Research & Studies

Dr. Constanze Itzel: European Heritage revisited

European Heritage revisited – Keynote speech by Dr. Constanze Itzel (The House of European History in Brussels)
At “Heritage and Identity” – Interpret Europe Conference
Date: on the 25th of March 2018
Venue: Kőszeg H-9730 Jurisics Castle

European Heritage revisited: The House of European History in Brussels – Keynote speech by Dr. Constanze Itzel at the Heritage and Identity Conference of Interpret Europe, Kőszeg, 25 March, 2018

Interpret Europe’s annual conference of 2018 took place from 23 to 26 March in Kőszeg (Hungary). It had been organised together with the Hungarian partners Association of Cultural Heritage Managers (KÖME / HU), the Institute of Advanced Studies Kőszeg (iASK) and the Local Government of the town of Kőszeg with nearly 200 experts from 40 countries. Being part of the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage, the conference was opened by the EU Commissioner for Education and Culture, Tibor Navracsics.

Dr. Constanze Itzel – European Heritage revisited: The House of European History in Brussels

What is European heritage? What do we Europeans acknowledge of being part of a common heritage and what not? Gothic churches, Baroque palaces, art nouveau buildings, democracy, Greek philosophy, Roman law or Enlightenment are widely recognised as being part of a specifically European heritage. But what about state terror, colonialism or slavery? How about the contested history of the 20th century? The House of European History permanent exhibition explores Europe’s history along those questions, pointing at the constructed character of heritage, history and identity. Its temporary exhibition “Interactions” pushes the question further and searches for hidden stories: Is there something European in the heritage mainly perceived as national? How much is heritage influenced by the circulation of people, products and ideas?

The keynote speech explores these questions using examples from how the international curators’ team in Brussels has interpreted Europe.

Dr. Constanze Itzel built up the House of European History from its very beginnings in 2009 as advisor and curator. Since June 2017, she leads the museum team.