Ladies and gentlemen,
I thank Sophie MAKARIOU for welcoming us today at the GUIMET Museum for this press conference on heritage policy. After successfully completing the project of the Department of Islamic Arts at the LOUVRE, here you are, dear Sophie, facing a new challenge: to restore to the GUIMET museum the influence that both the exceptional quality of its collections and the remarkable competence of its staff deserve. I want to express again my confidence and the full support of the Ministry of Culture for your success and that of the museum.
Dear friends, you all have, in one capacity or another, a professional or personal connection to heritage policy. 2013 is a year full of anniversaries for heritage, as we celebrate both the centenary of the 1913 law and the thirtieth anniversary of the European Heritage Days. I will welcome tomorrow morning the many visitors who come to discover the Royal Palace. I have no doubt that this event will be a great success again this year.
This popularity, it is not undeserved, of course, it is the fruit of a heritage that is ours, of the heritage that has bequeathed us ages and centuries, but it is also and above all the fruit of policies that have been carried out in terms of valorization, heritage conservation. This requires us. The Ministry of Culture needs a strong heritage policy. This policy must be defined, the doctrine, so to speak. That is the purpose of this press conference today. We owe this policy to our fellow citizens because heritage is the common good of the national community as a whole.
This is what links the French to each other, this is what links the French to their history.
To their past, but also to their future, and it is up to us to define what we consider worthy, as necessary to transmit to future generations, but also as a trace of our time, of those who preceded us, especially in the 20th century.
We also owe this cultural ambition in terms of heritage to the tens of millions of foreign visitors who come every year to France, who come to discover the riches of our museums and the splendour of our monuments of all styles. But also visitors who, coming to France for other professional reasons, come to meet this exceptional environment. France is a heritage, but a heritage that is not preserved in a nostalgic contemplation of the past, a heritage that is constantly valued according to the most modern techniques and according to the finest, most accomplished and most relevant reflections. We also owe this ambitious policy to the urgent need to continue to make France the leading tourist destination in the world and, as we know, 100% of foreign visitors come for the French heritage. But also, and we too often forget, investments, foreign investors who also make economic establishments in France because they take into account the entire environment of a country.
Our monuments must be maintained and restored to meet this strong expectation. It is a collective responsibility, of which the ministry of culture is the pivot. We own exceptional buildings, we support restorations carried out by all the owners of the listed heritage. As such, I would like to point out that heritage maintenance and restoration is also an economic sector of excellence, which provides highly skilled, non delocalizable jobs that are very rewarding and rewarding for those who carry them out. And I still remember this stone sculptor in Rouen, who explained that through his gestures, He obviously rediscovered the centuries-old techniques that had presided over the construction of many buildings, but that at the same time he could express his own creativity while at the same time respecting these gestures and thus the craftsmen who had preceded him. And this happiness is incomparable, and obviously for youth, for employment in our country, for the vocational training courses we want to promote, it is an irreplaceable mine. And yet, despite this, despite our country’s tremendous assets, despite these highly skilled trades, these training courses, doubts have been expressed for several years about the very necessity of the State’s action in terms of heritage: why not create an agency that would limit itself to funding projects, why not, quite simply, abolish the Ministry of Culture, as if heritage policy could finally manage itself, or in any case continue as this without the need for strong impulse, inflexion, political orientation.
I personally think the exact opposite. It is not because heritage obviously brings together all French people that there should not be a political definition of what a heritage policy is today.
A year of experience, of contacts with institutions and professionals, I thank all the directors and heads of institutions that I see in the room today, the decisions that I was led to make, lead me on the contrary, the recognition that heritage requires a very strong national policy supported by the Ministry of Culture.
Reducing it to appropriation and rule control is a mistake, but more than a mistake, it would be a mistake in relation to history because if we inherited a heritage in France it is because there were always at the head of the State very strong political voluntarisms to inscribe in the collective imagination the fact that the heritage goes beyond the simple notion of the stone.
