Laurajane Smith is awarded the European Archaeological Heritage Prize 2021 in the individual category on the following grounds:

Critical Heritage Studies is a very important field of interest that promotes the idea of heritage as a relational, social and substantially political phenomenon. Laurajane Smith has played a pioneering role in Critical Heritage Studies and made innovative and fundamental contributions to research in this field, turning her interest to heritage as a performative practice. This has led us to go beyond simple questions related to the conservation and management of heritage and instead to question its use, and sometimes abuse, by segments of society, and its re-formulation in order to claim new meanings for the past and to propose new visions for the future. Through the exercise of hegemony over heritage (what Laurajane Smith labelled the ‘Authorised Heritage Discourse’), social groups and entire communities are being discriminated against, marginalized and even excluded from the official recognition of heritage. More recently, Laurajane Smith has investigated the role of emotions in the approach to heritage, and she has worked with indigenous, female and Afro-Caribbean communities as well as industrial and working-class heritage. In addition to her research activity, Laurajane Smith has also played a fundamental role in creating a new network of scholars and activists in the field of heritage, founding the Association of Critical Heritage Studies to which she has brought her commitment and her undisputed leadership and going on to edit the high-profile International Journal of Heritage Studies. For having created the foundations for a new approach to research and dissemination of cultural heritage, for her fundamental and lasting contribution to the development of Critical Heritage Studies, and for having founded the Association of Critical Heritage Studies, Laurajane Smith is awarded the 2021 individual European Heritage Prize of the European Association of Archaeologists.

Citizens’ Committee of Ierapetra is awarded the European Archaeological Heritage Prize 2021 in the institutional category on the following grounds:

The construction of wind power facilities can have a devastating impact on the archaeological landscape. In seeking to prevent the destruction of sites and monuments, joint action is required by those institutions that have the task of protecting the cultural heritage and by those citizens who care about the protection of the place where they live and who recognise its historical complexity and cultural wealth. The island of Crete, as well as being the place that gave rise to the myth of a Europe that unites different cultures and experiences, is also a region rich in important archaeological evidence. The Citizens’ Committee of the city of Ierapetra, located on the south-eastern coast of the island, has a long history of conserving its cultural and natural heritage. Over the last few years, the Committee has engaged in a difficult fight against the destruction of a historic landscape which includes a large archaeological area. This popular campaign to save the historical evidence present in the local landscape has mobilised a sense of community, the direct participation of citizens and the commitment of local and foreign experts, and has led to the organization of public meetings, conferences, seminars, workshops and excursions in the affected landscape. This was all done on a voluntary basis and without any external funding. The Committee has demonstrated what it means to be a “resilient community” in a country that has been devastated by economic crisis, the collapse of tourism and the pressure of major economic interests. It is for having demonstrated the real value of active civic participation in safeguarding their own cultural and natural heritage, that the Citizens’ Committee of Ierapetra is awarded the 2021 institutional European Heritage Prize of the European Association of Archaeologists.

SITAR project is awarded the European Archaeological Heritage Prize 2021 in the institutional category on the following grounds:

The city of Rome is an enormous open-air museum, in which the monuments that bear witness to the splendour of its Roman, Renaissance and modern culture coexist in a complex, and often conflictual, relationship with today’s city. The protection, management and dissemination of data concerning the heritage of this enormous urban and suburban archaeological reality, are fundamental to guaranteeing the successful coexistence of the ancient with the contemporary; this task presupposes that this deep scientific knowledge is made accessible not only to a specialized public but also to ordinary citizens and to all other stakeholders. SITAR (Rome Archaeological Geographical Information System) is a public and open archaeology project promoted and led by the Special Superintendency for the Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of Rome. It consists of a shared digital archive, a management system for the enormous quantity of data derived from archaeological research conducted in the territory of Rome, and it guarantees the availability, visibility and dissemination of the data, so it can be used in an informed way. SITAR is a "meeting and mediation point" between Government, citizens and other users aimed at raising awareness of the cultural importance and social value of the urban and suburban landscapes of the city of Rome. These can be made usable and habitable only through a shared vision about the opportunities for social development while also considering the risks to their preservation. For its work in democratizing Rome’s cultural heritage through policies of sharing and social participation, to ensure that the archaeological heritage is perceived as a living element of the urban landscape and not as an obstacle to development, the 2021 institutional European Heritage Prize of the European Association of Archaeologists is awarded to the SITAR project.

Honorary mention in the institutional category is made to the West Dunbartonshire Council.