Director of World Heritage Centre’s Message on the occasion of European Heritage Days 2017
Since 1984, the European Heritage Days have provided an open access to cultural heritage, allowing anyone and everyone to get involved with the continent’s rich past - from chateaux to archives, 17,000 monuments and sites will open their doors, with 25,000 different events happening. The European Heritage Days are the most widely celebrated participatory cultural events shared by the citizens of Europe.
The World Heritage Centre takes this opportunity to commend the commitment of the heritage communities for their endless effort in promoting heritage and its conservation to the public. As custodians of local traditions, histories and values, heritage communities are the living transmission of Europe’s cultural richness. Like the past years, many World Heritage sites will actively participating in the celebration of the European Heritage Days.
The European Heritage Days provides the public with many examples of built and intangible heritage often related to our natural heritage which surrounds us and to which we would usually not have access. Europe recognizes that as part of this event, aspects of intercultural dialogue, partnerships and civic responsibility are paramount to its success, and to the involvement of young people.
The 2017 the European Heritage Day’s theme focuses on Heritage and Nature: “A Landscape of Possibilities”. Emphasis is given to heritage values embodied in nature and to the extent to which the environment shapes people's lives and lifestyles and its contribution to their well-being and socio-economic prosperity. The events taking place in urban nature sites, historic gardens, national reserves, home yards, national parks, heritage biotopes, protected areas, every day and outstanding landscapes will help people to connect to nature and explore its diversity and cultural values.
The World Heritage Convention, a unique instrument protecting sites of cultural and natural diversity, was also the first Convention at global scale to protect cultural landscapes.
Enjoy the European Heritage Days!