Launch of the European Year of Cultural Heritage in Wales
The European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH) 2018 had its launch for Wales on the 13th of March in Cardiff. Its opening was held at Dyffryn Mansion, a property owned by the National Trust and supported by Drysau Agored (the Welsh branch of Open Doors.) Similar launches have begun to kick off in the United Kingdom with England’s launch in January in London and Scotland’s launch to come later this year in April.
The launch was held at Dyffryn Mansion that resides in the Vale of Glamorgan. This estate dates back to the 8th century and is now a large Georgian Mansion that sits 15 minutes outside of Cardiff.
Owned by the National Trust it was therefore fitting that Justin Albert, (the Director of Wales) welcomed attendees with guests invited to attend the twilight tours of the building, to get a better understanding of the Gardens of the property and its European influence.
Graham Bell, the UK National Coordinator for the EYCH 2018 explained the context of the year across the whole of the United Kingdom.
The launch was attended by the Minister of Culture, Lord Dafydd Elis Thomas who discussed the European year of Cultural Heritage and its significance and opportunities for Wales.
Unlike other countries in the European year of Cultural Heritage the United Kingdom is slightly different, as these launches reflect the distinctiveness of Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England.
Amongst the various projects that these European countries share the Open Doors project , Dr Ffion Reynolds who acts as Co-ordinator of Open Doors in Wales for Cadw.
The European Programme offers both local people and visitors alike the chance to explore the hidden treasures of Wale’s culture and history. It gives people a chance to see the wider significance of intangible heritage and its influence on everyday life.
David Hughes closed this launch with a talk on the Role of the European Commission, that of which he heads represention in Wales.
2018 has been designated European Year of Cultural Heritage. Initiated by the European Commission, 26 countries are developing their own programmes that will encourage, discover and celebrate our common cultural themes. In the UK, the aim is to demonstrate that our cultural heritage spans all aspects of our national heritage and traditions as well as the creative talent of the arts and design, much of which has European influence. 2018 also is an opportunity to explore the influence of social diversity on our culture, especially European communities within and enhancing UK culture. This combination of themes and people makes 2018 a significant opportunity to share beyond our traditional audiences.