October 1, 2018

ENCATC Congress 2018 at its end

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The 26th edition of the ENCATC Congress has reached its end. Held in Romania, Bucharest, for the first time, between September 26th and 29th, this event was focused on the theme of the European cultural heritage and was entitled Beyond EYCH 2018. What is the Cultural Horizon? Opening up perspective to face ongoing transformations.

The congress is organised annually and this year it brought together professionals of the cultural sector from 28 countries, members of the ENCATC European network of cultural management and policies, to discuss the cultural transformations with major impact on the way of understanding and approaching the field of cultural management and policies, as well as to understand and set the future directions in the field of education, academic research and cultural training.

University professors, researchers, cultural managers, artists, trendsetters and cultural policies makers, doctoral students and university students, in short: cultural professionals from around the world participated during the congress in information sessions, research and education sessions, research forums, debates, case studies and cultural tours.


The first day started with the Annual Forum of the network members, in the Symposium hall of the National Library. The theme of the debate was: Reimagining European cultural heritage: the past, ongoing transformations and the(ir) future – whose European cultural heritage?. A speech was delivered by Mrs. Anne Krebs, from the Research and Collections Department of the Louvre Museum, France.

In parallel, the Forum of Young Researchers was held in the Aula of the Ministry of Culture and National Identity, in the presence of the distinguished professors-researchers Richard Maloney (USA), Ian King (UK) and Alan Salzenstein (USA). Young doctoral students from Romania, Greece, Spain, China and Taiwan presented their papers and received the professors’ questions and advice with interest.

In the second part of the Annual Forum of the Members, a presentation of the Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe was held, with the purpose to provide a perspective on the current cultural trends and transformations in Europe and other parts of the world. Speeches were held by the members of the Board of the Association: Kimmo Aulake, Minister’s Advisor (Finland), Carmen Croitoru, General Manager of the National Institute for Cultural Research Training (Romania), Jean-Cédric Delvainquière, Researcher within the Ministry of Culture (France), Andreas Wiesand – founding member of the Compendium (Eric Arts), Marielle Hendricks – Boekmann Foundation, Amma Villaroya – President of the network of researchers in Culture (ECURES).

The Compendium presentation was followed by one of the most expected presentations of the Congress, the lecture New renaissance and imaginaries for citizens, held by Paul Dujardin, CEO and Artistic Manager of the „Centre for Fine Arts – BOZAR”, Belgium.

The evening was dedicated to the festive event of the Official Opening of the ENCATC Congress, hosted in the Atrium Hall of the National Library of Romania, in the presence of the Secretary of State within the Ministry of Culture and National Identity, Mr. Răzvan Rab, of the President’s Advisor from the Department of Culture, Cults and Centenary, Mr. Sergiu Nistor, of the ENCATC President, Mrs. Francesca Imperiale, of professor and art critic Claire Giraud-Labalte and of the host of the event, Assoc. Prof. Carmen Croitoru, General Manager of INCFC. A special moment of the evening was the ceremony of awarding the diploma of the High Patronage of the President of Romania, handed by Mr. Sergiu Nistor. The diploma was awarded to the National Institute for Cultural Research Training, for the co-organisation of the ENCATC Congress.

We are honoured that this event, co-organised by the National Institute for Research and Cultural Training for the first time in Romania, has received the High Patronage of the President of Romania. This distinction awarded to our institute speaks about the attention given by the President of Romania to culture and professionalism in the field of cultural management and international cultural policies and it measures our efficiency, as an institution, particularly now, in 2018, the year of Romania’s celebration of the European Year of Cultural Heritage and of the Centenary of the Great Union – stated Assoc. Prof. Carmen Croitoru, General Manager of INCFC.


The morning of the second day of the congress was dedicated to study-visits – to the National Museum of Contemporary Art -, as well as to the NodMakerspace creative hub and the CINETic experimental laboratory of UNATC (National University of Theatre and Film) .

