“Ambulance for Monuments” project aimed at saving endangered heritage in Romania, among winners of 2020 European Heritage Awards

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Ahead of the celebration of this year’s Europe Day (9 May), the European Commission and Europa Nostra are proud to announce the 2020 winners of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards. Europe’s top honour in the heritage field goes to 21 exemplary achievements from 15 European countries, including one from Romania.

This year’s impressive collection of award winners range from the restoration of Rubens’ garden pavilion in Antwerp (Belgium), to the revival of the renaissance arsenal on the island of Hvar (Croatia); from the trans-European network “Tramontana” dedicated to the research of the tangible and intangible heritage of mountainous regions, to the sensitive preservation of a cultural landscape formed by subterranean caves and wineries in the province of Burgos (Spain); from the rebirth of the impressive Basilica di Santa Maria di Collemaggio in l’Aquila (Italy), heavily damaged by the devastating earthquake of 2009, to the “Ambulance for Monuments” with an emergency team of craftspeople ready to save endangered heritage in Romania; and from “Scanning for Syria”, a research project carried out by a research centre in The Netherlands, to a major exhibition marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, organised in co-production between Poland and Spain.

Heritage lovers and supporters from Europe and all around the world can vote online for their favourite award winners and decide which achievement will win this year’s Public Choice Award. In times of confinement and physical distancing, the European Commission and Europa Nostra hope to inspire a particularly large number of people to discover this year’s award-winning achievements and to share the names of their three favourite winners. The Public Choice Award will be announced in the autumn of 2020. The winners of the Grand Prix, entitled to receive a monetary award of €10,000 each, will also be made public on this occasion.

“The COVID-19 crisis has made clear just how necessary culture and cultural heritage are to people and communities across Europe. At a moment where hundreds of millions of Europeans remain physically separated, our cultural heritage continues, more than ever, to bring people together. This year’s winners of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards are inspiring and powerful examples which truly contribute to a closer, more united and more resilient Europe,” said Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth.

“In these trying times, our award laureates, with their success stories of how adversity can be overcome through expertise, dedication and team work, are true messengers of hope. These exemplary awarded projects demonstrate that cultural heritage is vital to our mental and physical recovery from the trauma caused by the pandemic. Our shared heritage and its custodians can contribute in so many ways: from making accessible cultural content via creative digital solutions to undertaking concrete restoration and rehabilitation works as an act of social and economic rebirth for our cities and villages,” stated Hermann Parzinger, Executive President of Europa Nostra.

2020 Award Winners

Category Conservation

▪ Rubens’ Garden Screen and Garden Pavilion, Antwerp, BELGIUM

▪ Hvar’s Arsenal, CROATIA

▪ Epitaphs of the University Church of Leipzig, GERMANY

▪ The Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, HUNGARY

▪ Basilica of Santa Maria di Collemaggio, L’Aquila, ITALY

▪ LocHal, Tilburg, THE NETHERLANDS

▪ Subterranean Caves and Wineries of El Cotarro, province of Burgos, SPAIN

▪ The Iron Bridge, Shropshire, UNITED KINGDOM


Category Research


▪ Turin Papyrus Online Platform (TPOP), ITALY

▪ Scanning for Syria, THE NETHERLANDS


Category Dedicated Service



Category Education, Training and Awareness-Raising

▪ Cross-border Collaboration for European Classical Music, CZECH REPUBLIC

▪ Arolsen Archives Online, GERMANY

▪ The Secret Life of a Palace, Gödöllő, HUNGARY

▪ Uccu Roma Informal Educational Foundation, HUNGARY

▪ Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away, POLAND/SPAIN

▪ The Ambulance for Monuments, ROMANIA


Europa Nostra Awards go to three remarkable heritage achievements from European countries not taking part in the EU Creative Europe programme.

Category Conservation

▪ Manor Farm of Bois de Chênes, SWITZERLAND

Category Dedicated Service

▪ Société de Lecture, Geneva, SWITZERLAND

Category Education, Training and Awareness-raising

▪ SARAT – Safeguarding Archaeological Assets of Turkey, TURKEY

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