Best Heritage Sites

živa award 2023

DUBoak Maritime Heritage Interpretation Centre, Malinska/Croatia

Jury justification
“The Centre takes care of a hundred-year-old oak forest and the sea as a source of life, and of the cultural diversity reflected in local customs. With a holistic, sustainable and inter-sectoral participatory approach, which is represented in documentation, research, presentation and promotion, it works to preserve the natural and cultural maritime heritage of an island in the north of the Adriatic as a precious source of biological and cultural diversity. The Centre successfully creates a deeper relationship between the local population and visitors, enhancing multi-faced experiences through integrating cultural and natural heritage and the history of the traditional timber trade and shipbuilding. It also develops active sustainable tourism in order to create a balance between the economic, social and ecological needs of the local community. This is an inspiring site spinning together culture and nature along with tradition of the island.

Živa Award 2022

Cukrarna Gallery (Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana) /Slovenia

Jury justification
“The gallery, a new urban cultural centre of great importance for culturally and socially sustainable practices linked through art, was opened in 2021 in a former factory building, showing the relevance of revitalisation of the urban potential of the city’s physical heritage and its environment.
This is reflected in the outstanding features of the transformation of the historic building in terms of both form and content that demonstrate a high degree of integrity associated with the preservation of industrial heritage, aiming at ensuring its continuity by safeguarding it for new public use, while generating urban cultural dynamism and identity.
The gallery (functioning as part of the city’s Museum and Galleries), within the completely reconstructed and renewed interior spaces of the old factory’s massive edifice, of which the outside walls were restored and its original look preserved, resonates with the physical, symbolic and unprecedented social narrative of this heritage site.
It displays a distinctive adjustment to modernity by activating the old to create the new – a contemporary cultural urban space, open to the public, offering a variety of art projects and forms of cooperation in the wider national and international context. In just over a year, the gallery has fulfilled its role in presenting and producing various exhibitions, educational activities, artistic interdisciplinary interpretations, discussions and other genuine events reflecting current social questions – many of them pointing to the public and heritage value of the site. ”

Živa Award 2020

Etar Regional Ethnographic Open-Air Museum Etar/Bulgaria

Jury justification
“The entire site is a living, open-air museum distinguished by the characteristic Balkan architectural structures of buildings that appeared in the country during
the Revival period (18th c. – 19th c.). It is a unique regional museum, situated at the crossroads of the country between North and South, covering a large area, at the
edge of a National Park, not far from the city.
Since its establishment in the late 1960s, it has rescued, reconstructed and taken a holistic approach to the conservation and promotion of the Balkan architectural
and traditional ethnographic heritage. In the preservation, communication and promotion of the national and regional traditional culture, and in development of
cultural tourism and creative industries, the museum has been particularly successful in realizing the concept of a modern, socially, economically and
environmentally sustainable open-air museum.
It is therefore an institution that deserves recognition for generating wide respect for heritage and its values and assets created by man and nature, through taking
into account contemporary times.”

Živa Award 2019

Brest Hero Fortress, Brest/Belarus

Jury justification
“The entire site is a huge, major war memorial distinguished by architectural constructions, a powerful ensemble of fortifications and stunning concrete statues, commemorating thousands of lost lives and men’s bravery in fighting against wartime aggression and horrors, while defending their liberty, homeland, nation and national identity. The heroic deeds of World War 2 transformed this site into a unique monumental complex of the country’s strength and pride – a ‘sacred land of memory’. Its conservation is advocated holistically, retaining its cultural significance as a reliable witness to the past, fostering its safeguarding and supporting its sustainable use as the responsibility of current generations, and the privilege and right of future generations.”

Živa Award 2018

Kizhi Museum, Kizhi/Russian Federation

Jury justification
“The Museum is one of the largest open air museums in the North of the Federal State. It is situated on an island of a vast lake of rare biodiversity and natural beauty and represents a unique heritage site with an impressive group of timber architectural monuments, of historical wooden village houses and ethnographic collections that have survived for centuries. It is a place of signification that inspires and attracts innumerable audiences from all over the world. The Museum greatly contributes to the conservation and restoration of wooden vernacular heritage on the island and to the study and presentation of their tangible and intangible assets as powerful cultural expressions of human creation of historic importance. Its multi-layered array of functions on the island, combined with those in the city, and its inventive activities have led to a wealth of interpretations and have promoted research, learning, better knowledge of, and reflection on traditions. The Museum is also a major source of employment, revenue and sustainable development as it invests extensively in various educational, outreach and socially relevant projects engaging the local community. It has an active Children’s museum and strong links with schools. The institution has thus become one of the country’s leading centres and an international reference for restoration of wooden monuments, and for education and training in this field, as well as an example of best practice in the management of a World Cultural Heritage Site, and of comprehensive cultural heritage valorisation.”
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