Every year, several thousand buildings and movable objects protected under the title of historic monuments (MH) are the subject of studies and works of maintenance, repair, restoration or security. Owners of buildings or movable objects classified or listed as historic monuments may, under certain conditions, benefit from grants for these studies and works.

Presentation of the device

What is a historic monument?

A historical monument is a building (built or not built: building, work of art, garden, public square, ornate cave, archaeological site, etc.) or a movable object (art object, furniture, organ, boat, machine, etc.) receiving a legal status intended to protect it for its own benefit historical, artistic, technical or scientific so that it is preserved, restored and enhanced.

This “historic monument” status is a recognition by the Nation of the heritage significance of a property. This protection implies a shared responsibility between owners and the national community for its conservation and transmission to future generations.

There are two levels of protection for historic monuments: inscription and classification. 

  • Les listed historical monuments are buildings or of the movable objects including protection and conversation are of public interest from a historical or art perspective.
  • Les listed monuments are buildings or of the movable objects who, without justifying a request for classification, are of sufficient interest to make their preservation desirable.

Would you like to know more about the special legal status of historical monuments? Go here:

Do you want to look for a protected property under the title of historical monuments? Consult the open heritage platform (Mérimée base for buildings and Palissy base for movable objects):

Do you want to geolocate a protected property under the title of historical monuments? Consult the Heritage Atlas:

What is aid for the study, maintenance, restoration and safety of historic monuments?

The owners can, under certain conditions, benefit from subsidies granted by the Ministry of Culture: the Ministry of Culture supports the owners of goods classified or registered under the title of historical monuments, responsible for the conservation of their immovable or movable object.

Applications for grants are submitted to/addressed to the decentralised departments of the Ministry of Culture (DRAC/DAC/DCJS) by the contracting authorities responsible for the work envisaged on properties protected under the title of historical monuments.

The decentralized department of the Ministry of Culture assesses the general interest of the operation, the priority of the work and the application of criteria of modulation of the rate to define the eligibility and the amount of the subsidy, taking into account the available appropriations. 

Thus the average subsidy rates are as follows: 

  • 40% on a building classified as a historical monument
  • 20% for a building listed as a historic monument
  • 50 % for a movable object classified as historical monuments
  • 30 % for a movable object registered as a historical monument

The allocation of a subsidy by the State, within the limits of the available appropriations, is a possibility and not a right. 

The decentralized services of the Ministry of Culture, within the framework of scientific and technical control, help the owners, to define the adapted works and advise them on the choice of a project management qualified for listed buildings and organs.

In order to discuss the eligibility of the project and for the proper constitution of the dossier, it is recommended to consult, before the grant application, the decentralized service of the Ministry of Culture (regional conservation of historical monuments) the region in which the historical monument is located.  

The operation must cover the conservation (maintenance, repair, safety) or catering a building or movable object registered or classified as a historic monument.

In accordance with the decree of June 25, 2018 on State subsidies for investment projects, no project can be started before the date of receipt by the decentralized service of the Ministry of Culture of the grant application. The commencement of implementation shall be deemed to be the first legal act passed for the implementation of the project.

Thus, for restoration work, it is advisable to attach the acknowledgement of receipt of the application for authorization of work, or even to file the application for grant concomitantly with the application for authorization of work.

To learn more about the authorization request, go here:

Objectives of the approach

State subsidies for the maintenance, repair, restoration or safety of historic monuments constitute a major lever of preservation of national heritage.

Every year, more than 6,000 transactions are undertaken on more than 3,500 registered or classified buildings. Nearly 1,000 operations are undertaken each year on movable objects, especially organs.

Government grants have a significant leverage effect (1.67 in 2021). The investment they generate enables many highly qualified companies (SMEs and SMEs) to maintain, develop and preserve their know-how and skills.

Private owners of historical monuments (buildings or movable objects) can also benefit from a special tax system.

To learn more about grants and tax schemes, visit here:


Infringements, such as the destruction, degradation or deterioration of a protected building or movable object, are sanctioned by the provisions of the heritage code, the urban planning code and the penal code.

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Examples of projects previously supported

Church of Saint-Yves - Minihy Tréguier (Côtes d'Armor)


Amount of the operation: €1.3 million subsidized up to 50% by the Ministry of Culture under the Incentive and Partnership Fund

The project carried out by the municipality of Minihy Tréguier accompanied by the DRAC Bretagne aims at a complete restoration of the building (facades, bell tower, interiors). Work began in 2020 and is expected to be completed in 2023.

Fort Cigogne - Fouesnant - Finistère


Amount of the operation: €2.9 million subsidized up to 25% by the Ministry of Culture under the Mission Patrimoine en Péril

Led by the town of Fouesnant - Les Glénans the project aims at the complete restoration and enhancement of this fort built in the second part of the eighteenth century. Work began in 2019 and is expected to continue until 2024.

Notre-Dame de l'Assomption Collegiate Church - Crécy la Chapelle (Seine-et-Marne) 


Amount of the operation: €139,800 before tax 50% subsidized by the Ministry of Culture under the Incentive and Partnership Fund

The overall restoration of this 13th century building, which was phased in in five stages, began in 2021 with the renovation of the roof and in 2022 with the restoration of the interior siding.

A question?

The regional conservations of historical monuments in the decentralized departments of the Ministry of Culture are the contacts of the owners of historical monuments to accompany them and advise them in their projects of studies or works.

If you have any questions about the work on historical monuments (buildings, movable objects and organs), you are invited to contact the decentralized service of the Ministry of Culture, which is territorially competent: