EU Prize for Cultural Heritage/ Europa Nostra Awards: Horta Museum honoured
An award ceremony took place at the Horta Museum in Saint-Gilles, Brussels, on 10 October to celebrate its success in the 2014 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards. The museum received the prize for a 25-year conservation project led by architect Barbara Van der Wee. The master plan, conceived in 1989, involved a complete renovation of the building.
Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, presented the award to Charles Picqué, Mayor of Saint-Gilles and President of the Horta Museum, and its curator, Françoise Aubry. Europa Nostra was represented at the ceremony by Denis de Kergorlay, Executive President, Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, Secretary General, and Jozef Van Waeyenberge, President of Europa Nostra Belgium.
Baron Victor Horta (1861-1947) was one of the pioneers and leading figures of Art Nouveau architecture in Europe. He designed his house and studio in Saint-Gilles in 1898, and lived and worked there for 20 years. The site is one of four Horta buildings in Brussels that are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The objective of the restoration was to return the house and studio to their original condition. The jury praised the conservation for its precision and attention to detail, as well as the synergy between the curator and the conservation architect: “They succeeded in making themselves unobtrusive enough to allow Victor Horta, so to speak, to undertake the restoration of his own home,” the jury stated.
The European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards is the most prestigious accolade in the cultural heritage sector. It covers four areas: conservation; research and digitisation; dedicated service; education, training and awareness-raising. Applications for the 2015 awards are welcome. Deadline for applications is 15 October 2014.