Prague, April 5 (CTK) – The recent reconstruction of the Baroque complex in Kuks, east Bohemia, and the Czech National Heritage Institute’s (NPU) educational project promoting historical sights have won the EU’s prestigious Europa Nostra 2017 prize, NPU spokesman Jan Cieslar told CTK on Wednesday.
He said the prize is a parallel to film Oscars in the heritage conservation branch.
Representatives of the EC and the Europa Nostra group have chosen 29 winners out of more than 200 competing projects.
The two successful NPU projects have advanced in the contest. On May 15, seven Grand Prix winners will be chosen out of the 29 holders of the Europa Nostra prize in Turku, Finland.
The grand prix carries a reward of 10,000 euros.
On Wednesday, a public online voting started for people all over the world to support any of the competing projects, Cieslar said.
“The success of both our projects proves that we are not only able to reconstruct monuments but also return real life to them as the venues of attractive cultural events and in educating new generations,” NPU director Nada Goryczkova said.
“I am glad at seeing our results appreciated not only by the Czech public…but also whole Europe,” she said.
Goryczkova said the NPU could reconstruct and revitalise Invalidovna, a valuable Baroque complex in the broader centre of Prague, like it has done with Kuks, if the city gave the green light to the project.
Last year, the Kuks reconstruction from 2013-2015 won the Czech construction of the year project in the relevant category.
The Europa Nostra prize was established 15 years ago. It is awarded for extraordinary contributions in the categories of heritage conservation (in which the Kuks project succeeded), research and extraordinary contributions in caring for cultural heritage and in the area of education.
In the last mentioned category, the NPU’s project creating a system of education and lessons on heritage conservation succeeded.
The last previous Europa Nostra award went to the conservation and presentation of castle in Becov nad Teplou, west Bohemia, in 2010.
Before, the prize went to another three Czech projects and to Tomas Durdik, a connoisseur of castles.