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Winners of the prize for cultural heritage / europa nostra awards

The winners of the 2013 public choice and Grand Prix winners were announced last night during the awards ceremony in Athens.

Organized jointly by the European Commission and Europa Nostra NGOs, this prize aims to reward projects and initiatives in the conservation and enhancement of European buildings and natural heritage 

The winners of the 2013 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards will be honoured this evening at a ceremony in Athens in the presence of Karolos Papoulias, the President of Greece, Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, and Plácido Domingo, the world-renowned tenor and President of Europa Nostra. The ceremony takes place in the Odeion of Herodes Atticus, at the foot of the Acropolis, in front of an audience of up to 5 000 people. The winners of the public choice award and ‘Grand Prix’ are being announced for the first time.

The public choice award winner, chosen in an online poll from among the 30 laureates for 2013 (see IP/13/279), is The Propylaea Central Building in Athens. The jury for the conservation section of the awards praised the high quality of the craftsmanship employed in an “exemplary project which succeeded not only in rescuing this iconic monument of European culture but also in enhancing its inherent formal and social values”.

It will be a double celebration for Greece this evening because the Committee for the Conservation of the Acropolis Monuments is among the seven Grand Prix winners selected by expert juries. The other six (jury comments below) are:
– Tallinn Seaplane Harbour, Estonia
– Roman Theatre of Medellin, Spain
– Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, United Kingdom
– Restoration of the Exceptional Machines of Wielemans-Ceuppens Brewery, Brussels, Belgium
– Association for the Promotion of Art and Culture in the Eastern Part of Germany, Berlin, Germany
– SOS Azulejo Project, Loures, Portugal


The European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards has been organised by Europa Nostra and the European Commission since 2002. The awards ceremony is held under the auspices of Greece’s President, Karolos Papoulias, and jointly organised with Elliniki Etairia, Europa Nostra’s representation in Greece. The ceremony coincides with Europa Nostra’s 50th Anniversary Congress.

The 30 winners of the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards 2013 were selected from among nearly 200 projects nominated by 30 countries. Specialist juries made up of independent experts from across Europe assess the nominated projects in four categories – 1) conservation, 2) research, 3) dedicated service, and 4) education, training and awareness-raising. All the winners receive a plaque or trophy. The seven Grand Prix winners also receive €10 000 each.

Cultural heritage brings a significant contribution to job creation and growth. An important part of the cultural and creative sectors, cultural heritage provides jobs for around 8 million people in the EU and contributes 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 tourism has a cultural dimension. Cultural heritage is also a key resource for sustainable development and social cohesion.

The awards are supported by the EU Culture Programme, which has invested more than €30 million in co-financing heritage-related projects since 2007. Other EU programmes also provide support: the European Regional Development Fund has allocated €6 billion for culture in 2007-2013. Of this, €3 billion supports the protection and preservation of cultural heritage, €2.2 billion aids the development of cultural infrastructure and €775 million co-funds cultural services such as vocational training, arts and heritage education. A further €150 million has been made available through EU Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development since 1998.

Europa Nostra is a pan-European NGO which acts as the voice of cultural heritage. It represents 250 non-governmental and non-profit organisations from more than 50 European countries, with a combined membership of at least 5 million people. It also counts on the support of over 150 associate public authorities and corporations and more than 1 500 individual members. Its vast network of professionals and volunteers are committed to safeguarding Europe’s cultural heritage for present and future generations.

The 2013 award ceremony in Athens is part of Europa Nostra’s annual European Heritage Congress and coincides with its 50th anniversary.

The deadline to nominate projects for the next awards is 9 September 2013. Next year’s ceremony will take place in Vienna on 5 May 2014.


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