7 Most Endangered Programme - Booklet

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LAYOUT & DESIGN Julia Dölker

PICTURE CREDITS Cover image: The 29 monuments and heritage sites listed for the 7 Most Endangered programme since 2013, Photo collage by Julia Dӧlker Page 2: David Gareji Monastery, Georgia - Shalva Lejava Pages 4 - 5: Buzludzha Monument, Bulgaria - Nicola Miller; Constanta Casino, Romania - Roman Robroek Page 6: Map with the 29 heritage sites listed for the 7 Most Endangered programme since 2013. Pages 8-11: A. Alkan; Petru Mortu (2009); ©Louis Janssen; Viktorija Aladžić; © Mário Pereira; ©cspc; Andres Tarto Page 12: The 29 monuments and heritage sites listed for the 7 Most Endangered programme since 2013, Photo collage by Julia Dӧlker

This booklet has been produced on the occasion of the 5th Anniversary Conference of the 7 Most Endangered programme, which took place 22-24 October 2018 in Nicosia. First printed October 2018 Updated and reprinted May 2019



The 7 Most Endangered programme identifies endangered monuments and sites in Europe and mobilises public and private partners on a local, national and European level to find a viable future for those sites.

A European advisory panel, comprised of specialists in (art) history, archaeology, architecture, conservation, business and finance, meet to discuss the applications and to shortlist the most endangered monuments and sites. The final list of 7 sites is selected by the Board of Europa Nostra.

The programme was launched in 2013 by Europa Nostra, the leading European heritage network, with the European Investment Bank Institute as founding partner and the Council of Europe Development Bank as an initial associate member. It was inspired by a successful similar project run by the US National Trust for Historic Preservation. The 7 Most Endangered is not a funding programme. It is a catalyst for joint action. The 7 Most Endangered is supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, as part of Europa Nostra’s networking project, ‘Sharing Heritage - Sharing Values’.

NOMINATIONS Nominations can be submitted by Europa Nostra’s member and associate organisations as well as by established public and private bodies that are active in the heritage field and which are located in European countries where Europa Nostra is not yet represented. A Call for Nominations is published every two years.

The monuments and sites are selected while taking into account their heritage and cultural value as well as the imminent danger that they face. The engagement of local communities and the commitment of public and private stakeholders to saving these sites are also considered crucial. Another main criterion is the potential of these sites to act as a catalyst for sustainable socio-economic development.

SITE MISSIONS Heritage and financial experts from Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank Institute undertake missions to the 7 sites, organised together with the nominators. The multidisciplinary teams assess the sites and help formulate a feasible action plan for each of them in close cooperation with national and local public and private stakeholders. The results and recommendations of these missions are summarised in technical and financial reports. Assistance can, for instance, consist of concrete suggestions for alternative and viable (new or renewed) functions for the buildings or sites once restored; technical support to evaluate alternatives; financial advice in respect of European funding possibilities; help in finding suitable public or private partners or contributions to capacity building.


THE 7 MOST ENDANGERED PROGRAMME: LOOKING BACK ON THE FIRST 5 YEARS Since its launch in 2013, the 7 Most Endangered programme has developed into one of the flagship activities of Europa Nostra, the leading heritage network in Europe. There is wide agreement that the programme has run rather well over the last 5 years. Some 110 monuments and heritage sites were nominated, out of which 53 were shortlisted by an advisory panel of experts and 29 were selected by the Europa Nostra Board. The selected sites come from 19 European countries, of which 14 are EU Member States. The basic approach adopted by the 7 Most Endangered programme is to boost both the “visibility” of what is often an unknown and hence neglected cultural heritage site (“a hidden gem”) and its “credibility” through the organisation of a technical mission to the site, including


meetings with relevant authorities and other stakeholders. This is followed by the preparation of a technical report, typically including a quantified rescue plan scheme and drawing on European and local expertise. It has thus been possible to move a remarkable number of selected endangered sites and monuments out of the “danger zone”, and to advance others towards the same route. This happened in particular where the efforts deployed by Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank Institute (EIBI) were well synchronised with a strong and proactive involvement at the local and national levels, typically including both the nominator and the owner of the site as “local champions”. Such positive results, however, may only accrue over several years and hence take longer than initially expected.

