EEA/EFTA funded project wins EU Heritage prize

On 13 March the Commission announced that the Spanish project “Vía de la Plata- Extremadura” had won one of five top prizes in the 2005 European Heritage Award. Since 1997 the EEA/EFTA Financial Mechanism (FMO) has funded the Spanish reconstruction project in Extremadura with close to 20 million euro.

07/04/2006 :: “Vía de la Plata” participated in the category for best conservation of cultural landscapes. It receives the prize for its remarkable achievement in restoring thirty-two characteristic monuments on the ancient Roman road that runs through the Province. The project was one out of 15 Spanish projects funded by the FMO from 1994 to -98. In the period of 2004-2009 Spain receives close to 46 million euro though the GMO. For this period the funds are in addition opened up to the ten new Member States. The donor countries are Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

The aim behind the “Vía de la Plata” project is to provide tourism and various recreational facilities, as well as to raise appreciation for heritage and stimulating economic development. The project has generated job opportunities for 900 people. The prize will be officially presented in June in Madrid. There the Prince of Denmark, Commissioner Ján Figel and Queen Sofía of Spain will participate. The European Heritage Awards Scheme was launched in 2002 by the Commission and is run by the pan-European federation for cultural heritage, Europa Nostra.

(Published 07.04.06)

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Photo: Extremadura Tourist Information