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Europe’s top heritage awards announces 2023 winners Europe’s top heritage awards announces 2023 winners

The European Commission and Europa Nostra have selected 30 impressive projects across the continent to take home the honours at the European Heritage Awards…
20 June 2023

Last week, the European Commission and Europa Nostra announced the winners of the 2023 European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards.

From the safeguarding of a Portuguese artisanal fishing technique, to a cultural festival in Budapest and a museum dedicated to urban wooden architecture in Vilnius, 30 different heritage achievements from 21 different countries have received top honours this year.

The awards were launched in 2002, and for 21 years, they have been recognising and promoting destinations who show heritage excellence and best practice.

Each winner has been placed among five different categories. These are: Conservation & Adaptive Reuse; Research; Education, Training & Skills; Citizens’ Engagement & Awareness-raising; and Heritage Champions. 

This year, Italy, Portugal, and France took home the most awards with four each. The latter received one for the exquisite restoration of the Parisian 18th-century Hôtel de la Marine and its reuse as a cultural centre. Among Italy’s winners is a project named Open to All, which sees the hard work of volunteers reopen more than 80 heritage sites in 35 cities to the public. Portugal was honoured for the past four decades of research conducted by archaeologist Cláudio Torres, who played a pivotal role in the appreciation and conservation of Islamic architecture in the country.

Italy’s Open for All project has reclaimed heritage sites for tourists and visitors, such as the Renaissance frescoes of the Church of San Maurizio in Milan (Alamy Stock Photo)

Although no longer a part of the European Union, the UK also received a special mention for two of its projects. The community-led restoration of Bath’s open-air Cleveland Pool has been recognised for its environmental and holistic approach to reinstating its original functions, mainly its 19th-century swimming pool. Whereas in Cambridge, The MINAIRE Project, led by the Fitzwilliam Museum, has revolutionised the understanding of manuscript illumination across Europe’s Middle Ages.  

Ukraine has also been recognised, receiving an award for its SUCHO: Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online, a project ran by volunteers who have web archived more than 50TB of data from Ukrainian cultural institutions in the first several months of the war.

Margaritis Schinas, Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life said: “Each winning achievement of this year’s European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards is the result of extraordinary skills and commitment, collective and individual, spanning heritage places and traditions across Europe.

“By honouring these achievements, we also reiterate our firm commitment to protecting our shared cultural heritage, because it is vital for our sense of togetherness as citizens and communities of Europe.”

President of Europa Nostra and world-renowned mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli also commented: “They [the winners] are inspiring examples which truly contribute to building a more beautiful, sustainable and inclusive Europe.

“Their success stories demonstrate how adversity can be overcome through pooling expertise, dedication, creativity and innovation.”

Scroll down to see the full list of awarded projects in the European Heritage Awards.

Arte-Xávega is a traditional artisanal fishing technique in Portugal (Shutterstock)

Conservation and Adaptive Reuse

Steam Engine Brewery, Lobeč, Czechia

Friluftsskolen Open-Air School, Copenhagen, Denmark

Hôtel de la Marine, Paris, France

Royal Gardens of Venice, Italy

Museum of Urban Wooden Architecture, Vilnius, Lithuania

Wit Stwosz Altarpiece in St. Mary’s Basilica, Kraków, Poland

Mudéjar Ceilings of the Cathedral of Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Deba Bridge, Gipuzkoa, Spain

Ruins of the Monastery of San Pedro de Eslonza, Gradefes, Spain

Research

Scientific-Archaeological Studies for the Preservation of Ererouyk, Armenia/France

Proto-Industrial Architecture of the Veneto in the Age of Palladio, Italy

Safeguarding of the Artisanal Fishing Technique “Arte-Xávega”, Portugal

Education, Training and Skills

MADE IN: Crafts and Design Narratives, Austria/Croatia/Slovenia/Serbia

ACTA VISTA, Marseille, France

Carpenters without Borders, Paris, France

National Centres for Restoration of Historic Vessels, Norway

Pathfinders of the Waters, Danube Delta, Romania

Citizen’s Engagement and Awareness Raising

Village Square Meer, Antwerp, Belgium

Budapest100, Hungary

Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI), Dublin, Ireland

Open for You, Italy

ALMADA Project, Lisbon, Portugal

Via Transilvanica, Romania

Un-archiving Post-industry, Ukraine

Heritage Champions

Hambis Tsangaris, Cyprus

Sergio Ragni, Italy

Cláudio Torres, Portugal

Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online (SUCHO), Ukraine/International Project

Recognition of Outstanding Projects in the UK

 

Cleveland Pools, Bath, United Kingdom (Conservation & Adaptive Reuse)

MINIARE: The Art & Science of Manuscript Heritage, Cambridge, United Kingdom (Research)

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