Evoking the cathedral of Chartres, this is how Marcel Proust expressed himself on August 16, 1904 in a letter to Aristide Briand: Probably the highest and most original expression of French genius. To take away their sacred function would be to betray them and turn France into a dried-up strike in which these giant shells would seem as if stranded, emptied of the life that inhabited them». This is to say that heritage is a living matter, a territory inhabited, inhabited by the passage of centuries, also inhabited by the questions and practices of our time, inhabited here by the flamboyant and powerful blue of the stained glass windows.

I wanted to be in Chartres today, in front of this jewel of our heritage
inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1979 to honour
major restoration projects in this region, of which
likes to say that it is the «garden of France» and everyone here knows
the wealth, quality and international reach of heritage.

Exemplary project in so far as it has received strong support
State, through the Project Contract State-Region but also the
Ministry of Culture and Communication commitments – to
EUR 5 million for the first two phases of construction -
European Funds, local and regional authorities, but also, I want to
regular corporate philanthropy. I would like to pay tribute to
Friends of the Cathedral of Chartres, in Chartres, shrine of the world, at the
GDF-Suez Foundation, at the Fondation du Crédit agricole pays de France:
without their precious help, without their support, the great ship of stone
could not arouse the admiration of millions of visitors and pilgrims.

This is also an exemplary project in that, after the restoration of the
finished in 2003, after that of the façade and rose, the
restoration of the choir and the first bays gives to see and
observe to all the visitors what produced the hand of men and
companions, with important discoveries for historians and
architects of the medieval period, such as roses painted in trompe l'oeil
the entrance to the nave.

The "Plan cathedrals" in the Central region are 5 cathedrals – Bourges,
Chartres, Tours, Blois, Orléans is a target of 36 million euros on
6 years, an average of 6 million euros per year, instead of 3
previously. Behind these sites are women and men,
there are catering companies, there is an economic fabric. Because
let’s not forget, investing in heritage means not only transmitting
a heritage, a landscape, it is also to strengthen the tourist attractiveness and
to develop cultural employment. Benefiting from the
2009 and 2010, 44 state cathedrals benefited from maintenance works
and restoration – out of a total of 87 state-owned cathedrals.
Cathedral bells of Rouen, cathedrals transepts
of Amiens and Beauvais, tower and bell tower of the cathedral of Nevers,
stained glass windows in the cathedrals of Poitiers and La Rochelle, these
draw a vast continent of stones and tell the immensity of the task.

Religious heritage represents 30% of protected monuments
and 48% of the appropriations reserved for historical monuments were
dedicated. Committed by Alexandre Lenoir to vandalism
revolutionary, continued by the inspections of Prosper
across France and with the creation of the General Inventory in 1964 –
to which we must associate the name of the great art historian André
Chastel, the heritage policy is the custodian of a long filiation,
closely associated with the history of the State. It is also, one should not
the reflection of the “Mosaic France”, it is the expression of the
diversity of today’s French society. I would like to say how important
that my ministry attaches to the diversity of religious heritage,
diversity, which is the very foundation of a well-understood secularism, a secularism
of intelligence” and not a “secularity of indifference” to resume the
distinction made by Régis Debray.

Thus, the Protestant churches of Saint Peter the Young and Saint Aurelia in
Have they received subsidies from my Ministry to the extent that
40% in 2011; the synagogues of Mulhouse and Bordeaux
receive subsidies to restore the buildings; thus the
did it receive 1.42 million grants?
to restore these spaces. It is necessary to say and recall
that religious heritage is not protected as monuments
for its religious character but for its historical interest,
artistic, architectural or technical. According to the
heritage, all religious heritage regardless of its origin – churches,
cathedrals, mosques, synagogues and Buddhist temples, etc. – may
to be protected under historic monuments.

Restoring the heritage of religious buildings is therefore not
simply give the faithful of all faiths the conditions
expression of their faith, it is also to preserve the imprint of history and
time is to bring the collective and the intimate together, in other words
building the conditions for a common heritage, a heritage
better shared.

But there is no living heritage without a shared and widespread use;

Some monuments of cultural origin are assigned
This is the way in which the convent
in Paris, owned by the diocesan association, was
completely restored between 2004 and 2008 (amount of work: 16.64
million) with State aid (40% subsidy) for the
turn into a cultural center. Similarly, the Abbey of Fontevraud in Paysde-
la-Loire, property of the State, is the subject of an agreement with the council
which ensures its development, promotion and animation
Each year, the State continues to carry out the

The question of the use of buildings arises particularly in zones
where, in many cases, churches are safeguarded with the support
associations and volunteers. They are a memorial, a
marker of the identity of the commune, beyond their religious use
sometimes become very punctual. Sometimes insufficient maintenance, the
regrouping parishes can make very precarious conservation
buildings in rural areas while many of them, beyond
architectural interest conceals artistic treasures. I have made my
services to this dimension and I wished that special attention to
these forgotten chapels, these temples of the “desert” that tell the story
as much as they shape the landscape but also the toponymy. I think
country of bocage, with gaps, to mountain hamlets. In this respect, for
the preservation of rural heritage, I want to salute the resolute action,
the State, the Heritage Foundation, the association Sauvegarde
of the Observatory of Religious Heritage. Translation of
this attention, I will announce in the coming days the news
composition of the Cultural Heritage Commission, which
the commitment of Dominique Ponnau and Bruno Foucart
watch, research and proposal is no longer to be demonstrated. I decided
to entrust the presidency to the director of the National School of Charters,
specialist in 19th-century religious architecture, Mr Jean-
Michel Leniaud, Vice President to Mgr Joseph Doré, former
archbishop of Strasbourg.

