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Application for the European Heritage Label of the three origin Sites Mariapfarr, Lamprechtshausen/Arnsdorf und Oberndorf

"Silent Night, Holy Night!"

The song of continental European culture
with worldwide significance.
Sites of origin, museums and historical Impact

Michael Neureiter and Eva Reinecker

European Cultural Heritage Label
The European Cultural Heritage Label is an EU initiative, which was evolved to commend historical sites and places of cultural interest, which symbolize and emphasize European integration, the ideals and the history of the European Union.

It takes into consideration various buildings, excavation sites, memorial places and valuable areas of land or terrain. Each cultural location should play an important role in the joint history of Europe and in the development of the European Union - a history which unites Austria with other members of the European Union.

The European Parliament and Counsel brought this award for European culture into being on 16th November 2011. Submission for candidates of the European Cultural Heritage Award was possible up until 31st December 2012.

Aims of the Initiative are:
- improvement in the understanding of Europe, the European Union and its merits.
- stabilization of affiliation, particularly amongst younger members of EU.
- creation of an awareness for the national and regional European cultural diversity.
- encouragement of intercultural cross-border engagement and exchange programs between nations.
- sharing part in the economic development of a region with effective cultural tourism.

As opposed to similar initiatives (eg. UNESCO - World Heritage or UNESCO - Immaterial Cultural Heritage, who focus on the conservation of cultural objects ), the EU Cultural Heritage Seal emphasizes the accessibility, the information format, accentuation of the European dimension and educational factors. It is not a matter of beauty or the architectural features of an object or site, but the symbolic value for Europe and its uniting process.

Application of Mariapfarr, Arnsdorf and Oberndorf, the three sites of origin

Mariapfarr, Lamprechtshausen - Arnsdorf and Oberndorf near Salzburg, three original locations of the carol "Silent Night, Holy Night" , applied in December 2012, together with the Silent Night Society, who coordinated the candidate.
A joint project for the three locations had to be developed within the framework of the application, and this was conceived by Eva Reinecker.

The further development of the museums in Arnsdorf, Mariapfarr and Oberndorf was chosen as main focus. In March 2013 the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture nominated the application at the European Union under the title - "Silent Night!, European carol of world significance originated in Mariapfarr, Arnsdorf and Oberndorf".

"The Carol`s message of peace is completely in accordance with European alues" - was the jury of experts` opinion. Positively assessed particularly were the extensive cultural and touristic programs, the integration activities and the eager participation of the local rural municipalities. The evaluation of the jury in Bruxelles will be issued by end of 2013 at latest.

The Silent Night Society and its president, Michael Neureiter, see a good chance for acceptance of the joint application: `"Austria applied in 2013 for the new EU Cultural Heritage Label for the first time. On the strength of the joint application made by Mariapfarr, Arnsdorf and Oberndorf, we are hoping that the Silent Night Carol will increase in significance and will be conveyed further afield in the European Union, in Europe as a whole and all over the world"

It is about the message, about an element of European culture and about a global carol of peace.

In 2011 the Silent Night Society applied successfully to UNESCO for the Silent Night Carol to be entered in the national list of Immaterial Cultural Heritages.


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