Prespes Watermill Awarded
Europa Nostra Grand Prix Laureate

The Traditional Watermill in Agios Germanos was one of seven recipients of the cultural heritage prize


The Traditional Watermill in Agios Germanos, Prespes, northern Greece, received a Grand Prix Laureate in the Conservation Category of the Europa Nostra Awards  at the Zarzuela Theater in Madrid on Tuesday. The watermill was chosen as one of seven winning EU projects by an independent expert jury from a total of 28 short-listed candidates. The prestigious honor comes attached with a 10,000-euro cash prize to help Europa Nostra winning projects continue their work in preserving the cultural heritage of Europe.

The Greek project is particularly unique because of its location in the mountainous region of the National Park of Prespa, a transboundary Park between Greece, Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). The renovated watermill, constructed in 1930, stands as a “living monument” of the industrial heritage of the region while, at the same time, inspiring a transnational collaboration contributing to the culture of reconciliation in the surrounding area. The symbolic value of the mill as a “peacekeeper” in a volatile region is matched with its usefulness now that it is in full working order with three different mechanisms to grind flour, clean fabrics and for textile finishing.

“The renovated watermill, constructed in 1930, stands as a “living monument” of the industrial heritage of the region while, at the same time, inspiring a transnational collaboration contributing to the culture of reconciliation in the surrounding area.”

“It has been an immense pleasure to meet and pay tribute to all Award winers and to celebrate the best of our shared heritage, together with hundreds of professionals, volunteers and supporters from all over Europe,” said Spanish tenor Placido Domingo, President of Europa Nostra. He welcomed the decision by the European Commission to hold the European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018. “At a time when the European Union is confronted with many political, economic and social challenges, this initiative has a very special meaning. Cultural heritage, indeed, connects people across generations and across borders, generates economic growth and fosters social inclusion.”

The call is now on for entries for the Europa Nostra Awards 2017, to be posted online. The deadline for applications is October 1, 2016.

BACKGROUND

The prestigious Europa Nostra Awards were launched in 2002 by the European Commission to promote best practises related to heritage conservation, management, research, education and communication.

“At a time when the European Union is confronted with many political, economic and social challenges, this initiative has a very special meaning.”

EUROPA NOSTRA WINNERS

7 Grand Prix Laureates selected by independent expert juries and entitled ot receive 10,000 euros each:

Conservation Category

Traditional Watermill in Agios Germanos, Prespes

The King’s Little Pathway in El Chorro gorge, Malaga, Spain

Wimpole Hall’s Gothic Tower in Wimpolse, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom

Research Category

Conservation study of the village Gostusa in Pirot district, Serbia

Dedicated Service Category

Employees and activists of the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo

Mrs Giulia Maria Crespi, Milan, Italy

Education, Training and Awareness-Raising Category

‘Adopt a Monument’, Tampere, Finland

Public Choice Award

The online vote, in its 5th year, saw some 8,000 people vote for the King’s Little Pathway



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