EUROPE – Can they teach us how to conserve our religious heritage?

This is the question that the project partners of ALTERheritage ask themselves, coming together from six European countries.

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The project is an initiative of the European network for historic places of worship – Future for Religious Heritage (FRH). It kicked off with much excitement this week in Brussels, at the heart of Europe.

The partners will present guidelines, learning tools or methods that they are developing, and assess how the material can be adapted to different national circumstances. Funded by the EU Leonardo Programme, it will support academically well anchored, high quality tools that can build the capacity of vocational learning in the field across Europe.

The results will inform future production of new learning tools on religious heritage conservation, management and regeneration in Europe, in support of their widespread practicability. The European stakeholders include religious and governmental bodies, charities and businesses, and the sector needs a closer link between academic knowledge and vocational practice.

ALTERheritage aims to make existing material for vocational learning on religious heritage conservation and management available to a larger proportion of the sector in Europe. Europe’s religious heritage shares threats of under-use, but also problems with managing large numbers of tourists. The sector has much to gain from increased international and inter-sectorial exchange to find good-practice models for building the capacity of the practitioners.

Olivier de Rohan, President of FRH says:
“This project is the first of its kind in Europe, going beyond facilitating knowledge exchange to actually assessing its applicability. European practitioners need practicable solutions to shared problems with conserving religious heritage. Just as religion discriminates all borders, efforts to protect its heritage must also be international.”

The partners are:
Future for Religious Heritage (FRH) (Belgium)
Department of Conservation, University of Gothenburg (Sweden)
Media K Gmbh (Germany)
KU Leuven – Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation (Belgium)
The Churches Conservation Trust (England)
Sociedad Regional de Cultura y Deporte, S. L. (Spain)
Museum Catharijneconvent (The Netherlands)

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