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Croatia

In 2016 Graham Bell presented the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award to the Mayor of Karlovac in Croatia for the project ‘Star in School’. Karlovac is unusual in having been created from scratch in 1579 as a 6-pointed, star-shaped walled fortress defence against Ottoman incursions. The city celebrates its birthday every year on 13 July, which is when the award was presented before a distinguished audience of civic dignitaries and national leaders. The project is a European model of how to inter-relate a range of school subjects for all ages to the understanding of distinctiveness of a familiar place: geometry, mathematics, history, ecology and art. The outline and some of the walls and defences of the 1579 city survive but the old town contained within, whilst full of historic character, is scarred by pockmarks of grenade and gunfire of the Croatian War of Independence (1991–1995) and needs support and investment.

Graham is pictured presenting the award to the Mayor of Karlovac, Mr. Damir Jelić, assisted by Mr. Branko Baričević, Head of the European Commission Representation in Croatia.