The 9 shortlisted projects were undertaken by heritage practitioners from eight countries in Europe and beyond. Although the areas and range of their activities are diverse, they all show how heritage has the potential to create meaningful links across countries and communities and to develop exciting new solutions and spur social change.

The 9 shortlisted projects for the ILUCIDARE Special Prizes 2021 are:

Heritage-led innovation

3D Reconstruction of Maison du Peuple - Horta Museum, Brussels, BELGIUM

This partial 3D reconstruction of the Art Nouveau building makes the building once again accessible and understandable to all.


Basilica of Santa Croce, Lecce, ITALY

An innovative process of restoration treatments and techniques allowed for a minimal intervention on the beautiful carved façade of the basilica.


HAP4MARBLE - Marble Conservation by Hydroxyapatite, ITALY

The HAP4MARBLE project has developed a new treatment for the conservation of marble artworks through hydroxyapatite (HAP), the same mineral which constitutes human teeth and bones.


AP Valletta, MALTA

This research-based architectural and design firm has provided creative solutions for the problems at hand in the historic city of Valletta with an eye for the valorisation of heritage, wellbeing and cultural life.


Heritage-led international relations

Northern Lebanon Project, ITALY/LEBANON

A joint Italian - Lebanese multidisciplinary team has rediscovered and shared 100 archaeological sites in Lebanon.


Friends of Bryggen and the Bryggen Foundation, Bergen, NORWAY

The Friends of Bryggen and the Bryggen Foundation have contributed to reviving Hanseatic inter-European ties and intercultural relations.


Preservation of the Wine Cellars of Negotinska Krajina, SERBIA

This long-term conservation project of vernacular wine cellars is possible thanks to a partnership of organisations in Serbia, Albania and Sweden.


Leather Painting Restoration in the Hall of the Kings of the Alhambra, SPAIN

This unique collection of paintings has been carefully restored thanks to the collaboration of different partners from Spain, France, Italy and Belgium.


EU-LAC Museums - Museums, Community & Sustainability in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, UNITED KINGDOM

This international team of museum professionals, researchers and policy-makers have set up exchanges and improved relations between Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.

"The 9 shortlisted projects for the ILUCIDARE Special Prizes attest the ingenuity, dynamism and sense of purpose of the heritage world. From using state-of-the-art technical solutions for heritage preservation to cultivating relations through cultural heritage between communities and countries, both in Europe and across the world. These outstanding projects show the benefits of working across disciplines and borders to ensure the transmission of our shared heritage to present and future generations. On behalf of the ILUCIDARE Consortium, I wish to congratulate these exemplary achievements for embodying what ILUCIDARE proudly stands for, and I warmly welcome you to the vibrant, international ILUCIDARE community. This pre-selection is already an important milestone and we look forward to supporting you in making the most of it. The ILUCIDARE partners stand ready to give you the visibility and the backing you very much deserve", stated Koen Van Balen, coordinator of the ILUCIDARE project (KU Leuven, Belgium).

"The shortlisted projects for the ILUCIDARE Special Prizes 2021 showcase the huge potential of our cultural heritage to act as a catalyst for creativity and innovation, and to foster human solidarity and cross-country cooperation. At a moment when the European Union and its citizens are engaged in shaping a shared vision for the future, each one of the 9 shortlisted projects demonstrate the capability of the heritage world to produce innovative, effective and creative solutions to larger societal issues. I applaud the efforts of the people and communities behind them, and hope many more will be inspired through the power of their example. I also wish to thank them sincerely for their important contribution to a more sustainable and resilient Europe, in spite of the current challenges we face together", said Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth.

The final recipients of the ILUCIDARE Special Prizes, selected by the ILUCIDARE Jury – one winner for excellence in heritage-led innovation and one winner for excellence in heritage-led international relations – will be announced in the autumn of 2021 at the European Heritage Awards Ceremony in Venice.

The two winners will have the unique opportunity of joining the ILUCIDARE Champions programme, a tailor-made support scheme to upscale their success and further develop their strategies together with European and international experts as well as the ILUCIDARE Consortium partners.

The ILUCIDARE Special Prizes are supported by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under the grant agreement No821394. In addition, the Prizes receive support from the European Union's Creative Europe programme for culture and the audio-visual sectors, which funds the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards.

Brussels, 10 June 2021

Source: Europa Nostra Newsletter, photo: