European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2023 in Venice

European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2023 in Venice

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On September 28, the official awarding ceremony of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2023, Europe's highest honor in the field of cultural heritage, took place. 

In June, the project "Un/Archiving Post/Industry" won the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2023 in the category "Citizen Engagement and Awareness Raising". The Venice ceremony was attended by representatives and participants of the project from the Center for Urban History Iryna Sklokina, Sofia Dyak, Harald Binder, and Victoria Donovan from the University of St. Andrews. 

"This clever and multifaceted project has been a great success in preserving industrial heritage in eastern Ukraine. With an incredible amount of digital data, the Un/Archiving Post/Industry project has created an excellent archive that stands out for its structure, data quality, and searchability. The open-access nature of this archive ensures its accessibility to a wide range of users. This is even more important in the current war conditions," the jury noted.

This year's award ceremony was attended by Cecilia Bartoli, President of Europa Nostra, Margaritis Schinas, Vice-President of the European Commission for the Promotion of the European Way of Life, and Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, who congratulated the winners via video message. 

The Grand Prix was awarded to the team of Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online (SUCHO) — a network of international volunteers that quickly responded to the threats to cultural heritage posed by Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine and started its work in the first days of the war. Using the available digital tools, the volunteers helped ensure the preservation of a huge number of Ukrainian heritage monuments and made significant efforts to digitize collections at risk of destruction. We congratulate our colleagues and are proud of their work!

At the end of 2023, the SUCHO team presented the grand prize award of €10,000 to the Urban Media Archive of the Center for Urban History. These funds will be used to support the work of preserving and documenting the history of Ukraine. Thank you for your support!

"Un/Archiving Post/Industry"

It is a project of the Center for Urban History and the University of St. Andrews in partnership with the Mariupol Local History Museum, Pokrovsk Historical Museum, and Donetsk Regional Museum of Local History, with the support of House of Europe and the GCRF. The project digitized about 30,000 photographic negatives and 82 films, including press photo collections from the 1940s to the 1990s, company archives, family albums, home movies, and amateur films.

The project takes place in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine and aims to record unique evidence of community life at Donbas, to counteract the use of the past as a weapon, and to combat the spread of disinformation. Although part of this archive was destroyed in 2022 due to the war, digital copies remain available on the website of the Urban Media Archive of the Center for Urban History.

European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards were launched by the European Commission in 2002. For 21 years, the awards have been a key instrument for recognizing the value of cultural and natural heritage for European society, economy and environment.

The awards promote heritage practices in Europe, encourage the international exchange of experience and knowledge, and connect heritage stakeholders in wider networks. 

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Cover Image: Europa Nostra /