European year of cultural heritage 2018 is closed

Slovenia made a successful presentation of its culture to Europe

The European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH) was marked by a great variety of events, projects and tributes to heritage across Europe. The year highlighted cultural heritage as a central component of cultural identity, cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue.

Throughout the year we fostered our awareness of remarkable common cultural heritage, the values it represents, its social and development potential and the rights and obligations associated with cultural heritage. The EYCH encouraged us to discover and explore Europe's cultural heritage and to reinforce a sense of belonging to a common European family.

Our heritage: where the past meets the future

In the context of the EYCH, the European Commission identified ten priority areas of action, with a view to ensuring sustainable effects of the promotion of heritage. Slovenia endeavoured to increase citizens’ interest in cultural heritage, particularly among young people. Ambassadors of the European Year of Cultural Heritage Rok Terkaj (Trkaj) and Igor Saksida and Ambassadors of Cultural and Arts Education in the European Year of Cultural Heritage Anja Štefan and Ivan Mitrevski and Žiga X Gombač, the creative duo Mižavingavski, Karin Lavin, Igor Cvetko, the Center for Architecture Slovenia, and members of the music group Katalena, inspired young people to explore cultural heritage and to realise that there is more to cultural heritage than meets the eye: it is not just crumbling walls but it is a part of the environment and society in which we live, and above all, it is part of us. The spirit of the EYCH was promoted at various performances and workshops, in preschool institutions, schools and libraries.

Ksenija Kovačec Naglič,MSc., Cultural Heritage Directorate, at the closing ceremony of the EYCH in Slovenian National Gallery. Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

More than 1,000 events attracting 100,000 visitors

The organisers of national events, such as the Cultural Bazaar, Europe in School, European Cultural Heritage Days and Cultural Heritage Week, dedicated their events to the theme of the European Year. We succeeded in establishing partnerships with public institutions and other institutions promoting culture and education, private organisations and individuals that held over 1,000 different events, which together attracted around 100,000 visitors. We also organised a meeting of experts on Intangible Cultural Heritage in South East Europe, the national expert panel on cultural and arts education in cultural heritage, and the hackathon "Cultural adventure at your fingertips". All initiatives presented at the hackathon offered concrete solutions to improve the promotion and provide an experience of cultural heritage in tourism. The event is an exemplary case of inter-sectoral cooperation among the Ministry of Public Administration, the Ministry of Culture and the Slovenian Tourist Board and of forming technological partnerships with Microsoft, IBM and other institutions. We also joined other common European initiatives, such as the initiative to sign the "Berlin Call to Action" and the invitation to join the ringing of bells across Europe, thus marking the International Day of Peace.

The EYCH saw the development of a document that will also remain applicable after the end of the EYCH; this is namely the draft Cultural Heritage Strategy, which will, once adopted, be the first independent strategic document dealing with heritage issues. The strategy aims, with the help of cultural heritage, to improve the quality of life and contribute to a more cohesive society, promote sustainable development of Slovenia and improve the attitude of society towards our heritage.

Text by Lavra Černigoj Blažko, The Ministry of Culture
Source: Sinfo