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2 minutes to read Posted on Monday July 15, 2019

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Eleanor Kenny

Eleanor Kenny

Former Head of Communications and External relations , Europeana Foundation

Heritage at Risk - honours Europe’s iconic sites and highlights role of digital in heritage restoration

Marking three months since the fire that engulfed Notre-Dame de Paris, Europeana - the European Union’s digital platform for cultural heritage - launches the online exhibition Heritage at Risk.

main image
View of Dubrovnik
National and University Library of Zagreb

Heritage at Risk uses unique digital content to explore the threats - natural and man-made - facing heritage sites from ancient times until today. And it highlights the role that digital technology can play in helping the cultural heritage sector meet restoration challenges in the 21st century - including Notre-Dame. 

European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel says:

‘The fire of Notre-Dame highlighted once more the need to preserve, record and protect our European cultural heritage. Reactions all over Europe show how important it is for our citizens and society. More than ever, we are making progress in harnessing the power of digital for our cultural heritage, but we must keep working together to support the sector in this endeavour.

From the Pantheon in Greece to the Stari Most in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and from fire and flood, to war and the human footprint, the exhibition traces the troubled history of some of Europe’s most iconic heritage sites. Its unique content also demonstrates that the cultural heritage sector already holds some of the answers to the challenge of preserving and restoring endangered sites.

Harry Verwayen, Executive Director of Europeana, says:

‘Our museums, archives and libraries contain invaluable, often unique, records of heritage sites throughout their history - architectural drawings, photographs, paintings and written descriptions. Cultural heritage organisations are joining forces and adopting new technologies to preserve and share information about our heritage. By digitising their valuable collections and making the data available to experts, they help to safeguard our heritage sites. In the face of today’s complex challenges, the task seems more urgent than ever.’

The exhibition’s final chapter focuses on Notre-Dame de Paris, and highlights how digital technology is a key part of the conversation around its latest restoration - with technologies such as 3D scanning and modelling, and virtual and augmented reality, promising new ways to help the sector in preserving and showcasing cultural heritage.

The public is invited to visit Heritage at Risk, available online in seven languages, from 15 July.


Media contact

Eleanor Kenny - Europeana Foundation


Notes for Editors

The Heritage at Risk exhibition is available online in seven languages - English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Spanish and Romanian - at:

Images from the exhibition for use by the media can be found at:

About Europeana

Europeana is Europe’s platform for digital cultural heritage with a mission to ‘transform the world with culture’. Europeana Collections is Europe’s digital library, museum, gallery and archive. From books, photos and paintings to television broadcasts and 3D objects, Europeana Collections provides online access to a vast store of cultural heritage material from across Europe for everyone to find, use and share: for research, for learning, for creating new things. (@EuropeanaEU). The Europeana Foundation is the organisation tasked by the European Commission with developing a digital cultural heritage platform for Europe.