European Portal of National Heritage Organisations

THE WAY FORWARD

The European Heritage Partnerships Workshop and European Exchange Programme have encouraged reciprocal exchange of practical expertise and experience across Europe and established and reinforced links between European heritage conservation organisations. The benefits of the project would not only reach those heritage conservation practitioners who took part and their organisations, but citizens within the participating countries who are able to access the information via the media as each participant publicises and disseminates onwards the information and experience gained from this project. The results also represent an additional research resource which could be an important tool for European Institutions.
Following the Workshop and European Exchange Programme, partnerships have been formed to work on joint practical projects, so contributing to the process of European integration. For example, a joint project which brings together industrial heritage sites in Wales, France, Spain and Italy, involving partners which worked together on tasks during the European Exchange Programme, is currently being developed. Another project which has resulted from Exchange Programme partnerships aims to restore garden buildings in Ireland, England and Sweden.
Further projects to work on urgent tasks identified by European heritage organisations across Europe are being planned in the context of a second phase on the European Exchange Programme in 1999. This has been requested by participants as a result of the success of the European Heritage Partnerships Workshop and the European Exchange Programme in May 1998. Many of the participants in the 1998 Exchange Programme are currently developing joint projects in co-operation with their Exchange partners based in countries within the European Union or wider Europe. The following are some examples of projects proposed for the second phase.
Practitioners from England and Malta who worked together on an Exchange task to develop new uses for old buildings, plan to work together and share experience for a project to develop a management, presentation and interpretation strategy for sites under the ownership of the National Trust of Malta.
A project is being developed by practitioners from England and Norway to build on the “Training in Rural Craft Skills” project of the Exchange Programme. This follows on from the Exchange task which focused on training in traditional rural crafts. The objective of the project is to bring together experience in craft training from England and traditional woodland craft skills in Norway with a view to exchanging expertise which would benefit both countries.
Participants in the industrial heritage exchange in North Wales are developing a project which brings together practitioners from Wales, Slovakia and France to develop a strategy for the promotion of mining archeology in all three countries. The project will focus on the Frantisek’s Iron Works in the Orava region of Slovakia and the Fournel Silver Mines centre at L’Argentiere-la-Bessée, France. The idea for this project was devised during the Exchange task in Wales, where practitioners from these countries worked together on an Task focusing on the management and presentation of industrial sites in Wales.
Experience has shown that heritage conservation practitioners have been able to use the skills and experience gained through the European Heritage Partnerships Workshop and the European Exchange Programme in their own countries to establish long-term programmes, including setting up new non-governmental organisations, forging links with local communities and raising public awareness about Europe’s environment and its cultural heritage.