In the past, we have seen incoherent initiatives, unfinished projects due to arbitration and a territorial imbalance. Since my arrival, my goal has been to build step by step a department that can conceive, decide and act.
A department that conceives, because those who make heritage live daily in decentralized services as in operators, wait for a course to be set for them. Public institutions and, in particular, Parisian public institutions have often been criticized for their excessive autonomy: nature abhors a vacuum and it could not be otherwise if the Ministry were unable to formulate priorities. I wanted to involve the operators in the conception of these priorities, for example I entrusted to Alain SEBAN a report on the circulation of works and to Henri LOYRETTE, then Jean-Luc MARTINEZ a report on arts and cultural education. Others of you will be partners on other projects.
I want to salute all these public institutions. They are the ones who are taking the largest share of the budgetary effort required of the Ministry of Culture as part of the restoration of the public accounts. And they assume this mission with a great sense of responsibility, with a lot of professionalism, without losing anything of their ability and willingness to carry new and real projects.
A department that decides, because the most important projects require arbitration by the department to become a reality. I use the example of the Cergy Reserve Centre, which was an illustration of the negative consequences of a decision failure. At first, we started from an objective necessity: we obviously had to shelter the Louvre’s flood reserves from a flood of the Seine. A local authority, also very proactive and exemplary in terms of cultural ambition, Cergy, has mobilized in an exemplary way around Dominique LEFEBVRE to host the project. But little by little a real «gas factory» was built, a centre of reserves with variable geometry in which the most diverse institutions participated, with more and more scattered ambitions and objectives, and finally withdrew one by one. And all this obviously without any arbitration on the financing.
This perpetual delay, this lack of method have damaged the credibility of the Ministry of Culture. This credibility is essential to us. Because we must always gain this credibility. And especially with the decision-making bodies on budgetary matters. It is therefore important to be as fair as possible. Closer to the needs of our fellow citizens, closer to our communities, closer to our capabilities without reducing our ambitions. That is why I asked the department, its services, and I thank Vincent Berjot at the Direction générale des patrimoines, at the Louvre, and I thank Jean-Luc Martinez and Henri Loyrette before him, for getting this file flat and for building an alternative solution. This solution has now been found and will be realized.
To decide is also to assume a policy of appointments. This policy requires a method, put in place for the appointment of Jean-Luc MARTINEZ to the Louvre, taken over for that of Sophie MAKARIOU here and that I will continue to apply and follow. It is based on simple, transparent principles, known to all: the public character of the vacancy of the position, the selection of candidates from a written project and interviews, first at the level of the Directorate-General for Assets, of my office, and finally with myself. With a constant line of conviction: that the body of heritage curators is perfectly able to provide personalities quite capable of running our great heritage institutions.
I would like to pay tribute to this French excellence in heritage and also to our remarkable training courses, with which I have had the pleasure of engaging for the past year.
Our heritage institutions are constantly being asked by other countries to provide their know-how, to share it, to train as well.
For me, they are an essential component of the “France brand” that the government promotes abroad, and we can be proud of them within our own borders.
The strength of these institutions lies in the quality of the officers of the Ministry of Culture who work there. And experience shows that the use of outsourcing does not guarantee savings or greater efficiency. Most often, and I say this without dogmatism but with pragmatism, departmental officials are in a position to assume the heritage missions for which we are responsible. If outsourcing should continue to be considered, it is only within a specific framework. So I have instructed that a charter of outsourcing to the Ministry of Culture and Communication be finalized by the beginning of 2014, to define the cases in which it can be used.
But I also decided after a rigorous review to internalize the supervisory jobs of the Picasso Museum, which will reopen in 2014. This activity, which was initially planned to be outsourced, will therefore be carried out by agents of the public establishment. I link this to my wish that museum reception, monitoring and shopping staff can participate in the mediation with visitors. I want to start a consultation with the trade union organizations and increase the offer of mediation training in 2014 for the benefit of these staff. Here again, our agents are the first to contact the public and they assume this function of accompaniment and mediation.
