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“Heritage and Nature: a landscape of possibilities”: the pan-European theme for the 2017 European Heritage Days

  • 3 months 2 days ago
  • programme events

Launched in 1985, the European Heritage Days have been organised since 1999 as a joint initiative of the European Commission and the Council of Europe. In 2017, over 30 countries will participate in the programme, celebrating “Heritage and Nature: a landscape of possibilities.”

Throughout September to mid-October, Europe’s splendid natural heritage will be put into focus at cultural events all over Europe. Millions of people across Europe will visit thousands of sites for free; most of them only open to the public during European Heritage Days. Urban nature sites, historic gardens, national reserves, home yards, national parks, heritage biotopes and many other places will be brought into the spotlight to encourage active participation in natural heritage preservation and interpretation. More than 70,000 national and local events will celebrate Europe’s natural treasures, enabling millions of people across Europe to explore connections between cultural and natural heritage,  to highlight the richness of nature and what it brings to people and to help them  get involved in the mission of preserving their heritage and keeping these connections alive.  

This year, European Heritage Days are giving Europeans the opportunity to celebrate their relationship with nature, explore how their environment influences their lifestyles and lives in general, discover how artists are inspired by landscape and nature, visit local, national and European natural monuments, participate in events in national parks, find out how different businesses are nature-related and have guided tours in open air museums.

Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport stressed that:  

"This year's theme encourages citizens to look closer at the space around them, appreciate its beauty, be inspired and find new values of nature around them. It allows them to look at all the different places that are bringing meaning, value and joy to their everyday lives.

It is a great opportunity to help people acknowledge how human culture shapes the environment and how nature’s processes reshape culture. The European Commission is supporting policies focusing on the need to manage and care natural landscapes as composites of both natural and cultural heritage, as well as on the links between cultural and natural heritage"

Cultural heritage is a priority under Creative Europe. The European Heritage Days receive €200,000 in support from Creative Europe and €200,000 from the Council of Europe; events are funded with national or regional backing.