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European Heritage Days

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European Heritage Daysby Ivan Sache

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European Heritage Days

Last week-end (17-18 September 1999), the "European Heritage Days", sponsored by the European Council, were celebrated in 46 European countries. Several institutional buildings, museums and private places of cultural interest were exceptionally opened to the public.

In France, the celebration is also sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, which releases every year pamphlets listings all the open places. The pamphlets have a specific logo on the first page.

But the logo is a real flag! It was hoisted in place of the European Union flag in front of the town hall of Versailles from Friday evening to Monday morning. The visual effect was very poor because the special flag was much smaller than the two other ones (national and municipal flags). I suppose it had been manufactured in one size and sent to the places where it had to be hoisted. But the size was much too small and it was impossible to identify the logo if you did not have the paper version of it.

I do not know how these places were selected. I have visited during the week-end other cities celebrating the European Heritage Days but did not see the flag.

The city of Versailles, along with other French cities, received a special award for the organization of "Heritage Night" on Saturday evening. For the third year, a specific part of the city was lit with candles and there was a guided tout through the streets. So maybe the flag was given only to awarded cities (seven projects, most transnational were elected this year).

Ivan Sache, 25 September 1996

Flag description

The flag is the European Union flag charged with a logo outlining in white houses, a church steeple, a defence tower and a dome, thus reflecting the diversity of European cultural heritage.

Ivan Sache, 25 September 1996