The European Commission (DG EAC) and Europa Nostra, the pan-European Federation for Cultural Heritage, has announced the laureates of the annual European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards.
The Awards will be presented to the representatives of the awarded achievements at the annual European Heritage Awards Ceremony, which will take place on 8 June 2007 in the Stockholm City Hall in Sweden. HRH the Prince Consort of Denmark, President of Europa Nostra, Ján Figel', Member of the European Commission responsible for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, HRH Princess Madeleine, Patron of Europa Nostra Sweden and Mrs Llena Adelsohn-Liljeroth, Swedish Minister of Culture, will participate in this event. The ceremony will be honoured by the presence of Their Majesties the King and Queen of Sweden.
These European Heritage Awards were jointly launched in 2002 by the European Commission and Europa Nostra, in the framework of the Commission's Culture 2000 programme, to recognise best practices in heritage conservation on a European level. The aims of this Awards Scheme are three-fold: to promote high standards in conservation practice, to stimulate trans-boundary exchanges of knowledge and skills, and to encourage further exemplary initiatives in the field of cultural heritage.
The award for Conservation of Architectural Heritage has been given to Sarica Church in Cappadocia (Turkey), part of the Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia World Heritage site. Having suffered from severe surface erosion due to rainwater infiltration, cracks and flaking, this remarkable example of a rock-carved Byzantine church was rescued, restored and made accessible to visitors. The project principally involved the restoration of the wall paintings, the construction of a new drainage system and the replacement of the eroded rock of the facade with a covering of harder local tuff of similar colour.
Other top prizes include:
Conservation of Cultural Landscapes
Santo Stefano di Sessanio near l'Aquila (Italy)
Conservation of Works of Art
Farbdiaarchiv zur Wand- und Deckenmalerei (Germany)
The Atlantic Wall Linear Museum (Italy/Belgium/France)
The Mihai Eminescu Trust (Romania/United Kingdom)