Finland celebrates success of ‘Adopt a Monument’ in the European Heritage Awards

Tampere, 9 September 2016 – The ceremony for the programme ‘Adopt a Monument’, a Grand Prix winner of the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award 2016, Europe’s highest honour in the field, was held today at the Museum Centre Vapriikki in Tampere. Around 70 people, including dozens of heritage volunteers, professionals and supporters and several representatives from local and national institutions, gathered to celebrate this tremendous heritage achievement from Finland. ‘Adopt a Monument’ has been developed by the Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum in the Tampere region since 2008. The Awards’ Jury considered the programme as “a creative way to actively involve local communities in the preservation of their heritage” and “an example to the rest of Europe”. The ceremony opened a full-day seminar on social participation in heritage protection organised by the Museum Centre Vapriikki.

Graham Bell, Council Member of Europa Nostra, Europe’s leading heritage organisation, presented the Grand Prix of the European Heritage Awards for the education and awareness raising programme ‘Adopt a Monument’ to Tuija-Liisa Soininen, Head of the Cultural Environment Unit of the Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum.

Ceremony 'Adopt a Monument', Finland, 09-09-2016“For over 50 years Europa Nostra has been holding up a cultural mirror to society to reflect all over Europe what makes and matters to society. The European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award for ‘Adopt a Monument’ celebrates what it has achieved, but also that it enhances all of us,” stated Graham Bell in his address.

“This Award is about what people are doing together. It celebrates how people across Europe are responding to the challenge to preserve traditions, not just buildings; to invest in the next generation, not just the next project. The distinction of ‘Adopt a Monument’ is as an example that can apply in any community where there is a will and support,” noted the Council Member of Europa Nostra.

This remarkable heritage accomplishment for the country also received high praise from Benito Casagrande, Deputy Chair of Europa Nostra Finland.

In her opening remarks, Anna-Kaisa Heinämäki, Deputy Mayor of the City of Tampere, congratulated all those involved in the project on winning Europe’s most prestigious heritage award and paid tribute to the programme’s team for its remarkable work and passionate commitment.

The ceremony for the programme ‘Adopt a Monument’ set the ground for a full-day public seminar entitled ‘Doing Together’. Following the presentation of the project by monuments caretakers and Tuija-Liisa Soininen, Head of the Cultural Environment Unit at the Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum, experts in various fields presented and discussed topics related to cultural heritage and collective maintenance.

Janne Vilkuna, Chair of the Finnish Local Heritage Federation and Professor at the University of Jyväskylä, Suzie Thomas, Community Archaeologist and Lecturer at the University of Helsinki, Maunu Häyrynen, Professor in Landscape Studies at the University of Turku, and Sirkku Pihlman, PhD, Researcher at the University of Turku, were among the speakers.

Today’s events mark the success of the ‘Adopt a Monument’ project in the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards 2016 and is organised in the framework of the European Heritage Days, two initiatives supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

Press Release


Joana Pinheiro +31 70 302 40 55
Communications Officer
+31 70 302 40 55

Tuija-Liisa Soininen
City of Tampere/ Museum Services Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum
+358 040 5201282

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