The participants in the ENCATC congress visited:

CINETic – the Center for Research and Education in Innovative Creative Technologies, which combines the digital sphere with applied neuroscience in the field of performing arts. The expertise accumulated by CINETic through research  and innovation in the field of theatre and film is successfully used in interdisciplinary projects of art-science and technology.

The National Museum of Contemporary Art is hosted within the Palace of Parliament, one of the largest administrative buildings in the world. We invite you to explore this edifice (an ambitious building from the communist era), which today is a museum of contemporary art.

NodMakerspace – the first large-scale creative community centre, founded in an old communist cotton factory, is today a dynamic cultural ecosystem, which welcomes artists from various cultural and creative sectors: architects, artists, inventors, designers, engineers, freelancers and entrepreneurs.

The visits were followed by round tables for analyses and conclusions. The scientific sessions of the 27th of September ended with the lecture of the well-known theorist, professor Jean-Louis Fabiani, member of the Institute for Advanced Study within Princeton University (USA) and professor at the Central European University in Budapest, who held a speech with the title: Beyond cultural wars. Is the idea of a common culture still worth it in fractured times?, within the session „Opening Perspectives”.

The second evening of the congress was reserved for the award ceremony of the 2018 ENCATC Research Prize, awarded to young early stage researchers. Of the three nominees, the winner of this prize attesting academic excellence was Alba Victoria Zamarbide Urdaniz, for her doctorate based on the thesis entitled: Redefining the role of the “buffer-zones” in the administration of historical territories. Discrepancies between theoretical concepts and practical interpretations of the “buffer-zones” in the world cultural heritage sites from East and West, obtained at the Wesada University, Japan.

The presentations of the three young lady researchers were followed by a speech of the Rector of the University of Bucharest, Prof. Dr. Mircea Dumitru, who appreciated the exceptional level of the studies, as well as the methodologies used. The trophy – an original work of art made by Romanian artist Nicolae Stoica – was handed to the winner by Mr. Mircea Diaconu, member of the European Parliament, Vice-president of the Commission for Culture and Education.


The third day was equally animated for the participants in the ENCATC congress. The programme included two sessions of Research & Training, which provided an interdisciplinary discussion framework for the participant researchers from around the world, as well as a Poster Session on the most various themes, from intangible cultural heritage to new business models, VR applications for cultural heritage or audience development. In the afternoon’s schedule there was also a session wherein all participants exchanged publications edited and written by them.

The last evening of the ENCATC 2018 was dedicated to the Torch of Cultural and Religious Heritage, an initiative launched by the Future for Religious Heritage (FRH) foundation, based in Brussels, whose goal is to contribute to the knowledge, conservation and understanding of the importance of the rich European religious heritage. Inspired by the Olympic torch of Athens, the event is a European-wide initiative, to which ministers of culture from the EU member-states have been invited to participate, alongside prominent members of the international community (artists, scientists, politicians, researchers). They were asked to bring testimonials (letters, bygones or photos) of representative moments related to the religious heritage.

This celebration of cultural and religious diversity within the ENCATC Congress took place at the Romanian Athenaeum, in the presence of cultural and religious personalities, among whom we mention: Mr. George IVAȘCU, Minister of Culture and National Identity, Mrs. Lilian GROOTSWAGERS, Member of the FRH (Future for Religious Heritage) Council , Mrs. Francesca IMPERIALE, President of the ENCATC network, Mrs. Giannalia COGLIANDRO BEYENS, Secretary General of ENCATC, Father Florin ȘERBĂNESCU, Advisor to the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, Mr. Iusuf MURAT, Mufti of the Muslim Cult in Romania, Mr. Aurel VAINER, President of Hebrew Communities Federation of Romania , Mr. Nigel BELINGHAM, Director of the British Council, Mr. Virgil NIȚULESCU, Director of the National Network of Romanian Museums, Pastor Andrei PINTA, Evangelical Church of Sibiu, His Excellency Bishop-Vicar GYERÖ David, Unitarian Hungarian Church.

The hosts of the event were: Mrs.Carmen CROITORU, General Manager of the National Institute for Cultural Research Training and Mr. Ștefan BÂLICI, General Manager of the National Heritage Institute.

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