First list of The 7 Most Endangered Heritage Sites in Europe presented at press conference

The announcement of the first list of ‘The 7 Most Endangered’ Monuments and Sites in Europe by Denis de Kergorlay, Executive President of Europa Nostra, and Guy Clausse, Director and Special Advisor to the Director General of the European Investment Bank (EIB), dominated the press conference held at the European Parliament Office in Athens on 12 June. The Roman amphitheatre in Durrës in Albania, the buffer zone in the historic centre of Nicosia in Cyprus, Vauban’s 17th century fortifications in Briançon in France, the Renaissance monastery of San Benedetto Po in Italy, the 15th century monastery in Setúbal in Portugal, the historic mining landscape of Rosia Montana in Romania and the Armenian church of St. George in Mardin in Turkey were announced as the 7 most endangered landmarks in Europe.

Photo: Europa Nostra

Photo: Europa Nostra

“In this 50th Anniversary year, we are celebrating our main achievements and paying tribute to all those who have contributed to the growth of our organisation, but we are also giving a new boost to our actions, namely through ‘The 7 Most Endangered’ programme, developed in partnership with the European Investment Bank Institute. With this new advocacy and operational scheme, we aim not only to identify the most threatened monuments and sites in Europe but also to launch a true call for action,” stated Denis de Kergorlay.

“These gems of Europe’s cultural and natural heritage are in danger, some due to lack of funds or expertise, others due to inadequate planning, neglect, natural disaster or even political conflict. Urgent action is therefore required. Europa Nostra and the EIB Institute, founding partner of ‘The 7 Most Endangered’ programme, will undertake rescue missions to these heritage sites after the summer,” affirmed Denis de Kergorlay.

“The EIB Institute, together with Europa Nostra and associated partners, such as the Council of Europe Development Bank, will undertake the necessary efforts to assess the selected sites and to contribute to the development of realistic action plans, in close cooperation with national and local public and private entities,” added Guy Clausse.

Experts appointed by the two financial institutions will provide analysis and advice on how funding could be obtained, for example, through European Union funds or, in appropriate cases, loans. The initial rescue action plans will be presented at the European Heritage Policy Conference, organised by Europa Nostra, in Brussels on 5 December 2013.

At the press conference were also presented the Greek Special of Europa Nostra’s magazine Heritage in Motion, by its Editor, Wolter Braamhorst, and the book Athenian Houses of the Modern Movement, by the President of Elliniki Etairia, Yannis Michail, which was produced with the kind support of the A. G. Leventis Foundation and the Representation of the European Commission in Greece. Special messages from its Head, Panos Carvounis, and the Head of the European Parliament Information Office in Greece, Leonidas Antonakopoulos, were also conveyed during the press conference, which gathered 65 attendants, including national media professionals and foreign correspondents.

“In Greece are Europe’s still living roots, respect for which has brought Europa Nostra to Athens for its 50th Anniversary. By holding its Golden Jubilee Congress here, Europa Nostra wishes not just to remind Europeans that they are all culturally indebted to Greece but also to convey a positive message to the country. It is by regaining confidence in the power of its heritage as well as in its contemporary creativity that Greece will find more easily a way out of its current crisis. The generous support of so many public and private bodies has proved that our decision was right,” concluded Costa Carras.

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