The ERHG has celebrated its V Annual Forum on September 22nd in Budapest
Hosted by the Hungarian Garden Heritage Foundation, partner of the ERHG, and based on the topic “Gardens of Inspiration: Literature and Historic Gardens”.
Based on the topic “Gardens of Inspiration: Literature and Historic Gardens”, the premises of the Petőfi Literary Museum in Budapest, have been the perfect location to celebrate this important yearly event that unites the partners of the Association, as well as its collaborators and members of the scientific committee, and all those people interested in the management, conservation and development of historic gardens.
The Program has been divided into two sessions: The general section, devoted to “Historic gardens and literature”, and the panel section, in which managers of historic gardens have the possibility to share their “lights and shadows” in relation to relevant management issues like conservation or restoration of historic gardens, with the audience.
The Opening of the Forum was in charge of Dr. Zsuzsanna Kalla, Deputy Director General for the Collections of the Petőfi Literary Museum; Zsófia Jakab, Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Marketing and Communication of the Hungarian Tourism Agency and Jaume Dulsat, President of the ERHG.
Dr. Zsuzsanna Kalla, Deputy Director General for the Collections of the Petőfi Literary Museum, underlined in her welcome speech that the garden of the Károlyi Palace, which was the venue of the forum, was in the 20th century both a museum and a community garden, with benches, playgrounds and a museum garden, where outdoor concerts and events were held. Thanks to the ongoing renovation, the original unity of the gardens will be achieved by connecting the Károlyi Palace Garden and the Károlyi Garden, which will allow literature to return to the cool shade of the trees in the palace park next spring.
Zsófia Jakab, Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Marketing and Communication of the Hungarian Tourism Agency, reminded at the opening ceremony that statistical figures prove that garden tourism represents an outstanding opportunity for the Hungarian sector. She confirmed that the Agency sees the boosting of Hungarian garden tourism as a priority task, since our gardens are perhaps the most complex tourist attractions, which are both part of our cultural heritage and natural attractions that require constant care.
In his welcome speech, Jaume Dulsat, President of the ERHG, pointed out that the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes, established by the Council of Europe in 2010, has enabled national, regional and local initiatives to promote culture and tourism through research and development cooperation. The Spanish expert underlined that tourist routes programme connecting historic gardens in Europe is a great opportunity for member organisations to exchange experience on practical issues such as the conservation and renewal of historic gardens, and their ecological and economic management. At the same time, Jaume Dulsat praised the Hungarian garden heritage values and thanked the Hungarian Garden Heritage Foundation for organising the organisation’s forum, committee meeting and general assembly.
The lectures at the general session have been conducted by Ágnes Herczeg, President of the Hungarian Garden Heritage Foundation; Katalin Egresitsné Firtl, director of Esterházy-Kastély Park in Fertőd, Hungary; Bianca Maria Landi, coordinator of Boboli Gardens, head of the garden department and curator of the botanical heritage of Uffizi Galleries in Firenze, Italy; Troy Scott Smith, head gardener at Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent, England; Katarzyna Żak- Zatorska, head of garden department at National Museum in Warsaw, branch of the Museum in Nieborow and Arcadia in Nieborow, Poland and Marco Martella, writer and director of the magazine “Jardins”.
Dr. Ágnes Herczeg, President of the Hungarian Garden Heritage Foundation, as the host of the forum, emphasized that the fact that Budapest hosts the annual forum, committee meeting and general assembly of the ERHG is important for several reasons: in addition to the recognition of the Hungarian landscape architecture profession, it can promote the recovery of domestic garden tourism, facilitate cross-border cooperation and at the same time create an opportunity to learn about each other’s values and experiences.
The panel speakers at the session “Lights and Shadows” have been Viola Paola, Salvaguarda e Valorizzazioni del Complesso del Parco Reggia Di Caserta in Caserta, Italy; Maciej Żołnierczuk, Landscape protection specialist at the Museum of King Jan III’s Palace at Wilanów in Warsaw, Poland; Attila Deák, director and curator at the Fundația Tradiții Transilvane (Foundation for Transylvanian Traditions) in Romania and Albert Fekete, curator at the Hungarian Garden Heritage Foundation and director at the Institute of Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning and Garden Art, MATE of Hungary.
As a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe, the ERHG Annual Forum contributes to the exchange in research and development and to the enhancement of the European memory and identity, two of the five fields of action of the Enlarged Partial Agreement of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe Program. A total of 70 people of 13 countries have attended the Forum, either online or in person, of which 60% are partners or collaborators of the ERHG and the rest are interested parties on the topic and the Forum. All the Annual Forum participants have also had the opportunity to visit the Károlyi Garden at lunch time and have been invited to enjoy a guided walk tour at the center of Budapest, once the Annual Forum has concluded.
On the same occasion, the European Route of Historic gardens has celebrated its scientific committee meeting and its General Assembly. All ERHG partners have been called for the Extraordinary and Ordinary Assemblies, in which the candidacies of new members have been voted on and the 2023 budget and planned activities have been approved.
A total of three new partners and three gardens have joined the ERHG
- National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, manager of the Historic Garden of Софіївка (Sofievka), Uman, Ukraine
- National Garden, Metropolitan Green, S.A., manager of the National Gardens of Athens, Athens, Greece
- Zugdidi Botanical Garden, Zugdidi, Samegrelo Zemo-Svaneti, Georgia
With the incorporation of the new partners, the ERHG already counts with a total of 27 full members that represent 41 gardens in 10 European countries.
At the end of the General Assembly the President of the ERHG and the President of the Scientific Committee delivered the Diploma as members of the ERHG to Sofievka Park in Ukraine and to Van Bureen Gardens in Belgium:
After the GA celebration, the Hungarian Garden Heritage Foundation has offered all partners an official dinner at the emblematic Normafa Park, where the great aria from the opera Norma by Bellini was performed in 1840. On Friday, the 23rd, the Program has concluded with a walk on the first literally pathway of the country – located on the Margaret Island- featuring some of the most iconic figures and personalities of the Hungarian literature.