Europa Nostra Digital Agora Weekly Update #1

10 April 2020

Dear Readers, 

As already announced in the special edition of the Europa Nostra Newsletter dated 3 April,  we now, more than ever, feel the need to be closer together while staying physically apart. Inspired by the spirit and the culture of solidarity, we are proud to present to you our brand new initiative, called the Europa Nostra Agora, born as a creative response to the ongoing confinement and physical distancing to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

This initiative aims to provide a virtual platform to share and promote digital communication related to culture and cultural heritage from across Europe and the world. By sharing and promoting news and content via this weekly update and on social media, we wish to make a modest but meaningful contribution to enhancing the resilience and positive interaction between Europe’s citizens during the trying times related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is the first update with a selection of links and relevant information which we aim to disseminate every week through our wide network of members and partners. We have opted for a simple and factual format of communication for the benefit of all.  We also invite you to visit a dedicated online platform which will continue to grow over time

On the occasion of Raffaello’s 500th death anniversary, the biggest exhibition ever devoted to the famous Italian and European Renaissance artist opened on 5 March in Rome’s Scuderie del Quirinale. As the exhibition was forced to close its doors just four days after its opening due to the nationwide lockdown in Italy, the museum has released a video visit available on YouTube. To pay tribute to this immense artist, we have chosen to illustrate our digital Agora with one of his most famous masterpieces: the „School of Athens” from the Raphael Rooms of the Vatican Museums.

The Europa Nostra Agora remains a “work in progress”. Therefore, we invite your feedback with concrete suggestions for its improvement and further development. We also thank you for sharing regularly with us your creative initiatives for inclusion in the Agora (att. Manon Richard, 

We wish you a very warm welcome to the Europa Nostra Agora!  

#Stayathome #Allwillbewell


Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović

Secretary General


Europeana is a digital platform for cultural heritage giving access to over 53 million items including image, text, sound, video and 3D material from the collections of over 3 700 libraries, archives, museums, galleries and audio-visual collections across Europe. Explore Europeana’s exhibitions, stories and collection, set of arts & culture related Easter activities to do at home. Check here.

Italy: Gran Virtual Tour – Wander in a digital journey of Italy’s rich cultural heritage. More than 60 heritage sites (e.g. the Gallerie degli Uffizi, the Archaeological Park of Pompei, the Pantheon in Rome or the Teatro San Carlo in Naples) are available on the website of the Italian Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Check here.

The Netherlands – As it cannot open its doors to the public this year, the world-famous Keukenhof flower garden is coming to you online. Discover the park through videos and stories told by the director and the gardeners themselves. Visit here.

Better Together Global Orchestras Network – This project, emphasising humanity’s highest values of love, friendship, creativity, solidarity and unity, reflected in music, was founded by 10 orchestras including the European Union Youth Orchestra. 140 young musicians from 30 countries across 6 continents have recorded their reinterpretation of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy (the European Anthem) during the period of self-isolation due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Watch here.

Andrea Bocelli – On Easter Sunday (12 April 2020) at 19:00 CET, enjoy a live concert by the Italian global music icon from Europe’s and world’s iconic heritage site –  the Duomo Cathedral in Milan, Italy. His solo performance will convey a much-needed message of love, healing and hope to Italy and the world. Watch here.


The OECD (LEED Programme) is organising a series of discussions followed by targeted training for policymakers and practitioners:

  • 17 April 2020, 15:00-16:30 CET – Coronavirus (COVID-19) and cultural and creative sectors: impact, policy responses and opportunities to rebound after the crisis, co-organised with the European Creative Business Network (ECBN).
  • 27-30 April 2020 – Summer Academy on cultural and creative industries and local development, organised by the OECD Trento Centre with tsm-Trentino School of Management and the European Creative Business Network (ECBN).

Programme, speakers and registration here.

NEMO offers free and public webinars with international museum experts about current museum topics, challenges and approaches. Join one of the next editions:

  • 15 April 2020, 11:00 CET – Creative Europe – What’s in it for museums?
  • 6 May 2020, 11:00 CET – Museum lives in post-pandemia

More information, speakers and registration here.


