Croatia: The Best in Heritage celebrates its 15th anniversary in style

The Best in Heritage conference 2016, which brought together some 150 participants from 33 countries, took place on 22-25 September in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The presentation of 28 award-winning museum, heritage and conservation projects – including seven winners of the European Heritage Awards – illustrated state-of-the-art practices and provided the ideal platform for lively discussions and networking. The ‘Projects of Influence 2016’, selected by conference attendees, are the Nuragic Sculptures of Monte Prama in Sardinia in Italy, winner of an EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award 2015, and DOMunder by Tinker Imagineers in the Netherlands, Best Achievement Award in the Heritage in Motion Awards 2015. The event was organised in partnership with Europa Nostra – with the support of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union – and ICOM Endowment Fund.

During his address in the Marin Držić Theatre on the evening of 22 September, John Sell, Executive Vice-president of Europa Nostra and Chairman of the Advisory Board of The Best in Heritage, discussed the many threats to cultural heritage in the modern world but also pointed to the many positive opportunities of sharing heritage in the upcoming European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018.

Tomislav Šola, Director of The Best in Heritage, emphasized how delighted he was with the 15th anniversary of ‘his’ global meeting place for the best global heritage and museum projects. Šola introduced the keynote speech by Dr. Ad Geerdink, Director of the Westfries Museum in Hoorn in the Netherlands, selected as ‘Project of Influence’ 2015. Geerdink drew attention to the importance of real community involvement in the activities of museums and heritage institutions.

The 15th anniversary was celebrated on 22 September with a special Imagines programme on new technologies and media-use in the museum and heritage fields. The day featured presentations by the winners of the European Heritage Awards, run by Europa Nostra together with the European Commission and with the support of the EU Creative Europe programme, and laureates of the Heritage in Motion Awards, a joint initiative of Europa Nostra, the European Museum Academy and Europeana that celebrate innovation in the heritage field.

Photo Credit: The Best in Heritage

Photo: The Best in Heritage 2016. Credit: Domagoj Režić

Over the remaining two days, the most innovative and inspiring projects nationally or internationally recognised in 2015 were shown at the Marin Držić theatre. Seven winners of the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award presented and discussed their remarkable achievements: in the category Conservation, Salt Valley of Añana, Basque Country, Spain (Grand Prix), Nuragic Sculptures of Monte Prama in Sardinia, Italy (Public Choice Award) and Stonehenge: Surrounding Landscape and Visitor Centre in Wiltshire in the United Kingdom; in the category Research, Wonders of Venice: Virtual Online Treasures in St. Mark’s Area in Venice in Italy (Grand Prix) and HERMES: Hermoupolis Digital Heritage Management, Syros, GREECE; in the category Dedicated Service, The Rundling Association, Jameln, Germany (Grand Prix); and in the category Education, Training and Awareness-Raising, Programme for Owners of Rural Buildings in Estonia (Grand Prix).

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