On the evening of the 1st of June, at the Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon, the winners of the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage-Europa Nostra Awards were announced, with the presence of Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, and Plácido Domingo, the world-renowned tenor and President of Europa Nostra.
This year 28 projects won the Europa Nostra awards. The winner of the public choice award, chosen in an online poll from among the 28 overall laureates for 2012, are the Fortifications of Pamplona in Spain. The six Grand Prix winning projects are:
- Category Conservation: Averof Building – School of Architecture, National Technical University (Athens, Greece); Number 2 Blast Furnace (Sagunto, Spain); Poundstock Gildhouse, Bude (Cornwall, UK);
- Category Research: Study on the Augustus Botanical code of Ara Pacis (Rome, Italy);
- Category Dedicated Service: a dedicated service to heritage by Paraschiva Kovacs (Satu Mare, Harghita County, Romania);
- Category Education, Training and Awareness Raising: an educational programme for a heritage site developed by the Norwegian Heritage Foundation (Vågå, Norway)
Commissioner Vassiliou stated that “For 10 years, the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards has become the most prestigious of its kind in Europe” and mentioned that this Prize “has proven very effective in raising awareness among decision-makers and the public about the value of cultural heritage for European society and the economy and our responsibility for protecting it for future generations” remarking its relevance.
Cultural heritage brings a significant, and often underrated, contribution to growth and job creation. It represents a significant part of the cultural and creative sectors, which provide jobs for 8.5 million people in the EU and contribute up to 4.5% of Europe’s GDP. Spending on conservation of cultural heritage by public and private bodies 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 international tourism has a cultural dimension. Cultural heritage is also a key resource for sustainable development and social cohesion.
The deadline to apply for the next awards is 1st October 2012. The next awards ceremony is expected to take place in Athens in June 2013.
To watch winners’ videos and to get further information, visit: ec.europa.eu/culture