We also need to move forward on employment conditions in some institutions. So I decided to reduce precarious employment at the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP), as I had committed myself to do from my arrival at the ministry. The general management of INRAP, I salute Pierre Dubreuil and the president Jacob, signed this Monday, September 9, 2013, in my presence, a unanimous social agreement that will allow to recruit in contract of indefinite duration, over the period 2013-2015, 160 employees currently employed on a fixed-term contract by the institution, thus reducing the share of precarious employment at INRAP by a third.
Finally, in the coming months, recruitment competitions for civil servants will be opened to recruit chief architects of historical monuments, which had not happened since 2003, and while this specialty, which still had 52 officials on 1 October 2006, will only have 36 by 31 December 2006 and it is therefore urgent to be able to relaunch this competition. A competition of gardeners will also be opened, this specialty, yet indispensable to the maintenance of the major state domains such as Versailles, Saint-Cloud, Compiègne or Fontainebleau, having lost 35% of its workforce in 20 years. And here again we need specialists, craftsmen who also know the establishments in which they work.
A department that takes action, because the institutions of the Ministry of Culture must prove on a daily basis what they bring to the community. A heritage policy that does not place the public at the heart of its ambition would not make sense. These audiences are very diverse: it is the users of the administration who ask an authorization of the architect of the buildings of France, the developers who solicit the public service of preventive archaeology, researchers who visit public archives and visitors to monuments and museums. Satisfying all these audiences is a very difficult task and yet it is incumbent on each of us, the Ministry of Culture, its institutions and its agents.
A special place must be given to the initiation to culture, to this fundamental objective of cultural democratization which was at the heart of André MALRAUX’s project and which remains today more than ever a challenge to be met. My ambition now is to build a strong and lasting link between culture and popular education. This was the initial objective of the Ministry of Culture, but you know the ups and downs in the construction of the Ministry’s perimeters and the failures to unify the Ministry of Culture with Popular Education; today we must manage to gather our forces.
Valérie Fourneyron and I are working on it and it is a great ambition. Obviously, it is important to raise the issue of arts and cultural education not only in school or extracurricular settings, but also in connection with this great idea of popular education.
In this perspective, the report on arts and cultural education by Jean-Luc MARTINEZ includes some very interesting proposals, In particular, it aims to better coordinate the action of national museums and other heritage institutions in arts and cultural education. I will discuss this report further on 16 September at a press conference on the subject.
I also want to bring the works of citizens as close as possible, within the limits of what their preservation and security allow, because I always want to remind everyone that public collections belong to everyone.
This goal of cultural democratization starts from this prerequisite: public collections are the collections of the whole nation. To implement this objective I asked Alain SEBAN to write a report proposing solutions for a better circulation of these collections throughout our territory. The proposals in this report on the removal of legal and technical barriers to this movement will be implemented.
But above all, I want the Ministry of Culture to be able to organize operations outside the walls of circulation of works that are kept today in regional contemporary art funds or museums.
The modalities of implementation of this operation are currently being assessed. But I can already tell you that businesses are for me very suitable places for such an initiative, because they offer the possibility of placing art at the heart of this daily reality, that of work, for millions of French who are engaged in working life, who are in a time of life or ultimately between the working day, personal life, the time that is devoted or can be devoted to cultural activities is reduced. That is why I thought it appropriate to go and find the world of work where it is, in companies and at the heart of wages.
Partnerships between national institutions can also address this ambition. Thus, the collections of the Palace of Versailles will contribute to bringing to life some selected places of the Centre des monuments nationaux (CMN), dear Philippe Belaval, such as the house of George Sand in Nohant or the Tau Palace in Reims where an exhibition dedicated to royal coronations will be held in 2014.
Finally, I would like to establish new partnerships to bring the world of work to the benefit of the Ministry of Culture. An agreement to this effect will be concluded in the coming weeks, with the central fund for social activities for personnel in the electrical and gas industries, which covers 650,000 employees in France. So this is a very nice agreement that will be a first step but a major step in reconnecting the world of work and culture.
