The international conference Technical Monuments in Norway and the Czech Republic, held in Ostrava from 5th – 6th April, focused on industrial heritage and the conversion of technical monuments for new use. Besides lectures and excursions to industrial sites, the conference also included an expert discussion on the recent and ongoing conversion of the Lower Vítkovice heritage area.
At the beginning of April, the Czech Republic’s National Heritage Institute, in cooperation with Norway’s Riksantikvaren Directorate, held an international conference which presented and compared current approaches to the research, protection and current use of industrial heritage sites in both countries.
The conference featured invited speakers from Riksantikvaren and other partner organizations in Norway, plus representatives from the Czech National Heritage Institute, the Czech Technical University in Prague (and its Research Centre for Industrial Heritage), the Brno University of Technology, and private owners. This international and interdisciplinary event offered a platform for speakers to present the results of the joint Czech-Norwegian project focusing on sharing knowledge and experience in the documentation and assessment of industrial heritage; the project (implemented from 2014 to 2016) was funded by the EEA Financial Mechanisms programme.
Various aspects of the bilateral cooperation were presented to more than 80 participants in an exhibition; this exhibition remains open to the general public until the end of April at the newly restored premises of the National Heritage Institute’s Ostrava branch. There is also a Czech-English publication compiled by the Institute’s Methodological Centre for Industrial Heritage.
The conference also included an accompanying programme of events. Participants were invited to take guided tours of the Michal Colliery, the Lower Vítkovice area, and Ostrava’s Gallery of Fine Arts. The Norwegian guests were also able to tour the production facilities of Vítkovice Steel, the Ostravar brewery, and the Tatra truck factory.