2022 Winners celebrate their European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards across Europe

Since the announcement of the 2022 winners of the European Heritage Awards  / Europa Nostra Awards last June, a number of this year’s laureates have organised ceremonies in situ to celebrate their outstanding achievements and generate further knowledge and awareness of their projects and initiatives at local and national levels.

Ceremony for Monument of Episkopi, GREECE



Kosovo*: Lumbardhi Public Again, Prizren 

On 7 August, a Local Award Ceremony was organised by Lumbardhi Cinema in Prizren to celebrate its European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award 2022 in the category Citizens’ Engagement and Awareness-raising for the “Lumbardhi Public Again” Project. Fighting against privatization, the Lumbardhi Foundation, together with the many actors believing in the cause, preserved the cinema as a public space for cultural activities.

The event took place at the cinema as part of DokuFest 2022, the International Documentary and Short Film Festival, and saw the participation of about 30 attendees. EUSR Ambassador Tomáš Szunyog and representatives from Cultural Heritage without Borders contributed to the ceremony.

Europa Nostra was represented by past winner and Selection Committee member Sadi Petrela from the Gjirokastra Foundation; Ioanna Makridou from the Europa Nostra Heritage Hub in Athens; and the European Heritage Youth Ambassador Anđela Jovanović from Europa Nostra Serbia.

Sadi Petrela addressed the audience recalling the first steps and the long-time efforts of the Foundation to save the cinema and expressed his congratulations for the impressive results achieved. He presented the Lumbardhi Public Again initiative as an example of how cultural heritage can raise to be a major factor for social development and social cohesion, working for community development, thanks to the mobilisation of NGO partners, public institutions, international entities, citizens and above all young people.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.




Bulgaria: Rivers of Sofia

On 2 September in Sofia, a ceremony was held to celebrate the European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award, in the category Citizens’ Engagement and Awareness-raising, given to the Rivers of Sofia initiative. Eugen Vaida, a past winner of the Awards and Jury member from Romania, represented Europa Nostra on this occasion. The event, during which the bronze award plaque was presented to The Collective, the initiators of the project, took place during the annual Rivers of the City festival.

Ceremony for Rivers of Sofia, BULGARIA

Despite the heavy rain that evening, dozens of people, including heritage professionals and architecture students, attended the ceremony at the alternative indoor venue in TSUM, a short walking distance from the Rivers of Sofia festival at Lions’ Bridge.

Among the guests who addressed the audience were Simeon Shenev, team leader for Bulgaria at Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission (representing the New European Bauhaus); Sava Dragunchev, Executive Director, National Culture Fund of Bulgaria; Desislava Pancheva, Creative Europe Desk Bulgaria; and Sasha Bezuhanova, the founder of local NGO hub Move.bg, who emphasised The Collective’s role in the local innovation and change making scene. Additionally, Kalina Boyadzhieva of WWF Bulgaria, and Valerii Poshtarov, a photographer working with WWF, underlined the importance of rivers as ecosystems and the ways biodiversity is highlighted via an exhibition at the current Rivers of Sofia festival.


Greece: Monument of Episkopi, Sikinos 

On the occasion of the reopening to the public of the Episkopi Monument on the island of Sikinos, a ceremony was held on 3 September to celebrate the European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award received in the category Conservation and Adaptive Reuse. The ceremony took place throughout the whole islands and celebrated the efforts of all those who worked for the restoration of the monument.

The event had the participation of H.E. the President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, and the Minister of Culture and Sports, Lina Mendoni. The Regional Governor of South Aegean, Giorgos Hatzimarkos, also attended the ceremony.

Europa Nostra was represented by Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, Secretary General, and Jimmy Jamar, Head of the Brussels Office. H.E  Katerina Sakellaropoulou regarded the Episkopi Monument as “capacitor of historical charge” and expressed her congratulations toward all those that made the exemplary restoration possible. Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović praised the detailed research, meticulous craftsmanship, and the careful restoration which made this unique cultural site accessible to the public again, after half a century of forced closure.