But the Ministry of Culture cannot act alone in matters of heritage, and the challenge of tomorrow lies for it in its ability to build effective partnerships with all the actors involved in this field. Nothing will happen in the future without these partnerships.
These partners are, of course, the other ministries and administrations of the State. The Ministry of Culture has its specificities, but nothing would be more dangerous for it than to carry out the policy of splendid isolation. When the department is able to build a partnership with its counterparts, the most complex files can move forward.
This is the case in the field of archives, with the VITAM project, supported by the Ministries of Culture, Defence and Foreign Affairs, which will make it possible to collect, to preserve and communicate to the public the digital documents produced by the ministries and central administrations of the State. This issue of digital archiving is central and crucial because the memory of our time goes a lot through the volatile and extremely fragile digital media. And it is thus the memory of time that is threatened with disappearance for lack of technical solutions.
This will be the essential digital complement of the Pierrefitte-sur-Seine centre inaugurated by the President of the Republic on February 11. This consensual project of modernization of the State at the service of our collective memory will be proposed by the Ministry of Culture and its partners to finance the future investment program.
I also attach great importance to the involvement of the Ministry of Culture in the national commemorations that are part of the way we build our history and represent it. These commemorations are the result of interdepartmental work, the commemoration of the seventieth anniversary of the landings and the centenary of the First World War.
The President of the Republic himself will intervene on October 4 and early November to define the spirit and announce the program of these commemorations, coordinated by Kader ARIF, Minister Delegate for Veterans.
The ministry’s operators have already mobilized strongly on this theme, as shown by the remarkable exhibition «1917» carried out in 2012 by the Centre Pompidou Metz. This mobilization will increase, and, for the heritage field alone, important and numerous exhibitions will be proposed to the public from 2014. They will focus on evoking the history of the conflict and its beginnings, including the exhibitions «Jaurès» at the National Archives and «Eté 1914, les derniers jours du monde ancien» at the Bibliothèque nationale de France; the consequences of war on society as a whole, including the exhibition “The Disasters of War” at the Louvre-Lens; finally, the impact of war on all forms of artistic creation, including the exhibition “Picasso pacifiste” at the Picasso Museum and an exciting exhibition project on «writers and the great war» at the National Library of France, as we celebrate this year the centenary of «Du côté de chez Swann».
Public archives, national and departmental archives, will also be mobilized around these commemorations. These are just a few examples, as there are so many cultural initiatives around these commemorations, even beyond the realm of heritage. I will naturally ensure that these initiatives are fully integrated into the program defined by the President of the Republic for all ministries. And on these commemorations, it is important that the specificity of the ministry of culture be preserved, not for ourselves but because it is always difficult to commemorate a war and it would be paradoxical, to say the least, to commemorate only battles and military events. The Ministry of Culture can and must carry this very strong will to work on the impact of war on society and how better to measure this impact on society than through the artists who fed and were marked to see deeply torn in their flesh by this war. The artistic and aesthetic impact of this war is a reflection of the impact this war has had on society as a whole in all its social and societal dimensions. It is therefore our responsibility that the Ministry of Culture and its operators can work and discuss this aspect of the first conflict.
These partners are also the local and regional authorities. Since my arrival, I have given a great deal of importance to this dialogue with these stakeholders, whether it is the consultation on the Heritage Bill or the conduct of joint projects. This consultation now makes it possible, in particular, to settle the issue of the Louvre’s flood reserves, since a partnership agreement will soon be concluded between the Nord-Pas-de-Calais, the Louvre and the Ministry of Culture for the installation of these reserves on the site of the Louvre in Lens. I thank Daniel PERCHERON for his unwavering commitment to heritage and museums. This project will be financed by the region and by the financial returns of the Louvre Abu-Dhabi project, which I will come back to. A tripartite agreement will be signed by the Ministry of Culture, the Louvre and the region in a few weeks.
