Heritage interpretation –
for the future of Europe

20-24 May 2016
Mechelen, Belgium

Our Interpret Europe Conference was held in Mechelen, close to Brussels where 178 participants from 26 countries experienced issues at the very heart of the European agenda, such as human rights, active citizenship, lifelong learning, sustainability or peace. They discussed how heritage interpretation can turn these subjects into rewarding learning experiences that help bridge Europe’s past and future.

In addition to 3 keynote speeches and 63 presentations and interactive workshops, there were 18 intensive study visits, including one pre-conference tour to Flanders Fields and one post-conference tour to Bruges. These allowed delegates to explore in-depth the culture of Flanders and gain lots of ideas about how to interpret their own heritage for both visitors and residents on their return home. There was also a lively market of ideas, as well as an exhibition fair with 20 presentations and discussions, a live auction and evening meals with entertainment to round off the programme.

The conference was organised by Herita, Flanders Heritage Association and supported by the Flemish Commission for UNESCO, the InHerit Lifelong Learning Project, the City of Mechelen, Tourism Flanders and the Landcommanderij Alden Biesen.

You can download some of the documents and presentations from the conference here:

Conference programme
Greetings EU Commissioner Tibor Navracsics
Opening address Willem Derde and Thorsten Ludwig
Keynote Peter Debrine (UNESCO)
Keynote Mike Robinson (University of Birmingham)
Keynote Ignace Schops (Europarc Federation)
Learning from our European heritage: a call from Mechelen
Conference proceedings

You can find IE newsletter articles about the conference here:

The glue that unites us! (Announcement)
Ears hear and eyes see – what then does mind do
Behind the scene



Organised by:

"I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones."
John Cage