ACCORDINGLY, THE MAIN CONCLUSIONS DRAWN AFTER THE 5 YEARS OF THE EXISTENCE OF THE PROGRAMME ARE: • The sustainability of the proposed actions is crucial, including a concept for the later use of the site. • The mere shortlisting of a site can already make a difference, if the corresponding increase in national and European visibility is well used. • Local, regional and national support are crucial. • The political context with its (abrupt) changes can be determining, notably for “campaigning” projects (e.g. Nicosia Buffer Zone and Roşia Montană).

• The funding of necessary investment is obviously often an issue, though not always a dominating one. Of great importance is also the early availability of rather modest seed funding to help a promising project get over the start-up hurdles. • EU grant funding can provide the determining boost but may be difficult to access due to administrative or political complexities, typically at the national level. The socio-economic benefits of an investment in the project need to be convincingly identified. National funding is equally important; it is needed for co-financing reasons anyway. Foundations and private funding sources become increasingly crucial. Loan funding can be considered once grant and similar funding sources have been explored.

A FEW ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS, 5 YEARS DOWN THE ROAD: • Most sites so far selected qualified primarily on the base of “neglect”, rather than of “planning danger” (e.g. Malmi Airport, the Bourla Theater and the Bridge in Dieppe) or of falling under the “advocacy” category (Roşia Montană, Nicosia Buffer Zone, Venice and Hasankeyf). To date, good results were obtained in the first two categories only. • No advocacy project so far counts among the “success” cases (though Roşia Montană came near to it in the summer of 2018), nor is any of the projects composed of many buildings and owners progressing rapidly.

• Age (in terms of nomination year) seems to count more for “neglect” than for “planning danger” projects. The 2016 projects already include one “successful” project, the Bridge in Dieppe. • As could be expected, funding issues are comparatively less important for “planning danger” projects and also for “advocacy” projects. They are clearly important or even crucial for virtually all “neglect” projects. Also, it is not necessarily projects in EU countries which fare better: one of the three “success” cases so far is located in Serbia, the Synagogue in Subotica.



These are early and tentative conclusions. And, of course, these conclusions do not argue against the inclusion of “difficult” projects. The selection of a heritage site is based on a wider spectrum of criteria rather than how “easy” or rapid progress would be, including the intrinsic heritage value or uniqueness of a site and the imminence of the threats.

ingly, it can be difficult to attribute a certain development to one specific actor.

Also, experience shows that it is not always easy to exactly relate progress or lack thereof to the specific efforts deployed by Europa Nostra or the EIBI. These efforts often coincide, and indeed should do so, with those of other players; accord-

Guy Clausse, Executive Vice-President of Europa Nostra

In sum: The 7 Most Endangered programme has worked remarkably well over time, but it can, and should be, further improved.

Francisco de Paula Coelho, Dean of the European Investment Bank Institute


SELECTED SITES Since the launch of the programme in 2013, 29 threatened monuments and heritage sites from 19 countries across Europe have been selected for the 7 Most Endangered List. The first list was published in 2013, the second list in 2014, the third list in 2016 and the fourth list in 2018, during the European Year of Cultural Heritage. In 2016, the Venice Lagoon in Italy was declared the most endangered heritage site in Europe.