The Ministry of Culture will also deepen its partnership with Cergy, which Dominique LEFEBVRE has mobilized around heritage, both in terms of expertise, with the PATRIMA Laboratory of Excellence, which notably associates the Louvre, Versailles, the National Archives and the National Library of France, that on that of dissemination and mediation. On this second point, I asked the Louvre Museum to propose to Cergy a partnership to complement those already existing with the musée du quai Branly, dear Stéphane Martin, and the Pompidou Centre.
As regards the reserves of other museums associated with the Cergy project, the study conducted at my request by the Directorate-General for Heritage on the Parisian museums along the Seine shows that the risks associated with exceptional flooding can be controlled, even if, for some, the subject of rationalization of reserves arises and will have to be dealt with.
This problem of reserves also concerns the image, whether fixed or animated, which is an essential component of our heritage. Answers will also have to be provided with the main actors of the Ministry, the National Film Centre, the National Audiovisual Institute and the film libraries. The same applies to the reserves of the National School of Fine Arts and the National Fund for Contemporary Art.
These partners are, finally, the foreign States, in this globalized framework that makes today our daily life and which concerns the world of heritage as the rest of society.
And here I would like to mention the Louvre Abu-Dhabi project. Two things struck me during my visit last April: the extraordinary scope and beauty of Jean Nouvel’s project; the very strong commitment of the Emirians to the success of this new museum, as I have witnessed with my own eyes, the quality of the scans performed. I believe that the Louvre Abou-Dabi is taking a new step away from the polemics that accompanied its launch and now gives it the dimension of the greatest cultural achievement carried by our country beyond our borders. My role is to help the project get through this stage. This is achieved, in particular, through the on-site installation of the team of the France-Museums agency, rightly desired by the Emiriens and that Marc LADREIT DE LACHARRIERE is implementing. A new effort has also been made since this summer for on-site training of Emiriens in museum professions by the teams of the France-Museums agency. That was one of the important aspects of the agreement between the two countries.
Finally, the main French museums that will lend works will invest even more strongly in the success of this project. These developments will allow us to fulfill our commitments to the Emiriens and open the museum before the end of 2015. We have here the material of a magnificent achievement, which will be the symbol of this dialogue of civilizations by culture so necessary, in a tense geopolitical context, to our common future. This will help promote the place and excellence of cultural and heritage professions beyond our borders.
I will return to the site in November, on the occasion of the meeting, for the first time, of the governing bodies of the Agence France-Museums and the contemporary art event Abou-Dabi art, to observe the progress made.
Here, ladies and gentlemen, are the principles of my work on heritage. These principles are ambitious, because they are based on the conviction that the heritage policy must be national and therefore carried by the State, and pragmatic, because they lead to prefer the useful to the spectacular, the partnership to the «rider alone», the possible to the “big project” chimeric. Our motto must be to make possible what is useful.
The projects mentioned above have been selected on the basis of these principles, and I would now like to mention others, first transversal and then specific to a particular sector of heritage, which I will also mention for the same reasons.
Among the cross-cutting projects is the Heritage Bill, which I see as the legislative translation of the policy I have just outlined. The heart of this project is a very ambitious reform of protected spaces as heritage. There are currently about ten categories of spaces each subject to different rules, depending on whether they are safeguarded sectors, heritage, architecture and landscape protection areas, heritage development areas, etc.
I propose to merge the ten current categories into one, the “historic cities”. This new category will be just as demanding as the current categories in terms of protection, but it will put an end to a pile of standards that make the rules applicable to heritage spaces difficult for citizens to understand and read.
It is about simplifying to better protect. I link this to a proposal for a reform of the surroundings of historic monuments, which will gradually replace the 500-metre rule with intelligent protection areas, adapted according to the specificities of the environment of each listed building. I also wish to better protect in law the national domains such as Versailles, Saint-Cloud or Fontainebleau, whose dismemberment must be avoided because they are the fruit of our history, and to incorporate into our law the consequences of protecting the heritage of humanity.