Ceremony for Monument of Episkopi, GREECE

The event was closed with a festival organised by the Mayor of Sikinos, Vassilis Marakis, in the Castle of the Aegean Island, where all the participants enjoyed performances of classical Cycladic music.


Spain: PAX-Patios de la Axerquía, Cordoba 

On 14 September, Pax-Patios de la Axerquía celebrated the European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award received in the category Citizens’ Engagement and Awareness-raising with a ceremony in the courtyard of the house Montero 12. The location was symbolically chosen as it was the first house rehabilitated by the PAX Astronautas in the neighbourhood of the Axerquia.

Ceremony for PAX-Patios de la Axerquía, PORTUGAL

The ceremony commenced with an address by the representative of the project and the presentation of the Award by Barbara Cordero (Hispania Nostra), who spoke on behalf of Europa Nostra. The event was also an occasion to celebrate the heritage community that, together with the Pax Astronautas, worked in and for the regeneration of the neighbourhood. Short speeches were then delivered by Anna Fasano, President of Banca Etica, Isadora Donnier from Neighbourhood Association and Neighbour of the Axerquia.

The presentation and handing over of the bronze plaque took place during an artistic performance by the members of the Heritage Community. The ceremony was closed with an aperitif in the Plaza San Agustin located in the Axerquía neighbourhood, in the historic centre of the city.


Italy: Swapmuseum, Apulia 

Swapmuseum celebrated the European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award 2022 that they received in the category Citizens’ Engagement and Awareness-Raising with a ceremony in the Museo Sigismondo Castromediano in Lecce.

Ceremony for Swapmuseum, Apulia, Italy

The ceremony was part of a bigger conference that aimed at celebrating the Castromediano Museum that, in the months of the COVID-19 emergency, hosted in some of its rooms the local vaccination hub. The event included a discussion on the future of the Museum and the role of young people in this future. During the whole event the award bronze plaque was visible to all of the attendees.

The ceremony commenced with a speech made by Luigi De Luca, Director of the Museum, followed by an address by Cristina Vannini, who represented Europa Nostra. Cristina Vannini highlighted the importance of the project especially as 2022 is the European Year of Youth. She emphasised the ability of the initiative to take care of the young generations’ wellbeing, listening to their perspectives and creating valuable relationships which are conducive to further cultural development. Vannini expressed her true hope that projects like this can be exported and upscaled all around Italy and Europe, as a successful model of mutual growth.

Elisa Monsellato, project manager of Swampmuseum, addressed the assembled guests, thanking the team that made the initiative a success.

Some 80 participants took part in the ceremony, including representatives of the heritage world as well as political representatives and members of the local community.

The ceremony concluded with an archaeological treasure hunt in the museum organised by Swapmuseum and musical performances.



Poland: TISH: Jewish Food Festival, Warsaw

On 7 October, an elegant Shabbat dinner took place to celebrate the European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award for TISH: Jewish Food Festival. Ir proved to be a perfect celebration for the festival, the title of which translates to “table” in Yiddish. Representatives of Europa Nostra, as well as of the Polish Ministry of Culture and other guests sat at one, common table at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews to enjoy a menu that presented the highlights of European Jewish cuisine. Magdalena Maślak, Head of Social Programmes at the Education Department of the Museum, delivered a commentary on the history and significance of Jewish cuisine.

Ceremony for "TISH Jewish Food Festival", POLAND

The bronze awards plaque was presented to the Magdalena Maślak by Jacek Purchla, Vice President of Europa Nostra, Marzenna Guz-Vetter, Director of the European Commission Representation in Poland and Katarzyna Jagodzińska, Head of the Europa Nostra Heritage Hub for Central and Eastern Europe in Krakow.

