‘Protectors of our Heritage’, a worthy example in Europe

Fifty students and teachers from Brasov, Cluj and Deva were invitees of Iuliu Winkler, MEP (RMDSZ, EPP), at a conference organized in the European Parliament in Brussels, which aimed to share best practices acquired within the “Protectors of Our Heritage – Adopt a Monument” Program; this initiative targets the safeguarding of the historical and cultural heritage of Transylvania by the youth.

“We have here, in the European Parliament, the largest delegation of heritage protectors so far. Fifty students, together with their teachers from Brasov, Deva and Cluj, had the opportunity to visit the European Parliament, but also to present their own initiatives, thus raising the «Protectors of Our Heritage» Movement to a European level”, declared Iuliu Winkler in the conference, which enjoyed the high patronage of the Commissioner for Culture, Education, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics.
“We want the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage, to build on initiatives starting from local communities. The “Protectors of Our Heritage – Adopt a Monument” Movement is an excellent example that supports our intention, namely to prioritize local initiatives”, said Anna Georgina Isola, as the message of Commissioner Navracsics. On this occasion, she presented the 2018 – European Year of Cultural Heritage Program.

“The fact that we are here today at the European Parliament is due to the work of 1,500 youth. Through their work, cultural heritage has once again become a contemporary topic, and through their undertakings, we have come to know the past of some monuments and get to love them. They take care of the cultural heritage that they pass on to the next generations”, said Csilla Hegedüs, Executive Vice President of RMDSZ, in her presentation on the “Protectors of Our Heritage” Movement.

Andrea Bocskor MEP, Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture, spoke about the opportunity for minority cultures to be promoted in 2018 as part of the European Year of Cultural Heritage. According to her, the “Protectors of Our Heritage” Program is also a worthy example for the Hungarian communities in Ukraine, stressing that she will stimulate the takeover of this program by Hungarian youth in Ukraine.

Attending the conference, Vincze Loránt, President of the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN), made a presentation of the umbrella organization for national minorities in Europe and showed that the “Protectors of Our Heritage” Program should be promoted among all European minority communities. He furthermore spoke to the participants about the “Minority Safe Pack” European Citizens’ Initiative.

It is the fifth year in which, at the invitation of Iuliu Winkler MEP, the winning teams of the “Protectors of Our Heritage” Contest visited the European Parliament in Brussels.

This time, three teams were present; the team from Brasov, which adopted the main building of the “Áprily Lajos” National College, the students in the “Téglás Gábor” Theoretical High School, who took into safekeeping the Monastery and the Franciscan Church in Deva, and the Cluj Reformed Theological High School students who ‘adopted’ the Purjesz-Óváry House.

At the conference, students presented the content of their work, as well as their creative and dynamic ideas and initiatives on monument protection.