By definition, cultural heritage is the legacy of tangible artefacts and intangible attributes of a group or society that are inherited from past generations and preserved for the benefit of future generations.
Cultural heritage is something that we all resonate with, regardless of our background. After all, our cultural heritage shapes our everyday lives, from the buildings that surround us to the food we fill our plates with. It cannot only be found in art, literature or folklore, but in natural landscapes and archaeological sites. Basically, it is a quintessential representation of our own history and identity, and we should seek to preserve it at all costs. That’s why 2018 has been designated as the European Year of Cultural Heritage.
This year, thousands of activities are taking place across the continent at local, regional, national and European levels, with the aim of encouraging the appreciation of Europe’s cultural heritage as a shared resource. From the prehistorical symbolism of Stonehenge to magnificent Milanese architecture, or Berlin’s techno clubs to the renaissance paintings hanging on the Louvre’s walls – Europe’s diversity is as intriguing as its history. Thus, this scheme intends to raise awareness of our shared values and reinforce a sense of belonging to a common European space.
In addition to this wonderful initiative, on the 26 June, the European Parliament held a high-level conference in Brussels entitled, “Cultural heritage in Europe: linking past and future”, which emphasised the significance and diversity of European culture. At the conference, which was opened by EP President Antonio Tajani and EC President Jean-Claude Juncker, political leaders, policy makers, artists from various fields and stakeholders debated the challenges facing the important issue of preserving cultural heritage and the economic potential that cultural heritage has.
Promoting the value of cultural heritage is also a direct response to the recent deliberate destruction of cultural treasures in the Middle East. The European Parliament has adopted resolutions highlighting the perils that cultural heritage is to be protected from, both in the EU and the world, and underlining the necessity to address the trafficking and looting of cultural heritage artifacts, the protection of cultural heritage, including traditional crafts, and the role of cultural heritage in sustainable tourism.
Check out our entry for Cultural Heritage in IATE:
We hope you enjoyed learning about cultural heritage. Join us next Friday for another meeting with IATE!
Europarl.europa.eu. (2018). European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018: why it is important | News | European Parliament. [online] Available at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/headlines/eu-affairs/20180109STO91388/european-year-of-cultural-heritage-2018-why-it-is-important [Accessed 28 Jun. 2018].
European Parliament. (2018). High-level conference on cultural heritage in Europe. [online] Available at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/the-president/en/newsroom/high-level-conference-on-cultural-heritage-in-europe [Accessed 28 Jun. 2018].
Written by Emma Wynne – Communications Trainee at TermCoord