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2018 - European Year of Cultural Heritage
Today Milan hosts the official launch of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, #EuropeforCulture. It will include familiar programmes such as Heritage Open Days or the prestigious EU prize for cultural heritage/Europa Nostra Awards, a prize that has often been awarded to UK organisations or individuals in recognition of their work in preserving cultural heritage.
Many initiatives across Europe will celebrate cultural heritage and encourage people to explore it in its many forms – buildings, natural landscapes and archaeological sites, literature, art and even food.
EU Commissioner for Culture, Education, Youth and Sports, Tibor Navracsics said: "Cultural heritage is at the heart of the European way of life. It defines who we are and creates a sense of belonging. Cultural heritage is not only made up of literature, art and objects but also by the crafts we learn, the stories we tell, the food we eat and the films we watch. We need to preserve and treasure our cultural heritage for the next generations. This year of celebrations will be a wonderful opportunity to encourage people, especially young people, to explore Europe's rich cultural diversity and to reflect on the place that cultural heritage occupies in all our lives. It allows us to understand the past and to build our future."
More than 8 out of 10 Brits think cultural heritage is not only important to them personally, but also to their community, region and the UK as a whole, according to a new Eurobarometer survey. A large majority of UK citizens take pride in cultural heritage, whether it is located in their own region or the UK, or in another European country. The survey also shows that 9 in 10 Brits think cultural heritage should be taught in schools.
UK institutions and individuals are regularly distinguished for their work in preserving cultural heritage in the annual EU prize for cultural heritage/Europa Nostra Awards. Supported by the Creative Europe programme, the awards celebrate and promote best practices in heritage conservation, research, management, the work of volunteers, education and communication. In 2017 Cromford Mills in Derbyshire and SAMPHIRE – a maritime heritage project in Western Scotland won the award. Previous UK winners include: the conservation of Abbotsford, the historic country house and former residence of the historical novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott, and the restoration of Strawberry Hill and King's Cross station.