Saving the World’s Last Medieval Kingdom
Private Screening of Dracula Untold Sponsored by NBCUniversal to Raise Funds for
Global Heritage Fund’s Preservation Project in Transylvania
October 27, 2014, London, United Kingdom – The film may be fictional, but just in time for Halloween, NBC Universal and Global Heritage Fund U.K. are planning to break new ground with the new Hollywood release, Dracula Untold. The exclusive screening will be held at NBCUniversal’s private Screening Rooms in London on October 30, 2014. All proceeds will go towards support of the Carpathian Villages Preservation Project in the heart of Transylvania, Romania, a collection of medieval villages nestled in the Carpathian Mountains which have remained virtually unchanged for hundreds of years.
The private screening will offer a glimpse into real-life behind the scenes, where the story of existential challenge is still very relevant theme in the heart of Dracula County. The nearly 200 villages and their patterns of settlement, which date from the 12th century, are among the last vestiges of European medieval planning. A unique and diverse cultural mosaic of Romanian, Saxon, and Gypsy heritage, the villages portray a unique balance of human interaction with the natural environment. However, uncontrolled modern developments, lack of investment, and a loss of traditional skills are threatening the historic landscape.
GHF UK has commenced work in Romania alongside its two key partners, the Anglo-Romanian Trust for Traditional Architecture (ARTTA) and Asociata Monumentum. Together they have taken significant steps to protect these villages for the future. Known as the Carpathian Villages Preservation Project, the project entails full documentation of the villages by creating photographic records, repairing historic buildings using traditional building techniques and working with local authorities to create legislation that ensure the protection of the villages from modern threats. GHF UK also works closely with the local community, providing training programmes to revive and develop traditional skills by connecting skilled craftsmen with the young generations.
GHF UK’s Managing Director, Catherine Giangrande said, “The first thing people think of when they hear Transylvania is Dracula. We’re hoping to show the world that Transylvania has a rich history to offer, and that this history is in danger of disappearing forever”. GHF UK and its Romanian partner, Asociata Monumentum, held a special conference in Sibiu County Council Hall on September 12, 2014 to announce the launch of a new loan programme granted by Banca Comercială Română (BCR), the largest bank in Romania. The loan programme was awarded to help promote the restoration of traditional houses in Transylvania and throughout Romania. Also in attendance was the Emmy award winning news team of Romania’s largest private television channel, PROTV, which has been airing a national broadcast campaign entitled Salveaza Romania Frumoasa (Save Beautiful Romania!), highlighting the need preserve heritage for the future.
Additional events in support of the project include the upcoming solo exhibition, Illustrating Fragility, by award-winning illustrator, George Butler who was commissioned to Transylvania to document rural life and community in the Carpathian Villages. The artist spent two seasons living among the local community to capture the endangered, historic livelihoods that often escape the media eye. The evocative medium used by Butler hints at a very delicate practice, not commonly used today, yet it is an art that is naturally suited and historically connected to the documentation of tradition and culture. The exhibition will be open to the public from October 28th through November 8, 2014, at the Romanian Cultural Institute (1 Belgrave Square, London). All art works will be for sale.
In addition, in the spring of 2015, Original Travel and GHF UK will be launching a special cycling tour across the Transylvanian countryside to raise additional funds to continue the public awareness campaign of the Carpathian Villages Preservation Project as well as to support community development projects in the village of Daia. Both parties are currently outlining details of the trip and the information will be available in the near future. Individuals interested in joining the cycling tour are requested to contact GHF UK. Romania is considered among travel experts as one of the hottest destinations for 2015. According to general manager at Evergreen Tours, Mr. Angus Crichton, “The natural beauty of the country and the warm and hospitable people help to make Romania one of the best kept secrets in Europe.”
About Global Heritage Fund UK
Global Heritage Fund UK’s mission is to preserve and protect humankind’s most important archaeological and cultural heritage sites in developing countries. The aim is for sites to become economic generators for the people who live around them and simultaneously become sustainable.
Through forming new alliances, establishing partnerships and building a network of conservation and development leaders, Global Heritage Fund UK is providing this project with new ideas, resources and supporters that will exponentially benefit these sites and build momentum for our global campaign to save vanishing heritage sites in developing regions.
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