Italy: Heritage Opportunities/threats within Mega-Events in Europe (HOMEE)     

On 24 October, the seminar Mega-events in Heritage-rich Cities Principles and Recommendations in Europe was held at the Politecnico di Milano on the occasion of the celebration of the European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award 2022 given to the project Heritage Opportunities/threats within Mega-Events in Europe (HOMEE).

Ceremony for Heritage Opportunities/threats within Mega-Events in Europe (HOMEE)

The seminar served as an opportunity to reflect not only on the scientific outputs of the research, but to focus specifically on how they have already come to be implemented by various actors since the conclusion of the project.

Following welcoming remarks by Massimo Bricocoli, Director of DASTU, Politecnico di Milano, and Pascal Lievaux, Chair, EU JPI Cultural Heritage, Davide Ponzini, the Project Leader of the HOMEE Project, introduced the HOMEE Project and the Charter for Mega-events in Heritage-rich Cities.

Joanna Sanetra-Szeliga, Assistant Professor at the Krakow University of Economics, moderated a roundtable discussion entitled “The Charter for Mega-events in Heritage-rich Cities in Practice”, which focused on the relevance of the Charter for various stakeholders. Among the participants were Chryssa Martini, Director of Premises and Infrastructure for the Eleusis 2023 European Capital of Culture, Iacopo Mazzetti, Head of Legacy for the Milano-Cortina 2026 Foundation, and Stefano Baia Curioni, Associate Professor at Bocconi University.

Finally, in a pre-recorded message, Cristina Loglio, on behalf of the Italian Ministry of Culture, shared examples from her experience on the jury of Italian Capitals of Culture regarding the role that heritage has played in applying for and hosting the event, attesting to the continued value of the Charter for future candidate cities.

The seminar concluded with the Awards ceremony, including remarks by Laura Ambrosino and Mariachiara Esposito, representing the European Commission from the Regional Office of Milan and the Cultural Policy Unit of the DG Education and Culture, who underlined the importance of cultural heritage and research in achieving the aims of the European Commission. Maciej Hofman, on behalf of Europa Nostra, shared insights of the Awards’ Jury in their evaluation of the HOMEE Research Project.

The full recorded seminar can be watched online at the HOMEE Research Project’s YouTube channel.


Norway: Atlungstad Distillery

More than 60 people, mostly professionals from the heritage and culture sectors, participated in the ceremony for the rehabilitation of Atlungstad Brenneri, winner of an European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award 2022,  on 25 October at Atlungstad.

Ceremony for Atlungstad Distillery, NORWAY

On behalf of Europa Nostra, Marianne Roald Ytterdal unveiled the Awards plaque and handed it over to Sylvia Brustad, Head of the Board of Atlungstad Brenneri AS. The representative of Europa Nostra praised the Atlungstad project not only for the restoration of the historic site and for the significant scope of the project but mostly for the practical use and aspects of it. Another important mention went to the volunteers that put their time and expertise into keeping the building and the tradition of making aquavit alive.

Among the guests were Mari Pandum, from Innovasjon Norge, and Toril Skjetne, from Norges Kulturvernforbund. The Mayor of Stange, Bjarne H. Christiansen expressed his pride for the achievements and thanked all the organisers for the amazing growth throughout the years, and for creating an amazing cultural and touristic centre by the lake.


Finland: Return to the Sámi Homeland 

On 31 October, at the Sámi Museum Siida, over 100 people celebrated the European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award 2022 given to the Return to the Sámi Homeland, a repatriation project between the Sámi Museum Siida and the National Museum of Finland. The Sámi community, the repatriation process and Sámi artifacts were the focus of the event.

Ceremony for Return to the Sámi Homeland

Among the special guests were the duojárs, Sámi crafters from various parts of Finnish Sápmi. The participants were mainly elders that have a long career in duodji i.e., Sámi crafts, but also young people, who practice duodji. Other invited guests were the duodji teachers from the Sámi education center that is situated in Inari.

Following the addresses by Pia Nikula, Public Affairs Officer of the Sámi Museum, and Elisa Sarpo, Community Manager from the National Museum of Finland, the awards bronze plaque was unveiled.




