8 EU projects that have helped conserve our cultural heritage

European Commission
4 min readJan 17, 2022

Here’s a glimpse of some projects from across Europe focusing on arts, languages and monuments.

When culture crosses borders: The Subotica architectural style found in Croatia and Serbia, restored and protected by the Subotica Osijek Secession project. 📸 Photographers: Marin and Domagoj Popić

The EU’s Cohesion Policy has supported small businesses, job creation and transport infrastructure while also helping preserve and protect our culture and our history.
Here’s a small glimpse of some projects from across Europe.

1. Basilica of St. Benedict in Norcia, Italy rebuilt following the 2016 earthquake

📸 Norcia square. © EU 2017

Mostly destroyed in the October 2016 earthquake, the Basilica of St. Benedict in Norcia, in the central Italian region of Umbria, has been rebuilt thanks to an EU-funded project. The historic 16th-church of Santa Maria della Misericordia was the only church that remained standing after a massive earthquake, repair and reconstruction work allowed it to reopen in December 2020.

2. Promoting the underwater cultural heritage in Macaronesia

The Canary Islands and the Azores are home to some fascinating underwater archaeological treasures, and cohesion policy is helping catalogue and preserve this fascinating part of our heritage, as well as to develop tourist routes so that others can discover it with the help of trained guides.

3. Restoring Serbia’s and Croatia’s joint secession heritage to its former glory

Some details of Osijek’s and Subotica’s secession architecture. 📸 Photographers: Marin and Domagoj Popić

Often culture crosses borders, and this is the case with the Subotica architectural style found in Croatia and Serbia. It combines elements of art nouveau with Hungarian folk art, and some of the best examples are now being restored and protected by the SOS (Subotica Osijek Secession) project focusing on the shared history and architectural visual identity of the cities of Subotica in Serbia and Osijek in Croatia. The project revitalised existing architectural landmarks from the secession period and developed a thematic route for tourists.
The secession period here refers to the late 19th century artistic movements which saw a break from traditional styles and forms in the region.

4. Nordic resource centre to promote Sámi languages

Cultural heritage also includes language, and the Nordic Resource centre is helping to keep alive Sami languages spoken by people across northern Scandinavia. A team of experts is working to standardize the vocabulary and spelling, develop new language learning tools, and even create new words.

📸 “Totem” by Farid Rueda, Sisak, Croatia. © Danko Simić

5. InduCult2.0: Discovering industrial culture in Central Europe

Cohesion policy invests in preserving the past as well as developing the future. Eight regions in central Europe have come together to explore their rich industrial culture. The InduCult2.0 project works with local citizens and businesses to revitalise old industrial sites as exciting places to live and work. Local organisations work together to provide visitors with the chance to take ‘industrial camping’ holidays or to organise ‘industrial culture’ festivals aimed at local school children.

6. Performance arts reach a wider audience in Berlin

Berlin is a city full of artists and performers, but many of them find it hard to get an audience. The Performing Arts Communication Programme (PERAK) helps such artists by promoting upcoming shows to a broader audience to develop this important area of the city’s art scene. It also provides support and advice to young professionals in dance, theatre and performance.

7. Come In! — Making cultural heritage accessible

The Come In! project aims to make museums more accessible and inclusive. Experts provide training, guidelines and a set of standards to ensure that people of all backgrounds and abilities can enjoy our cultural heritage, without any barriers. The project is making a difference in six European countries, Italy, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, Germany and Poland.

8. Mobile phone game brings Slavic mythology to life in Poland

The “Slavic Monsters” augmented reality geolocation game available on smartphones allows players to battle mythical creatures in real-world locations where they would have appeared. The game uses real landmarks as players explore the Polish region and its culture while enjoying the game.

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