The European Union and Europa Nostra have selected 28 candidates for the annual “European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards”. The seven Grand Prizes and 21 Awards will be presented by Mr Ján Figel’, the European Commissioner responsible for Education, Training, Culture and Youth and Her Royal Highness The Infanta Doña Pilar de Borbón, President of Europa Nostra, during the official European Heritage Awards Ceremony in the Teatro Antico of Taormina, Sicily (Italy) on 5 June.
The Awards highlight exceptional conservation, research and education achievements, as well as dedicated service to heritage conservation. Each Grand Prize winner will receive an amount of € 10,000.
Jointly launched in 2002 by the European Commission and Europa Nostra, the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards are intended to reward outstanding initiatives within the European cultural heritage sector in categories ranging from the restoration of buildings and their adaptation to new uses, to urban and rural landscape rehabilitation, archaeological site interpretations, and care for art collections.
The Awards are financed through the EU Culture Programme, which aims at promoting cross-border mobility of those working in the cultural sector; encouraging the transnational circulation of cultural and artistic output and expertise, and fostering intercultural dialogue. The Programme also funds the European Union Contemporary Architecture Prize, the European Union Prize for Literature and the European Border Breakers Awards (EBBAs) for contemporary music.
The aim of the Awards is to promote high standards and high-quality skills in conservation practice, and to stimulate the trans-border exchanges in the area of heritage. By spreading the ‘power of example’, the Awards also aim to encourage further efforts and projects related to heritage throughout Europe.
This year, a total of 138 applications and nominations from 24 countries were received in the various categories and assessed in situ by independent experts. The most outstanding of these were selected by one of the four Heritage Awards Juries in a series of meetings which took place over the past months.
While the 2009 prizes will soon be awarded, the call for entries for 2010 is already open. details can be found on Europa Nostra’s website.