Summit participants join inspirational ceremony for award-winning Royal Gardens of Venice
On the morning of 28 September, the participants of the European Cultural Heritage Summit 2023 enjoyed a pleasant walk through the magnificent Royal Gardens of Venice and took part in the event to celebrate the outstanding restoration of this unique green area near St. Mark’s Square.
The bronze plaque of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2023 was jointly unveiled by Hermann Parzinger, our Executive President, Catherine Magnant, on behalf of the European Commission, and Adele Re Rebaudengo, President of the Venice Gardens Foundation. The awards plaque is now visible at the entrance of the Royal Gardens of Venice.
The Gardens, originating in the Napoleonic area, underwent a complete restoration after decades of neglect. The Venice Gardens Foundation carried out the project, entrusted by the City of Venice and the State Property Office. Following several principles and many objectives, the botanical restoration was the result of an accurate combination of conservative but also experimental choices and took into consideration climate change effects and ecological impacts.
The ceremony was attended by the project team and partners, Europa Nostra members and some of the winners of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2023 as well as by international and local heritage professionals who were in Venice participating in the European Cultural Heritage Summit 2023.
After a welcome coffee, the participants had the chance to visit this biodiversity treasure, admiring the wide variety of flowers and plants carefully selected by Paolo Pejrone, the landscape architect behind the project, and which is cared for daily by the project gardeners.
Hermann Parzinger, Executive President of Europa Nostra, and Catherine Magnant, Head of the Unit for Cultural Policy in the Directorate General for Culture, Education and Youth at the European Commission, highlighted the importance of the restoration in the European context.
“The meticulous restoration of the Royal Gardens of Venice stands as a perfect example of how we should protect heritage in Venice, Italy and throughout Europe. This initiative, including its dedicated focus on addressing the contemporary challenges posed by the climate crisis, serves as a beacon for any city that has been as profoundly affected by environmental changes as Venice,” stated Hermann Parzinger.
Adele Re Rebaudengo, President of the Venice Gardens Foundation, and Emma Ursich, Executive Officer of the Human Safety Net, and Fabrizio Magoni, Superintendent of Venice each spoke to offer their congratulations to all who were responsible for the initiative.
“The Foundation with great dedication, passion and sense of responsibility continues to look after the Royal Gardens with particular attention to the sustainable maintenance by cultivation without synthetic chemicals and a composting system; the conservation of natural resources, recycling, re-use of existing physical elements and irrigation by means of a well; by increasing biodiversity to attract bees and other pollinating insects and birds. Today, the Royal Gardens, with the intervention of the landscape architect Paolo Pejrone and architect Alberto Torsello, have returned to play a central role for Venice,” emphasised Adele Re Rebaudengo.
The European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award recognises this long-term effort and is an encouragement for the Venice Gardens Foundation’s next chapter: the restoration of the Convent Garden of the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer in Venice. The turf from the green carpet which welcomed the guests of the European Heritage Awards Ceremony 2023, held on the evening of the 28 September at the Palazzo del Cinema, will be composted and used to improve the soil fertility of the garden.