How a storm, which in 1431 dramatically changed the route of Pietro Querini, a Venetian merchant, now is a motive for experience sharing on innovation and entrepreneurship!
Cultural heritage a basis for exchange
On the occasion of the AER Spring plenaries, delegates interested in cultural heritage had the opportunity to participate in a workshop on cultural heritage. The main objective was to set up partnerships for European projects and identify specific topics for interregional cooperation.
The region of Nordland is currently developing a project on a cultural heritage route from south to north in Europe, based on the story of Pietro Querini. The Venetian merchant sailed from Crete, bound for Bruges in Flanders. Altogether 68 men sailed on three merchant ships loaded with wine casks and spices intended for Western European markets. The fleet passed malta, the Canary Islands and Galicia, but encountered a terrible storm on the west coast of France. The storm damaged the ships and the sailors had to go in the lifeboats. Without ability to navigate, the boats were driven by the streams following the coast of Ireland and Scotland ending up on the remote island of Rost in Northern Norway. The history of Querini as a background makes it possible to connect Europe from south to north. The journey follows the trails of merchants that have impacted many different cultures.
Inga-Lill Sundset, Project Manager in Nordland (NO) presented the project idea and with a group of regions started developing the partnership of Via Querissima. The project will strengthen address questions such as:
- How can an economy based on creative/ cultural industries be managed, enhanced and implemented?
- What kind of tools and competencies are present and how are they best used as experience products?
- how can the partnership develop stronger awareness of its unique resources?
Alf Norberg, County Councilor in Gävleborg (SE) shared the main features of an all-encompassing and an ambitious project his region developed for the European Year for Cultural Heritage. Participants exchanged in particular around the topic of digitalisation and shared ideas on using virtual reality for cultural heritage, improving accessibility and the development of dedicated applications. Cultural heritage in the project from Gävleborg aims at developing activities, promoting the region but also quite importantly at being a tool for inclusion and social cohesion. “Gävleborg’s cultural heritage strategy has been developed in collaboration with regional actors. It underlines that cultural heritage is a resource for achieving a socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable society” explains Alf Norberg.
Other ideas for cooperation include the walking pilgrim Route which goes from Trondheim to Santiago de Compostela, the trade of wine or the digitisation of exhibitions for elderly people.
While national funding schemes such as the “national city of culture” in the UK or others are an important source of funding for cultural heritage, a number of opportunities exist also at European level.
These were detailed by AER Coordinator for European Projects & Private Partnerships Agnese Pantaloni and include specific calls in H2020, Interreg and Creative Europe:
“What strikes me is the wealth of cultural heritage we have in Europe and the strong interest regions have in developing it” concludes Nina Björby, Chair of the AER Subcommittee on Culture, “this is why having a workshop like today is such a powerful experience: regions find in the same place information on funding schemes and new partners”.