Launched in 1985,it has been organized annually every year since 1999 as a joint initiative between the European Commission and the Council of Europe. During these days, the 50 countries which have signed the European Cultural Convention take part in the European Heritage Days by allowing visitors to enter and/or see rare cultural artifacts or buildings which are usually closed for the public. Countries try not only to expose rare artifacts, architecture and local skills and traditions but to create a mutual understanding of European Culture.
The forum brings together officials, civil servants and the coordinators of European Heritage Days, an initiative of the European Commission, to discuss how to protect art and culture for future generations. Vassiliou said: “Our heritage is what links our past, present and future. It is part of our DNA, yet is often taken for granted. Cultural heritage is important for growth and jobs. It represents a significant part of the cultural and creative sectors, which provide jobs for 8.5 million people and contribute up to 4.5% of Europe’s GDP. Cultural heritage is at the heart of Europe’s appeal as an international tourist destination and key for sustainable development and social cohesion. I believe we must do more to support it through the new Creative Europe program and the EU structural funds.”
Vassiliou will be among the main speakers at the event, together with Eleni Mavrou, the Cypriot Minister of Interior, and Constantinos Yiorkadjis, Mayor of Nicosia, as well as representatives of the Council of Europe, UNESCO and Europa Nostra.
(Source: European Commission)