For the first time The EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra prize 2016 is awarded to a project originating in Tampere, Finland. The award is the highest honor on the cultural heritage sector in Europe. Adopt a monument programme is organized by Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum located at the Museum Centre Vapriikki. In the Tampere region over 300 volunteers, working on about twenty valuable cultural heritage sites are involved in the Adopt a Monument activities. The award is also addressed to all these adopters and their valuable work!
Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum has developed the Adopt a Monument programme since 2008, first according to a Scottish example, then on the basis and the needs of the people and heritage of Finland and Tampere Region. At first the focus was on archaeological sites, but since 2013 the programme has also included buildings. Citizens take care of cultural heritage sites and improve the common environment, museum professionals such as archaeologists, built environment researchers and master builders offer help. Same type of activities have already began to spread to other parts of Finland; for instance Central Finland and the metropolitan area.
Adopt a Monument work fosters the idea that by supporting volunteer work a genuine cultural spirit is generated, and thus is produced sustainable development and preservation of cultural heritage. A large part of the Adopt a monument enthusiasts are working long-term to benefit one particular site significant to them. Others opt to take part on a short-term voluntary work. Adopt a monument strives to organize cultural camps and a variety of cultural events to answer to these needs also.
Award criteria designated by Europa Nostra: “‘Adopt a Monument’ is a creative way to actively involve local inhabitants in the care and preservation of their local heritage and helps to encourage the protection of smaller, unprotected buildings. The wide array of structures that are ‘up for adoption’ are from many different periods in history and shows the inclusive nature of this programme. The project is sustainable and its potential to be applied across Europe is evident.”
Official press release in English by Europa Nostra
Official press release in Finnish by Europa Nostra Finland
The introductory video of EU Prize for Cultural Heritage 2016 award winners: Adopt a Monument