European Parliament held round table discussion on ‘Modern Heritage at Risk’

On 23 February 2016, MEP Momchil Nekov, member of the EP Culture and Education Committee (S&D, Bulgaria), hosted a round table discussion on ‘Modern Heritage at Risk’ at the European Parliament in Brussels to give more visibility to the need for the protection and preservation of our cultural heritage. The debate, which focused on the role of socialist heritage in post-socialist countries, gathered some 40 participants, including a large number of young professionals from Bulgaria. Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, Secretary General of Europa Nostra, and representatives from ICOMOS Germany, Bulgaria, Romania and Belgium participated in the event.

Photo: Courtesy of European Parliament

Photo: Courtesy of European Parliament

In his opening remarks, MEP Nekov stressed that cultural heritage should be a European priority and praised the Resolution “Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage in Europe”, adopted by the European Parliament on 8 September 2015, especially the specific recommendation to the European Commission to designate a European Year of Cultural Heritage, preferably in 2018. He emphasised the key role that the EU should play in providing complementary and supportive actions to safeguard and enhance cultural heritage in Europe.

In his address, MEP Victor Negrecu (S&D, Romania) strongly advocated that cultural heritage is not a cost but an investment and that the European Union needs a clear common strategy for cultural heritage.

Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, Secretary General of Europa Nostra, welcomed this meeting organised by young Members of the European Parliament caring for heritage in Europe. She praised their commitment and highlighted the value of cultural heritage for Europe’s society, economy, culture and the environment, before presenting Europa Nostra and its activities.

The first panel discussion concentrated on ‘Modern heritage at risk: value, potentials and challenges ahead’. It was introduced by Jean-Marc Basyn from ICOMOS Belgium, who made a theoretical and historic approach of heritage conservation of Modern Heritage, and Anke Zalivako from ICOMOS Germany, who made a presentation entitled “From constructivism to the postwar second wave of modernism – doubled Berlin”.

The second panel discussion focused on ‘Common socialist heritage in post-socialist countries: projects in progress”. It was composed of presentations on innovative heritage projects by young architects, namely: “SocHeritage platform” by Arch. Dumitru Rusu, ICOMOS Romania; “Transformatori Association: 1300 years Bulgaria monument” by Arch. Delcho Delchev; and the revival of the Buzludzha monument, an impressive site built as a tribute to the creation of the Bulgarian socialist movement in the Central Balkan mountains and now abandoned and heavily damaged, by Arch. Dora Ivanova, ICOMOS Germany.

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