Cultural route

Welcome to the ERIH June newsletter. We call for contributions to this year's ERIH conference, take a look at the results of the ERIH Industrial Heritage Barometer 2022/23, are delighted to be re-certified as a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe and introduce the "Nuremberg Declaration on Industrial Heritage in Germany". We also highlight the recently inaugurated ERIH Regional Route Catalonia and warmly welcome 16 Catalan sites as new ERIH members.

The topics at a glance:

  • ERIH Event: Call for Papers for the 19th ERIH Conference
  • ERIH Survey: Industrial Heritage Barometer 2022/23 - the results
  • ERIH Recognition: Successful re-certification as Cultural Route of the Council of Europe
  • ERIH Regions: The new Catalonia Regional Route
  • ERIH National: Nuremberg Declaration on Industrial Heritage in Germany
  • ERIH Cooperation: ERIH becomes a member of the Network of European Museums Organisations NEMO
  • ERIH Calendar: Save the date
Lutsk (UA). Museum of Science and Technology
ERIH Event: Call for Papers for the 19th ERIH Conference

We are currently looking for inspiring contributions to this year's ERIH conference, which will take place from 8 to 10 November 2023 in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain, as well as online. The topic - "Industrial heritage as an engine for sustainable, social and economic community regeneration" - is based on the New European Bauhaus (NEB). This conceptual framework, adopted by the European Commission to herald a new age of building, of shaping the world we live in and of social coexistence, has been supplementing the European Green Deal for two years with a cultural and creative dimension and combines sustainability, aesthetics, inclusion and social justice. The focus is on people as central actors for a carbon-neutral and sustainable future.

In this context, industrial heritage sites offer excellent conditions as local yet internationally interconnected spaces of interaction. We invite speakers who are involved in the management of industrial heritage and infrastructure, local development and tourism, community engagement and urban regeneration, and/or who belong to the educational and cultural sectors. Applicants are invited to submit an abstract in English to the ERIH Secretariat by Friday 14 July 2023. The conference language will be English. Registration for the conference will be open soon.
ERIH Conference 2023 - Call for papers

ERIH Survey: ERIH Industrial Heritage Barometer 2022/23 - the results

Data was collected on the "COVID-19 pandemic years" 2021 and 2022, accompanied by assessments of the current status and information on activities and goals set for 2023. The most important results in a nutshell:

  • The pandemic forced sites to implement reduced opening hours and COVID-19-related restrictions on tours and visits. Some sites were closed throughout the years.
  • As a result, the industrial heritage sector experienced a significant drop in visitor numbers. In 2020, they stood at only about half of the previous year's level, declining further in 2021. It was not until 2022 that they increased significantly and even slightly surpassed the 2019 figure.
  • The number of international visitors also was cut in half. In this case, the recovery failed to materialise in 2022. Consequently, the share of regional visitors increased.
  • Substantially reduced (or altogether absent) income from admission fees, but also from special events or rentals rendered impossible, caused many sites to experience existential problems, which in some cases have persisted since 2021 and jeopardise their economic survival.
  • The tense economic setting meant staff cuts in many places, especially among seasonal workers and tour guides. Pre-pandemic staffing levels have not (yet) been reached again.
  • While the main focus in 2021 was on overcoming the pandemic and its consequences, the current priority is once again on objectives such as improving the overall quality of sites and exhibitions or implementing construction work.

84 sites and institutions from 11 European countries took part in our survey - thank you very much for your contribution! The complete ERIH Industrial Heritage Barometer 2022/23 with a number of charts is available for download on our website.
ERIH Industrial Heritage Barometer

ERIH Recognition: Successful re-certification as Cultural Route of the Council of Europe

Since 2019, ERIH has been recognised as a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe. This European quality label is regularly reviewed every three years. Accordingly, ERIH underwent an evaluation by an external expert in late 2022, which resulted in the successful re-certification by the Governing Board of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe (EPA) in May.