2013  2014  2016  2018




Roman Amphitheatre of Durrës, ALBANIA Nominated by the Association for Development of Cultural Tourism Buffer Zone in the Historic Centre of Nicosia, CYPRUS - Nominated by the Cyprus Architectural Heritage Organisation Vauban’s 17th Century Fortifications in Briançon, FRANCE - Nominated by Europa Nostra France Renaissance Monastery of San Benedetto Po, ITALY - Nominated by Italia Nostra Monastery and Church of Jesus in Setúbal, PORTUGAL - Nominated by the Portuguese Historical Houses Association Historic Mining Landscape of Rosia Montana, ROMANIA - Nominated by the Pro Patrimonio Foundation Armenian Church of St. George in Mardin, TURKEY - Nominated by Europa Nostra Turkey

Archaeological Site of Ererouyk and village of Ani Pemza, ARMENIA - Nominated by the Centre of Studies and Documentation of Armenian Culture in Italy (CSDCA) Patarei Sea Fortress in Tallinn, ESTONIA Nominated by the Estonian Heritage Society Helsinki-Malmi Airport, FINLAND - Nominated by Europa Nostra Finland in cooperation with the Friends of Malmi Airport (FoMA) Colbert Swing Bridge in Dieppe, Normandy, FRANCE - Nominated by the Fondation du Patrimoine Kampos of Chios, Island of Chios, GREECE Nominated by Elliniki Etairia, Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage in cooperation with the Society of Friends of the Kampos of Chios Convent of St. Anthony of Padua, Extremadura, SPAIN - Nominated by Hispania Nostra Ancient city of Hasankeyf and its surroundings, TURKEY - Nominated by the Cultural Awareness Foundation

THE 7 MOST ENDANGERED HERITAGE SITES IN EUROPE IN 2014 Historic Stage Machinery of the Bourla Theatre Antwerp, BELGIUM - Nominated by PERSPECTIV, Association of Historic Theatres in Europe Neighbourhoods of Dolcho and Apozari Kastoria, GREECE - Nominated by Elliniki Etairia, Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage Citadel of Alessandria, ITALY - Nominated by FAI, Fondo Ambiente Italiano Carillons of the Mafra National Palace, PORTUGAL - Nominated by Centro Nacional de Cultura Wooden Churches in Southern Transylvania and Northern Oltenia, ROMANIA - Nominated by the Pro Patrimonio Foundation Colour Row Settlement in Chernyakhovsk, RUSSIA - Nominated by the International Centre of the Roerichs Synagogue in Subotica, SERBIA - Nominated by Europa Nostra Serbia

In addition, Europa Nostra and the EIB Institute decided that the Venice Lagoon in ITALY should be declared the most endangered heritage site in Europe. The site was nominated by Italia Nostra.

THE 7 MOST ENDANGERED HERITAGE SITES IN EUROPE IN 2018 Post-Byzantine Churches in Voskopoja and Vithkuqi, ALBANIA - Nominated by “The Past for the Future” Foundation Historic Centre of Vienna, AUSTRIA - Nominated by Europa Nostra Austria The Buzludzha Monument, BULGARIA Nominated by the Buzludzha Project Foundation David Gareji Monasteries and Hermitage, GEORGIA - Nominated by the Georgian Arts and Culture Center Constanta Casino, ROMANIA - Nominated by the ARCHÉ Association The Prinkipo Greek Orphanage, Princes’ Islands, TURKEY - Nominated by Europa Nostra Turkey Grimsby Ice Factory, UNITED KINGDOM Nominated by SAVE Britain’s Heritage  7


The Armenian Church of St. George is a Grade I registered historical building whose epigraphic evidence dates back to 420 AD. The church, the current form of which dates to the 19th century, served the large Armenian population of Mardin until the mass deportation of the community in 1915. At the time of its nomination to the 7 Most Endangered programme by Europa Nostra Turkey, with the support of the owner, the Mardin Armenian Catholic Church Community Foundation, the proposed project was for the renovation of the church alone, found within a small monastery precinct, for which the surveys and detailed drawings had been done. Following the mission on site in 2013, the experts recommended that the project includes all the monastery buildings and grounds within the Monastery precinct, and allocated seed money towards the necessary surveys and detailed 8

