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The shocking fire that destroyed a significant part of the Notre-Dame cathedral last week in Paris, France, has sparked an outpouring of emotions and debates about cultural heritage around the world, and especially in Europe. French President Emmanuel Macron has since announced his wish to create a “cooperation mechanism” involving European Union Member States to improve the protection of “European heritage.”

For our second session of Trinity Term, we will consider the historical, political, societal and economic implications of the very notion of European cultural heritage. Is there a European collective memory, and what is it made up of? What would you expect to see in the House of European History in Brussels, Belgium? What is Europe’s shared cultural responsibility, especially regarding Europe’s colonial history and the question of artwork repatriation? What can the EU do in terms of cultural policy? Is cultural heritage a national matter? And how do we feel about spending to preserve versus spending for the future?

In preparation of our discussion, here are some useful readings:

? GEG | “Notre Dame is a warning to Europe: don’t take what you value for granted” (The Guardian, Apr. 2019)

? “France calls for EU to pool resources to protect ‘European heritage’” (Politico, Apr. 2019)

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Come debate with us in St John's College, Oxford (Larkin Room in Tom White Quad) on Wednesday 8th May, from 7 to 8 pm.

?? Free refreshments will be provided.

The one-hour session will be followed by an informal discussion in the college's bar, next door.

No debate experience or political background is necessary. We value diversity of perspectives and opinions.