution to the Next Generation of Our Europe. This is indeed the moment for Our Europe, and this is indeed the moment for Our Cultural Heritage.

We hope you will enjoy reading this Summer edition of our Newsletter. In these times of crisis, even while in lockdown, Europa Nostra continues to be as active as ever. And we are grateful to you, our readers and supporters, for your vital input and help in this challenging endeavour. Together, we are stronger. Together, we are better.

Cordially yours,
Hermann Parzinger, Executive President
Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, Secretary General

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von der Leyen

Let’s save Europe’s endangered heritage together!

Do you know an endangered heritage gem in Europe? Then nominate it for the 7 Most Endangered programme 2021! Launched in 2013, this programme is run by Europa Nostra with the European Investment Bank Institute (EIB Institute). In the 2021 edition, for the first time, the selected 7 Most Endangered sites will be eligible for an EIB Heritage Grant of up to 10,000 euros per site. The Grant can be allocated to the eligible selected 7 Most Endangered sites as an assistance for an agreed activity aimed to ensure the saving of the threatened site. You can nominate endangered heritage with the support of an organisation in your country that is already a member of Europa Nostra or directly by joining our network, as a member or associate organisation, or as an individual member. The deadline for nominations is 7 September 2020!

Nominate now


Europa Nostra strongly condemns the brutal demolition of the Albanian National Theater in Tirana

Europa Nostra conveyed to the EU Ministers of Culture the expression of our strong condemnation of the brutal demolition of the National Theatre of Albania in Tirana which took place in the early morning of Sunday, 17 May. The Theatre had been included on our 2020 List of 7 Most Endangered Heritage Sites in Europe on 24 March. Not only an important record of the early history of Tirana as the capital city of Albania was erased, but also all the objects and archives which formed part of the memory of this important cultural institution. Some 30 artists and civil society activists, who had guarded the theatre for the last two years, were also arrested. 17 May was a sad day for cultural heritage, democracy and respect of the rule of law and human rights in Albania and in Europe. Watch interviews given by Europa Nostra’s Board Member Paolo Vitti and Secretary General Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović to the national TV channel Ora News and to the European broadcaster Euronews Albania.

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von der Leyen

Discover the 2020 Award winners and vote for the Public Choice Award (deadline: 1 September)

On 7 May, the European Commission and Europa Nostra were proud to announce the 2020 winners of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards. Europe’s top honour in the heritage field went to 21 exemplary achievements from 15 European countries. Heritage lovers and supporters from Europe and all around the world can vote online until 1 September 2020 for their favourite award winners and decide which achievement will win this year’s Public Choice Award. In times of confinement, we hope to inspire a large number of people to discover this year’s award-winning achievements and to share the names of their three favourite winners. The Public Choice Award – together with the winners of the Grand Prix, entitled to receive a monetary award of €10,000 each – will be announced in the autumn. Watch videos and discover the Awards Magazine dedicated to the 2020 winners!

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Laureates of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2020 celebrated with online meeting

On 22 June, Europa Nostra and the European Commission co-hosted the first ever virtual meeting with the laureates of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards. The online event symbolically took place on the day that the European Heritage Awards Ceremony should have taken place in Brussels, before it had to be cancelled due to the global pandemic. The laureates from each category were invited by each of the Chairs of the Heritage Awards Juries to speak about what the Award means to them, what they expect from joining this network of excellence, and to share their messages for Europe. Our Secretary General and the Director General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture at the European Commission, Themis Christophidou, thanked the winners for their outstanding contribution to Europe’s culture and heritage and for their resilience in these trying times.

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European Heritage Tribune

Submit your application and share your success stories across Europe!

Now is the chance for Europe’s most inspiring architects, craftsmen, cultural heritage experts, professionals, volunteers, public and private institutions, and local communities to apply and receive Europe’s top honour in the heritage field! The European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 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 will be awarded. In addition, from among the submitted applications, two ILUCIDARE Special Prizes will also be given for excellence in heritage-led innovation and international relations. The deadline for applications is 1 October 2020. The Awards department of Europa Nostra will host a webinar on How to prepare an application for the Awards on 9 July 2020. Interested participants are invited to register at this link.

