EUROPA NOSTRA deeply concerned about plans for the Heumarkt
in the historic heart of Vienna
The Hague, 1 March 2017 – The leading European heritage organisation EUROPA NOSTRA stronglyopposes the redevelopment plans for the Heumarkt in the UNESCO listed Historic Centre of Vienna. The present proposals for the high-rise redevelopment of the Heumarkt concerning the Ice-Skating Club, the Concert Hall and the Vienna Hotel Intercontinental threatens the World Heritage Status of the Historic Centre of Vienna of which the Heumarkt is an integral part. EUROPA NOSTRA therefore urges all stakeholders to bring the project in line with the recommendations of UNESCO and ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring Mission report.
On behalf of its large pan-European network of members, EUROPA NOSTRA fully underwrites the serious concern already expressed by a group of ICOMOS National Committees about the risk these plans present to this sensitive area of European significance. The recent European Report ‘Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe’, co-initiated and co-produced by EUROPA NOSTRA, demonstrates that investment in heritage and culture are essential for social cohesion, economic development, sustainable and resilient cities and for the future of Europe as a whole.
The unique location and history of the Heumarkt should be taken into account in any redeveloping plans. EUROPA NOSTRA is therefore urging the municipality of Vienna and the project’s stakeholders – together with the local, regional, national and European heritage organisations – to find a viable alternative solution which could serve as an example to sustainable heritage-led urban development across Europe: a sound long-terminvestment in the cultural and historic significance of the Heumarkt area is very well worth it! This would be a most suitable contribution which Austria and Vienna could make to the forthcoming European Year of Cultural Heritage which will take place in 2018, the year when Austria will be holding – from July to December – the Presidency of the European Union.