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Greg Dorey


Part of UK in Hungary

22nd September 2011

Conservation in Practice

I was in the Pauline-Carmelite Monastery at Sopronfalva this morning. Lovingly and beautifully restored through the vision of Gabor Kovacs (KOGART), it is now a hotel, conference facility and meditation centre. It’s an excellent example of how a cultural heritage conservation project can be integrated into a local community.

But today the monastery was the venue for a well-attended media briefing about His Royal Highness (HRH) the Prince of Wales’ Foundation for the Built Environment Summer School. A wide range of regeneration and conservation projects throughout the world benefit from this programme. Mr Kovacs has just generously sponsored two young and talented Hungarian architects to attend the School and they were there to tell us about what was clearly a wonderful experience, studying the principles and practice of sustainable design and craftsmanship. This cooperation was facilitated by the Hungarian Renaissance Foundation, whose role is to help coordinate practical collaboration between the UK and Hungary in the field of cultural heritage conservation.

These developments flowed from HRH’s visit to Hungary in March 2010 [link] and in particular a workshop on conservation held at Raday castle in Pecel. I was able to tell the media of HRH’s pleasure that this area of bilateral cooperation is still evolving successfully since his visit. The way we build and conserve our building stock and built heritage are critical elements of the requirement to address the global energy and climate challenge. So there’s no doubt about the importance of this work.