The monument is in fact part of a sometimes secular heritage, it
is also part of a landscape. It would be excessive to talk about disappearance
the very concept of a "historic monument" as enshrined in the Code of
Heritage and cardinale in our protection and
Territorial Architectural and Heritage Services
(STAP) are often the first point of entry for citizens, elected officials
to heritage legislation, that they experience it as a
constraints or expectations, conversely, support and protection.
both cases their action is decisive, in the first to explain
and make the rule accepted, helping to shape the look and feel
sensitivity of your interlocutor to heritage issues, in the
second, so as not to disappoint the expectations of the public who expect your support and
that of the State to preserve a singular living environment or a landscape
particular. Faced with the demagogy of certain actors, they must be the

The concept of “historic monument”, as we all understand it, is part of a
broader and broader context: that of saved sectors – created
at the initiative of André Malraux in 1962, whose 50th anniversary we are celebrating this year
anniversary - that of the Areas of valorization of the architecture and
heritage (AVAP), that of the countries of art and history, label awarded by my
Ministry to promote the action of cities and countries in favour of
architecture and heritage. A monument is never isolated, it is
inscribed in a landscape, in an urban fabric, in a
sensitive” as historian Alain Corbin says when he talks about bells.

Urban sprawl, gaps and fillings in urban space, entrances
the challenge of wind equipment – which culminates in more than
100 metres high – in protected areas, especially in relation to
of our international commitments to UNESCO
our heritage and landscape policy in the 21st century. If I consider
necessary a cultural approach to the landscape as a heritage, as
as the crucible of civilization to be transmitted, I am not
institutionally, as you know, the minister in charge of landscapes. And
yet I am perceived as such and I consider to have in this field, if
this is a real responsibility, at least my word to say. On the
wind turbines, whose authorizations are not under my jurisdiction, I
considers that I have a clear message to deliver on
preservation of landscape quality. I have expressed myself in this sense
in front of the prefects gathered a few weeks ago and on the occasion of a
recent Council of Ministers. I hope that the concept of area of influence
developed by UNESCO, be integrated into our reflection on
the establishment of wind farms or other major equipment,
in particular in the context of referral to the Regional
landscapes and sites (CRPS).

In conclusion, I would like to recall and emphasize the effort that has been made by
the government in the field of historical monuments. In total the
funds for the restoration of historic monuments have passed
from €294 million (2007 Initial Finance Law) to €370 million
(Initial Finance Law 2012), an increase of 25%, in
consistency with the commitment of the President of the Republic to
4 billion over 10 years.

I would also like to point out that about 15% of our budgets
services are dedicated to the maintenance of the monuments
In other words, prevention rather than safeguarding.

This is one of the key issues on which our knowledge and
expertise, particularly in research laboratories (LRMH de
Champs sur Marne) and training schools (INP, Ecole du Louvre)
are large and internationally recognized. Countries whose
was devastated by wars and natural disasters, as
Haiti or Italy (L'Aquila earthquake), found in
our country’s heritage experts and attentive partners.

Conserving and restoring heritage is also rediscovering it, it is also
arouse curiosity, the desire to see, to know, to understand. It is this
which led me to choose for the next edition of the Days
which brings together more than
million visitors, the theme of Hidden Heritage, buried treasures and
hidden from view, catacombs, cellars, bell towers and paths of rounds
close to the sky, collections of rare objects, blockhouses and caches of the
Resistance, in this department of which Jean Moulin was the prefect. Reveal
a sunken heritage is not only an attractive task for
young aviators and for excavators, it is also often a means
help to adequately address development issues in
rural space but also in urban space. Preserving and enhancing the
heritage means sometimes fighting against the use, that is to say the passage of the
life, wear of time, the very risk of existence. Use of which Ludovic
Vitet, Mérimée’s correspondent said in 1867 that it is a kind of
slow, insensitive, unnoticed vandalism that ruins and deteriorates as much as a
brutal devastation.”

I am convinced that heritage is a tool for the development of our
territories, it is an asset for their attractiveness and their influence, it allows
to “build society” by connecting the past to the future, thus avoiding
“permanent presence” of which François Hartog tells us that he is undermining our
society and our ability to make society, to live together. That’s why
that I would like to pay tribute to the actors
committed to heritage, heritage businesses, institutions
invested in this huge shipyard, here in Chartres, where there are more than seven
centuries of builders undertook to build this book of stones that we
was left to us to pass on. Thank you.