Young boy visiting the Palais Royal in Paris
13 September 2017

EHDs 2017: focus on youth

The 2017 edition of European Heritage Days (EHDs) will be focusing on youth, with the priority aim of raising younger citizens’ awareness of national (artistic and historical) heritage and the careers connected with it.
Organised by the Ministry of Culture on a yearly basis since 1984, EHDs have become unmissable rendezvous for anybody wishing to (re)acquaint themselves with the wealth and diversity of national heritage; consequently they participate in knowledge and preservation of our common heritage.
As is the case every year, they benefit from the involvement of the Centre for National Monuments, the Towns and Regions of Art and History network, the Heritage Foundation and associations devoted to heritage preservation.
Youth will be at the centre of the event in 2017. As Minister of Culture Françoise Nyssen explained, “For two days, every effort will be made, all over France, to heighten our younger citizens’ awareness with regard to knowledge and preservation of heritage. To provide them – thanks to dedicated programming adapted to all ages – with the means to appropriate heritage in all its diversity”.
Knowledge of heritage helps young people better understand the society they live in, as well as discern the values it is based on: not only in order to understand them, but also to question them and better appropriate them.

Training in the spotlight

Training is also one of the 34th edition’s major themes, and all actions undertaken in this area will be spotlighted, including:
  • The “Intervention sur le Bâti Ancien” (Intervention on Old Buildings) professional baccalaureate created in 2008, with the participation of the Confédération de l'Artisanat et des Petites Entreprises du Bâtiment (CAPEB – Confederation of Skilled Crafts and Small Enterprises in the Building Industry) the Groupement des Entreprises de Restauration des Monuments Historiques (GMH – Group of Historical Monument Restoration Companies), the Maisons Paysannes de France (MPF – French Farmhouses) association, the Fédération Nationale des Conseils d’Architecture, d’Urbanisme et de l’Environnement (FNCAUE – National Federation of Architectural, Urban Planning and Environmental Consultants), and acknowledged experts on old buildings.
  • Various schools under the Ministry’s aegis, or whose diplomas are now recognised by the State, which deliver qualifying courses designed to ensure transmission of knowhow relating to national heritage. And finally, Heritage Days will highlight the invaluable work carried out at volunteer work camps, both as regards their technical and educational aspects. Such projects constitute an essential stage in development of educational action intended for our younger citizens.
They provide initial career guidance as well as raise awareness of vocational training opportunities.

A European rendezvous

The event is also a continental rendezvous, enjoying great popularity among European citizens. Over 50 countries are taking part this year, with some 26,000 activities on offer across 17,000 open sites.
This year, EHDs’ European aspect will be illustrated by the theme “Heritage and Nature: A Landscape of Possibilities”, focusing on the wealth of Europe’s natural heritage. Events are set to be held on urban nature sites, in historical gardens, national parks and reserves, in protected areas, and in everyday landscapes and outstanding landscapes alike.