The European Year of Cultural Heritage takes off

„Cultural heritage is at the heart of the European way of life. It defines who we are and creates a sense of belonging” – said Tibor Navracsics, the EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth, and Sport, during the official launch of the European Year of Cultural Heritage.

The inauguration of EYCH2018 ocurred during the European Culture Forum taking place on 7–8 December in Milan.
The purpose of the European Year of Cultural Heritage is to raise awareness of the social and economic importance of cultural heritage. Thousands of initiatives and events across Europe will provide the possibility to involve citizens from all backgrounds. The aim is to reach out to the widest possible audience, in particular children and young people, local communities and people who are rarely in touch with culture, to promote a common sense of ownership.

Attending the event today are President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, the Estonian Minister of Culture, Indrek Saar, representing the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU, Italian Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini, Chair of the Committee on Culture and Education of the European Parliament, Petra Kammerevert, and 800 EU representatives of the cultural sector and civil socjety, including the representatives of the International Cultural Centre in Cracow, the Polish coordinating institution of the EYCH2018.

According to a new Eurobarometer survey released today, 8 out of 10 Europeans think cultural heritage is not only important to them personally, but also to their community, region, country and the European Union as a whole. More than 7 in 10 Europeans also agree that cultural heritage can improve their quality of life. The survey also shows that 9 in 10 think cultural heritage should be taught in schools. Three quarters of Europeans think primarily Member States and the EU should allocate more resources to protecting Europe's cultural heritage.
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