Museum Alka of Sinj Receives Europa Nostra Award in Berlin

Daniela Rogulj

Bravo to the Museum Alka of Sinj!

The European Union’s cultural heritage award was presented in Berlin over the weekend, though the European Commission and the leading European heritage network – Europa Nostra – named the winners in May. Seventeen European countries are among the 29 winners of this prestigious award, who are highlighted for their conservation, research, devoted work, education, training and awareness about cultural heritage. Among the 29 winners is one authentic Croatian story – the Museum Alka of Sinj, reports HRTurizam on June 26, 2018. 

Europa Nostra was founded in 1963 as a pan-European association of civil society organizations operating in more than 40 countries in Europe. The organization aims to rescue the endangered European monuments, places and landscapes, supported by a broad network of public institutions, private companies, and individuals. Today, Europa Nostra is considered a civil society voice devoted to the preservation and promotion of European cultural and natural heritage. Their current president is the world-famous opera singer and conductor Placido Domingo, and the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage, the Europa Nostra Award, contributes to the design and implementation of European heritage strategies and policies.

The award was launched by the European Commission and highlights and promotes excellent examples in heritage conservation, research, management, volunteering, education, and communication. The award, which seeks greater recognition of cultural heritage as a strategic resource of the European economy and society, also supports the EU program called “Creative Europe”.

In the award’s 16-year tradition, a total of 2,883 applications were submitted, and in the meantime, 485 projects from 34 countries were awarded. Spain leads in the number of awards, with 64 won; followed by the United Kingdom with 60, while Italy has 41 awards.

The EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra has strengthened the capabilities of the heritage protection sector in Europe, and by highlighting the best preservation practices, has stimulated numerous cross-border exchanges of knowledge by connecting participants to one large network of contacts. On the other hand, winners of this prestigious award see greater international recognition, which opens new funding opportunities and increases the number of visitors, all while raising awareness of common heritage and European identity. The award is also a key tool for promoting European heritage, especially in 2018, which has been proclaimed the European Year of Cultural Heritage.

This year’s awards ceremony took place as part of the European summit on cultural heritage. The meeting, entitled “Heritage Exchange – Value Exchange”, was organized by Europa Nostra, the German Cultural Heritage Committee and the Foundation for Prussian Cultural Heritage with the aim of promoting the European Agenda and the Cultural Heritage Action Plan as a lasting legacy. 

The event was held from June 18 to 24. The hosts of the European Heritage Awards, which was held on June 22 at the Berlin Convention Center, were the European Commissioner Tibor Navracsics, Placido Domingo, and the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Frank- Walter Steinmeier. An independent jury among the 160 submitted applications selected the best.

The Museum of Sinj Alka was awarded the Europa Nostra in Education, Training, and Raising Awareness. The museum was opened on its 300th anniversary in 2015, five years after the Sinj Alka was enrolled in UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage. The museum is dedicated to the annual knight’s tournament held in Sinj every August, and with the museum, the Alka is available throughout the year to provide a more complete insight into the history and importance of this custom. The museum is intended for all age groups, and through an interactive and multimedia exhibition space, it strives to provide more detailed information on various elements of the competition, rules, and history. Numerous educational workshops and lectures are organized in the Museum, while visitors can enjoy a digital archive that includes videos of the competition and the procession. The museum contributes to the development and improvement of the tourist infrastructure of Sinj as well as the preservation of this non-material heritage through its work and action. 

“This award is of utmost importance and we are extremely honored to have won with the Museum Alka of Sinj in such a strong competition. We received the award in one of the seven categories, namely education, training and raising awareness. Every prize and acknowledgment for the work done and so on is the valuable promotion of the Museum and the City as well as the entire Republic of Croatia in the wider European and world. I believe that it will have a positive impact on the work of the Museum, as well as the tourism of Sinj, which is an excellent introduction to the forthcoming 303rd Sinj Alka,” said the head of the Museum, Boris Filipović Grčić.

The Museum Alka of Sinj was founded and funded by Viteško alkarno društvo Sinj, and co-financed with the funds of the Croatian Government and local and regional self-government. 


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