The Heritage Foundation endows the 100 places chosen for 2022

At the end of the year, the Mission for the Safeguarding of Heritage in Danger has just revealed the amount of aid granted to each of the 100 sites selected in 2022 to benefit from its support. Led by the Heritage Foundation, supported by the Ministry of Culture and the Française des jeux (FDJ), the Mission – whose emblematic figure is Stéphane Bern since its creation in 2017 – supplements public aid, or self-financing, with a ceiling of €300,000 per project.

After having already allocated 8.1 million euros to 18 emblematic sites for the regions during the European Heritage Days last September, the Foundation will grant overall aid of 20.1 million euros to the 100 departmental sites selected , both in mainland France and overseas, with 760 new projects reported to it in 2022. It should be noted that the protected historical monuments listed in this selection also benefit from subsidies from the Ministry of Culture.

Carmel, synagogue or brickyard…

The winners are as diverse in period, architecture and function as the old Carmel of Saint-Flour in Cantal, the fort of Feyzin in the Rhône, the hop dryer of Bèze in Côte d’Or, the former synagogue of Foussemagne in the Territory of Belfort, the Rondé-Oustau brickyard in Muret in Haute-Garonne, the Saint-Cyr villa in Fort-de-France in Martinique, the John-Fitzgerald-Kennedy hall in Sarcelles in the Val-d ‘Oise, or Jean Giono’s house in Manosque in the Alpes de Haute-Provence…

“All have in common to be real nuggets, often unknown outside their region, emphasizes Célia Vérot, General Manager of the Heritage Foundation. See, for example, the abbey church of Saint-Savin in the Hautes-Pyrénées: not far from Lourdes, in an admirable natural setting, these are the remains of a remarkable and very original Romanesque ensemble. The town – less than 500 inhabitants – mobilized, under the leadership of its mayor who went to school next to the church which he now wants to save…”

The human behind the stones

This “human dimension” projects is taken into account in the Mission’s choices. “This is the case for the castle of Bouillancourt-en-Séry in the Somme, says Julie Burgmeier, Projects Director at the Foundation. Led by private owners, this ambitious project includes, alongside the restoration work, the setting up of a permaculture activity, a cultural program and the installation of guest rooms. The management will be ensured in particular by a professional integration association. »

With a very different aesthetic, the John-Fitzgerald-Kennedy hall in Sarcelles was erected in the middle of a park, at the same time as the HLM bars in the Paris suburbs. It bears witness today to a concrete utopia which has not borne the expected fruits. “The prospect of an urban agriculture activity, proving that it is possible to live well in the city, is part of the plan for renovating the premises”insists Julie Burgmeier.

A tense economic context

In a context of inflation and rising commodity prices “which leads on average to a 10% increase in financing needs”, notes Célia Vérot, the Foundation’s support seems more necessary than ever. Its principle: “Based on the requests received from project leaders, we are of course looking for fairness. Our allocation, therefore capped at €300,000 per file, is intended to allow the launch of the first stages of work”, explains the general manager. In addition, the Foundation helps to find additional funding, to enter into contact with patrons, networks, etc.

Despite the health and economic crises and the war in Ukraine, heritage remains a cause “dear to the French”assures Célia Vérot who, however, does not hide “Special vigilance. Donations from individuals and companies are affected by the gloomy situation, even if they reach approximately the amount of the previous year in 2022. » The Executive Director specifies that a total of 4,000 projects are supported by the Foundation. Since 2018, all the resources mobilized by the Heritage Mission have amounted to nearly 230 million euros. As for the call for applications for the Loto du patrimoine 2023, it is still in progress until February 28, 2023…


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