2014 EU Prize for Cultural Heritage – Europa Nostra Awards unveiled


Among the laureates, Dragomirna Church’s 17th Century Frescoes, Romania.

The winners of the 2014 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards were unveiled on Thursday by the European Commission and Europa Nostra. The 27 laureates, selected from 160 nominated projects across 30 countries, are honoured for achievements in four areas: conservation; research; dedicated service; education, training and awareness-raising, europanostra.org informs.
The award ceremony will take place on 5 May at the Burgtheater in Vienna, under the patronage of the President of Austria, Heinz Fischer. Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, and Placido Domingo, the internationally-renowned opera singer and President of Europa Nostra, will jointly present the awards. Six of the winners will be named as Grand Prix laureates, receiving EUR 10,000 each, and one will receive the Public Choice Award, chosen in an online poll conducted by Europa Nostra. As well as celebrating excellence in cultural heritage work, the Prize aims to promote high-quality skills and standards in conservation.
“I would like to warmly congratulate this year’s winners and their teams, whose passion and dedication is so inspiring. Europe’s heritage is one of our most precious assets. It builds bridges between the past and present, promotes growth, fosters social inclusion and attracts tourism. But many of these works of art and human ingenuity, which have conveyed beauty through the centuries, are increasingly fragile. Their survival depends on long-term investment in preservation and maintenance. I am delighted that our new Creative Europe programme will continue to support the Prize, as well as many other transnational initiatives, and that cultural heritage will continue to benefit from substantial EU funding from different sources including the regional funds and research,” stated Commissioner Vassiliou.
Included in category 1 – Conservation – is Dragomirna Church’s 17th Century Frescoes, Suceava, Romania.
Dragomirna monastery is a substantial, almost fortified, structure some 15km from Suceava in northern Romania.
But the quality and visibility of the murals had become very seriously compromised over the 400 years of their existence, and the restoration project – part of a major restoration and conservation programme at the Monastery – had an uphill task.
“The Jury were deeply impressed with the high level of professionalism in the sophisticated restoration and conservation of this enormous artwork, covering some 900sqm of wall surface. The work was carried out in situ in a remarkably short period of time. The restorers have followed and respected techniques using natural and traditional, but also reversible, materials, while the patina and original 17th century ‘mood’ of these unique frescoes has been preserved,” the release reads.