Newsletter Mars 2013 .pdf
Nom original: Newsletter Mars 2013.pdfTitre: Copy of Newsletter exemple Mars 2012.pptAuteur: Martin de Maupeou
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European Historic Houses
- NEWSLETTER n°4
March 2013 -
also conBnue to monitor the implementaBon of the
DirecBve on the Energy Performance of Buildings (EPBD) in
all the Member States.
We will obviously pursue this year one of our main
objecBves which is to be involved in the issue of the ﬁght
against the illicit traﬃcking of cultural goods.
The many acBons undertaken by European Historic Houses
follow the wish list and the interests of owners of historic
houses even more eﬀecBvely and conBnue to protect our
European heritage, real source of wealth. It is in this spirit
that we will discuss the upcoming conference "Developing
new business models to meet the challenges of the 21st
century”, during the General Assembly which will be held in
Brussels on 27 September 2013. This year, we will innovate
by inviBng young people at the conference. It was actually
decided at the last conference in Estonia that a young
governor could be appointed in each naBonal associaBon in
order to ensure across informaBon among the generaBons.
While you're expecBng to know what will be going on
during the next conference, I let you discover Mr. Wasseige
and I would like to thank him for his remarkable arBcle in a
real advocacy for Heritage memory.
It is our ﬁrst newsle3er since the
European Historic Houses’ annual General Assembly,
held in Estonia in last September. This meeBng was an
opportunity to bring governors RepresenBng member
associaBons of European Historic Houses together and
to increase the visibility (the voice) of historic houses
AssociaBon in Europe.
A round table of the diﬀerent naBonal associaBons
made it possible to evoke the main acBons of each
member country and legislaBve developments,
especially on the tax regimes and VAT rates. We are
indeed concerned about our member states’ ﬁscal
situaBon that is why we answered the European
Commission’s consultaBon on a reduced VAT related to
energy eﬃciency measures. We made the point of the
reduced VAT rate for renovaBon and maintenance
building which is sBll a priority for us in 2013. (Only 6
European members has a reduced rate).
During our meeBng with the ExecuBve Commi3ee of
European Historic Houses, it was agreed that a
common posiBon with other organizaBons vis-‐à-‐vis the
European DirecBve on environmental impact
assessment is necessary. This is why, as early as the
last month, we draXed a common proposal with real
estate organizaBons as EPF (the European Property
FederaBon) and ELO (European Landowners
OrganizaBon) and we conBnue to meet the Members
of Parliament to defend our posiBons and interests for
the owners, in a plead to avoid more bureaucracy.
Rodolphe de Looz-‐Corswarem
European Historic Houses AssociaOon
Our GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN
Finally, while we were involved last year in Energy
Eﬃciency DirecBve, we asked our members to remain
vigilant on this issue and to keep us inform about the
implementaBon of this direcBve in their country. We
Conference and post-‐tour with visits
in the Province of Namur
26 –29 September 2013
SAVE THE DATES
Annual General Assembly of the Belgian Historic Houses – Château de Grand Bigard ( Belgium), 13 April 2013
European Heritage Congress 2013 on the occasion of EUROPA NOSTRA’s 50th Anniversary
Athens, 13-‐17June 2013
European Culture Forum organised by the European Commission
Brussels, 4-‐6 November 2013
European Historic Houses
LEST WE FORGET…
“Learn from the past, prepare for the future, live in the present.”
Thomas S. Monson
For several decades, the western world, our “old Europe” in parOcular, is becoming increasingly interested in heritage,
evidenced by the crowds queuing in front of historic buildings during European Heritage Days. But what do we actually
know about this heritage? What importance do we really a]ach to it?
At the last European Historic Houses annual meeOng, we were told about the diﬃcult situaOon concerning Estonian
manor houses, whose owners struggle to restore them, someOmes without any archives nor appropriate materials. In
Belgium, we are lucky enough not to have been subjected to the Soviet regime. If more than 350 Belgian castles have
been destroyed during the 20th century (two World Wars, ﬁres and other disasters… willful destrucOons because it
costs too much to maintain them), our heritage is generally in a good state.
However, only a few serious studies have been published about Belgian castles, even though at least 2000 of them sOll
exist in Belgium. What about the others? Some owners know very li]le about the history of their property! Buildings
erected aeer 1870 are considered only for 5 or 10 years. And this only concerns châteaux, without speaking of other
houses, churches, chapels, industrial heritage sites, etc. It is essenOal to publish serious historic and architectural
studies about all monuments, those that are listed, but also those that were damaged, otherwise, all knowledge of
their history will be lost. In many cases, archives exist, but they lay neglected for years in dusty drawers, waiOng for
On the other hand, our “heritage” doesn’t only mean castles, manors and houses. Who has not seen, at the family
home, old photos of ancestors about whom one knows nothing but the ChrisOan name? The term “heritage” means
“anything that is passed down over many years within a family”. The same thing can be said of certain associaOons (we
think of those that are concerned with study and promoOon of heritage buildings) that, aeer 50 years of their
existence, no longer know very much about their own history. This is a paradox and a contradicOon.
It is therefore very important, on the one hand, to take care of our family history and of our relaOonships (let’s start
with them), and on the other hand, to study, protect, preserve and promote our historic heritage in the largest sense,
above all with future generaOons in mind. Otherwise, our children and grandchildren will not know about their roots
and will lose their idenOty. The castles and other monuments will become mere beauOful buildings from the past
without any parOcular signiﬁcance.
These days everyone leads busy lives. Yes, the planet is turning faster and faster. Anyone having an e-‐mail address is
overwhelmed with tons of informaOon. For some people fame and fortune are prioriOes. But, in the end, what is the
point of having access to so much informaOon if we don’t have Ome to ﬁle or to read it? What is the point of running
aeer honors and money if we neglect our heritage, that is to say, our cultural idenOty? On the other hand, what are we
in comparison with our (someOmes very) long family history, but a single link? A link has to be securely connected to
the next one, otherwise the chain will be broken. What are we in comparison with our western heritage that dates
from 1000 AD if not earlier? SomeOmes, unawares, we are its humble trustees. We should also be the happy
recipients, the wise curators, the joyful promoters and the passionate “legatees” of our heritage.
Restoring and maintaining historic houses is expensive. But will we not be the poorer if we lose our heritage, which is
also our history and idenOty?
François-‐Emmanuel de Wasseige
Editor of Demeures Historiques & Jardins (Belgique)
PhD candidate in History and Archeology, U.C.L.
The European Historic Houses is a European associaBon, based in Brussels, voicing the interests of historic houses owners. Its work is aimed towards
major issues linked to cultural heritage such as environmental issues (PPP DirecBve), ﬁscal issues (reduced VAT on restoraBon and maintenance work to
historic monuments), the Energy Performance of Buildings DirecBve (EPBD) and security issues (theX, keeping and illicit traﬃcking of cultural goods). The
AssociaBon brings together 20 naBonal associaBons from 18 European countries and represents more than 50,000 historic houses in Europe.
The European Historic Houses Association
67 rue de Trèves B – 1040 Brussels
Tel +32 (0)2 235 20 01 Fax +32 (0)2 234 30 09