The 2019 European Heritage Days Stories initiative gathered 80 European Heritage Days communities that wanted to share their local heritage stories. The ten projects selected by a European jury to receive a grant will develop into projects that will have a lasting impact on the communities.
Developed under the umbrella of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, European Heritage stories initiative celebrates the communities behind European Heritage Days. In addition to this, the initiative also supports the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Award winners and the European Heritage Label sites.
One of the selected stories comes from Spain. Nolla's Mosaics. A Heritage to Preserve introduces the public to the almost forgotten traditional craft. Originating in the 1860s Nolla Mosaic Factory in Valencia, the ceramic pieces organised into mosaics by the traditional "mosaiqueros" reveal multiple layers of local and world heritage. Used as luxurious interior and exterior decorations in buildings around the world, the mosaics serve as a document of the industrial, architectural, artistic, intangible, historical and social heritage across all continents. The PalauetNolla, the factory's showroom remains as a powerful reminder of the unique and valuable legacy.
The Centre for the Investigation and Dissemination of the Nolla Ceramics (CIDCeN) and the architects' studio ARAE, who restore the luxury palace, have worked on the revival of the factory, its products and the unique craft since 2010. In 2012 they received the prestigious European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europe Nostra Awards for the quality of the research. The project aims to investigate further the processes and materials used to conduct an authentic restoration of the factory and revive the traditional "mosaiquero" craftsmanship. In addition to this, the project plans raising awareness of the significance of this fundamental heritage with local and European audiences.
The works that have been developed during the last nine years will be enjoyed with the partial opening to the public. Local visitors, international guests, heritage enthusiasts and professionals will be allowed to enjoy in an exciting programme of activities dedicated to the Nolla'a Mosaics heritage. The activities include the micro-stories competition, school activities, food festival, meeting of the old and new "mosaiquero" craftsmen, a concert and an international mosaic experts conference. A cultural programme also highlights the critical 19th-century figures who visited or lived in the factory showroom.
Nolla's Mosaics. A Heritage to Preserve aims to emphasise the importance of the preservation of our shared cultural heritage, especially when it comes to the disappearing traditions, crafts or customs. The scope of the project expands to entire Europe as many historical buildings feature some of the elements of old crafts that require special techniques and processes for the authentic restoration. By reviving the past crafts and local heritage facets, it rebuilds the connections and forms future cooperation between all European nations.
Keep up to date on the project development here. Don't forget to stay tuned for the 2020 Call for European Heritage Stories which will be announced soon and learn how you can apply.