But I also plan to propose provisions to promote the circulation of collections, to renew the conditions for the recognition of institutions under the «museums of France», I thank Marie-Chistine Labourdette for her work, to promote architectural quality or to better control the export of cultural goods. Finally, I would like to draw the legislative consequences of the White Paper on preventive archaeology and reduce certain delays in accessing public archives.
This is therefore a very large legislative project, which will allow for the first time for national representation to address the issue of heritage as a whole. I intend to submit this project to the Council of Ministers in December, after the necessary inter-ministerial consultations.
I would also like to take advantage of the means provided by the shutdown of major projects to finance projects corresponding to a real need and my ambition to ensure that, in all parts of the territory, the meeting between the public and the collections is a pleasure.
This pleasure will unfold. And I want to draw your attention to the project of the house of cultures and memories of Guyana. This beautiful project, consisting of creating a pole of conservation and distribution of oral, written and material memories of the peoples of Guyana, was decided in 2011 in partnership with the local authorities, but no funding had been provided for in the state budget. I decided to support this project, which will bring together in a historical monument located in the heart of Cayenne, the former Jean-Martial hospital, two museums, the departmental archives, the regional inventory service and a pole dedicated to multilingualism. This last aspect is essential, because all the languages of France also belong to our heritage, as we recall, if need be, the work of the Advisory Committee on Regional Languages and Linguistic Plurality, the conclusions of which were submitted to me last July. Guyana benefits from an exceptional cultural and linguistic heritage: it deserves this beautiful achievement. The first necessary funds will be mobilized in 2014. And I would like to thank Michel COLARDELLE, the director of cultural affairs of French Guiana who designed and carried this project with force. As he retires soon, I want to salute this great servant of heritage.
In the area of museums, I want a special effort to be made in favour of institutions or spaces that the logic of “major projects” has left on the roadside.
This is the case of the Cluny museum. It is a museum in the heart of Paris that received 365,000 visitors in 2012, but whose reception is now totally unsuited to such an attendance. So I decided to carry out the project to build a reception building, which will not only better accommodate visitors, but also better guide them within the museum. This project should start in early 2015. Secondly, the question of the best protection and development of archaeological remains will have to be asked, and studies will be carried out to that effect.
The problem of reception also concerns the Louvre Museum, since the pyramid was designed to welcome 4.5 million visitors a year, whereas today we are approaching 10 million. The comfort of the visitors as well as the agents in charge of the reception is greatly altered. Work will therefore be undertaken in 2014, in order to move the reception of groups out of the pyramid and to provide simpler and more fluid reception conditions. It is not yet a question of welcoming more and more visitors, but of better, of welcoming them well and of ensuring that this first contact with the museum, the reception area, is positive and pleasant. Because from this will come the whole visit and the impression that will be taken away from it.
The castle-museum of Compiègne also needs special attention. It houses the National Car and Tourism Museum, a remarkable collection of antique vehicles from the 18th century to the 1920s. This exceptional collection in Europe is not kept in satisfactory conditions and public access is only very partial. It could find its place in the old stables of the castle built by Gabriel. In-depth contacts are under way with the French Horse and Horse Institute, the current owner of the studs, to see how to enhance these collections around the theme of the horse. Local and regional authorities have also expressed their interest and I support the completion of this beautiful project.
I also have a duty to ensure that recent achievements in museums that are totally or partially under the purview of the Ministry, be they the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations, the Louvre-Lens or the Pompidou-Metz Centre, function properly. In the case of this centre, the first years of operation show a formidable attendance but the absence of permanent collections creates a certain disappointment among visitors who come in a period without temporary exhibitions. I therefore asked the Pompidou Centre to make me proposals for the installation of permanent collections on this site, which I will soon examine with the local authorities ensuring its operation.
Our goal is to make the museum, not a place of cultural consumption, but a public and intimate place of a very personal relationship to beauty and art.