drawings for these additional works. These surveys and drawings were undertaken by Architect Amine Alkan together with Professor Zeynep Ahunbay of Istanbul Technical University. These studies were then approved by the Monument Council in Diyarbakir. The restored buildings are intended for use as a civic centre for the people of Mardin - a return to this site’s role as a centre of peace and religious reflection as it once was. The renovation project is ready to start, but unfortunately unrest in Eastern Anatolia has halted further progress. The nominator of the site has emphasised that the contribution of the European Investment Bank Institute has been instrumental in mobilising the preparation of the working documents necessary to start conservation. Full documentation was of utmost importance, in case any further damage or loss occurs.


The landscape of Roşia Montană is part of the Apuseni Mountains. The overall region of some 2,500 km2 is well known for its rich deposits of precious metals. Roşia Montană has seen important underground gold and silver mining activities since at least Dacian and Roman times, continued with variable degrees of intensity until some limited open cast mining ran out by 2006. This long-lasting mining activity left many historic sites and buildings from all historic periods, including a vast historic gallery network (150 km, with 7 km from Dacian and Roman times). Some environmental problems continue to exist from the more recent mining in the 20th century. A major threat to the site has been the large-scale open-cast mining project promoted by a Canadian company, which is the main shareholder of the Roşia Montană Gold Corporation (RMGC). Despite some efforts on their side to conserve historic sites, such mining would inevitably destroy large parts of the landscape and would also trigger major pollution problems, leaving behind an unsustainable development base for the region in the longer term.

The nomination for the 7 Most Endangered programme was made the Pro Patrimonio Foundation. Together with Europa Nostra and various local, national and international organisations, Pro Patrimonio has campaigned over the years against the RMGC project. They advocate an alternative, sustainable, long-term development project based on the mining landscape which would lead to the re-emergence of social and economic models based on traditional building and farming. Europa Nostra has supported local efforts to preserve the built heritage of Roşia Montană and endorsed the site’s nomination to the World Heritage List that was prepared by the Romanian authorities. However, for the time being, this proposal has been postponed by the current Minister of Culture of Romania. In June 2018, Europa Nostra also supported ICOMOS’ recommendation to inscribe Roșia Montană both on the World Heritage List and on the List of World Heritage in Danger.



The Bourla Theatre is the last remaining municipal theatre in Europe with original stage machinery, created by the French company Philastre and Cambon in 1834. The stage machinery, as well as the Neo-Classical building by the Belgian architect Pierre Bourla were completely restored in 1993 and received a Europa Nostra Award. In 2012, the resident company of the contemporary theatre, Het Toneelhuis, advocated the dismantling of the historic and still functioning equipment in the fly tower and understage and its replacement with a completely new system. The theatre company felt that the original machinery posed considerable creative constraints. The Municipality of Antwerp, the owner of the theatre, ordered a feasibility study for its modernisation which ultimately championed the removal of the machinery. Following the publishing of the results of this study, PERSPECTIV - Association of Historic Theatres in Europe, nominated the


machinery to the 7 Most Endangered programme. In 2014, Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank Institute made a mission to the site, after which the restoration and renovation of the machinery was recommended. Had the original machinery been dismantled, one of the only theatres in Europe where 19th century operas and dramas can be staged authentically would have been irreparably lost. Following a constructive dialogue over the past four years and an international call for proposals - which took into account the justified needs of the contemporary theatre company without jeopardising the possibility of using the historic theatre machinery in the future -, the City of Antwerp decided to rehabilitate the Historic Stage Machinery of the Bourla Theatre within a total restoration of the Bourla. The announcement was made on 16 March 2018 during the public presentation of the new masterplan (by DRDH Architects and Julian Harrap Architects) for the renovation and development of the theatre.


