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





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.  
Best  Regards  

Dear  friends,  
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  
ExecuOve  President  
European  Historic  Houses  AssociaOon  


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  

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

“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  
intrepid  researchers.  
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

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