A panel of independent experts of the European Commission has recommended nine sites for inclusion on the European Heritage Label list, including the Neanderthal Museum and the nearby Husnjakovo archaeological site in Krapina.

The European Heritage Label is an initiative aimed at raising public awareness of the importance of heritage sites in the history, culture and development of Europe and bringing Europe closer to its citizens.

The label is awarded every two years and each EU member state can propose two sites, of which the panel selects one.

The Croatian Ministry of Culture this year nominated two Croatian sites: the Neanderthal Museum in Krapina and the Industrial Heritage Centre in Rijeka.

"This is indeed a great recognition for our Museum and the Neanderthal Prehistoric Site and we are truly proud of our heritage. We look forward to further activities because all our hard work over the past months to prepare this demanding application for the European Heritage Label has paid off multifold," the museum's custodian Vlasta Krklec said on the museum's website.

The other sites selected are: the Olomouc Premyslid Castle and Archdiocesan Museum in the Czech Republic, the Sagres Promontory in Portugal, the Imperial Palace in Vienna, the Historic Ensemble of the University of Tartu in Estonia, the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, the Mundaneum in Belgium, World War I Eastern Front Cemetery No. 123 in Poland and the European District of Strasbourg.

The European Commission will formally designate the sites in February 2016 and an award ceremony will be held in April 2016 in Brussels.

Krapina is located about 50 kilometres north of Zagreb.

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