The Romanian Athenaeum (Ateneul Român) receives the European Heritage Mark from the Commission for the significant role played in the history and culture of Europe

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Brussels, April 11, 2024RBJ – Today, April 11, the European Commission awarded the Romanian Athenaeum – Ateneul Român (photo) and 6 other sites in the European Union the European Heritage Mark, for the significant role played by them in the history and culture of Europe.

The 7 sites are: Cisterscapes – Cistercian Landscapes Connecting Europe (Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Slovenia); the monastery of San Jerónimo de Yuste (Spain); Our Lord in the Attic Museum (Netherlands); Royal Toone Theater (Belgium); Kalevala (Finland); Romanian Athenaeum (Romania) and Sant’Anna di Stazzema (Italy).

A European jury of independent experts from all over Europe recommended 7 sites out of the 16 pre-selected by the member states participating in the selection. The 7 winning sites from the 2023 selection year will officially receive the mark during the MPE award ceremony, which will take place in Antwerp on 17 April 2024.

The European heritage mark is awarded to monuments, natural or urban sites, but also to objects, goods and intangible heritage. It recognizes their essential role in European history and culture, as well as in building what is now the European Union.

Romanian Athenaeum, BUCHAREST – Ateneul Român (ROMANIA)

The Romanian Athenaeum is a landmark building of the city of Bucharest. It was built by the Romanian Athenaeum Society at the end of the 19th century to host a public library, conferences, classical music concerts, exhibitions and other cultural-artistic activities, as part of its mission to popularize culture by any means. Since 1889, the Athenaeum has hosted the Romanian Philharmonic Society (currently the “George Enescu” Philharmonic), founded almost two decades ago to disseminate musical culture and popularize the masterpieces of classical composers. These cultural societies and their iconic building are part of the modernization process of the United Romanian Principalities, which were declared a kingdom in 1881 after gaining independence as a state from the Ottoman Empire at the end of the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878) . By hosting and hosting concerts by great European composers and orchestras, the Romanian Athenaeum has played an essential role in the dissemination of European classical music since its creation. Starting from 1958, the Romanian Academy hosts one of the most important classical music events in the world, the “George Enescu” International Festival and Competition, named in honor of the great Romanian composer. The Athenaeum also hosts public lectures with Nobel laureates, renowned writers and professionals from across Europe, highlighting democracy and European values and promoting culture and science.

Context

The European Heritage Label aims to improve the understanding and appreciation of the common and diverse heritage of the European Union by citizens, especially young people. The European heritage mark has proven its relevance for strengthening intercultural dialogue and the feeling of belonging to the European Union. In addition, this EU action is essential for the development of local cultural tourism, sustainable economic benefits and communities across Europe.

To receive the European Heritage Label, sites must meet the three criteria that were introduced when the label became an EU initiative: they must demonstrate their European significance, make their European dimension known to the European public and demonstrate their capacity operational to carry out these activities. Sites receiving the mark must also participate in collaborative networking activities and cooperative projects. The selection process takes place every two years. Participation is open to all Member States, provided they confirm their interest. Among them, based on the recommendations made by the European jury of independent experts, the European Commission awards the European Heritage Mark to a maximum number of one site per participating Member State per year. Sites awarded the European Heritage Label are monitored to ensure that they continue to meet the criteria for which they were selected. Monitoring takes place once every four years. An independent external evaluation takes place every six years.

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