Switzerland: Europa Nostra Award presented to Philippe Stern’s Collection of Timekeepers

On the afternoon of 26 September, the Board of Europa Nostra had the opportunity to visit the exceptional Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva, a family-owned museum open to the public, which houses Philippe Stern’s Collection of Timekeepers, winner of a Europa Nostra Award 2017 in the category Research. Denis de Kergorlay, Executive President of Europa Nostra, presented the Award to Philippe Stern, and praised the priceless value of his knowledge and expertise and his tireless dedication to research – for more than 40 years – which led to the creation of one of the most, if not the most, impressive private collection of historic timekeepers in the world.

2017 LAC Philippe Stern's Collection of Timekeepers in Geneva

Denis de Kergorlay also congratulated Peter Friess, Director and Curator of the Patek Philippe Museum, and his predecessors, for the production of an impressive catalogue including every single item from the entire collection of Mr Stern, as well as all the high-skilled artisans for their outstanding expertise. He pointed out that the world-famous slogan of Patek Philippe “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation” is fully in line with the spirit of Europa Nostra and its work for cultural heritage.

Guided tours were organised to explain Europe’s horological history and traditions and show the most remarkable pieces of the collection.

On 25-26 September 2017, the Board of Europa Nostra met in Geneva, upon invitation from our Council Members from Switzerland Charles Pictet and Jacques de Saussure. Fruitful discussions took place on various issues including the new Europa Nostra’s Network project “Sharing Heritage-Sharing Values”, the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 and the preparations of the European Cultural Heritage Summit 2018 in Berlin.

On 27 September, the Board of Europa Nostra enjoyed a trip along the Lake Geneva on-board the Belle Epoque steamer “Rhône”. This was the last trip of this steamer before the start of its restoration. The outstanding conservation of the Belle Epoque Steamers on Lake Geneva won a Europa Nostra Award in 2014 and is a powerful example of a beneficial partnership between private and public stakeholders in favour of heritage conservation.

Jacques de Saussure welcomed the Board members in his recently restored 18th century historic house located in the center of Geneva and also in his family owned medieval castle of Vufflens.

The Board will gather for its fourth and last meeting this year on 17 November in The Hague, in conjunction with the autumn meeting of our Council.

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