Slovak cultural diversity celebrated
Safeguarding Slovak cultural heritage was the central theme at the well-attended launch of the 'Cultural diversity' programme.
Limited funding has put Slovak cultural heritage at risk. Through the EEA Grants, close to €12 million has been allocated to preserve, restore and protect its heritage for the benefit of current and future generations. Such efforts are important not only to improve access to historic monuments and sites, but also to foster economic growth, job creation and social inclusion.
On 13 November, Slovakia and the donor states signed the Programme Agreement for the Programme ‘Conservation and Revitalisation of Cultural and Natural Heritage & Promotion of Diversity in Culture and Arts within European Cultural Heritage‘. Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico attended this event.
On 14 November, the launch of the programme took place at the Reduta (the home of the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra) in Bratislava. The Reduta was renovated during a previous funding period of the Grants. Among the participants were the Slovak Ambassador to Norway, František Kašický and his counterpart, Inga Magistad, the Norwegian Ambassador to Slovakia. Magistad was upbeat about the broadening of the programme:
“The new programme we launch today will have many similarities with the first programme, but the scope will be broader. In addition to restoration and conservation of monuments and significant national heritage, the programme aims to increase awareness about good and sustainable heritage care and monitoring of monuments”.
She also highlighted the bilateral aspect:
“We believe that bilateral cooperation and exchanges of experience and knowledge brings added value to the various projects, and that such cooperation is beneficial, not only to the Slovak partners - but also to the Norwegian”, she added.
The Programme aims to restore, renovate and protect cultural heritage, make the cultural heritage accessible to the public, establish new expositions, information and educational trails and increase awareness of cultural diversity and strengthen intercultural dialogue.
There will be two pre-defined projects: One is the reconstruction of the servants’ house and surrounding historic park and garden of the Rusovce manor house. The second focuses on sharing knowledge about good care and maintenance of heritage buildings, monitoring of monuments and the provision of advice to the owners of monuments. The Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage will participate in the latter project as a donor project partner.
Contemporary art and culture will also be supported through a Small Grants Scheme which will provide funding for projects focuced on international cooperation in cultural and artistic management and promotion as well as local cultural associations.