Europa Nostra contributed to key conference on digital cultural heritage in Cyprus

One of the landmark events in the field of digital cultural heritage and research, the International Conference on Digital Heritage – Euromed 2018, brought together researchers and experts from across Europe in Cyprus from 29 October to 3 November. The conference was organised in cooperation with a wide range of organisations, institutions and stakeholders, such as the European Commission, the European Parliament and the UNESCO Chair on Digital Cultural Heritage at the Cyprus University of Technology, represented by the conference Chair Dr. Marinos Ioannidis, as well as the EU-funded research project ViMM (Virtual Multimodal Museums), which is supported by Europa Nostra and the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST).

Europa Nostra was represented by its Vice-President Piet Jaspaert from Belgium and Board member Graham Bell from the United Kingdom as well as Council member Koen van Balen from Belgium. They contributed in particular to a workshop on “How digital technologies can contribute to the preservation and restoration of Europe’s most important endangered cultural heritage sites”, organised on 29-30 October by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, DG Connect, and the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education in the framework of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.

Even though not scheduled as a speaker, Europa Nostra’s Vice-President Piet Jaspaert was given the floor to present the Berlin Call to Action “Cultural Heritage for the Future of Europe” to conference participants and invited them to support the call for action by signing the document online. On this occasion, he also welcomed the participation of the European Commission’s Directorate-General Connect and of the COST programme in the conference.

Among the conference speakers were also Constanze Fuhrmann, Researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute, Competence Center for Cultural Heritage Digitization (a member organisation of Europa Nostra), who presented 3D Digitisation in the cultural heritage field and related trends and challenges. The research project CultLab3D: Automated Scanning Technology for 3D Digitisation, Darmstadt, Germany, which was initiated by the Competence Center for Cultural Heritage Digitization at the Fraunhofer Institute, was awarded an EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award in 2018.

Europa Nostra’s Board member Graham Bell, who is also the UK National Coordinator for the European Year of Cultural Heritage and Director of North England Civic Trust, gave a very personal view on the relations between cultural heritage and the digital world in his keynote presentation “Cultural horizons: can you see what I see?” on the first day of the workshop.

In his keynote, Europa Nostra’s Council member Professor Koen van Balen, in his capacity as UNESCO Chair on preventive conservation, monitoring and maintenance of monuments and sites at the Katholieke Universiteit of Leuven (KU Leuven), reflected on digital technologies and preventive conservation of monuments and sites on the second day, also making a link between the wellbeing and happiness of people and their awareness of cultural heritage. He also moderated the workshop organised by the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST).

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