Brussels: European Historic Houses Conference

Brussels: European Historic Houses Conference

Michael Hoare, treasurer of FRH, participated in the high-level panel discussion organized by the European Historic Houses. The event took place on 2nd October 2015 in Brussels.

The consistent theme of the Conference is simultaneously achieving valorisation and protection of the EU private cultural heritage. With regard to the current events in Irak and Syria, the EHH finds it particularly timely to thematically focus this conference on the risks attached to the preservation of our common cultural tangible heritage.

Looking into the best way of how cultural heritage can be sustain and the question of the illicit trafficking of cultural goods, the conferences aimed to show the interlink between the protection of cultural heritage, economy and social dimension within and outside Europe.

Michael Hoare presented Religiana

During the event our treasurer, Michael Hoare, presented Religiana to the audience.

He reminded delegates of the concerns in the 1970’s about the future of English country houses, gardens and churches.

50 years later all are in immeasurably better condition, and we are still worried about their future!

However, thanks to opening to the public, houses and gardens now welcome very many more people than they used to, while during the same period, churches have witnessed a decline un use.

Another difference is that houses and gardens generally have a simple ownership and management structure, while places of worship usually have several stakeholders who do not provide the concerted efforts to increase community use and tourism so essential to the long-term survival of these buildings.

Religiana is a tool developed by FRH and a number of its members around Europe to try to help remedy this.

Religiana is a multi-lingual European platform that allows individual places of worship to publish events, opening hours and financial needs and to build virtual communities of supporters.

By providing information on artistic contents, concerts etc., it allows the general public to plan visits and pilgrimage tours and to make tax efficient donations to individual churches.

Finally, by aggregating information of the community and tourist use of religious heritage, it will provide a factual base to build a convincing case of its value and hence help to justify future funding.

The prototype of Religiana is now functional and funding us being sought for its development.

Michael Hoare, FRH Tresurer

Conference Programme

Panel biographies

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