The Synagogue in Subotica was built in 1902 and is one of the finest surviving examples of Art Nouveau religious architecture. It has a unique concrete and steel structure coupled with decorative detailing from Hungarian Folk Art. At the time of the Synagogue’s construction, there was a large and prosperous Jewish population of some 3,000 people in Subotica. After World War II, the Jewish community became too small to sustain a building of this size. Nonetheless, the building is still hugely important to the Jewish community both locally and internationally. After years of partial restorations in the Synagogue, the roof and cupolas were still leaking, the interior was not restored and there was no plan for the future use and management of the building. Subsequent to the mission by Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank Institute to the site in 2014, the Hungarian Government donated funds for the overall restoration of the interior of the Synagogue, but the problem with water infiltration remained an issue.

Europa Nostra Serbia, supported by the Headley Trust, and in cooperation with local and national institutes for heritage protection organised a series of meetings with stakeholders and local and international experts to build a constructive dialogue, to make a proper assessment of the restoration needs in particular regarding the cupolas, to train the younger generation of professionals in restoration assessment and to address the issue of site management. Furthermore, during the project the Synagogue was used as a learning site for 30 young professionals from South East Europe and for 30 students on restoration assessment and planning. Due to these actions, and aside from the planned interior restoration, the city of Subotica has invested funds to properly restore the cupolas and resolve the water infiltration, both of which have now been treated. The internal restoration was completed in January 2018 and the Synagogue was officially opened in March 2018. The operation, management and programme of the Synagogue still needs to be finalised.  11


The two towers of the Basilica of the Mafra National Palace feature a unique set of 120 cast bronze bells. These outstanding musical instruments are the largest surviving set of 18th century carillons in the world. The northern-tower carillon has never been altered, thus preserving the sound of the bell in its original tune. Due to lack of maintenance in the case of the northern-tower, or poor conservation, in the case of the southern-tower, the wooden structures that support the bells were at risk of collapse, threatening the integrity of the towers and of the monument itself. The bells were also in a very poor condition. The nomination for the 7 Most Endangered programme was made by Centro Nacional de Cultura. The restoration project that was proposed aims to repair and secure the carillons and bells 12

and bring as many as possible back into service. The carillons are being restored so that those in the south tower will be able to play but those in the north tower will be kept as a museum piece. The wooden support structures within the towers need major repairs to secure them. General repairs and long-term maintenance works on the towers are also included. Following a mission by Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank Institute in 2014, the European experts underlined the need and justification of the project and supported the approach adopted. The highlighting of the project by the 7 Most Endangered programme has helped prioritise the scheme among the public authorities. While progress had been slow initially, the full project is now under way with completion expected in September 2019.


The Colbert Bridge in Dieppe was built as a swing bridge to provide a pedestrian and vehicular link across a 40 metre wide canal. It is the largest of its kind in Europe (measuring 70 metres) and is still functioning with its original hydraulic mechanisms and controls from the 19th-century. It links the historic Pollet district to the city centre, while being able to swing to one side to allow ships to pass through the canal. Though it was disabled by military action during World War II in 1944, repairs were completed in 1946 and the bridge has operated reliably and consistently for a further seventy years. This is despite periods of neglect, including the lack of any corrosion proofing for the last fifteen years. The owner of the bridge, the Société Mixte du Port de Dieppe (SMPD), has asserted that a new bridge is essential for the future development of the port and in 2016 the bridge was under threat of immediate destruction.

The Comité de Sauvegarde du Pont Colbert together with the Europa Nostra and European Investment Bank team collaborated to avert the situation. After thoroughly discussing the matter with the Port Authority, convincing the Regional authorities of the outstanding cultural and historical value of the bridge, gaining more technical information on the feasibility to adapt the existing original structure and mechanisms of the bridge to the new needs, and having established a sound relationship with the Regional Direction of Cultural Affairs (DRAC), the Colbert Swing Bridge in Dieppe was listed as a Historic Monument at regional level in March 2017 and is therefore now protected. This has secured the future of the bridge, in as much as it cannot be demolished and must be maintained. Its upgrade and refurbishment are now ongoing.



