Cultural heritage as a commons, a new call by MIUR

A new call for projects connecting cultural heritage and society has been launched by MIUR, the Italian Ministry for Education, University and Research, within the European Structural Funds framework, more precisely within the  National Operational Programme “Education” 2014-2020: “Avviso pubblico per il potenziamento dell’educazione al patrimonio culturale, artistico e paesaggistico”.

80 millions € are being made available by the Ministry in order to enhance and foster the education in cultural heritage among students of both primary and secondary schools, in order to raise awareness about its value as a common good and its potential in developing democracy. Education and dissemination activities turn out to be crucial to promote a better understanding of the relationship between cultural heritage and local communities.

To highlight the importance of this purpose, also in the view of the European Year of Cultural Heritage of 2018, the Ministry refers to the UN Human Rights Declaration of 1948, and namely to its article 27:  “Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits”. And, of course, to the Faro Convention of 2005,  Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society., that defined cultural heritage as “a group of resources inherited from the past which people identify, independently of ownership, as a reflection and expression of their constantly evolving values, beliefs, knowledge and traditions. It includes all aspects of the environment resulting from the interaction between people and places through time”. Italy has signed up the Faro Convention in 2013, and a draft law has been approved few days ago (June 16) by the Council of Ministries to continue its ratification procedure.

The call, whose deadline is July 10, is divided into two strands:

  • projects proposed by single schools;
  • projects proposed by a network made up of different members: at least 3 schools, at least 1 local authority, at least 1 among public bodies/ institutions/no profit associations that are experienced on the topic.

The involvement of the local ecosystem turns out to be an important feature of the call, that encourages the development of partnerships and collaborations with many different institutions: central and local public administrations, associations, foundations, third sector actors, universities, research centres, superintendences, museums, cultural professionals as well as already existing networks.

Each project, that can be financed up to the amount € 30.000,00 if submitted by single schools and of € 120.000,00 if submitted by a network, should be developed through interdisciplinary and innovative approaches, focusing on the experiential dimension and ensuring a dissemination activity and an impact in the local community. The projects should include the following actions:

  • knowledge and access to cultural heritage, also by digital means;
  • adoption of cultural heritage (sites, buildings, monuments, etc.);
  • supply of a cultural, social, sustainable and environment tourism service;
  • knowledge and communication of the local cultural heritage, also in foreign languages;
  • production of curricular digital contents related to cultural heritage (Open Educational Resources);
  • artistic and cultural production;
  • urban regeneration and rehabilitation interventions, especially in deprived areas.

The evaluation criteria are mainly the social context in which the project will be carried out, its quality and, of course, its value for the local community.


80 milioni di € per il potenziamento dell’educazione al patrimonio culturale, artistico e paesaggistico nelle scuole di primo e secondo grado. Il nuovo bando del MIUR nell’ambito del PON 2014-2020, rivolto a singole scuole o a reti composte da scuole e istituzioni del territorio, sostiene progetti che promuovano la conoscenza del patrimonio culturale, del suo valore per la società e della sua dimensione di bene comune.