Apply now

European Heritage Tribune

ILUCIDARE Special Prizes: 6 projects in heritage-led innovation and international relations shortlisted

On 28 May, the European Commission and the ILUCIDARE Consortium, including Europa Nostra, made public the shortlisted projects for the very first edition of the ILUCIDARE Special Prizes selected within the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2020! The 6 shortlisted projects are: Smart Heritage City, France/Portugal/Spain, St. John’s Bulwark, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, and TYPA – Estonian Print and Paper Museum, Tartu, Estonia, for excellence in heritage-led innovation; Archaeology for a young future, Italy/Syria, The Friends of Czech Heritage, United Kingdom, and The Oppenheim House, Wrocław, Poland, for excellence in heritage-led international relations. The two winners of the ILUCIDARE Special Prizes will be announced in the autumn of 2020.

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Findings on the consultation on the impact of COVID-19 on the heritage world to be released in September

Deeply concerned about the massive negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the cultural heritage world, Europa Nostra launched on 26 March a consultation on this topic among its large pan-European network of members and partners. Europa Nostra has already communicated important information and initial observations to the European Commission, via the Commission Expert Group on Cultural Heritage of which Europa Nostra is a member. Europa Nostra is preparing a more extensive paper summarizing and analyzing the main findings of this important consultation. Such paper will be published after the summer and will be widely disseminated among heritage actors and policy-makers at all levels of governance. This paper will underpin Europa Nostra’s advocacy action, conducted jointly with our members and partners, to ensure that cultural heritage is duly included in the EU’s immediate response to the COVID-19 crisis as well as in the “Next Generation EU” recovery plans.

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Europa Nostra and ICOMOS to publish European Heritage Green Paper in September

Europa Nostra announced last April a new collaboration with ICOMOS ICOMOS (the International Council on Monuments and Sites) on the topic of cultural heritage and climate change. The project aims at producing a European Heritage Green Paper, a policy and advocacy document to stimulate a wide mobilisation of the heritage community to contribute to the success of the European Green Deal (EGD) and to understand the role and potential of cultural heritage in achieving the ambitions of the EGD. The project, led by the expert and activist on climate change Andrew Potts, who is the Coordinator of the Climate Change and Heritage Working Group and a leading member of the Climate Heritage Network, is developed in cooperation with the Europa Nostra Board and Secretariat, and with the invaluable support of the European Investment Bank Institute. The European Heritage Green Paper is planned to be issued in September.

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Policy Debate

Tolentino Mendonça, Poet and Librarian of the Vatican Library, wins Helena Vaz da Silva European Award

On 15 June, Europa Nostra and its country representation in Portugal, Centro Nacional de Cultura, announced the 2020 winner of the Helena Vaz da Silva European Award for Raising Public Awareness on Cultural Heritage. José Tolentino Mendonça, one of the most original voices of Portuguese contemporary literature, and Archivist and Librarian of the Holy Roman Church – more commonly known as the Vatican Library – won this year’s Award. This high European recognition pays tribute to Tolentino Mendonça’s exceptional contribution to the communication of European culture and values. The Award Ceremony will take place this autumn at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon.

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European Heritage Tribune

Read & subscribe to the Europa Nostra Digital Agora!

In April, Europa Nostra launched the Europa Nostra Digital Agora as a creative response to the confinement and physical distancing implemented to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. This virtual platform has shared and promoted news and content related to culture and cultural heritage from across Europe and the world, ranging from policy updates to virtual tours and webinars. Every Friday, our subscribers receive a Europa Nostra Digital Agora email update, which also features a video message by a special guest. The European Commissioner for Culture, Mariya Gabriel, the European Commission Vice-President for the European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, MEP and Chair of the European Parliament Culture and Education Committee, Sabine Verheyen, and the Croatian Minister of Culture, Nina Obuljen Koržinek, are among the many personalities who shared their inspiring video messages. Read the 12 editions of the Agora and subscribe to receive the next editions.

Digital Agora


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