September has just started, which means that the European Heritage Days are here.
This yearly event was launched in 1985 and has been organized since 1999 as a joint action between the European Commission and the Council of Europe.
The signatory 50 states of the European Cultural Convention take part in the event, by putting new cultural treasures on view and opening up historic buildings which are normally closed to the public. Every year, 20 million people visit these sites and take part in the unique events that are organised around a special theme, such as:
- Specific forms of heritage, e.g.: farmhouses, musical instruments, culinary traditions, garden architecture, etc.;
- Distinct periods in history, e.g.: Medieval heritage, Baroque heritage, etc.;
- Society’s approach to heritage, e.g.: heritage and citizenship, heritage and youth.
The European Heritage Days were created to:
- Raise awareness to Europe’s richness and cultural diversity;
- Stimulate an appreciation of the rich mosaic of European cultures;
- Counter racism and xenophobia and encourage greater tolerance in Europe and beyond the national borders;
- Underline the need to protect cultural heritage against new threats;
- Invite Europe to respond to the social, political and economic challenges it faces.
The European Heritage Days happens at different times in each country. In most countries, the event takes place within the next two weeks.
See when it will take place in your country here.
For more information on the event, please visit: http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/cultureheritage/heritage/EHD/default_en.asp