In the IMAGINES section TBIH's Brad Dunn interviews the Director of the Estonian Maritime Museum Urmas Dresen about the "Towering Tales of the Sea" project, awarded for its Digital and Audiovisual solutions in Fat Margaret permanent exhibition with the Heritage in Motion Best Achievement Prize 2020.

In the special SPOTLIGHT feature Professor of Contemporary Archaeology at the University of Oxford and Curator at the Pitt Rivers Museum Dan Hicks talks to Director of The Best in Heritage Professor Tomislav S. Šola about his book "The Brutish Museums - the Benin Bronzes, Colonial Violence, and Cultural Restitution".

In the core programme Director of the Fondazione Scuola dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali Alessandra Vittorini talks to TBIH's Vinod Kumar MM about this restoration project that has received the European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award 2020  in the category Conservation. Muneer Elbaz from the University College of Applied Sciences (UCAS) in Gaza, Palestine, talks to Vinod Kumar MM about the The preservation of the Manuscripts Collection of the Great Omari Mosque Library project, that won the ICCROM-Sharjah Grand Prix in 2020.

For information on all featured laureates in 2021 click here.


The renovation of the medieval Fat Margaret cannon tower by the Estonian Maritime Museum is considered as an achievement from many aspects, from construction to storytelling. Digital and audiovisual solutions in the new permanent exhibition "Towering Tales of the Sea" are an integral part of telling Estonia’s sea-going history, from the middle ages to modern times, and from shipbuilding to the life of seamen. There are more than 30 solutions including interactive infographics to entertainment and that enrich the grand collection of ship models and other items from the museum’s collection in an accessible way.

Walk into any Western museum today and you will see the curated spoils of Empire. Few artefacts embody this history of rapacious and extractive colonialism better than the Benin Bronzes, pillaged during a British naval attack in 1897. "The Brutish Museums" sits at the heart of a heated debate about cultural restitution, repatriation and the decolonisation of museums. Since its first publication, museums across the western world have begun to return their Bronzes to Nigeria, heralding a new era in the way we understand the collections of empire we once took for granted. (from: plutobooks.com)

The return of the Basilica to the community of L’Aquila in 2017 marked a watershed moment in the long process of recovery following the tragic 2009 earthquake. The Superintendence for L’Aquila carried out the project with a team of representatives from three Italian universities and supervised the complex two-year works, entirely funded by a private sponsor. The restoration received the Grand Prix of the “European Heritage Awards/Europa Nostra Awards 2020” as “a model of best practice in the conservation of critically damaged sites all over the world”.

The library of the Great Omari Mosque was established by the famous Mamluk leader (Al-Zahir Baibars) in 1277 A.D. During subsequent centuries, Gaza suffered from wars and conflicts that led to the vandalism of the library. Damage was inflicted several times, mainly after the French campaign in Palestine, after the First World War and after the direct Israeli occupation of Gaza. In addition to three wars from 2008-2014, the Gaza siege caused bad economic conditions as well, which have had a negative impact on the environment of archival storage. 

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