ILUCIDARE Urban Regeneration for Historic Cairo Workshop Series
Cairo, 19 September 2021
Ambassador Christian Berger,
Head of the EU Delegation to Egypt
The EU’s Research and Innovation Programme is not only about water, food, energy or any of the other well known topics, its also about showcasing the role of science in preserving cultural heritage, technology transfer and knowledge sharing. And let’s not forget the positive impact on socio-economic development, on tourism and local business.
Your workshop, the second now, comes at a time when the revitalisation process of historic Cairo is an initiative that gained a lot of public attention. The revitalisation of historic Cairo is a great initiative that is not only important to Egypt, but to all those who strive to support preserving cultural heritage across the globe. And it is an important part of the EU-Egypt cooperation in research and innovation as well as cultural heritage, which is long-standing, both at the EU level, and level of the member states.
This project would have not been possible without the support of the Ministry of Antiquities and the many other Egyptian stakeholders and research community. The workshops are great examples of how science is an essential enabler of cultural heritage restoration, and that technology transfer and knowledge sharing are core elements of the endeavours of humanity to preserve its cultural heritage.
Such an exchange is made possible through EU funded projects. In addition to research and innovation, and particularly in the area of development, in the cultural heritage domain, the EU has been supporting six projects since 2017, aiming at promoting heritage conservation together with sustainable economic growth.
The funding available (around 8 million Euro) made possible, among other things, the rehabilitation of Al-Maridani Mosque in Islamic Cairo, cultural heritage preservation in the “City of the Dead” and the restoration of the Shali Fortress in Siwa. There are also three running projects in the landmark Egyptian Museum of Cairo. These projects are upgrading its infrastructure and display collection, in order to increase visitors’ experience and enhance cultural offer around the museum.
The European research and innovation framework programme Horizon 2020 enabled the EU to support a number of initiatives for preserving, reconstructing and promoting cultural heritage. Under Horizon 2020, Egypt participated in 51 projects – in various sectors - with an overall budget exceeding €150m.
We would like to invite Egyptian researchers and innovators in all sectors including cultural heritage to explore current and future cooperation opportunities under Horizon Europe.
Horizon Europe is open to neighbourhood counties to participate and jointly work with European researchers in all areas of common interest and mutual benefit. For example, there is call in the current work programme supporting cooperation with the Mediterranean region on the effects of climate change and natural hazards on cultural heritage and remediation.
I wish everyone a successful workshop and thank the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation for hosting us today, and the World Monuments Fund Spain and the Supreme Council of Antiquities for the invitation and the organization.