26 June 2019
On May 21, Europa Nostra awarded the European Heritage Awards, Europe’s most prestigious honour in the field. Two Armenian initiatives were honoured on this occasion.
In the category “education, training and awareness-raising”, Europe recognized the TUMO Centre for Creative Technologies. At TUMO, 12 to 18 year olds from all backgrounds combine their local, cultural heritage with state-of-the-art international tools, engaging in cultural learning targets such as animation, game development, 3D mapping, music, writing and robotics.
The jury noted that “TUMO has a clear understanding of learning processes and has provided an interdisciplinary approach, allowing for the involvement of groups of sensitive adolescents in various fields of education through the use of new heritage-based technologies. The educational activities have led to the digitisation of aspects of both tangible and intangible cultural heritage”.
According to Europa Nostra, “in recent years, Armenia has eagerly embraced the opportunities provided by the digital age. The country is developing into a technological hub that has proven itself capable of competing on the world stage. TUMO Center for Creative Technologies is a key milestone in these endeavours and the programme is currently being implemented in four cities in Armenia and one city in France”.
TUMO was founded and is primarily financed by Sam Simonian of The Simonian Educational Foundation. The award also acknowledged TUMO’s key partnerships with the Central Bank of Armenia and with the Armenian General Benevolent Union in the establishment of further TUMO centres in Armenia, while EU funding has supported the development of one of the Center’s projects.
A second Armenian project was also recognized under the category “research”: “Solak 1: a Model of Predictive Archaeology”, a partnership between Italian and Armenian teams. The project involved the use of a geographical information system (GIS) software to find Urartian archaeological sites in Armenia. This led to the discovery of around 100 new archaeological sites, including a unique fortress.
According to Europa Nostra, “the Kotayk Survey Project” is of immense importance to the field of archaeology in Armenia, a small nation with remarkable cultural heritage. This is thanks to both the high-quality survey methodologies used and to the initiative to create the first archaeological park in the Southern Caucasus”. “This project has provided training in the field and in scientific research,” the jury noted, “ensuring the sustainable management and development of heritage protection in the region.”
The laureates will be celebrated at the European Heritage Awards Ceremony, co-hosted by European Commissioner Tibor Navracsics and Maestro Plácido Domingo, and organised under the high patronage of the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, on the evening of 29 October in Paris.
Europa Nostra is a prestigious membership organization established in 1963 and dedicated to European heritage. Its president is Maestro Placido Domingo
- Read about award-winning Kotayk Survey Project
- Watch a video presentation of TUMO Center for Creative Technology