News and events

Protection of Europe’s cultural legacy receives significant boost in Rome today

27 September 2011

23rd September, 2011.

European efforts to coordinate activities to protect its cultural heritage took a significant step forward with the launch in Rome today of the Heritage Portal. The portal, a freely accessible online resource for anyone interested in European cultural heritage science, will bring the insights of scientific and technological research across Europe to bear on the enormous challenges of protecting European cultural heritage.
With preservation of Europe’s cultural legacy a key policy priority, the portal will support wider efforts at coordination between European countries to encourage protection of Europe’s cultural heritage in EU legislation and influence global efforts in this area. 

The Heritage Portal will enable users - including academics, students, teachers, curators, conservationists, funders and policy-makers – to source information, share their knowledge and work collaboratively. Developed by the EU Net-Heritage project, the portal was built by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Among the resources featured are news and information about cultural heritage research, on projects ranging from the use of lasers on paintings to major archaeological projects such as the ancient Roman port of Portus, training and funding opportunities, and a facility for users to upload and showcase their own work.
The launch of the portal is taking place in Rome this morning and will feature presentations by Antonia Recchia (Net-Heritage Coordinator, MiBAC), Professor Rick Rylance (CEO, AHRC), Philip Campbell (Editor-in-Chief, Nature) and Professor Simon Keay (University of Southampton). 

Speaking prior to the launch, Professor Keay said: “The Heritage Portal will make news on archaeology and cultural heritage management in all European countries widely available for the first time. Since the Portus Project represents a long and successful collaboration between the AHRC, UK universities and research institutions, and the Italian Soprintendenza Speciale per I Beni Archeologici di Roma in exploring one of Europe’s most important archaeological sites, it’s appropriate that it was chosen as a pilot-study in this important new project.”

Professor Rick Rylance, CEO of the AHRC and chair of Research Councils UK, said: “We are blessed in Europe with one of the world’s richest and most inspiring cultural histories which the Heritage Portal will make more widely and effectively available. The project will provide a forum for collaboration and enable the coordination of the work of heritage researchers in the UK and across Europe. The AHRC is delighted to have led the project on behalf of the UK and to have played such a prominent role in a major and far-reaching European endeavour.”

Michel Chapuis, of the European Commission’s Directorate General ‘Research’, said: “The Heritage Portal will constitute a permanent central access point on all issues related to European cultural heritage research. It will address a wide range of stakeholders, including scientists, curators, conservators, experts, but also decision makers, including national and regional Authorities, as well as SMEs and Industry.”

Antonia Recchia, of Italy’s Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities, said: “The Heritage Portal is a very important project output as a strategic instrument for spreading the results of research applied to international tangible cultural heritage.”

For further information on the Heritage Portal:
Contact: Julie Clayton, Editor, Heritage Portal,

tel +44 (0) 117 946 6284, Mobile: +44 (0) 7802 406729, 

Notes for editors
Heritage Portal 
The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)