Norway: International Course on Wood Conservation Technology (ICWCT)

 The unveiling of the plaque of the European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award 2022 to the International Course on Wood Conservation Technology (ICWCT) took place on 1 November in Røros, in front of an audience of 250 professionals and volunteers from all over Norway. Since 1984, the ICWCT has given to mid-career professionals the opportunity to further their knowledge and their expertise of wood conservation.

Ceremony for International Course on Wood Conservation Technology, NORWAY

Among the participants were the founders of the ICWCT, Nils Marstein and Knut Einar Larsen, along with Eir Grytli and Tone Olstad, former directors of the course. Europa Nostra was represented by Erik Schultz, President of Europa Nostra Norway. Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, Secretary General of Europa Nostra, addressed the attendees via a recorded video message.


Spain: Illa del Rei, Menorca

The ceremony for the rehabilitation of Illa del Rei, winner of a European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award 2022, was held in situ on 3 November. The project for the rehabilitation of the Illa del Rei presents a very high level of social involvement and commitment to heritage conservation. The volunteers, who were central to the project, were all invited to act and also personalities from Menorca attended the event.

Ceremony for Illa del Rei, SPAIN

Bárbara Cordero (Hispania Nostra), speaking on behalf of Europa Nostra, mentioned the emphasis placed by the Awards’ Jury on sustainability and the use of traditional and modern restoration techniques.

Luis Alejandre Sintes, President of the Illa del Rei foundation, highlighted the good faith and trust in the relationship with Hauser & Wirth, and Mar Rescalvo, Senior Director of Hauser & Wirth Menorca, recognised the work of volunteers as the most prominent drivers of change, turning Illa del Rei into a proper cultural heritage landmark able to attract thousands of visitors.

The Vice-President and Minister of Culture of the Consell Insular de Menorca, Miquel Àngel Maria, also highlighted the added value of the volunteers to the project.  Héctor Pons, the Mayor of Mahón, closed the event, underlining the importance of the heritage of the Illa del Rei for understanding the whole history of Menorca. He praised the collaboration between the public administration, a private foundation, and a company and its undoubtful ability to turn heritage into an economic engine of the region.


Romania: House of Religious Freedom, Cluj-Napoca 

The ceremony for the House of Religious Freedom, winner of a European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award 2022 in the category Conservation and Adaptive Reuse, took place on 19 November in the First Unitarian Church of Cluj-Napoca, gathering some 200 attendees.

Ceremony for House of Religious Freedom, ROMANIA

The ceremony started with a prayer and blessing performed by Rev. Norbert Rácz. After the greetings of Bishop István Kovács, the Vice Mayor of Cluj-Napoca, Emese Oláh, the Director of the State Secretariat for Religious Affairs, Florin Irinel Frunza, the State Secretary of European Relations, Csilla Hegedüs, and the General Consul of the Hungary, Csaba Grezsa, addressed the audience.

Following the addresses by Ramona Chiriac, Head of EC Representation in Romania, and Piet Jaspaert, Vice-President of Europa Nostra, the Award was presented to Bishop István Kovács. Piet Jaspaert and Bishop István Kovács then presented 77 diplomas to all team members involved in the success of the restoration and the reuse of the House of Religious Freedom.

During the ceremony Előd Kostyák performed together with the Brassai quartet a Kodály and a Brahms piece.


Italy: La Paranza Cooperative, Naples 

On 18 November, the Cooperative La Paranza hosted a ceremony to celebrate its European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award 2022 in the category Heritage Champions. The event took place in Basilica Santa Maria della Sanità, whose spaces witnessed the creation and growth of the cooperative. As a collective festive moment of the heritage community developed in Rione Sanità, the ceremony had the participation of all who played a part in revitalisating the neighborhood.

