European Union
Brussels, 14 May 2009

The best European cultural heritage projects 2009

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 Dońa 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 EUR 10,000.

The European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards were jointly launched in 2002 by the European Commission and Europa Nostra to celebrate 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. Also awarded are prizes for research, for education and awareness-raising projects related to cultural heritage, and for dedicated service to heritage conservation by individuals or organisations.

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.

The call for entries for the 2010 "European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards" can be found on Europa Nostra's website as from 15 April 2009. (For more information:

The following are the selected Awards Laureates who will be competing for one of the 7 Grand Prizes, to be disclosed at the European Heritage Awards Ceremony and presented jointly by the European Commission and Europa Nostra, the pan-European Federation of Cultural Heritage in Europe:

Category 1 -- Conservation:

* Gozzoburg Medieval building in Krems, AUSTRIA
* Grotenfelt Family Burial Chapel's wall paintings in Joroinen, FINLAND
* Kesälahti Church Bell Tower, FINLAND
* Dokumentationsstätte Regierungsbunker, Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, GERMANY
* Archaeological Site of Nicopolis in Epirus, GREECE
* Mátra Museum in Gyöngyös, HUNGARY
* The Church of Saints Faustino and Giovita in Fasano, ITALY
* "Macro Future" and "Alternative Economy City" in Rome, ITALY
* Via Latina at the University of Coimbra, PORTUGAL
* La Casería de Tomillos at Alcalá del Valle SPAIN
* The Church of Santa María La Mayor in Colmenar de Oreja, SPAIN
* Stanley Mills in Stanley Perthshire, UNITED KINGDOM
* Logie Schoolhouse in Craigo, UNITED KINGDOM
* The Pier Arts Centre in Stromness on Orkney, UNITED KINGDOM
* High Level Bridge at NewcastleGateshead, UNITED KINGDOM

Category 2 -- Research:

* Study, Assessment and Design for the Structural and Architectural Restoration of the Bedestan in Nicosia, CYPRUS
* Series of five restoration catalogues from 2004 to 2008 of the Olomouc Museum of Art, CZECH REPUBLIC
* An Inventory of Historic Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Ireland, IRELAND
* The Noah's Ark Project - Global Climate Change Impact on Built Heritage and Cultural Landscapes, ITALY

Category 3 -- Dedicated service:

* Dr Glenn Murray from Segovia, SPAIN
* Fundación de la Comunidad Valenciana La Luz de la Imágenes, SPAIN
* Professor David Walker, OBE, from Edinburgh, UNITED KINGDOM

Category 4 -- Education, training and awareness-raising:

* Maison du patrimoine médiéval mosan in Bouvignes-sur-Meuse, BELGIUM
* Sustainable Aegean Programme, GREECE
* Pontemanco - A proposed teaching method for reading the landscape, ITALY
* Academia Istropolitana Nova in Sväty Jur, SLOVAKIA
* "Culture Ants" project of the Cultural Awareness Foundation, Istanbul, TURKEY
* Upper Colne Valley dry stone walling project from Huddersfield, UNITED KINGDOM