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Bourla Theatre Enlisted the Most Endangered Monument/Site in Europe

May 5, 2014

Europa Nostra has published the 7 most endangered monuments and sites of 2014 in Europe. The recognition is due to the exceptional cultural value of this heritage, as the Bourla theatre is the only remaining large theatre where the 19th-century operas and dramas can be performed in an authentic reconstruction.

The international conference "Wood and Canvas (and rabbit glue) in the Modern World" is to explore ways to integrate this historic technology in a responsible manner in modern contemporary scenography. The possibility of authentic reconstructions of historical operas and dramas is an extra point in its favour, and we must do our utmost best to preserve the Bourla theatre as a vibrant and contemporary theatre space, with its historic machinery as unique motor of spatial movements which would not be possible with a contemporary standard theatre installation.

Register for Wood and Canvas (and rabbit glue) in the Modern World Conference Now!

Following is the announcement from Europa Nostra on Europe’s 7 Most Endangered monuments and sites.

Europe’s 7 Most Endangered
monuments and sites announced


Vienna, 4 May 2014 - The historic stage machinery of the Bourla theatre in Antwerp in Belgium, the neighbourhoods of Dolcho and Apozari in Kastoria in Greece, the citadel of Alessandria in Italy, the carillons of the Mafra National Palace in Portugal, the wooden churches in southern Transylvania and northern Oltenia in Romania, the Colour Row Settlement in Chernyakhovsk in Russia and the synagogue in Subotica in Serbia have been selected as the 7 most threatened landmarks in Europe in 2014. The announcement was made today by the leading European heritage organisation Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank Institute (EIB-I) at a public event in the Austrian capital, which is hosting this year's European Heritage Congress. These gems of Europe’s cultural heritage are in serious danger, some due to lack of resources or expertise, others due to neglect or inadequate planning. Urgent action is therefore needed. Rescue missions will be organised during and after the summer and feasible action plans proposed by the end of the year.

“This list is a key tool to raise awareness about endangered heritage in Europe. In common with these 7 monuments and sites, there are countless treasures in danger all across the continent. This list is, first and foremost, a call to action. Public and private stakeholders at local, national and European levels are urged to join forces to save the monuments and sites which tell our shared story and which should not be lost for future generations. We also wish to highlight that caring for our common heritage is a sound investment in Europe's social capital and economic growth,” stated Denis de Kergorlay, Executive President of Europa Nostra.

Heritage specialists from Europa Nostra and financial experts from the European Investment Bank Institute will visit the 7 sites, together with the nominators, after the summer. The multidisciplinary teams will assess the sites and contribute to the development of viable solutions, in close cooperation with national and local public and private bodies. “More specifically, experts in particular from the EIB-I will provide analysis and advice and will help formulate a feasible action plan for each of the 7 sites. Our conclusions will be presented by the end of the year,” explained Guy Clausse, Acting Dean of the European Investment Bank Institute.

“We will do our utmost to help save these 7 monuments and sites by providing technical expertise, identifying possible sources of funding and mobilising widespread support. However, a key role will have to be played by national stakeholders, in particular by the nominators. Being on the list of 'The 7 Most Endangered' opens a window of opportunity to rescue the sites but also means increased responsibility for the national stakeholders,” jointly stated the Executive President of Europa Nostra and the Acting Dean of the EIB-I.

The 7 Most Endangered for 2014 were selected by Europa Nostra’s Board from the eleven sites shortlisted by an international advisory panel, comprising specialists in History, Archaeology, Architecture, Conservation and Finance. Nominations were submitted by civil society organisations and public bodies from all over Europe.

‘The 7 Most Endangered’ programme was launched in January 2013 by Europa Nostra with the European Investment Bank Institute as founding partner and the Council of Europe Development Bank as associated partner. It was inspired by a successful similar project run by the US National Trust for Historic Preservation. ‘The 7 Most Endangered’ is not a funding programme. Its aim is to serve as a catalyst for action and to promote “the power of example”.

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