First-ever ILUCIDARE Special Prizes: 6 projects in heritage-led innovation and international relations shortlisted

Brussels, 28 May 2020 (press release in 11 languages)

The European Commission and the ILUCIDARE Consortium, including Europa Nostra, are proud to announce the shortlisted projects for the very first edition of the ILUCIDARE Special Prizes selected within the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2020! These European projects are outstanding examples of heritage-led innovation and international relations.

Collage with 6 shortlisted projects for ILUCIDARE Special Prizes 2020

The 6 shortlisted projects for the ILUCIDARE Special Prizes 2020 are:
Heritage-led innovation
• Smart Heritage City, FRANCE/PORTUGAL/SPAIN
• St. John’s Bulwark, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, THE NETHERLANDS
• TYPA – Estonian Print and Paper Museum, Tartu, ESTONIA
Heritage-led international relations
• Archaeology for a young future, ITALY/SYRIA
• The Friends of Czech Heritage, UNITED KINGDOM
• The Oppenheim House, Wrocław, POLAND

The ILUCIDARE Special Prizes illustrate how cultural heritage bridges our past, our present and our future. They bring to light the vast potential of Europe’s shared heritage to foster innovation and to enhance the EU’s positive role in the world through international cultural cooperation. In these trying times, the shortlisted projects for the newly-launched ILUCIDARE Special Prizes are an inspiration for us all. They are true Champions of the Europe of Talents. Now, more than ever, we need to mobilise and unite the worlds of culture, heritage, innovation and research, and to reinforce our global partnerships. I warmly congratulate the shortlisted projects for showcasing that cultural heritage is a powerful catalyst for Europe’s recovery and revival”, said Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth.

The shortlisted projects for the ILUCIDARE Special Prizes demonstrate that cultural heritage counts and creates value for Europe. In blending contemporary and historical techniques, developing cutting-edge solutions, and capitalising on cultural heritage to foster people-to-people dialogue and mutual understanding, these projects show how cultural heritage is a strategic resource for innovative, creative, open and collaborative societies. On behalf of the ILUCIDARE Consortium, I commend the shortlisted projects for their remarkable work and dedication. We truly hope that your success stories will inspire and encourage the innovative use of cultural heritage for sustainable development and cultural exchange in Europe and beyond,” stated Koen Van Balen, ILUCIDARE project coordinator (KU Leuven, Belgium).

The 6 shortlisted projects will bring inspiration not only for their peers but also for policy-makers to support heritage as a dynamic and creative field.

The two winners of the ILUCIDARE Special Prizes – one for excellence in heritage-led innovation and one for excellence in heritage-led international relations – will be announced in the autumn of 2020.

The ILUCIDARE Special Prizes are supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme, in addition to the European Union’s Creative Europe Programme for culture and the audio-visual sectors, which supports the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards.

6 shortlisted projects

Heritage-led innovation

Smart Heritage City is a European cooperation and EU-funded project that has developed a technological solution to improve the management of historic urban centres. It is being tested in the Spanish city of Ávila. The study has been developed by a consortium of seven Spanish, French and Portuguese institutions.
By developing a network of sensors linked to a self-diagnostic web-based and open source assessment tool, this project is a brilliant example of heritage-led technical innovation. At the same time, it is also an example of an assimilation of an innovation, since it applies innovations developed in other fields to heritage assets. The smart and original solution tackles different aspects of heritage management in a holistic way, including environmental and safety issues, leading to better decision-making. It also has a huge potential to be replicated in other urban heritage contexts across Europe”, the ILUCIDARE Jury noted.

St. John’s Bulwark, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, THE NETHERLANDS
This conservation project has innovatively restored and redeveloped a 16th-century defensive feature in the city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. The project recovered and preserved the archaeological remains of the original structure, and incorporated modern design and material in a new structure. Removable dam (weir) inserts in openings of the flood walls around the terrace protect the structure from winter and spring high water flooding. Higher barriers can be set in place to protect the Bulwark from extreme high waters.
This project is a bright example of how new knowledge and new ideas can be developed through the intersection of disciplines, in this case, the combination of traditional conservation and modern visualisation and design. The innovative aspect of the restoration lies in the quality rehabilitation of an historic building while simultaneously tackling present-day issues, such as water safety and climate change effects, and providing facilities for the local community”, the ILUCIDARE Jury noted.

