European Commission and Europa Nostra announce Europe’s top heritage award winners 2021
23rd September 2021

Docomomo International is pleased to share that the winners of the 2021 European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards, were announced last 23rd September 2021 and celebrated with a high-profile ceremony held at the headquarters of the Giorgio Cini Foundation in Venice.

“During the ceremony, the four Grand Prix laureates and the Public Choice Award winner, selected from among this year’s 24 winning achievements from 18 European countries, were announced. Due to the safety precautions against COVID-19, the European Heritage Awards Ceremony 2021 was held for some 220 attendees, but was followed live by hundreds of heritage professionals, volunteers, lovers and supporters from across Europe and beyond. The ceremony is among the highlights of the European Cultural Heritage Summit 2021 that is taking place from 21-24 September in the World Heritage City of Venice.

The 2021 Grand Prix laureates are:

  • category Conservation – the Wooden Church of Urși Village, Vâlcea County (Romania), a beautiful 18th century wooden church that was exemplary restored using traditional materials and techniques in a collaborative way, allowing for the exchange of ideas and knowledge amongst international participants;
  • category Research – FIBRANET – FIBRes in ANcient European Textiles (Denmark / Greece), an innovative research project that provides new knowledge about the degradation of ancient fibres, informing both archaeological practice and providing crucial knowledge for Europeans as we look for solutions for dealing with the waste produced by the fashion and textile industries;
  • category Dedicated service by individuals or organisations – the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage (Cyprus), established in 2008 by the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders under the auspices of the United Nations, who has successfully restored over 70 monuments, using cultural heritage as a powerful tool for reconciliation and peaceful cooperation;
  • category Education, training and awareness-raising – The Invention of a Guilty Party, Trento (Italy), an exemplary exhibition that shows the relevance of a historical case of anti-Semitism to contemporary conversations around discrimination and intolerance in today’s Europe, stimulating critical reflection on the power of propaganda and fake news.

The remarkable rehabilitation of the Wooden Church of Urși Village (Romania) is the big winner of 2021: it received a Grand Prix and the general public selected it as their favourite heritage project in Europe. Some 7,000 citizens from all over Europe voted Public Choice Award  via the Europa Nostra website.

The European Heritage Awards/Europa Nostra Awards were launched in 2002 by the European Commission and have been organised by Europa Nostra ever since. The Awards promote best practices related to heritage conservation, management, research, education and communication. In this way, the Awards scheme contributes to a stronger public recognition of cultural heritage as a strategic resource for Europe’s society and economy. The Awards honour every year up to 30 outstanding heritage achievements from all parts of Europe. Up to four are selected as Grand Prix laureates and one receives the Public Choice Award, chosen in an online poll. All the winners receive a certificate as well as a plaque. The Grand Prix laureates also receive €10,000 each.

During the ceremony, the two winners of the ILUCIDARE Special Prizes 2021 were also unveiled:

  • HAP4MARBLE − Marble Conservation by Hydroxyapatite (Italy), for excellence in heritage-led innovation;
  • EU-LAC Museums − Museums, Community & Sustainability in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean (United Kingdom), for excellence in heritage-led international relations.

The winners of the ILUCIDARE Special Prizes were selected by the ILUCIDARE Consortium, including Europa Nostra, from among the submitted applications to the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2021. ILUCIDARE is a project funded by Horizon 2020 with the aim of establishing an international network promoting heritage as a resource for innovation and international relations.

The press release can be read here.
More information on the Europa Nostra website and the Awards website; photos of the ceremony on flickr