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Cultural heritage conservation awards for London projects
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The capital's Leighton House Museum and The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings have received recognition for their cultural heritage conservation work under the 2012 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards, the European Commission announced today.

Restoration work carried out at Leighton House Museum, the former home and studio of the nineteenth century British artist Lord Leighton, was recognised for its outstanding conservation achievements. In particular, the jury was delighted with the way the work had recaptured the original style and atmosphere of the remarkable interiors.

    Leighton House Museum

    Leighton House Museum

    The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings was selected for its long term "supreme achievements".  The jury said the Society's accomplishments were an example of how to protect heritage for future generations and that its influence on heritage policy and practice had been profound. The Society was founded by William Morris in 1877 as concern grew that the historic fabric of too many buildings was being lost.

    Other UK winners include, The Poundstock Gildhouse in Bude, Cornwall, for its "meticulous" conservation work and use of traditional techniques and "Crossing cultures": Transforming the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, for its innovative approach to presenting history.

    "Europe's cultural heritage is unique in the world. I would like to warmly congratulate this year's winners for reminding us of our wonderfully rich and varied heritage that we should never take for granted. It is in our trust for future generations," said Commissioner Vassiliou.

    The awards highlight excellence in conservation, research, education, training and awareness-raising, as well as dedicated service by individuals and groups.  They are supported by the European Commission's Culture Programme and Europa Nostra is in charge of organising the selection and the award ceremony.

    Of the 28 EU winning projects, six will be named as 'grand prix' laureates as 2012’s most outstanding heritage achievements.

    Awards will be presented on 1 June at a ceremony at the Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon which will be attended by Plácido Domingo, the world-renowned tenor and President of Europa Nostra and Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.

    Commenting on the awards, Europa Nostra’s President, Plácido Domingo said:

    "I am very pleased that the European Commission is once again Europa Nostra's partner in celebrating outstanding work in the field of cultural heritage. I also wish to congratulate the Commission for having confirmed its commitment to supporting our shared objectives through the proposed 'Creative Europe' programme."

    He added: "European funding is vital: it boosts creativity and innovation, which helps us to bring our past alive and to safeguard our treasures for the future".


    The 28 winners were selected from among 226 submitted projects from 31 countries. The awards are split into four categories – conservation, research, dedicated service, and education, training and awareness-raising. Each category has its own specialist jury, composed of independent experts from across Europe. All the winners receive a plaque or trophy. The six 'grand prix' winners also receive €10,000 each.

    To find out more:

    Presentations on each winning project (Europa Nostra website)

    Note to editors:

    Cultural heritage brings a significant – and often underrated – contribution to job creation and growth. The sector represents an important part of the cultural and creative industries, which provide jobs for 8.5 million people in the EU and contribute up to 4.5% to Europe's GDP. Spending on conservation of cultural heritage by public and private bodies is worth an estimated €5 billion a year. Figures published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show that 40% of worldwide tourism has a cultural dimension. Cultural heritage is also a key resource for sustainable development and social cohesion.

    Europa Nostra is a pan-European NGO which acts as the voice of cultural heritage. It brings together and represents 250 non-governmental and non-profit organisations from more than 50 European countries, with a combined membership of at least 5 million citizens. It also counts on the support of over 150 associate public authorities and corporations and more than 1500 individual members. Its vast network of professionals and volunteers is committed to safeguarding Europe’s cultural heritage for present and future generations.

    The deadline to apply for the next awards is 1 October 2012. The awards ceremony is expected to take place in Athens in June 2013.


    For more information, please contact the London press office on 020 7973 1971.
    Please note: all amounts expressed in sterling are for information purposes only.

    Last update: 20/03/2012  |Top