Britain’s Prince Charles has congratulated Romanian volunteers for winning a European prize for their efforts to save heritage-listed buildings in the Transylvania region and elsewhere in Romania.
The “Ambulance for Monuments” was announced on Thursday as a winner of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards. It was one of 21 winners from 15 European countries.
The project with an emergency team of craftspeople who are on hand to save endangered heritage in Romania was selected one of the winners of the education, training and awareness raising category.
Charles, whose many charities support arts, heritage and traditional skills, has been visiting Romania since the late 1990s.
“To save some many of the beautiful but very endangered historical buildings in your country… is a remarkable achievement,” the prince said in a video address.
“To win such a prestigious award is an immense tribute to your splendid work,” Charles said.
“I think of all those beautiful wooden churches…. of the watermills and medieval fortifications, as well as the Dacian ruins and even village railway stations, all of which have been rescued or repaired.”
The project now has a chance to win the Public Choice Award which will be announced later this year, based on the number of votes it gets from the public across Europe.
Charles, 71, has a home in Transylvania’s unspoiled countryside. He makes an annual visit to Romania, where he is a popular figure.
He set up the Prince of Wales Foundation in 2015 which supports the East European nation’s heritage and rural life, and sustainable development.
Turning to the coronavirus pandemic, he said he was proud that “two of the ambulances have been used to transport food for elderly people in the villages of Hartibaciului Valley along with food and water for the doctors of the Sibiu county hospital and masks, glasses and gloves in to doctors in hospitals Agnita and Medias.”
“Romania has such an immensely rich architectural legacy, some of which I have been fortunate enough to see during my visits to Romania over the past 20 years. This is why I will continue to do what I can to help you preserve the extraordinary treasures that still exist in your country, and which form a unique part of your, and Europe’s, cultural patrimony,” he said.
“The huge amount of hard work you put in to save your country’s architectural heritage is an inspiration to us all and will, I hope, also be an inspiration and an example for like-minded people in other countries to follow. “