The Hague/ Brussels 26 March 2013- The winners of the 2013 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards were unveiled today by the European Commission and Europa Nostra (see details below). The 30 winners, selected from nearly 200 nominated projects, are honoured for their achievements in four areas: conservation, research, dedicated service, and education, training and awareness-raising. The award ceremony will take place on 16 June at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens, in the presence of Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, and Plácido Domingo, the world-renowned opera singer and Europa Nostra President. Karolos Papoulias, President of Hellenic Republic, has taken the event under his auspices and he will be attending the Awards Ceremony. Of the 30 winning projects, six will be named as grand prix laureates in Athens and one of the winners will receive the public choice award, based on an online poll conducted by Europa Nostra.
“My warmest congratulations go to this year’s winners, who exude the passion and professionalism which is the hallmark of Europe’s wonderfully rich and diverse cultural heritage. The past can teach us a lot about the present and the future, so we must ensure that our heritage can be appreciated by as many people as possible today and do our utmost to protect it for the benefit of future generations. The European Commission will continue to support this prize and other heritage projects through our new Creative Europe programme, as well as through other EU funding,” stated Commissioner Vassiliou.
“In this 50th anniversary year of our pan-European movement, I pay tribute to these remarkable achievements which demonstrate the strong engagement of Europe’s citizens and communities. I am delighted that Europa Nostra’s golden jubilee coincides with the European Year of Citizens. This is the ideal occasion to stress the unique potential of cultural heritage to enhance civic responsibility and a sense of belonging to a wider European family. Heritage strengthens us all and inspires creativity and innovation. Therefore, we must work together to save and celebrate the treasures in our midst for the next 50 years and beyond,” added Maestro Plácido Domingo.
Specialist juries made up of independent experts from across Europe assess the nominated projects in four award categories – conservation, research, dedicated service, and education, training and awareness-raising. All the winners receive a plaque or trophy. The six grand prix winners also receive €10 000 each.
The awards are supported by the EU Culture Programme, which has invested more than €32 million in co-financing heritage-related projects since 2007. Other EU programmes also provide support: the European Regional Development Fund has allocated €6 billion for culture in 2007-2013. Of this, €3 billion supports the protection and preservation of cultural heritage, €2.2 billion aids the development of cultural infrastructure and €775 million co-funds cultural services such as vocational training, arts and heritage education. A further €150 million has been made available through EU Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development since 1998.
Cultural heritage brings a significant – and often underrated – contribution to job creation and growth. The sector represents a significant part of the cultural and creative sectors, which provide jobs for around 8 million people in the EU and contribute up to 4.5% to Europe’s GDP. Spending on conservation of cultural heritage by public and private bodies in the EU is worth an estimated €5 billion a year. Figures published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show that 40% of worldwide tourism has a cultural dimension. Cultural heritage is also a key resource for sustainable development and social cohesion.
To find out more
Presentations on each winning project (Europa Nostra website)
Persbericht Europa Nostra