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Greece takes 3 Heritage Awards back home from Europa Nostra

«Europa Nostra»: Three Heritage Awards to Greece for 2015

This year Greece gets 3 out of 28 Europa Nostra Awards of the European Union, which is considered as the most prestigious European Award concerning the field of Cultural Heritage. Greece will take back home awards for the conservation of the Mansion of Antouaniko on Chios Island, the restoration of Windmills on Lasithi Plateau with Perforated Sails (Crete) and Hermes Digitization project concerning Hermoupolis Heritage (Syros Island).

In particular, the Antouniko Mansion (1893) at Kampos area on Chios Island, is appreciated for the high quality restoration works and regarded as a model project for similar works, which will be necessary if the authenticity and historic value of the area is to be maintained. The mansions’ restoration included structural repairs, conservation of the main house and conversion of the auxiliary buildings into residential spaces, as well as extended restoration works on the irrigation system. The relationship between built and natural environment was reinstated following the original plan; as a holiday house surrounded by agricultural land and by conserving its intervening spaces and structures.

 

As Lasithi’s plateau on Crete is concerned, from 1910-1950 there were approximately 10.000 windmills built for irrigation purposes which stopped working in recent years. Mr. Georgios Hatzakis, a mechanical engineer, has experimented successfully on some 20 mills by perforating the sails with minute holes, which means they can function successfully in low level winds. In strong winds the holes have the advantage to grow, reducing the wind’s strength and ensuring the mill’s safe operation. The jury praised Mr. Hatzakis for his ingenious idea and innovative research which improves the efficiency of the windmills, the local agriculture and aesthetics. It also provides an ecologically sound technique for mill restoration and re-use elsewhere in Europe.

 

Last, the Hermes digitisation project is about creating a free, open-source web publishing platform in order to display the conservation plan of old buildings in the exhilarating town of Hermoupolis on Syros Island. It is granted an award, by the Europa Nostra jury mentioning that it consists of a model to promulgate the value of digitisation in the collection and maintenance of intelligence about Europe’s architectural heritage, and ways in which our understanding of the complexity of the past and our response to it in the future can be developed and become a basis for action.

 

On the occasion of these awards Plácido Domingo, famous tenor, conductor, arts administrator and President of Europa Nostra, noted that this year’s winners are powerful examples of creativity and innovation at work for Europe’s cultural heritage. They also demonstrate that heritage matters to Europe and its citizens.

The European Cultural Heritage Awards Ceremony will take place on June 11th, 2015 at Oslo’s town hall and during which seven of the selected winners will be named as Grand Prix laureates, receiving €10.000 each, and one will receive the Public Choice Award, chosen in an online poll conducted by Europa Nostra.

For more information, visit the official Europa Nostra Awards Site.

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