Going beyond the consumerist logic, this will also allow us to work on the improvement of visiting routes and on the impregnation ultimately by visitors of the meaning that is given to these visits and to museography.
With regard to built heritage, I naturally follow with great attention the debates related to its protection. The terms of these passionate debates are well known: the desire to develop and modernize the urban fabric or existing constructions sometimes comes up against the conservation of a particular architectural element, whether or not it is protected as a historical monument.
I am not in favour of a radical line that would lead us to say that everything must be protected and preserved. This would lead to freezing our cities and public spaces in a form of “muséification”, whereas the history of these places is that of their constant transformation. However, I note that in many cases, destruction/ reconstruction is privileged to the rehabilitation of the existing heritage. I understand the economic and technical imperatives that can lead to these choices, but I would like to point out that heritage, including the most recent, can be an extraordinary asset for the attractiveness of cities. Our country today is much more aware of the importance of heritage than it was thirty years ago, and I hope that we will continue to move forward collectively in this direction.
This more mature relationship that we must build with our heritage must in particular lead us to depart from any project of restitution identical to all or part of old buildings. Far from constituting restorations, these operations falsify the aspect of monuments as history has transmitted them to us. While some buildings are in urgent need of restoration, spending money and energy on useless and deceptive operations seems at the very least futile.
I want to pay particular attention to the heritage of the 20th century. Heritage advocacy organizations often draw our collective attention to the damage done to heritage, and they are right. The very real difficulties linked in particular to reuse must not lead to the systematic disappearance of this heritage: we would thus obscure a whole segment of our history, whether architectural, urban or industrial. I am particularly committed to ensuring that the memory of the world of work is preserved, as far as possible, in our urban and landscaped environment. It is about respect for the people who have worked in these places and for the history of these places. A few days ago I was in Germany for the German Heritage Days, and I was able to observe exceptional achievements in preserving industrial heritage.
In this context, I envisage three categories of measures. First, I am going to ask the Heritage Branch to set up, at the beginning of 2014, a working group open to architects, 20th century heritage specialists, developers, associations and elected officials, whose mandate will be to propose innovative solutions to better preserve and reuse this heritage. Secondly, on the basis of the proposals of this group, instructions will be given to the Regional Directorates for Cultural Affairs to intensify their campaign to label the heritage of the 20th century. Thirdly, I will propose in the context of the Heritage Bill a provision giving this label a legislative value and establishing, for the buildings labelled, a prior consultation of the Ministry of Culture before any destruction.
Beyond the heritage of the twentieth century not protected by historical monuments, there is the question of the fate of buildings of all kinds whose interest, often real, does not systematically justify such protection. This debate particularly concerns rural churches, since several recent cases of destruction have been controversial. I am not in favour of relaxing the criteria for protection of historic monuments for this category of buildings, nor of having a specific system for labelling them. It is, on the other hand, quite possible to provide for the protection of churches and, more generally, of heritage of local interest in the context of planning documents.
I also welcome the work carried out on this theme by the Heritage Federation, to which the Heritage Inspectorate of the Ministry of Culture will contribute.
With regard to archaeology, I would first like to remind you that the commitments I made at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in June, during the Archaeology Days, a few days after I took office, were all fulfilled: the amount of the preventive archaeology fee was increased in the Finance Act to €122 million, instead of the €105 million that was the initial target, It was put to an end the full reimbursement of certain development works by the national fund of preventive archaeology, social commitments became reality.
The white paper on preventive archaeology, which I also wanted to draft, was submitted to me last spring. I then left a time for consultation so that the various actors of the discipline could express their opinion on the conclusions of this work led by Dominique GARCIA. The vast majority of the conclusions of the White Paper will be implemented, as I said, in their legislative dimension within the framework of the Heritage Bill, I am thinking for example of the public ownership of the movable heritage discovered during the excavations, but also on scientific and technical aspects, within the limits of the budgetary means allocated to the discipline.
