Celebrating European Cultural Intangible Heritage for Social Inclusion and Active Citizenship - CECIH

16 april 2014

The Transylvania Trust is the Co-coordinator of the project which will be implemented over a two year period, from 01.10.2013 to 30.09.2015. It is supported by the Culture Programme of the European Union.

The Co-organisers are:


    Institute du Patrimoine Wallon, La Paix Dieu, Belgium
    Union Rempart, France




The aim of the project is to valorify, at European level, the joint values of the intangible heritage related to traditional building craft skills, and to use this as a tool to foster cooperation between different countries and ethnic groups using the built cultural heritage to enhance a sense of European citizenship and cooperation for individuals and communities. It will help identify the role of such skills in the development of communities, will enhance the social inclusion level of disadvantaged groups by training them in these skills, and will engender cross-generational respect in the value and practice of such skills in the maintenance and development of societal values across a number of EU countries and through transparency of dissemination to the remaining members of the EU.


The project will celebrate the value of traditional building crafts skills in fostering international relations through exchanges of traditional practice and expertise, and will be mainly implemented at the International Built Heritage Conservation Training Centre (link) at Banffy Castle, Bontida. The partnership will involve the exchange of craftsmen between the three countries and will offer an opportunity to promote the crafts skills from Transylvania to a wide European audience. The programme will also involve school children from each of the three countries in activities designed to help them understand the importance of the historic buildings. During the two year period several activities will be implemented, involving both, artists and members of the general public to celebrate the importance of our European cultural heritage.




• Need to improve the educational base for heritage training.
• Need to widen  opportunities for disadvantaged groups.
• Insufficient specialist training resulting in shortage of skilled labour
• Need for vocational training for young people, unemployed people, disadvantaged groups, older people seeking retraining
• Need to refocus on skills training.
• Need to realize the value of heritage in Community Development.
• Need for greater inter-cultural/international dialogue on heritage maintenance, protection and community building.
• Lack of appreciation of the value of intangible heritage skills in the celebration of community.

In each of the participating countries there is a general shortage of traditional crafts skills capable of adequately serving the cultural heritage sector, combined with a lack of related training within the university system as a formal part of their vocational training and of practical courses for craftsmen. This applies to all disciplines within the sector specifically related to skills necessary to preserve, promote and maintain the very diverse cultural heritage of Europe. The loss of such cultural heritage is a serious obstacle to community development, especially in rural regions. Neglect of cultural heritage is widespread, partially through lack of knowledge and understanding in how to address the problem.




• Organisations and individuals active in the maintenance, promotion and management of the built cultural heritage. This will include architects, structural engineers, planners, art historians, managers, archaeologists, students of conservation related studies within universities, conservation companies, craftsmen, owners of historic buildings.
• Employment groups such as young persons seeking employment: persons seeking career change; unqualified persons seeking vocational training: disadvantaged ethnic groups seeking employment: students of Construction Schools seeking vocational practice
• Schools with pupils in the 8 – 12 and 13 – 18 age groups
• The general public and owners of historic buildings
• National and International Organisations engaged in skills training and community development
• Voluntary organisations and NGO’s involved in the heritage sector




Different activities will be aimed at different target groups:
I. European Heritage Festivals
• 3 in Romania, at the Built Heritage Conservation Training Centre at Banffy Castle, Bontida.
• 2 in Belgium, at La Paix-Dieu.
• 2 in France.
The Events will involve skills training in:
1. Consolidation and Rendering: Profiles and Decoration, Stucco, Sgraffito, Fresco
2. Carpentry/Joinery: structural carpentry/ furniture repair/painting
3. Stonemasonry: new carving and repair, Stonemasonry festival of traditional carving.
II. European Heritage Days embracing awareness raising, aimed at school children
• 4 in Romania
• 2 in Belgium
• 2 in France
III. Crafts Days for students of Construction Schools
• Promoting skills related to painting furniture, simple frescoes, sgraffito and decorative profiles related to plaster work.
• Will involve students in the 16 to 19 years age group.
IV. Celebrations of European Cultural Heritage
• The events will include talks/lectures, debates, guided tours, concerts, to promote the enjoyment and use of heritage assets
• Each country will host 4 events.
V. Dissemination
• Will involve an International Conference, which will be held at the closing of the project at the BHCT Centre at Banffy Castle, Bontida, Romania, to transmit the activities, role and outcome of the project.
VI. Coordination and Management


The value of cultural heritage (the built and historic environment) is widely recognized as a catalyst which can be utilized to enhance social integration within communities and to promote a sense of civic pride and identity. It is an important principle of European Citizenship to realize the responsibility of care and protection of our cultural environment, inherited and to be passed on to other generations. Through these principles the project will promote the preservation of cultural heritage by offering practical expertise in the maintenance and development of traditional skills in conservation and restoration of the historic buildings of Europe.




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