SKIVRE project contributes to the “Sharing Heritage” – theme of the “European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018” by developing a training scheme for manufacturing and marketing of high-quality handcrafted products of European monasteries. Monastic heritage represents an important part of European heritage, shared by all European member states mainly in their rural areas. Monasteries served not only the transmission of Christian faith, but were economic hotspots for the exchange of goods and services.
Today, there are different “operational models“ for monasteries: some are still organised and led by their Orders with a focus on ecclesiastical duties. The majority is either profaned or (co)financed by public authorities on regional level. The majority is located in rural areas. In fact, these monasteries are operating like companies: They employ administrative, technical and managing staff, pay taxes and social security contributions. In monasteries operated by public or private operators there is regular staff for maintaining the buildings, opening them for visitors and producing products for selling on the premises. They link cultural heritage to economy.
Monastic products as a source of income
The fabrication of monastic products is an enormous economic chance for many monasteries to gain income for their preservation efforts as well as for creating employment for local actors, specifically in rural areas. They contribute to tourism industry and economic development. The production of monastic products (e.g. handcrafted personal care products (soaps, lotions), textiles, food (bread, marmalade, liquors, beer, wine), religious gadgets) is therefore a mean for income and a contribution for preserving heritage. Without the production of these goods, monasteries could not survive. The knowledge of manufacturing these products is part of the intangible cultural EU heritage.
- improves the level of skills for the development and marketing of monastic products, with particular regard to their relevance for the labour market in rural areas
- generates employment opportunities for citizens in rural areas
- gains experience in European cooperation in product development, design and sales
- gains and exchanges knowledge in establishing monastic products in distribution strategies in (at least) five European markets
- strengthens capacities to produce high quality, innovative and marketable products
- creates innovative forms of practical training schemes in a particular sensitive business
- creates a business environment which accepts the dignity of sacred locations
- unlocks economic potential for authentic products of monasteries in a socially accepted way
- raises awareness of historic arts and crafts for generating new businesses
- uses digital instruments in the training and marketing of monastic products.