Tampere, Finland. Inclusive cultural heritage for and with the people!
Adopt a Monument is a grassroots project that consists of maintenance and preservation of archaeological sites and historical buildings by groups of volunteers (adopters). It encourages citizens to ‘adopt’ monuments of cultural and historical significance in their environment, to care for them and return them to use.
While the adopters do not own the site, they do take on the role of managers in taking responsibility for its upkeep and monitoring its condition. As caretakers of these monuments, they also contribute to raising awareness in the local communities about their heritage by researching the history of the site and holding events there. As the monuments have often been left vacant for years, this initiative helps to restore their visibility within their communities and greatly enhances their value.
Adopters can be a community, an association, a company or a public entity, such as a school. No earlier experience is required, nor special skills or knowledge. A great many of the Adopt a Monument volunteers commit to long-term management of a single site. Others prefer to work for shorter periods of time – to contribute, for example, to the restoration of a building during a pop-up workshop.