Ceremony for La Paranza Cooperative, ITALY

Paolo Vitti, Board Member of Europa Nostra, praised the Cooperative La Paranza as a meaningful example of the role an entire community can play in the regeneration of cultural heritage, recognising the importance of involving the youngest in this valuable commitment.

Antonio Parenti, Director of the European Commission Representation in Italy, thanked the Cooperative for having let him know the beauty of Rione Sanità.

Among the guests who joined the ceremony were Gaetano Manfredi, Mayor of the City, Domenico Battaglia, Bishop of Naples, Carlo Borgomeo, President of Fondazione Con il SUD, Ernesto Albanese, Founder and President of “L’altra Napoli”.

The ceremony was accompanied by the musical performances by Sanitansamble, a young orchestra formed with the desire to make young people of Rione Sanità learn a musical instrument. 

At the end, the president, Giovanni Meraviglia, and all the members of La Paranza unveiled the plaque to the audience.


 Finland: Master and Apprentices

On 23 November, the European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award for Masters and Apprentices was celebrated at the the Finnish National Agency for Education. The intergenerational cultural heritage project was undertaken by the Finnish Local Heritage Federation (Suomen Kotiseutuliitto) who received the Award. The event was co-organised by Suomen Kotiseutuliitto and Creative Europe Desk Finland.

Ceremony for "Masters and Apprentices", FINLAND

Ilkka Länkinen, the chairman of the Support Association of the Finnish Cultural Foundation, gave a speech that outlined the enormous appreciation for the Masters and Apprentices project among its members. The success of the project has also been proven by its subsequent continuation. In addition to the Finnish Cultural Foundation, the project has been financed by the Ministry of Education and Culture, and a follow-up project aimed at immigrants to Finland has received financing from the Alfred Kordelin Foundation and is about to start.

State Secretary Tuomo Puumala, who spoke on behalf of the Ministry of Education and Culture, listed the numerous policy goals that the Masters and Apprentices model responds to in an excellent way: skills, including the digital skills of the elderly; prevention of the marginalisation of young people and; the reduction of loneliness. Puumala also mentioned the importance of having a sense of roots: “With good roots, a person has the chance to grow wings for himself”, he stated.

The programme also included presentations of various Masters and Apprentices activities and a poetry performance by Amina Mohamed Salad, who spoke about the importance of the kinds of activities offered by the Masters and Apprentices programme, such as her own grandmother.

Europa Nostra’s Board Member Tapani Mustonen and Maria Kokkonen, Deputy Head of Representation at European Commission Finland, handed over the bronze award plaque to the Chairman of the Board, Sampo Suihko and to Maria Talvitie and Riina Koivisto, who coordinated the project in The Finnish Local Heritage Federation (Suomen Kotiseutuliitto).


Convent of the Capuchos, Sintra

Museum in the Village

The Portuguese winners of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2022 were celebrated during an event held on 24 November at the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon.

2022 Helena Vaz da Silva European Award Ceremony, Lisbon

Gabriela Sales da Rocha, Museologist and Project Leader, presented Museum in the Village, a cultural programme that brings together museums, artists and communities to enjoy art and culture, learn about and revive local folklore and heritage, and improve access to cultural activities in rural areas.

2022 Helena Vaz da Silva European Award Ceremony, Lisbon

João Sousa Rego, Architect and Technical Director of Built Heritage at Parques de Sintra, spoke about the Convent of the Capuchos, a monastic complex built in 1560 in the native forest of Sintra, which was fully restored, combining traditional techniques and innovative solutions.

Piet Jaspaert, Vice-President of Europa Nostra, addressed the audience. “During the wonderful European Heritage Awards Ceremony held at the State Opera of Prague at the end of September, the EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel said: ‘Culture is our oxygen, it makes us feel alive, it helps to keep heritage alive throughout the crises, it is a powerful driver that brings our society together to a common sense of belonging’. I hardly imagine better examples of the power of her statement than the two Portuguese winners. Both of them deserve our full appreciation and support and our warmest congratulations”.

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