Switzerland has signed up to take part in the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage. The move, agreed by European parliamentarians on Thursday, is an attempt to raise awareness of European history and values, and to strengthen European identity.
Announcing its participation on Friday, the Federal Office of Culture said this was an “event for all”, and called for the public to “propose ideas and contribute actively” to the organisation of events in 2018.
The government will implement and support a range of innovative projects, it said.
More specifically, it plans to highlight the importance of cultural heritage for all areas of social life. “Cultural heritage has many facets. It is an integral part of our environment,” said the office.
Cultural heritage can take the form of monuments, sites, traditions, transmitted knowledge, expressions of human creativity and museum collections. Among the challenges it faces are digitalisation, environmental pressure on heritage sites and the illegal trafficking of cultural objects, a European Council statement said.
A new website has been launched to bring together information on the various projects that will take place.
The European Council has earmarked €8 million (CHF8.5 million) for the year.