Prof. Jacek Purchla was chosen to become the new president of the jury of the European Heritage Awards, the most prestigious award in the area of European cultural heritage presented since 2002 by Europa Nostra. Prof. Purchla has been the vice-president of the organisation since 2018.
Europa Nostra was founded on 29 November 1963 in Paris. For almost 60 years, it has celebrated, protected and advocated for cultural heritage. Covering over 40 countries, Europa Nostra is recognised as the largest and the most representative heritage network in Europe. It maintains close relations with the European Union, the Council of Europe, UNESCO and other international bodies.
The European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards were launched in 2002 by the European Commission and have been run by Europa Nostra ever since. This year marks the 21st anniversary of Europe’s most prestigious Awards in the heritage field. The Awards identify and promote best practices in the conservation and enhancement of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, stimulate the trans-frontier exchange of knowledge throughout Europe, increase public awareness and appreciation of Europe’s cultural heritage and encourage further excellent initiatives through the power of example. The Awards honour every year up to 30 outstanding heritage achievements, among which up to five Grand Prix. Each winner of a Grand Prix receives a monetary award of €10.000. In addition, the Public Choice Award is presented to one of the selected award winners, following an online vote conducted by Europa Nostra.
Jacek Purchla is a full professor of humanities and an active member of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences. He heads the Department of Economic and Social History of the Kraków University of Economics as well as the Institute of European Heritage of the International Cultural Centre, of which he is the founder and was the director in the years 1991–2017. He is an honorary doctor of the Lviv National University of Technology and president of the Society of Lovers of History and Monuments of Kraków and editor of Rocznik Krakowski.
He conducts research on urban development, social history and art history of the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as the theory and protection of cultural heritage. He is the author of over four hundred scientific works, including many books. He is a member of numerous organisations and associations, including the Comité international d'histoire de l'art (titular member), and an expert of the European Commission in the European Heritage Label project. In the years 2000–2016, he chaired the Council for the Protection of Heritage Sites at the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. He was chairman of the Polish Committee for UNESCO (2015-2020), and chairman of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee (2016–2017).
Source: Europa Nostra