Important legal notice
Contact   |   Search on EUROPA   
Cultural heritage
Cultural heritage - Conserving our common legato
“Improving the sustainability of cultural heritage by bringing researchers and policy-makers together.”

The problem

Sustainability cuts across many European Union policies relating to the environment, society, economics and science and technology. Cultural heritage (such as art or historic buildings) is important to European citizens and its preservation and use also relates, in some way, to all the above policy areas. It is a non-renewable resource, and its longevity suggests it is an example of sustainability in action. However, the likes of policy-makers, museum managers, conservators and researchers must work in a more closely together than they do now, if Europe is to preserve its treasures for future generations.

Sustaining heritage  Sustaining Europe’s cultural heritage


The project was essentially a conference, held in London between 1-3 September 2004, for a range of stakeholders who work in the cultural heritage industry. More than 250 delegates attended ‘Sustaining Europe’s cultural heritage: from research to policy’. The conference presented recent cultural heritage research, held workshop sessions, discussions and study visits. The aim was to encourage a better understanding between policy-makers, professionals and researchers who work in cultural heritage, and to promote best practice. The conference also examined how the principles of sustainability can best be applied to the preservation of cultural heritage.

Contribution to policy development:

  • The project brought together researchers and cultural heritage professionals, which should lead to the development of better policies for the preservation of cultural heritage.
  • The conference showed decision-makers the value of cultural heritage as an area in which to develop sustainability policies.
  • The conference will have a ‘knock-on’ impact in other policy areas, such as those that deal with quality of life issues, the urban environment, tourism construction, regional policy and economic development, training and education, etc.

Project deliverables

  • Appointing local organising committee and international scientific committee – May 2004
  • Publishing conference marketing materials and call for papers – May 2004
  • Approval of conference programme and presentations – August 2004
  • The three-day conference deliverables included: conference press release; four workshops; draft conference recommendations; and post-conference study visits – September 2004
  • Publishing of conference report and final project report – April 2005


  • Marketing of conference, including electronic direct mailing of event details to more then 10 000 people and organisations working in conservation and related research
  • Diffusion of conference findings by delegates to the wider cultural heritage community – from September 2004
  • Publication of conference papers, including conference report – April 2005
  • Dedicated website posting information about the conference and its findings

Technical information

Project’s official full title: Sustaining Europe’s cultural heritage: from research to policy
Research priority: 3.6. Protection of cultural heritage and associated conservation strategies
Specific webpage:
Proposal/contract no: 513668
Start date: 1 May 2004
Completion date: April 2005

Name: University College London Centre for Cultural Heritage
Abbreviated name: UCL
Address: The Bartlett School of Graduate Studies
Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT
Country: United Kingdom
Tel: +44 20 7679 1780
Fax: +44 20 7916 1887


This project has no partners

Latest news

Declaration approved by participants at the end of the conference stressing the importance of research for a sustainable cultural heritage and stating a series of recommendations