Ostia Antica archaeological park. Image: Bert Kaufmann via Flickr, under CC BY-NC 2.0
The European Commission and the Council of Europe have announced the winners of over €40,000 in grants this week. To be eligible to win, the sites have to be designated European Heritage label sites. The winning sites are ones that present a project that fosters digital transformation, sustainable cultural tourism or promotes capacity building of the sites.
To get the European Heritage label, the site needs to tells the story and history of Europe. These places can help people learn about European history, not just about their own country. They can also teach young people about community and working together, as well as educate them on Europe’s shared past. The sites with the label also participate in the European Heritage Days, under which over 70,000 events are hosted annually.
During their visit to European Heritage sites with the label, people should be able to see how far Europe has come in terms of culture. The grant provided to the sites will go towards running short projects linked to European Heritage Days.
The purpose of European Heritage days initiative is to:
Encourage interest in Europe’s cultural richness and diversity
Promote Europe’s cultural heritage
Counter racism and encourage greater tolerance for other European cultures
Show people (including policymakers) about the need to protect cultural heritage
The days, which happen every September, have attracted up to 20 million people to heritage sites each year. People in each of the 50 countries that have signed the European Cultural Convention have a chance to see these events. The cultural events show off local skills and traditions, architecture, and works of art, but the bigger goal is to bring people together even though they come from different cultures and speak different languages.