The early endeavours of volunteers
In 1999, a conference to discuss interpretation in Europe
was organised in England by Bournemouth University
and the UK’s Association for Heritage Interpretation.
Delegates from many countries agreed that
a Europe-wide network was needed
to foster professionalism in heritage interpretation.
A year later, Interpret Europe began as an informal network
to support and initiate interpretive activities across Europe.
However, it relied on the voluntary efforts of a few people
and, because it had no financial or staffing resources,
it was able to carry on for only a few years.
Founding Interpret Europe
During The Vital Spark Conference in Scotland in 2007,
delegates who attended two early morning meetings
re-stated the need to found a pan-Europe association
to promote skills and research in interpretation.
However, with a continuing lack of resources,
there was no quick progress. But the die was cast.
The NAI’s 2009 conference in Athens was the turning point.
An Initiative Group was formed among European delegates
with the valuable support of their American friends.
The Group prepared the foundations of Interpret Europe
as a non-profit organisation able to sustain its activities,
through membership subscriptions and income generation,
and to apply for support from the EU and other sources.
The Founding Assembly took place in Slovenia on 14 July 2010.
It agreed its Constitution and elected the organisation's bodies.