Our heritage: Where the past meets the future
From Edinburgh to Thessaloniki, from Tallinn to Lisbon, Europe’s cultural heritage marks our identity, brings people together and attracts millions
of people to our shores every year. It is the ‘glue’ that binds us together as Europeans in one union, in all our diversity.
Cultural heritage is our common wealth, our inheritance from previous generations of Europeans and our legacy to those to come. It is an irreplaceable repository of knowledge, memories and beauty. And a resource for the future.
The European Year of Cultural Heritage was launched in Milan last December, and has since then kicked off nationally in several European countries. In Scotland, the Year will be launched on April 9. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the social and economic importance of cultural heritage.
Thousands of initiatives and events across Europe will provide the possibility to involve citizens from all backgrounds. In Scotland for example, the Festival of Museums, a Scotland-wide weekend of events, will take place on May 18-20 and will allow young and old to participate in guided tours, workshops and debates on cultural heritage.
The aim is to reach out to the widest possible audience, in particular children and young people, local communities and people who are rarely in touch with culture, to promote a common sense of ownership.
To make sure our efforts leave an imprint beyond 2018, the European Commission, in collaboration with the Council of Europe, UNESCO, and other partners, will run long-term projects. These include, for instance, activities with schools, research on innovative solutions for reusing heritage buildings or the fight against illicit trade in cultural goods. The objective is to help trigger real change in the way we enjoy, protect and promote heritage, making sure that the European Year benefits citizens in the longer term.
2018 will be a unique occasion to celebrate the diversity and richness of Europe’s cultural heritage, as well as its contribution to our societies and communities.