The Ambulance for Monuments
The Ambulance for Monuments was born of a very simple idea: a lorry, furnished with the appropriate tools, roaming the Romanian countryside, calling on the aid of local people to repair beautiful historic buildings.
In its first two years it had the most remarkable success, inspiring communities to carry out emergency works on endangered monuments at a fraction of the usual cost.
Since it was set up in 2016, it had the most remarkable success, inspiring communities to carry out emergency works on endangered monuments at a fraction of the usual cost due to the substantial support of Profi Rom Food and Dedeman, the main partners on the project.
The Anglo-Romanian Trust for Traditional Architecture (ARTTA) and its sister organisation Monumentum, encourage and support a workforce of passionate volunteers and local people to preserve Romania’s built heritage, whilst gathering funds and raw materials from local institutions and monument owners.
This programme has forged a new and dynamic community throughout Romania that continues to grow exponentially with each passing intervention. This community remains in constant contact through social media, calling attention to historic buildings in varying states of disrepair and planning exciting projects for the future.
Those who take part benefit first-hand from the guidance and knowledge of expert craftsmen, developing a broad range of practical skills, which include joinery, roofing, stonemasonry, lime plastering and pointing.
The goal of the Ambulance programme is to inspire a fledgling generation of architects and craftsmen to take up responsibility for the fate of Romania’s historic buildings, and have the wherewithal to be able to achieve this.
In light of the fact that 50% of architectural intervention costs are covered by local people and businesses, mayors and institutions, Monumentum and The Prince’s Foundation strives to raise funds for only the craftsmen, equipment and infrastructure that allows the volunteers and The Ambulance to function and achieve so much for such comparatively little financial input.
In 2020, 15 interventions on listed heritage buildings (out of 49 in total) were carried out. Seven heritage NGO’s are currently running the project in different parts of Romania, four of them were established in 2020. In 2020, The Ambulance for Monuments was awarded the Public Choice Award as part of the prestigious Europa Nostra prize.