Europa Nostra represented at the International Conference on Industrial Cultural Heritage in Ostrava

This conference, hosted by the Czech Ministry of Finance and funded by the Norwegian EEA Grants mechanism on 6 November, was of particular interest as it revealed the wealth of successful actions of Industrial heritage in Central Europe, notwithstanding the scarcity of resources. The demise of industrial activities after 1989 generated a huge stock of abandoned factories, some of great architectural value (“cathedrals of the industrial age”).

Dolni Vitkovice in Ostrava. Photo: Petr Dadak CC BY-SA 2.0

Dolni Vitkovice in Ostrava. Photo: Petr Dadak CC BY-SA 2.0

The conference was held in the emblematic Dolni Vitkovice steelworks. This huge complex, which was abandoned for many years, has been impeccably restored and received more than a million visitors since its reopening as a cultural centre in 2012. The gas holder has become a multi-purpose assembly hall. Europa Nostra was represented at the conference by Pierre Laconte, chair of its Industrial and Engineering Heritage Committee.

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