EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards 2018 for Plečnik House

The winners of the 2018 EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards, Europe’s top honour in the field, were announced today, 15 May 2018, by the European Commission and Europa Nostra, the leading European heritage network. The 29 laureates from 17 countries have been recognised for their impressive accomplishments in conservation, research, dedicated service, and education, training and awareness-raising. Among this year’s winners is the Plečnik House, Slovenia!

Plečnik's bedroom and study
Plečnik's bedroom and study © Matevž Paternoster/MGML

Among the outstanding European heritage “success stories” awarded in 2018 are: the rehabilitation of a Byzantine church in Greece, with its unique series of frescoes dating from the 8th - 9th century, made possible thanks to a fruitful cooperation between Greek and Swiss organisations; the development of a new method to conserve the heritage of Europe’s historic houses, the result of a joint venture between five institutions based in France, Italy and Poland; the dedication of an international network of NGOs committed to the protection of Venice for over 30 years; the establishment of a public educational programme that gives all children and young people in Finland the chance to engage with their cultural heritage and which can serve as inspiration for similar initiatives across Europe; and a complete renovation of Plečnik House, which served as the basis for the integration of various social groups into its many activities and the spread of awareness of the wide significance of cultural and architectural heritage.

The Plečnik House is awarded in the Education, Training and Awareness Raising category and in its decision to award the Plečnik House the jury wrote: “The elaborate educational programme, attached to the conservation of the house, has ensured the existence of a secure learning environment for the continuing education of various target groups of visitors as well as encouraging a broader appreciation of architectural heritage. The social value and benefits of the project are reflected in the integration of various social groups into different activities of Plečnik House.”

As a contribution to the European Year of Cultural Heritage, this year’s Awards put special emphasis on the European added value of the selected heritage achievements. The winners will be honoured at a high-profile Award ceremony on 22 June in Berlin, during the first ever European Cultural Heritage Summit. During the award ceremony in Berlin seven Grand Prix laureates and the Public Choice Award winner, chosen from among this year’s winning projects, will be announced.

Citizens from around Europe and the rest of the world can now vote online (voting ends on 10 June 2018) for the Public Choice Award and mobilise support for the winning achievement(s) from their own or another European country.

2018 Award Winners

Category Conservation
St. Wenceslas Rotunda, Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC
Poul Egede's Mission House, Ilimanaq, Greenland, DENMARK
Dr. Barner’s Sanatorium, Braunlage/Harz, GERMANY
The Winzerberg: Royal Vineyard at Potsdam-Sanssouci, GERMANY
Byzantine Church of Hagia Kyriaki, Naxos, GREECE
Collaborative Conservation of the Apse Mosaic of the Transfiguration in the Basilica at St. Catherine’s Monastery, Sinai, EGYPT/GREECE/ITALY
The Botanical Garden of the National Palace of Queluz, Sintra, PORTUGAL
The Pavilion of Prince Miloš at the Bukovička Spa, Arandjelovac, SERBIA
The Bač Fortress, Bač, SERBIA
Façade of San Ildefonso College, Alcalá de Henares, SPAIN
Sorolla’s Sketches of Spain, Valencia, SPAIN

Category Research
EPICO: European Protocol in Preventive Conservation, coordinated in Versailles, FRANCE
Textile from Georgia, Tbilisi, GEORGIA
CultLab3D: Automated Scanning Technology for 3D Digitisation, Darmstadt, GERMANY
Research and Cataloguing of the State Art Collection, Belgrade, SERBIA

Category Dedicated Service
The Wonders of Bulgaria Campaigners, BULGARIA
Mr. Stéphane Bern, FRANCE
Association of the International Private Committees for the Safeguarding of Venice, ITALY
The Hendrick de Keyser Association, THE NETHERLANDS
Mrs.Tone Sinding Steinsvik, NORWAY
Private Water Owners of Argual and Tazacorte, Canary Islands, SPAIN

Category Education, Training and Awareness-Raising
Ief Postino: Belgium and Italy Connected by Letters, BELGIUM
Culture Leap: Educational Programme, FINLAND
National Institute of Cultural Heritage: Educational and Training Programme for Conservators, FRANCE
The Alka of Sinj Museum, CROATIA
The Rising from Destruction Campaign, coordinated in Rome, ITALY
Open Monuments, ITALY
GeoCraftNL: Minecraft Heritage Project by GeoFort, THE NETHERLANDS
Plečnik House, SLOVENIA

A Europa Nostra Award is also presented to a remarkable heritage achievement from a European country not taking part in the EU Creative Europe programme.
Category Conservation
Zografyon Greek School, Istanbul, TURKEY


EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards

The European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards was launched by the European Commission in 2002 and has been run by Europa Nostra since then. It celebrates and promotes best practices related to heritage conservation, research, management, voluntarism, education and communication. In this way, it contributes to a stronger public recognition of cultural heritage as a strategic resource for Europe’s economy and society. The Prize is supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.  

In the past 16 years, organisations and individuals from 39 countries have submitted a total of 2,883 applications for the Awards. Concerning the number of entries by country, Spain is first in the ranking, with 516 projects, followed by Italy, with 296 entries, and the United Kingdom, with 289 applications. With regard to the categories, Conservation has had the most submissions (1,677). Next comes Education, Training and Awareness-Raising (505), then Research (362), and, finally, Dedicated Service to Heritage (339).

Since 2002, independent expert juries have selected 485 award-winning projects from 34 countries. In line with the number of entries, Spain tops the list with 64 awards received. The United Kingdom is in second place (60 awards) and Italy comes third (41 awards). Regarding the categories, Conservation has the most winners (279) followed by Dedicated Service to Heritage and Education, Training and Awareness-Raising (73 each), and, lastly, Research (60).

A total of 102 Grand Prix of €10,000 have been presented to outstanding heritage initiatives, selected from among the award-winning projects.

The EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards has further strengthened the capacity of the heritage sector in Europe by highlighting best practices, encouraging the cross-border exchange of knowledge and connecting various stakeholders in wider networks. It has also brought major benefits to the winners, such as greater (inter)national exposure, follow-on funding and increased visitor numbers. In addition, it has raised awareness of our shared heritage amongst the general public while highlighting its intrinsic European character. The Prize is therefore a key tool to promote Europe’s heritage.

Europa Nostra

Europa Nostra is the pan-European federation of heritage NGO’s which is also supported by a wide network of public bodies, private companies and individuals. Covering more than 40 countries in Europe, the organisation is the voice of civil society committed to safeguarding and promoting Europe’s cultural and natural heritage. Founded in 1963, it is today recognised as the most representative heritage network in Europe. Plácido Domingo, the world-renowned opera singer, is the President of the organisation.

Europa Nostra campaigns to save Europe's endangered monuments, sites and landscapes, in particular through the 7 Most Endangered programme. It celebrates excellence through the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards. It also contributes to the formulation and implementation of European strategies and policies related to heritage, through a structured dialogue with European Institutions and the coordination of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3. Europa Nostra has strongly promoted and is actively contributing to the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.

Creative Europe

Creative Europe is the EU programme that supports the cultural and creative sectors, enabling them to increase their contribution to jobs and growth. With a budget of €1.46 billion for 2014-2020, it supports organisations in the fields of heritage, performing arts, fine arts, interdisciplinary arts, publishing, film, TV, music, and video games as well as tens of thousands of artists, cultural and audiovisual professionals. The funding allows them to operate across Europe, to reach new audiences and to develop the skills required in the digital age.

Posted: 15. 5. 2018