Celebration to mark success of the Norwegian Lighthouse Society
The success of the Norwegian Lighthouse Society in the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards 2017 was celebrated on 15-16 September with a varied programme, featuring an award ceremony, presentations, guided tours and musical performances. The events also marked the 20th anniversary of the organisation. José Alonso Campanero, Member of the Scientific Council of Europa Nostra, presented the Awards trophy to Tormod Steen, Chairman of the Society, and paid tribute to the organisation for its remarkable efforts to preserve Norway’s lighthouses as Europe’s common maritime cultural heritage.
The presentation ceremony took place on 15 September at the Tungenes Lighthouse, starting with a concert by the Stavanger Seaman Shanty Choir and ending with a guided tour of the Tungenes Lighthouse.
Birger Lindanger, historian, founder and active member of the Society, took the audience on a journey through the history of the Norwegian lighthouses and the history of the organisation.
“The name of our country ‘Norway’ means ‘the way, or the path to the north’. This path is of course our coastline. As the lighthouses have joined our coastline and nation together, the Norwegian Lighthouse Society has held many different initiatives for the conservation of lighthouses together,” stated Birger Lindanger.
Ottar Ostnes, Ministry of Transport and Communications, Kirsti Slotsvik, Director General of the Norwegian Coastal Administration, and John Erik Hagen, Regional Director of the Norwegian Coastal Administration Western Norway, also addressed the audience. All speakers highlighted the importance of the cooperation between the Lighthouse Society and the Government.
“The combination of community engagement and public ownership has proved to be a successful approach to raising awareness and preserving cultural heritage,” noted José Alonso Campanero.
Erik Schultz, Council Member of Europa Nostra and President of Europa Nostra Norway, made a presentation about Europa Nostra and its core activities, namely celebrating excellence through the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards, campaigning to save Europe’s endangered heritage and lobbying for cultural heritage. He also referred to the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 and mentioned Europa Nostra’s flagship initiatives for the Year.
On 16 September, the guests took a boat to visit the Kvitsøy Island, the old Kvitsøy Lighthouse and the modern ship communication centre. Back at Tungenes Lighthouse, the participants listened to presentations by six members of the Norwegian Lighthouse Society who have developed new uses for lighthouses in the Rogaland region. The festive programme concluded with musical performances by the singer and songwriter Sølvi Hopland Aemmer.