40th anniversary of our partner Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation

The world-renowned Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation (RLICC) at KU Leuven, Belgium, celebrated its 40th anniversary on 12 September 2016. The celebrations consisted of a day of lectures and discussions on heritage in all its different aspects, bringing together international heritage professionals, researchers, and representatives from international organisations and local and national governments. Europa Nostra’s Secretary General Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović had the pleasure of giving one of the opening lectures, together with ICOMOS President and Europa Nostra Council member Gustavo Araoz, among others.

“RLICC has established itself as one of the key research institutions for cultural heritage in Europe. At Europa Nostra, we are particularly proud to count its Director, Professor Koenraad Van Balen, among our Council members. Ever since the project ‘Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe’ was launched, our dear friend has been spreading the message tirelessly across Europe, speaking on behalf of the project team, on behalf of Europa Nostra and, above all, for the sake of our shared heritage in Europe”, said Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović. “With so much combined expertise and so much shared commitment for cultural heritage, we very much look forward to intensifying our cooperation for the benefit of the European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018 and also beyond the Year,” noted the Secretary General of Europa Nostra.

The 300-page Report ‘Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe’ is among the many important contributions of RLICC to heritage research. This Report is the outcome of a European cooperation project, coordinated by Europa Nostra and conducted with partners from ENCATC (The European Network on Cultural Management and Policy), Heritage Europe (The European Association of Historic Towns and Regions), the Heritage Alliance, the International Cultural Centre (ICC, Krakow, Poland) and, of course, RLICC. This unprecedented study has been recognised as key evidence of the positive impact of cultural heritage on Europe’s economy, society, environment and culture. In its recent proposal for a European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, the European Commission highlighted the model role played by the ‘Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe’ Report. Europa Nostra has engaged in an active dissemination strategy of the key findings and outcomes of the study, including the translation of the English original into other European languages, such as Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Spanish, German and Italian.

The celebration of the 40th anniversary of RLICC took place the day after the Open Monument Day 2016 of the Belgian region of Flanders, which included the local award ceremony for the former brewery De Hoorn in Leuven, winner of a 2016 EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award.

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