With buildings such as the SCHUNCK Glaspaleis and Huis de Luijff, Heerlen’s coalmining history is on the verge of being crowned with a European Heritage title. At the proposal of the Dutch minister of Education, Culture and Science, the government has decided to nominate this historic location for the title with the European Commission in Brussels.
The Dutch government has decided to affirm the advice of the Raad voor Cultuur (Dutch ‘arts council’). Not only can these two buildings, SCHUNCK and Huis de Luijff, tell the story of recent European history – the latter was the venue in the 1950s for a preliminary meeting to establish the European Coal and Steel Community, the precursor of today’s European Union – but also the Euregional history and the personal tales of its mineworkers. The art council proposed that the symbolic meaning of this site for European unification could be of great value in learning about the principles of Europese integration. The European Heritage label is an initiative of the European Union and designates locations which have played a key role in Europe and the creation of the European Union.
The European Heritage label helps form a picture of Europe’s common history and thus forge a stronger connection between the European Union and its citizens. First and foremost, the designated locations must instigate educational activities aimed at young people. Up until now, the only two European Heritage labels in the Netherlands have gone to Kamp Westerbork and the Peace Palace. The nominations are evaluated by an international jury based in Brussels. The expectation is that the European Commission will decide in the spring of 2016 which nominations will be awarded the label.
Source: Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science