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In 1974, the European Parliament adopted an initial resolution which mentioned the need for Community action in the cultural sphere, particularly action to protect cultural heritage. Since 1993, the Treaty establishing the European Community has provided a legal basis specifically for activities concerning the preservation and enhancement of cultural heritage.
Article 151 of the Treaty stipulates that the Community must support and supplement action by the Member States in order to conserve and safeguard cultural heritage of European significance. The action initially taken by the Community was limited to supporting the restoration of "built heritage", such as the Acropolis in Athens and the Chiado historic centre in Lisbon.
Since then, the Community has taken action with regard to movable and immovable heritage (museums, collections, libraries and archives); archaeological and architectural heritage; natural heritage (landscapes and sites of natural interest); linguistic and gastronomic heritage, and traditional occupations. Community action of this kind deals with both the cultural and economic aspects of heritage.
|Last update: 03-05-2006|