Europa Nostra marks its 55th Anniversary

55 years ago, on 29 November 1963, Europa Nostra was founded in Paris by cultural heritage NGOs from seven European countries: Italy, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Germany and Ireland. Who would have imagined that 55 years later, Europa Nostra’s network of members and partners would become so large and that we would be the key civil society partner of a European Year of Cultural Heritage organised by the European Union in cooperation with other countries and organisations in Europe and beyond.

Europa Nostra’s birthday coincided with the closing conference of the European Year of Cultural Heritage in Romania which was organised by the National Institute for Heritage in Romania under the patronage of the European Commission. Europa Nostra’s Secretary General Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović had been invited to give a speech at the special reception held at the Presidential Palace (Cotroceni Palace) in Bucharest. What better occasion to celebrate this anniversary than with friends from Europa Nostra’s large heritage network in a country with such a rich cultural heritage and so many active member organisations as Romania!

In her speech, Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović had mentioned the symbolic coincidence of celebrating the 55th anniversary of the organisation in a country of Central Eastern Europe, in Bucharest – the “little Paris of the East”. In 2013, Europa Nostra celebrated its 50th anniversary in its “birthplace”, Paris, with a special event at the Cercle de l’Union Interalliée. Europa Nostra’s Executive President Denis de Kergorlay gave a lecture on Europa Nostra, entitled ‘De la nostalgie au Bonheur d’être Européen: 50 ans d’engagements citoyens en faveur de la réhabilitation du patrimoine culturel de l’Europe’, which was attended by some 300 French and international personalities from the worlds of culture, politics and business.

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