TYPA – Estonian Print and Paper Museum, Tartu, ESTONIA
TYPA is dedicated to the preservation of print and paper heritage and the promotion of international relations. Visitors can try the restored machines, allowing the museum’s collection to act as a fully functional print studio. This represents a practical solution which strikes a balance between use and preservation, including the intangible heritage of skills and knowledge related to print and paper heritage. International collaboration is nurtured through, among others, an artist-in-residence programme and the hosting of volunteers through the European Solidarity Corps.
The Estonian Print and Paper Museum is a clear example of heritage-driven innovation. Its unique training and capacity-building activities support the collective transmission of a fragile European intangible heritage. The innovative aspect of this museum lies in its unique concept, the combination of contemporary tools and historical printing and papermaking techniques, and public engagement model”, the ILUCIDARE Jury noted.

Heritage-led international relations

Archaeology for a young future, ITALY/SYRIA
This initiative prompts school students in Italy and Syria to discover their own, local history through archaeology and to virtually exchange these histories with each other. This innovative programme has led participants, aged 11 to 14 to realise the value of archaeology, discover new places and become more deeply connected to their own localities. The online exchange gave many students their first experience of international cultural exchange and common understanding of shared heritage.
Archaeology for a Young Future is a strong example of how heritage can lead to people-to-people dialogue. This project promotes intercultural exchange and mutual understanding between students, teachers and local communities from Italy and Syria. It is a small-scale project with a bottom-up approach and modest budget, making it easy to replicate anywhere in Europe or beyond”, the ILUCIDARE Jury emphasised.

The Friends of Czech Heritage, UNITED KINGDOM
The UK-based organisation Friends of Czech Heritage raises awareness of the importance of Czech heritage both in the UK and in Czechia on a voluntary basis. With limited resources, the organisation supports conservation projects with small stimulus grants. In all aspects of their work, The Friends of Czech Heritage operate on a close collaborative basis with local organisations, authorities and volunteers. A minimum of five working parties take place each year, each lasting one week and including up to eight volunteers.
The ILUCIDARE Jury praised the organisation’s open approach: “There is a close, trust-based collaboration between British and Czech parties, including volunteers and professionals, which is carried out on equal footing. Its community-oriented focus is also commendable”.

The Oppenheim House, Wrocław, POLAND
German-Polish relations and the German-Jewish heritage of Wrocław are the primary focus of the resident OPPENHEIM Foundation’s activities. This multifunctional cultural centre boasts fragments of Baroque and Jugendstil wall paintings, Gothic and Renaissance stone fragments, and Gothic masonry which have been carefully restored. A research project into the German-Jewish-Polish social history of the house was undertaken in parallel to the restoration.
The project is a clear example of how mutual understanding and intercultural exchanges can be advanced by unveiling the multilayerdness of cultural heritage. At the same time, these values contribute to and are reflected in the conservation of the building itself. In particular, the strong connection of the conservation works with the site’s history and original context are commendable”, the ILUCIDARE Jury emphasised.


Photos and Videos (in high resolution)
Press Release in 11 languages

About the ILUCIDARE Special Prizes
The ILUCIDARE Special Prizes within the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards aim to identify and promote best practices in cultural heritage-led innovation and international relations, as well as support and scale-up outstanding achievements.
The European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards are run by Europa Nostra in partnership with the European Commission since 2002 and is widely recognised as Europe’s top honour in the field of cultural heritage. Both the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards and the ILUCIDARE project are actions included in the European Framework for Action on Cultural Heritage released by the European Commission to sustain and upscale the legacy of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. The two actions contribute to the vital objectives of increasing heritage participation and access, mobilising knowledge and research, and reinforcing international cooperation and global partnerships through cultural heritage.
Being co-funded by the Creative Europe and the Horizon 2020 programmes, the ILUCIDARE Special Prizes are a concrete example of how synergies can be built among EU programmes to enhance their impact.

Apply for the next edition of the ILUCIDARE Special Prizes!
As in 2020, two ILUCIDARE Special Prizes will be awarded in 2021: one for excellence in heritage-led innovation and one for excellence in heritage-led international relations. The winners of the ILUCIDARE Special Prizes will be selected among all the submitted entries to the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards and to the Europa Nostra Awards.
The Call for Entries for the 2021 edition of the Awards is now open and the application forms are available on the Awards website. Submit your exemplary project and share your expertise and success!



Press Release


Clémentine Daubeuf, Communication Manager
+32 2 289 26 09

Lorena Aldana, European Policy Coordinator
Europa Nostra
M +32 496 73 82 46

Susanne Conze
European Commission
+32 2 2980236

Latest articles about Awards

Message by Executive President and Secretary General

Europa Nostra Board and Awards Jury have meetings and engage with the vibrant heritage scene in Potsdam

Europa Nostra joins the 2024 European Summit of Regions and Cities

More Articles +