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2006-06-27 - Madrid
HERITAGE ACHIEVEMENTS
Europa Nostra

EUROPE CELEBRATES EXEMPLARY CULTURAL



Annual European Cultural Heritage Awards Ceremony Takes Place in Madrid

/ The Hague, 27 June 2006: The annual European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards were today presented to 34 Laureates from 22 countries at the prestigious European Heritage Awards Ceremony which was held at the Palacio Real de El Pardo, Madrid.

The ceremony was presided over by H.M. Queen Sofa of Spain, Patron of Hispania Nostra, Europa Nostras country representation in Spain. It was attended by laureates, dignitaries, representatives from the public sector and civil society involved in heritage conservation and enhancement at all levels - local, regional, national and European. Mr Jn Figel, Member of the European Commission responsible for Education, Training, Culture and Multilingualism participated in the ceremony.

I would like to thank Europa Nostra for annually ensuring the success of each round of this Awards Scheme. The Commission is grateful for Europa Nostras work, because cultural heritage is widely recognised across Europe as a vehicle of cultural identity and as a testimony of the fertility of the dialogue between cultures, said Commissioner Figel in his opening address at the ceremony. Cultural heritage will therefore have its proper place in the Culture 2007 Programme which will enter into force from next year he added. Commissioner Figel also highlighted the fact that the European Commission has declared 2008 as the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. The idea is to raise awareness of European citizens, in particular young people, about intercultural dialogue. I am convinced that the European cultural heritage, built on exchanges and the search for excellence over thousands of years, and marked by migrations and diverse external and internal influences, can play a significant role in this process, he concluded.

The five top Prizes, which each include a monetary award of 10,000, were presented in the following categories:

Conservation of Architectural Heritage: to the 16th century Omeriye Ottoman Baths, Nicosia (Cyprus)
Conservation of Cultural Landscapes: to the Va de la Plata, Extremadura (Spain)
Conservation of Works of Art: to the Edward Chambr Hardman Photographic Collection, Liverpool (United Kingdom).
Outstanding Studies: to Dr Anna Sulimowska-Ociepka and the Technical University of Silesia for her PhD thesis on the Old Workers Estates in Upper Silesia (Poland)
Dedicated Service to Heritage Conservation: to the Maisons Paysannes de France


Among the Medal winners (2nd Prize) figure varied projects such as the restoration of an early masterpiece of Victor Horta (La Maison Autrique) in Brussels (Belgium); the restoration of the early 15th century Town Hall of Tallinn (Estonia); fifty years of voluntary efforts in favour of Irelands heritage by Honorable Desmond Guinness (Ireland); the restoration of a Palm House Complex at National Botanic Gardens in Dublin (Ireland); the restoration of Il Teatro all Scala in Milan (Italy); the regeneration of part of the Valletta Waterfront (Malta); the revitalisation of a remote village and its wooden architecture in Karelia (Russian Federation) through the collaboration between a private foundation in Finland and the local authorities; the extensive field research on urgent needs for the protection of cultural heritage in Metohija, the Western part of Kosovo (Serbia); the restoration of the Collection of 17th and 18th century plaster casts at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid (Spain); the restoration of Hernergut Bathing Pavilion, Horgen (Switzerland); the exemplary work of the Swedish NGO Cultural Heritage Without Borders for its dedicated work in the Balkans (in particular Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo); and an integrated analysis of an exceptional cultural landscape in Wales the Heather and Hillforts Landscape Partnership Scheme in Dengbighshire in Wales (UK).

Each awarded project is a result of an exemplary cooperation between the owners, architects, craftsmen, the public authorities concerned, the managers of the projects and those who have funded it. Through this awards scheme, Europa Nostra, together with the European Union, wishes to promote this exemplary cooperation at all levels local, regional, national and European between different talents and different stakeholders, stressed Dr Andrea H. Schuler, Executive President of Europa Nostra, in his closing address at the ceremony. He also welcomed the initiative launched recently by the French, Spanish and Hungarian government, with regard to the setting up of a European Heritage List, and expressed the hope that Europes civil society will be duly associated in the definition and implementation of this initiative.

At the ceremony Dr Schuler also emphasised that cultural heritage constitutes a strong asset for Europe and its citizens and that the interests of cultural heritage conservation, education and enhancement should therefore be duly taken into account by all EU policies. Cultural heritage is at the very heart of our identity - local, national and European - it constitutes an asset for a sustainable economic and social development and a source and instrument of intercultural dialogue and solidarity in the whole of Europe, concluded Dr Schuler.



For further information contact:
Charlotte O'Connor, Communications Officer, Europa Nostra
+31 70 302 4055 / +31 6 1286 1494 / co@europanostra.org / www.europanostra.org



The European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards Scheme was launched in 2002 under the Culture 2000 Programme and is indicative of the partnership between the European Union and the cultural-heritage community across Europe.

The full list of award wining projects is available at
http://www.europanostra.org/lang_en/0260_activities_en_eu_awards_winners_2005.html



Europa Nostra, the pan-European Federation for Heritage, is the representative platform of over 200 heritage NGOs active throughout Europe. It is the voice of this vast movement of European civil society active in the field of heritage towards international bodies concerned, in particular the European Union Institutions, the Council of Europe and UNESCO.

Europa Nostra is dedicated to putting heritage and its benefits in the mainstream of public consciousness and to making heritage a priority for public policies both at European and national levels. Its specific objectives are to promote, at a European level, high standards of quality in the fields of heritage conservation, architecture, urban and rural planning and to advocate a balanced and sustainable development of urban and rural, built and natural environment.

Europa Nostra supports national and international campaigns for the preservation and rescue of Europes heritage at risk. It encourages exemplary initiatives in favour of the conservation and enhancement of cultural heritage by recognising outstanding heritage achievements, in particular through the running of the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards. In early 2006, Europa Nostra was selected as the new Liaison Office for the co-ordination of the "European Heritage Days", a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Union.



Through its various activities, Europa Nostra seeks to highlight the importance of cultural heritage as a building block of European identity and as a contribution to the strengthening of the sense of European citizenship.




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