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Frontpage News 2015 Support to cultural heritage takes centre stage in Oslo

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Funding from the cultural heritage programme helps the Portuguese Network of Jewish Quarters restore and connect important Jewish Sephardic cultural heritage across Portugal in a route which will also be a boost for tourism. Photographer: Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Support to cultural heritage takes centre stage in Oslo

The 2015 European Heritage Congress - ‘Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe’ (CHCFE) - is taking place in Oslo 11-12 June. The conference offers a platform to showcase our support to the cultural sector.

Sponsored by the EEA and Norway Grants, the event is taking place in Oslo University’s Domus Media. The results of the ‘Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe’ cooperation project, coordinated by conference organisers, Europa Nostra and supported by the EU Culture programme, are being presented at conference. This puts the spotlight on the importance of this sector for future economic growth, employment, social inclusion and mutual understanding.  The report shows the wide-ranging benefits of investing in Europe’s cultural heritage

Europa Nostra is a pan-European network dedicated to safeguarding Europe’s cultural heritage. Across Europe our cultural heritage inspires and enriches us and nurtures our sense of belonging to a wider community. An estimated 300 000 people are directly employed in the cultural heritage sector, with a further 7.9 million jobs indirectly triggered through spill-over effects. Yet the sector’s importance and the opportunities it offers are still undervalued.

Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway channel funding worth over €200 million through the EEA Grants to cultural heritage programmes in 14 EU countries to support good heritage care and management. More than 150 projects in this field have been funded, of which 62 include the involvement of cultural players from the three donor countries. This strong bilateral cooperation element accelerates knowledge exchange and provides opportunities for future international cooperation for all involved in these projects.

Speaking ahead of the conference attended by Mr Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, and scores of experts from the European heritage sector, Ms Ingvild Næss Stub, State Secretary of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that, “heritage care is not about an ancient past, but far more about present opportunities that can be grasped to bring sustainable future benefits”.

At the conference Ms Stub will be giving examples of projects funded by the Grants having impact on skills development, job development and tourism, but also countering hate speech and violent extremism, and promoting mutual understanding and multicultural awareness.

The high quality of the funded projects has been recognised by experts, for example in 2014, when three supported projects received the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards.


Overview of EEA Grants support to cultural heritage from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway

Factsheet on cultural heritage

Europa Nostra website