The European Travel Commission (ETC) organises free webinars with focus on the tourism industry challenges in a time of crisis, including:

  • 15 April 2020, 15:00 CET – Impact of COVID-19 crisis on inbound air travel to Europe
  • 17 April 2020, 15:00 CET – Inspiring Examples of Sustainable Tourism from European DMOs
  • 30 April 2020, 14:00 CET – How a DMO can evolve from data-driven assumptions to data-driven marketing?


Culture Speaks Podcasts – Featuring conversations with UNESCO staff, experts and cultural actors, this podcasts series provides a fresh take on the trends, challenges and opportunities currently shaping the world of culture – from the impact of the digital revolution to mass tourism, intangible heritage and beyond. Listen here.


The World Tourism Organisation is giving free access to its online library until the end of April. A good occasion to read more about “Tourism at World Heritage Cultural Sites”. Read here.


#CreativeEuropeAtHome – In order to highlight the great online cultural activities throughout the Creative Europe community and make them available to culture lovers currently stuck at home, the European Commission has launched #CreativeEuropeAtHome – a social media campaign that is running on the Creative Europe Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Beneficiaries of the Creative Europe programme are encouraged to post about their online cultural activities on social media using the dedicated hashtag and the handle/username of Creative Europe on the platform in question. More information here

#ShareOurHeritage #ShareCulture – Join the global social media campaign launched by UNESCO to promote access to culture and education around cultural heritage during this time of mass confinement. Once the immediate crisis is over, campaigns will be maintained to share reflections on measures to safeguard World Heritage sites and promote sustainable tourism. More information on the campaign and UNESCO’s support to culture and heritage here.

#EUMiesAwardathome – To take part in the contest you only need to share via Facebook, Instagram, Instagram Stories or Twitter

  • Your best pictures of the Mies van der Pavilion with the hashtags #miesbcn and #MiesatHome
  • Your best pictures of any EU Mies Award work that you have visited using the hashtag #EUMiesAwardatHome

Read more about the contest here.

IMPORTANT: Do not forget to join & contribute to our conversation on social media with the hashtag #EuropaNostraAgora!


On 8 April 2020 EU Ministers in charge of Culture and Media held an informal video-conference meeting to examine the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Europe’s cultural and creative sectors as well as possible measures to mitigate these. The video-conference was organised on the initiative of the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and attended by all 27 Member States as well as European Commission representatives. Watch the Press Conference here and read the main conclusions in this Press release.

In an Open Letter to the EU Commission and the Member States, some 105 MEPs and more than 300 cultural associations from across Europe are demanding support for the Cultural and Creative Sectors, particularly cultural creators, affected by the COVID-19 crisis. They also recognise that culture plays a key role for our well-being and sense of togetherness: “In times of crisis, culture is more important than ever. With millions of citizens confined in their homes, it is music, films, books and online performances that represent a source of solace and hope”. Read, sign, and share the letter here.

Three EU Ministers in charge of culture, notably the Minister of State at the Foreign Office for Cultural Foreign Policy Michelle Müntefering (Germany), the Minister of Heritage, Arts and Tourism Dario Franceschini (Italy) and the Minister of Culture and Sport José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes (Spain) published the Joint article ‘Together we are stronger than the virus’ on 4 April 2020 in the Tagesspiegel newspaper. Read their forceful message in English here. 

NEMO (Network of European Museum Organisations) is carrying an in-depth survey to map how museums across Europe are reacting to and coping with the closure to contain the spread of the COVID-19. Read the initial report to learn how the coronavirus has impacted museum budgets and operations as well as how they re-organise their structures and offer new services to their audiences. The consultation remains open until 17 April. Contribute here. In addition, NEMO has prepared an overview of encouraging, proactive and inspiring initiatives of museums globally during the corona situation.


European Cultural Foundation has just launched the Culture of Solidarity Fund to support imaginative cultural initiatives that, in the midst of the global pandemic crisis reinforce European solidarity and the idea of Europe as a shared public space. Read more on how to apply before the deadline of 27 April 2020. Check also the European cultural picks compiled by ECF to get you through the quarantine. 

KEA is tracking coronavirus support measures taken to support professionals from the cultural and creative sectors in Europe and beyond during the COVID-19 period. A collaborative map displays all the measures and actions by country and on the European level. Check here.

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