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Patarei Sea Fortress shortlisted for Europa Nostra's endangered landmarks program

Patarei Sea Fortress in Tallinn is one of 14 monuments and sites shortlisted for “The 7 Most Endangered” program 2016 by Europa Nostra, the leading European heritage organization, and the European Investment Bank Institute (EIBI).

The final list of seven most endangered heritage sites in Europe will be unveiled on March 16.

According to the organizers, the 14 shortlisted sites were selected taking into account their outstanding heritage and cultural value, as well as the grave danger that they are facing. The commitment of various public and private stakeholders and the engagement of the local communities to rescuing those sites were also considered essential. Another important criterion was the potential of these sites to serve as a resource and a driver of sustainable development for the wider region in which they are located. The 14 sites were shortlisted by a panel of experts in history, archeology, architecture, conservation, project analysis and finance.

The program does not offer any funding to the chosen sites. Rather, its aim is to serve as a catalyst for action and to promote “the power of example.” In addition, EIBI experts will contribute to the formulation of realistic action plans for mobilizing the support needed to salvage the sites, Dean of EIBI, Guy Clausse, said.

Built in 1840, Patarei Sea Fortress is the largest classical style defense ensemble in Estonia. Between 1920 and 2005, the fortress was converted into a prison in which political prisoners were detained. Today, this site is a “lieu de mémoire” and a powerful symbol of national resistance to both the Communist and Nazi regimes. The main threat to the ensemble is its rapid deterioration due to the harsh climate and the lack of maintenance. Several areas are closed for safety reasons. 

The Estonian Heritage Society, which submitted the nomination for ‘The 7 Most Endangered’ program, proposes the regeneration of this large ensemble and its reuse as a museum complex, a center for creative industries, a hotel, or offices and apartments.

Patarei Sea Fortress in Tallinn (Photo: Postimees/Scanpix).

The rest of the shortlisted landmarks are:

  • Archaeological site of Ererouyk and village of Ani Pemza, Armenia
  • Palace of Justice in Brussels, Belgium
  • Helsinki-Malmi Airport, Finland
  • Colbert Swing Bridge in Dieppe, France
  • Castle in Divitz, Germany
  • Kampos of Chios, Greece
  • Venice Lagoon, Italy
  • Castle Rijswijk, the Netherlands
  • Y-block in Oslo, Norway
  • Valflores Palace and Estate, near Lisbon,Portugal
  • Convent of St. Anthony of Padua, Extremadura, Spain
  • Ancient city of Hasankeyf and its surroundings, Turkey
  • Mavisbank House, near Edinburgh, the United Kingdom

Editor: M. Oll

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