The winners of the European Heritage Awards 2019, celebrating heritage initiatives across the EU, were announced yesterday.
25 winners from 16 Member States were chosen from a total of 149 applications by independent expert juries from across Europe. The winners included:
- Conservation: the restoration and reopening to the public of the Chapel of the Holy Shroud in Turin, which was destroyed by a fire in 1997;
- Research: RomArchive, a digital archive of Roma heritage artefacts based in Germany;
- Dedicated Service: Fortidsminneforeningen, the National Trust of Norway, which deploys more than 7,000 volunteers nationwide to manage and preserve Norwegian cultural heritage sites; and
- Education: Betina Museum for Wooden Shipbuilding in Croatia, which preserves and showcases the traditional practice of building wooden ships, as well as the region’s wider maritime heritage.
Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said: “Our cultural heritage is our joint resource, a legacy from the past on which to build our future. It has its place in people’s hearts and in their daily lives – and is crucial in fostering a sense of belonging. The European Year of Cultural Heritage that we celebrated in 2018 highlighted this important role. Now it is our task to keep promoting it in the years to come. This year’s winners of the European Heritage Awards are playing their part in these efforts with their engagement and the quality of their work, and I warmly congratulate them.”
A special award was presented to the Paris Fire Brigade, in recognition of their extraordinary efforts to save the Notre Dame cathedral after it caught fire in April. Plácido Domingo, President of the European heritage network Europa Nostra, said: “In conferring this high distinction, the whole of Europe wishes to honour the Paris Fire Brigade, who have performed a real miracle as the true guardian angels of Notre Dame. Acting in all humility and discretion and demonstrating their immense courage as well as their exceptional expertise and dedication, the Paris Fire Brigade succeeded in saving the building from collapse, along with its Treasury, including the relic of the Crown of Thorns.”
The European Heritage Awards 2019 will be presented in a ceremony at the European Heritage Congress in October.