EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards

The EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards was launched in 2002 by the European Commission and has been organised by Europa Nostra since then. The Prize celebrates and promotes best practices related to heritage conservation, management, research, education and communication. In this way, it contributes to a stronger public recognition of cultural heritage as a strategic resource for Europe’s society and economy.

The Prize honours every year up to 30 outstanding heritage achievements from all parts of Europe. Up to seven are selected as Grand Prix laureates and one receives the Public Choice Award, chosen in an online poll. All the winners receive a certificate as well as a plaque or trophy. The Grand Prix laureates also receive €10,000 each. 

The awards are given in four categories:

Outstanding achievements in the conservation, enhancement and adaptation to new uses of cultural heritage.

Outstanding research projects which lead to tangible effects in the conservation and enhancement of cultural heritage in Europe.

Open to individuals or organisations whose contributions over a long period of time demonstrate excellence in the protection, conservation and enhancement of cultural heritage in Europe and far exceeding normal expectations in the given context.

Outstanding initiatives related to education, training and awareness-raising in the field of tangible and/or intangible cultural heritage, to promote and/or to contribute to the sustainable development of the environment.

Specialist juries made up of independent experts assess the nominated projects and select the winners in the four categories.

The awards are presented to the winners at a major public event, which is held each year in a different European city. The 2015 European Heritage Awards Ceremony took place on 11 June at the iconic Oslo City Hall. Vienna hosted the Awards Ceremony in 2014, Athens in 2013 and Lisbon in 2012.

The European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards has been supported by the EU Culture Programme (now replaced by the Creative Europe programme. A total of 415 remarkable heritage accomplishments have been recognised in the past 13 years.

Since 2002, the Awards Scheme has contributed significantly towards further professionalism and structuring of the heritage sector, by highlighting the best practices, encouraging cross-border exchange of knowledge and bringing together different stakeholders in wider networks. The Prize has also brought major benefits to the laureates, such as greater national and international exposure, follow-on funding, technology sales and increased visitor numbers. Last, but not least, the Prize has increased the visibility of the heritage sector amongst the general public while giving it a distinctly European dimension

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