However, there are some issues that still need to be addressed. In particular, the current situation of competition over the execution of prescribed excavations often places INRAP in an unfavourable position, because this national operator must bear the necessary structural costs in order to meet the public service and presence obligations throughout the territory. And these obligations are imposed by law. So I asked my services to explore avenues that would allow, without questioning the principle of intervention by actors other than INRAP in the execution of excavations, to take better account of the specific and specific public service charges that this National Institute must face. I also hope that we will be able to build with the preventive archaeology services of the local authorities, a more effective partnership for this notion of public pole, without, however, being an INRAP trusteeship that is established over these local authority services.
Preventive archaeology really deserves this attention because it is, as you know, through archaeology, preventive or programmed, that historical knowledge can progress beyond written sources or in their absence. I have noticed several times during my travels the extraordinary discoveries and the qualities of the professions of archaeology and I want once again to reaffirm my attachment and my full support for this discipline.
I will also continue the creation of conservation centres and studies to collect, preserve and make available to researchers movable objects from excavation campaigns. Such a centre, the Moselle Interdisciplinary Archaeological Research Centre (PRIAM), will be created in Metz, a city that is dear to me, but also a city whose basement contains particularly rich remains, and this is done with the intercommunality of Metz metropolis. Construction will begin in 2014.
I also want to support, in partnership with local authorities, the creation of a similar centre in Marseille. The centre will be able to collect remains found as part of underwater archaeology campaigns conducted by the Department of Archaeological, Underwater and Underwater Research (DRASSM) of the Ministry of Culture, which are currently stored in unsuitable premises. I know that the city of Marseille has expressed its interest in this project, which I am delighted about. There will therefore be feasibility studies in the coming months, and it is still the proof of the fertility of these responsible and assumed partnerships between the State and local authorities for the benefit of the general interest.
As for the archives, the President of the Republic inaugurated a few months ago the new National Archives Centre in Pierrefitte-sur-Seine. This new site is now open to the public and has a very promising start. The challenge now is electronic archiving, and I said earlier that I support the VITAM project. But I also spoke about the need to come back to certain provisions concerning the delays in access to archives, we must now facilitate access to archives for researchers and for our fellow amateurs.
I also want to affirm my attachment to the network of departmental archives. Since 1986, the sharing of competences between the State and local and regional authorities within this network has produced remarkable results for the greater benefit of the public and the general interest; access to the national memory is at stake with the archives, it is the establishment, through a return to the sources, of a reliable historical narrative.
Departmental archives are the most advanced cultural sector in terms of digital offering. This very proactive policy of putting online for more than ten years with the technical and financial support of the State now allows many people to work without having to move. I had visited the departmental archives of Tarn, where there are more than 60 million page views, which is a remarkable success. These successes lead me to believe that the institutional balance found in 1986 is effective and must be preserved.
Ladies and gentlemen, the foregoing statement, which I believe was necessary and indispensable, shows the extraordinary dynamism and energy of the heritage world in all its components. It also shows that the exercise of restoring the balance of public accounts does not prevent action, it does not prevent new and exciting projects, fair projects, worthwhile projects. The financial resources to make these projects a reality are there, we have identified them. They are not entirely based on the State budget; this is done through responsible and useful partnerships with local authorities in particular.
More generally, I believe that, more than fifty years after the creation of the Ministry of Culture, the State’s heritage policy must undergo a complete paradigm shift to maintain its effectiveness and credibility, and because there is a need for heritage in our country, a need for heritage policy, a need for heritage discourse: people are attached to it. The popularity of our European Heritage Days, the ever-increasing attendance of our establishments, museums and monuments, shows this. We have a responsibility to this popularity. It is also a formidable challenge and an exhilarating work of knowing how to live and grow, know how to share and transmit this magnificent historical heritage. It is our pride as men who work in the field of culture and heritage but our pride simply as men and women citizens, lovers of our history, in love with our country in all its diversity and diversities and eager to share it to the greatest number.