A panel discussion under the name of “Europe recognised Gostuša, as much as we recognise our own cultural heritage” was held in the EU Info Corner in Niš. The inspiration of the gathering was the recently awarded prize of the European Union and Europa Nostra to the Institute for Protection of Monuments for their conservation of the village Gostuša on the Balkan Mountains.
The staged discussion was started with the presentation of the Creative Europe programme in Serbia. The Head of the Desk Creative Europe in Serbia, Dimitrije Tadić spoke about opportunities for new interpretations of cultural heritage offered by this programme, successful project from Serbia dealing with cultural heritage, as well as digital technologies and the importance of the need for cultural professionals to leave the passive role of guardians of heritage and transition to the role of those interpreting it and making it more interesting to the wider public.
General Secretary of Europa Nostra in Serbia, Višnja Kisić presented at the panel in the EU Info Corner some of the already awarded projects dealing with heritage throughout Europe. On this occasion, she also announced a competition which will be open until 30th September, and the awarding of the most prestigious recognition for heritage at the European level will take place next year in the Finnish city of Turku.
The Grand Prix that the Institute for Protection of Cultural Monuments in Niš received for their conservation of the village Gostuša is the first prize awarded by Europa Nostra to Serbia. During the presentation of the project, Director of the Institute, Elena Vasić-Petrović said that the jury emphasized as values of the project the active participation of students in it, high quality production of the documentation and the fact that with very modest financial assets we achieved serious results.
Architect – conservator Aleksandra Mirić emphasised at the panel how extremely important it is for Niš to be the first city in Serbia which accepted the methodology Qualicities as the core methodology in the processes of adopting and implementing decisions at the level of the City of Niš, institutions of culture, local institutions and foundations, local associations and city municipalities.
The talks at the panel also included the importance of cultural heritage at the local level. The founder of the Foundation “Za lepši Niš“Ivan Redi expressed his opinion that we shouldn’t rely on centennial projects, but instead take small steps of change. This was also the underlying idea when the arrangement of central streets of Niš, Balkanska and Davidova St, was initiated, in whose reconstruction students of architecture took active participation.