Since the dawn of civilization, ornamental stone has been used to shelter humans, shape our environment and build a common identity. When responsibly quarried and processed, stone is not only one of the most sustainable construction materials; it beautifies our surroundings and feeds the human spirit. Stone has, for that reason, always been sought after by builders, planners and architects.
Most of us recognize that when we allow buildings to crumble – especially stone buildings that have stood for generations – we lose fragments of our common shared experience. Hence, EuroLithos is dedicated to helping society recognize that stone heritage can serve as “social glue.” But it is more than this. The Earth’s built heritage can be linked to local abandoned quarries, many which have become rural attractions (beauty, history), wildlife habitats, as well as sites of interest to experts.
Another critical element of stone heritage is the intangible cultural heritage that is represented by communities of traditional stonemasons and stone artisans across Europe. In 2003, UNESCO ratified a convention for “Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage”. It has been argued that intangible heritage, directly and indirectly, affects emotions and health. EuroLithos participants agree that we must safeguard traditional crafts, including those that use stone.
Go to Eurolithos.org for case studies that demonstrate the importance of ornamental stone heritage.
Sage Journals: Safeguarding intangible heritage and mental healthcare.