The Szatmárnémeti/Satu Mare-based Kölcsey Ferenc high school team has won the Protectors of Our Heritage – Adopt a Monument competition organized in Kolozsvár/Cluj Napoca over the weekend. The winning team has adopted the city’s synagogue and promoted it through various creative methods.
In second place we find the pupils of the Unitarian College from Kolozsvár, who adopted the Franciscan monastery of the city, and the “bronze medal” went to the pupils of Szászrégen/Reghin-based Lucian Blaga Technological high-school, popularizing the castle of Marosvécs/Brâncovenești owned by the Kemény family.
The national stage of the Protectors of Our Heritage finals was held on Sunday in the János Zsigmond Unitarian college. The competition broke a record this year, because more than 600 enthusiastic pupils and teachers participated from various parts of Transylvania to popularize the monuments they adopted.
One of the most interesting aspects of the competition initiated in 2012 by the RMDSZ is how the pupils become familiar with the cultural and history heritage of the region they live in. By participating in the competition the pupils don’t get to own the site, but as caretakers of these monuments they contribute to raising awareness in the local communities of their heritage by researching the history of the site and holding events there. As the monuments have often been left vacant for years, this initiative helps restore their visibility within their communities and greatly enhances their value.
“Thank you all for your hard work. It’s a pleasure to see that our history, buildings, and intangible heritage are so important for many people. A big thanks goes to the pupils and teachers, to State Secretary Irén Erzsébet Kovács and her colleagues, to the teachers and employees of the Zsigmond János Unitarian College, to the Kolozs/Cluj County educational inspectorate, and to our supporters. We couldn’t have done it without your help,” Csilla Hegedűs, Executive Vice President of RMDSZ, said at the event.
The Protectors of Our Heritage was originally launched in 2012 by the RMDSZ in the Gábor Téglás High School from Déva/Deva. In the same year the program also launched in Brassó/Brașov, Szeben/Sibiu, and Temes/Timiș counties. Since then the program has expanded into eight counties and now includes participants from 19 high-schools and student organizations. The movement now includes 67 adopted monuments.
Title image: Featured image on the Protectors of Our Heritage’s Facebook page