From 9 to 11 November the European association “Future for Religious Heritage” invited it’s members and other participants to the 2016 Biennial Conference titled: “Tourists, Travellers & Pilgrims – Encountering Religious Heritage in Today’s Europe” to Vicenza, Italy.
Besides a great number of speeches, presentations, discussions, and debates the FRH Conference Committee also offered an interesting and diverse program – discovering the picturesque region of “Veneto” with the lovely cities of Vicenza, Venice and Verona where the participants encountered many cultural treasures.
Among others the answers to the following questions were sought: how can religious heritage sites do justice to the expectations, demands and needs of their visitors? How can we manage the balancing act between conserving the sacred sites and opening them towards today’s tourists? What exactly are people looking for when they visit religious sites and how can we create incentives?
Best practice examples of fundraising activities and promising ideas for new usage of religious sites as well as new ways of communication and future perspectives were all topics during the three-day conference. Besides the many issues raised during the program, the more than 130 participants from all over Europe were always involved in lively discussions. The great interest in the Transylvanian landscape of fortified churches became very clear after a short presentation by the Fortified Churches Foundation.
All in all it was a very informative, eventful, and inspiring conference in Italy which made it clear that in today’s Europe with it’s abundance of culture we are stronger together and thanks to a good network, reciprocal enrichment, and a constructive exchange we can make a difference together.