With their thematic scope, the Cultural Routes, now numbering more than 40, symbolise Europe's unity, history, culture and values. They also promote the exploration of lesser-known destinations as well as cultural exchange. An annual Advisory Forum highlights a particular aspect of European culture. This year's Forum will take place from 20-23 September at the ERIH Anchor Point EC1 in Lodz, Poland, focusing on "Industrial Heritage".
Cultural Routes: newsroom

ERIH Regions: The new Catalonia Regional Route

As in England, Catalonia's textile industry was the driving force behind industrialisation. The Autonomous Community in the far north-east of Spain, still a region of innovative activity with a high concentration of businesses, is considered one of the first industrialised regions in Europe. It is no coincidence that Spain's first railway began operating here - from 1848 it connected Barcelona and Mataró.

The rich industrial heritage is preserved in a multitude of technical monuments and museums. 26 of them belong to the Museu Nacional de la Ciència i de la Tècnica de Catalunya (mNACTEC), one of a total of three national Catalan museums.

The structure of a regional network allows mNACTEC to display the diverse backgrounds and developments of Catalonia's industrialisation by means of specific examples but also in a broader setting. In addition, the museum cluster ensures the preservation, conservation and communication of the scientific and technical heritage.

This approach also supports the ERIH regional route. Its presentation on the ERIH website draws on the existing structure of mNACTEC and opens up Catalan industrial heritage to a broad European public. The route is coordinated by the Anchor Point National Museum of Science and Technology of Catalonia in Terrassa and includes a second Anchor Point, the water museum Museu Agbar de les Aigües in Cornellà de Llobregat. 16 mNACTEC museums have joined the ERIH association as members - welcome!
ERIH Regional Route Catalonia, Spain

ERIH National: Nuremberg Declaration on Industrial Heritage in Germany

The current transformation process of industrial societies and its consequences for industrial heritage took centre stage at last year's ERIH conference. There is no doubt that industrial heritage sites are not only part of a traditional cultural history of the industrial age, but are also developing in many places into laboratories for future work and living patterns. This reorientation needs more support on the national level.

Coordinated by ERIH, representatives of the seven German industrial World Heritage sites as well as regional stakeholders of the industrial heritage sector have been engaged over the past few months in an in-depth exchange to develop specific proposals for the design of a nationwide industrial heritage representation. The proposals are based on a broad survey of requirements carried out in early 2023. Participants included representatives from more than 150 industrial heritage sites. In their joint "Nuremberg Declaration on Industrial Heritage in Germany", adopted at the ERIH Germany Dialogue held at the Museum of Industrial Heritage in Nuremberg in late March, the involved stakeholders call for the establishment of a "Federal Industrial Heritage Foundation". Central issues to be addressed by this institution include a federal contact and funding partner, the definition of scientifically based quality standards for the promotion and preservation of industrial heritage, as well as coordinated training and education programmes.

The Nuremberg Declaration adopts existing declarations of intent by the German Bundestag and the governing coalition on the promotion of industrial heritage and strives for the swift entering into talks with the responsible Minister of State for Culture and Media.

ERIH Cooperation: ERIH becomes a member of the Network of European Museums Organisations NEMO

ERIH has been cooperating with NEMO - Network of European Museum Organisations for quite some time and closely exchanges information. Now the ERIH Board has decided that ERIH will officially become a network member. As a benefit of this collaboration, ERIH members will be able to participate free of charge in training sessions organised by NEMO and thus develop their professional skills in an international context. In addition to providing accumulated expertise from recognised museum experts, the trainings offer the opportunity to network across Europe and gain new professional opportunities.
NEMO - Network of European Museum Organisations

ERIH Calendar: Save the date

The countdown has started - on 10 September 2023 it's time to WORK it OUT for the 6th time. Teams in around 30 locations in Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine and the United Kingdom have already registered for the pan-European dance event.
ERIH dance event WORK it OUT

One month later than usual, from 8-10 November 2023, the ERIH community will meet for its annual conference in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain. As soon as the programme and schedule details are finalised, we will share the info on the ERIH website and via email with all ERIH members.
ERIH Conference 2023

Other events dealing with industrial heritage (tourism)