The SPAB's Faith in Maintenance project has been honoured with a European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award in the Education, Training and Awareness-raising Category.
The award was presented at a ceremony which took place in the unique setting of the Aya Irini (Hagia Eirene), a sixth century Byzantine church in Istanbul, on 10 June 2010.
In giving the award the Jury made the following statement: "The Jury has awarded this prize for the exemplary initiative of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings in creating an inspection network for the maintenance of places of worship by volunteers, who have been specially trained on the free Faith in Maintenance courses, run by the SPAB.
The monitoring and care for these buildings by committed volunteers plays a crucial role in the conservation of old places of worship and is an inspirational model for many similar projects where, for various reasons, it is not possible for maintenance to be conducted by professionals."
The SPAB is delighted to have its work recognised in such a way and is very proud to be a European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award winner.
The European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards were jointly launched in 2002 by the European Commission and Europa Nostra, in the framework of the Commission's Culture Programme, to celebrate outstanding initiatives among the many facets of Europe's cultural heritage in categories ranging from the restoration of buildings and their adaptation to new uses, to urban and rural landscape rehabilitation, archaeological site interpretations, and care for art collections.
Also awarded are prizes for research, dedicated service to heritage conservation by individuals or organisations and education projects related to cultural heritage.
The Awards Scheme aims to promote high standards and high-quality skills in conservation practice, and to stimulate the trans-frontier exchanges in the area of heritage. By spreading the 'Power of Example', the Prize also aims to encourage further efforts and projects related to heritage throughout Europe.