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Brussels: opening up Europe's cultural heritage on the occasion of the 2008 European Heritage Days

Press Conference, Brussels, Thursday 25 September 2008
2008 European Heritage Days On the occasion of the 2008 European Heritage Days, the European Commission and the Council of Europe are organizing a joint Press Conference in Brussels (Berlaymont) on Thursday 25 September 2008 at 11.30 hours. During the press conference the European dimension of the European Heritage Days event will be presented to the international press in Brussels and examples will be given of some the many roles heritage plays in our society, for example in stimulating intercultural dialogue. Mr Jan Figel’, Member of the European Commission responsible for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, and Ms Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Director General – Education, Culture and Heritage, Youth and Sport of the Council of Europe, will introduce the European Heritage Days event. The Director of the King Baudouin Foundation, Mr Guido Knops, on behalf of Belgium, will link the 20th Anniversary of the European Heritage Days in Belgium with the first European Heritage Forum on “Heritage and Dialogue” which will take place in Brussels, on 23-24 October 2008. Following these brief introductions, three case studies will be presented by speakers from Estonia, France and the United Kingdom:
  • Mr. Henry Kuningas from the Cultural Heritage Department of the city of Tallinn in Estonia will highlight that the regenerative use of industrial cultural heritage in Europe can help increase cities' potential to attract new small and medium sized companies, can make them to become more attractive places to live and can contribute to their economic development and to citizen’s welfare;
  • Mr. Serge Grappin, Educational Adviser in the House of Heritage (Maison du Patrimoine), Saint Romain, France will present an example of how cultural heritage can be used to help rehabilitate young offenders by offering them a chance to break with their usual environment, immerse themselves in sites which are steeped in history and help them unleash emotion and curiosity;
  •  Ms Judy Ling Wong CBE, FRSA, Director of the Black Environment Network in the United Kingdom will be presenting a project with a particular focus on the variety of cultures in society, aiming at including people from various cultural backgrounds and showing how cultures are interlinked.