Located on the Baltic Sea coast of Tallinn, the Patarei Sea Fort is the largest defensive complex in Estonia. The fort has performed many functions since its completion in 1840. Between 1920 and 2005, the fort was converted into a prison, becoming a powerful symbol of national resistance to both the communist and Nazi regimes. It was virtually abandoned from 2005. The main threat to the now empty buildings is rapid deterioration due to the harsh climate and the lack of maintenance. The roof and windows are severely damaged allowing water to enter the buildings, severely affecting the timber construction and the limestone walls. The Estonian Heritage Society, which nominated the site, proposes the complete rehabilitation of Patarei Sea Fort and has ideas for the installation of a museum complex, a centre for cultural and creative industries, a hotel, or offices and apartments. 14

The Patarei Sea Fort development is under the responsibility of the State Real Estate of Estonia (RKAS). In view of its current state and the scale of the intervention needed, the restoration will be complicated and costly. The authorities favour selling the site and the buildings to the private sector for wider development hoping that this will solve the problems. There is already a formal interest of the War Museum to be located in the Patarei Sea Fort. Following the mission by Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank Institute to Patarei in 2016, the European experts highlighted the risks of such an approach and put forward an alternative which would keep the site in public ownership. As a result of the dialogue resulting from the 7 Most Endangered programme’s report, the authorities have recently agreed that after any sale, the historical part must be restored prior to the construction of any new buildings. It was also stipulated that Patarei must be open to the public.



Europa Nostra is the pan-European federation of heritage NGOs which is also supported by a wide network of public bodies, private companies and individuals. Covering over 40 countries in Europe, the organisation is the voice of civil society committed to safeguarding and promoting Europe’s cultural and natural heritage. Founded in 1963, it is today recognised as the most representative heritage network in Europe. Plácido Domingo, the world-renowned opera singer, is the President of the organisation. Europa Nostra campaigns to save Europe’s endangered monuments, sites and landscapes, in particular through the 7 Most Endangered programme. It celebrates excellence through the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards. It also contributes to the formulation and implementation of European strategies and policies related to heritage, through a structured dialogue with European Institutions and the coordination of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3. Europa Nostra was among the main stakeholders that have contrib-uted to the European Year of Cultural Heritage.

Creative Europe is the EU programme that supports the cultural and creative sectors, enabling them to increase their contribution to jobs and growth. With a budget of €1.46 billion for 2014-2020, it supports organisations in the fields of heritage, performing arts, fine arts, interdisciplinary arts, publishing, film, TV, music, and video games as well as tens of thousands of artists, cultural and audiovisual professionals. The funding allows them to operate across Europe, to reach new audiences and to develop the skills required in the digital age.

EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK INSTITUTE The European Investment Bank Institute (EIBI) was set up within the EIB Group (European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund) to promote and support social, cultural, and academic initiatives with European stakeholders and the public at large. It is a key pillar of the EIB Group’s community and citizenship engagement.

www.europanostra.org www.institute.eib.org www.ec.europa.eu/programmes/creative-europe www.europa.eu/cultural-heritage


CALL FOR NOMINATIONS If you know of important heritage that is endangered - such as an historic monument or archaeological site, a place of worship, an industrial complex, a historic park, a museum or a movable heritage asset - why not nominate it for the 7 Most Endangered? Every two years, the 7 Most Endangered

programme identifies threatened monuments and sites in Europe and mobilises public and private partners - on a local, national and European level - to find a viable future for those sites.

Europa Nostra, the leading European heritage network, runs this programme in partnership with the European Investment Bank Institute and with the support of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. You can nominate a heritage site with the support of an organisation in your country that is a member of Europa Nostra or directly by joining our pan-European network of member and associate organisations.

Find out more at www.7mostendangered.eu


www.7mostendangered.eu #7MostEndangered

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