UNESCO formulates the importance of the cultural heritage as follows:
„In today’s interconnected world, culture’s power to transform societies is clear. Its diverse manifestations – from our cherished historic monuments and museums to traditional practices and contemporary art forms – enrich our everyday lives in countless ways. Heritage constitutes a source of identity and cohesion for communities disrupted by bewildering change and economic instability.”
This places the preservation of cultural heritage on a par with projects such as the fight against poverty, the maintenance of peace and the creation of global equal opportunities. But in meeting these challenges to humanity, public organisations are dependent on the support of private initiatives. In particular, the comprehensive preservation of historical monuments as focal points of regional identity is a challenge exceeding the means of public organisations. Historical monuments and socially defining architectural focal points around the world have been abandoned to decay. And that which has been removed from the architectural memory also leaves a trace of historical oblivion in the minds of the people.
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With high scientific effort, with tireless patience and, last but not least, with considerable financial expenditure, The European Heritage Project wants to return these monuments to their former glory:
Because castles, palaces, monasteries, estates or historic city ensembles not only reflected the pride of their time and thus stood for the historical self-image of the people connected to them, but were and still are points of identification of the cultural self-positioning of the people living there today.
Granting people access to the “beacons” of their ancestors is not a nostalgic aspect of museal curiosity, but an active contribution to the preservation of historical memory.
Finally, the focus on the European aspect has nothing to do with local arrogance, but is primarily due to the size of the project and the need for regional focus.
Global ideas such as human rights, ethics, democracy, science and research have their origins in the Graeco-Roman school of thought and Christian teaching, ideas which were the subject of intensive discussion in Europe and were later adopted and applied worldwide, even though their historical roots were often forgotten.
It is therefore the European architectural monuments that accompanied these processes and either made them possible at all through their design and function or were created as a result of these processes.
Hence preserving these historic witnesses is also a contribution to the global history of ideas.
Peter Löw is the driving force behind The European Heritage Project. Thanks to his personal dedication, his expertise and, last but not least, his financial commitment, this transnational project was made possible at all.
As a 16-year-old scholar, Peter Löw secured additional income as an assistant to a renowned restorer in Baden-Baden where he learned the craft of historically accurate restoration from scratch.
His mother, who had studied fine arts in Munich, not only encouraged his interest in the political relevance of old things but also fostered his appreciation for their beauty.
Peter Löw later studied law alongside modern and recent history in Freiburg, Berlin and Hamburg, and completed his history studies with a doctorate. He also completed his legal studies in both secular and ecclesiastical law with a doctorate by writing a dissertation on municipal law in Nazi Germany for which he was honoured summa cum laude, as well as composing an exegesis on Pope Celestine III. During his postdoctoral studies he successfully completed an MBA programme at the prestigious graduate business school of INSEAD in France.
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Peter Löw is however one of the few entrepreneurs who does not focus exclusively on entrepreneurship but one who demonstrates competence and expertise in all socially relevant areas, thereby following the historical ideal of active citizenship and the tradition of the deeply committed “Bildungsbürger” or intellectual bourgeois.
Löw is not only a senior officer of the Bundeswehr, but also a teaching professor and a member of the Senate at the Cistercian Abbey Heiligenkreuz. He gained insight into the diplomatic service and international customs as an embassy assessor at the German Embassy in Rome.
From 2005 to 2010, he was a consultant for UNESCO. As an honorary representative, he chaired charitable activities of the Malteser Hilfsdienst for more than 10 years up until 2014. From 2012 he regularly holds interdenominational dialogues in the Monastic Republic of Athos. Between 2002 and 2004 he was largely responsible for the reconstruction of the Apostolic Nunciature in Belgrade and enabled the organisation of the Pope’s visit to Germany in 2011.
The emphasis of his interest lies in an interdisciplinary nexus. In this context, he has published numerous books on various scientific topics and is currently working with an interdenominational working group on a new translation of the Qur’an resulting from his series of lectures at the Cistercian Abbey Heiligenkreuz.
Peter Löw owns one of the most significant art collections on the continent, including artifacts from all cultural epochs. Numerous exhibits enrich public exhibitions all over Europe.
He has proven his affinity to European heritage repeatedly. In addition to his native German, Peter Löw is not only fluent in English, French, Spanish, Italian, and holds the advanced Latin proficiency certificate, but has worked in or owned companies in almost all European countries.
His international social commitment has already been recognised several times. As a devout Catholic and Grand Cross bearer of the Order of St. Sylvester he has close ties to the Vatican.
Löw is married and the father of six children.
Pictured from left: Prof. Dr. Dr. Peter Löw (Chief Curator), Mag. Clara Löw and Remo Letrari (Curators)
Board of Trustees
Curators of the project are responsible for the operational implementation of the respective Heritage projects.
Chief Curator: Peter Löw
Curator: Clara Löw
Curator: Remo Letrari
The Heritage Committee
The task of the Heritage Committee is to assist in the identification and implementation of individual projects and to establish contact with governments and authorities. The work is voluntary and is carried out at joint meetings. Persons occupying prominent positions due to their experience and activity and to whom the preservation of the European Heritage is a matter close to their heart qualify for membership of the Heritage Committee.