The 2021 Grand Prix and Public Choice Award Winners, Source: Europa Nostra

2021 European Heritage Awards recognized projects relevant to our times

2021 European Heritage Awards recognized projects relevant to our times

The winners are in four distinct categories, which explore the idea of heritage from different angles

We now know the top heritage projects that took the continent by storm after they received the 2021 European Heritage Awards/ Europa Nostra Awards at a ceremony in Venice, yesterday afternoon. The event, which was also broadcasted online, recognized collective efforts in four different categories – each of which counts with a Grand Prix – plus there was a Public Choice Award.

The Awards are considered the highlight of the European Cultural Heritage Summit 2021, which started on 21 September and concludes today.

Each of the winners makes us reflect on the impact of heritage today

There were 24 shortlisted projects coming from 18 countries and among these here are the four winners that snatched the awards:

  • The Wooden Church of Urși Village, Vâlcea County (Romania), a beautiful 18th century wooden church that was exemplary restored using traditional materials and techniques in a collaborative way, allowing for the exchange of ideas and knowledge amongst international participants. This project won both the Conservation Category Award and the Public Choice Award!;
  • FIBRANET – FIBRes in ANcient European Textiles (Denmark / Greece), an innovative research project that provides new knowledge about the degradation of ancient fibres, informing both archaeological practice and providing crucial knowledge for Europeans as we look for solutions for dealing with the waste produced by the fashion and textile industries. FIBRANET won the Research Category;
  • The Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage (Cyprus), established in 2008 by the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders under the auspices of the United Nations, who has successfully restored over 70 monuments, using cultural heritage as a powerful tool for reconciliation and peaceful cooperation. The Technical Committee topped the Dedicated Service to Heritage by Organisations & Individuals Category;
  • The Invention of a Guilty Party, Trento (Italy), an exemplary exhibition that shows the relevance of a historical case of anti-Semitism to contemporary conversations around discrimination and intolerance in today’s Europe, stimulating critical reflection on the power of propaganda and fake news. The Category here was Education, Training and Awareness-raising.

And there were two more awards

During the ceremony, the two winners of the ILUCIDARE Special Prizes 2021 were also unveiled: HAP4MARBLE − Marble Conservation by Hydroxyapatite (Italy), for excellence in heritage-led innovation; and 2) EU-LAC Museums − Museums, Community & Sustainability in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean (United Kingdom), for excellence in heritage-led international relations.

The winners of the ILUCIDARE Special Prizes were selected by the ILUCIDARE Consortium, including Europa Nostra, from among the submitted applications to the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2021. ILUCIDARE is a project funded by Horizon 2020 with the aim of establishing an international network promoting heritage as a resource for innovation and international relations.

Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, had a message for the winners that summarized the relevance of heritage for the EU of today:

“I warmly congratulate the impressive winners of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2021 for their success and remarkable contributions to our Europe of Culture. The far-reaching impact of the winners illustrates the invaluable contribution of Europe’s cultural heritage to our society, economy and the environment.

At a moment when Europe is determined to build back better, these success stories are a true inspiration and a powerful example of what we, as Europeans, can achieve together despite the challenges we are faced with.”



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