in-cyprus Nicosia hosts conference to save Europe’s endangered heritage

Nicosia hosts conference to save Europe’s endangered heritage

On October 23-24, Nicosia will host the 5th Anniversary Conference of the 7 Most Endangered programme, established by Europa Nostra, the leading European heritage network, and the European Investment Bank Institute to mobilise efforts to save Europe’s most threatened monuments and heritage sites.

Some 100 heritage players from 20 European countries, including decision-makers, professionals and volunteers, will participate in the conference, which is organised in the framework of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.

The aim of this Conference is threefold: first, sharing the lessons learned since the launch of the 7 Most Endangered programme in 2013 and discussing the way forward, while presenting EU policies and actions taken for heritage at risk and various already existing funding schemes; second, sharing some best practice examples of saving endangered sites by the winners of the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards, Europe’s highest honour in the field; and third, drawing particular attention to the case of the Buffer Zone in the Historic Centre of Nicosia, which was listed among the 7 Most Endangered heritage sites in Europe in 2013, thus giving a special focus to a country belonging to the wider region of South East Europe which has been confronted with many challenges.

Among the speakers will be Guy Clausse, Executive Vice-President of Europa Nostra, Androulla Vassiliou, Vice-President of Europa Nostra; Henry von Blumenthal, Deputy Dean of the European Investment Bank Institute; Vassiliki Anastassiadou, Minister of Transport, Communications and Works of the Republic of Cyprus, and Elizabeth Spehar, Special Representative of UN Secretary General and Chief of Mission of UNFICYP.

Representatives from the two communities of Nicosia, Constantinos Yiorkadjis and Mehmet Harmanci, will participate in a panel discussion during the session on the Buffer Zone in the Historic Centre of Nicosia on the morning of October 24.

The Conference’s programme is composed of 4 parts:

Morning of Tuesday, October 23 – This session will focus on the 5 years of the 7 Most Endangered programme: lessons learned and the way forward. It will involve the lessons learned from projects included on the 7 Most Endangered lists since 2013 and new possible partnerships for the future. It will be followed by the opening of a photo exhibition about the Buffer Zone in the Historic Centre of Nicosia by the young Dutch photographer Roman Robroek.

Afternoon of Tuesday, 23 October – This session will concentrate on EU policies and action for heritage at risk and existing funding for saving heritage monuments and sites in danger. This session will showcase various presentations by representatives from the European Commission and other institutions which fund cultural heritage in Europe and put a spotlight on exemplary practices for saving endangered sites by the winners of the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards.

Morning of Wednesday,  October 24– This session will focus on the Buffer Zone in the Historic Centre of Nicosia, gathering many active actors and sharing different points of view.

Afternoon of Wednesday, October  24– This part of the programme will allow the participants to visit the Othello Tower and monuments restored by the bi-communal Committee on cultural heritage in Famagusta and to learn more about the situation and work in this city.

For the detailed programme of the Conference, please visit the Europa Nostra website.

The main part of the Conference will take place in the Centre of Visual Arts and Research in Nicosia, a Grand Prix winner of the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award 2017.

The Conference has received the financial support of the European Union through its Creative Europe Programme and the European Investment Bank Institute as well as the support of the Leventis Foundation, the Centre of Visual Arts and Research in Nicosia, the UNDP-PFF and the bi-communal Committee on cultural heritage.

The 7 Most Endangered programme identifies endangered monuments and sites in Europe and mobilises public and private partners on a local, national and European level to find a viable future for those sites. The programme was launched in 2013 by Europa Nostra with the European Investment Bank Institute as founding partner and the Council of Europe Development Bank as associated partner.

It was inspired by a successful similar project run by the US National Trust for Historic Preservation. The 7 Most Endangered is not a funding programme. It is a catalyst for action and promotes “the power of example”.

The 7 Most Endangered is supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, as part of Europa Nostra’s networking project ‘Sharing Heritage – Sharing Values’.

Since 2013, 29 threatened monuments and heritage sites from 19 countries across Europe have been selected for the 7 Most Endangered. The first list was published in 2013, the second list in 2014, the third list in 2016 and the fourth list in 2018, during the European Year of Cultural Heritage. In 2016, the Venice Lagoon in Italy was declared the most endangered heritage site in Europe.

An international advisory panel, comprising specialists in history, archaeology, architecture, conservation and finance, meet to discuss the applications submitted to the 7 Most Endangered programme and to shortlist the most threatened monuments and sites. The final list of 7 sites is selected by the Board of Europa Nostra.

Heritage and financial experts from Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank Institute undertake missions to the 7 sites, together with the nominators. The multidisciplinary teams assess the sites and help formulate a feasible action plan for each of them, in close cooperation with national and local public and private stakeholders. The results and recommendations of these missions are summarised in technical and financial reports. The programme partners assist with the implementation of these reports.

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