Dear Stéphane Bern, President of the Heritage in Danger Mission,

Dear Guillaume POITRINAL, President of the Fondation du Patrimoine,

Dear Stéphane PALLEZ, President and CEO of the Française des Jeux,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear friends,


It’s a pleasure to be back – finally!   A pleasure, too, to see this Heritage Lotto, wanted by the President of the Republic, settle down as a landmark; a habit; one of those recurring meetings that, each year, are a little more expected than the previous year. It’s a sign of his success.

This is proof of the strength of mobilization; at the service of our heritage. This mobilization is expanding, it is growing. More and more Canadians are feeling concerned. We are going to need this mobilization.

For this edition even more than for the first two. Because the health crisis we have just gone through has not spared the heritage.

Quite the contrary. Professionals in this sector, I know, have suffered in recent months. For some, the activity was abruptly interrupted. For others, new working conditions were imposed. For all, the period was difficult. I want to say how grateful I am to them, and how committed I am to them to ensure that the recovery takes place in the best possible conditions.

Of course, the impact of the crisis is less visible on our monuments than on our businesses. But it is no less. Heritage is about the most precious thing we have. Heritage is what we have inherited from past centuries.   That’s what stood the test of time, because it was more beautiful, more solid, more useful, than anything else.

Heritage is what takes us away from the immediacy of the moment, which allows us to fit into the long term. Let us never break the thread. Let us not think, at a time when we are facing a terrible crisis, that there would be more urgent, more important things. That heritage would be on the side of accessory or superfluous. Quite the contrary.

My belief is that we have never needed it so much, not only because it is a powerful tool to stimulate our economy, whether it is the tourism industry, or the network of small businesses and artisans working in the restoration of historic monuments. But again and above all because the benchmarks it offers us are indispensable. To project ourselves into the future, we need to remember where we came from. Without memory, I believe there is no hope.

The crisis therefore requires us to invest not less, but more, in heritage. I want to tell you: the State will be there. As soon as the crisis broke out, I ensured that heritage professionals were fully eligible for all the support measures put in place. We have thus obtained that the owners of private historical monuments benefit in particular from the loan guarantee.

I also obtained that the guide speakers, essential profession, particularly affected, These activities will continue to benefit until the end of this year from the accompanying measures put in place for the sectors most affected by the consequences of the Covid19 crisis. Within the framework of the new amending finance bill, will be voted: more than 42 million exceptional credits to come to the rescue of the state heritage operators most in difficulty; expanding the scope of the Heritage Foundation’s label for municipalities up to 20,000 inhabitants, which represents an additional tax expenditure for the State.

Beyond these initial measures, with the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister, we are working on ambitious proposals for heritage. We will have the opportunity to discuss it again. But the State will not be able to do anything alone. Conservation, development and public access to heritage are part of a partnership policy. Between the State and local authorities. Between public and private actors. Between administration and companies.

This partnership approach, the Loto is the best example of this: Thank you, dear Stéphane, for carrying this project with enthusiasm and stubbornness. Thank you to the Fondation du Patrimoine, dear Guillaume POITRINAL, for being with us again this year, to ensure the pre-selection of projects and the management of the fund "patrimoine en péril". Thank you to the Française des Jeux, dear Stéphane PALLEZ, for putting your formidable company at the service of this cause of general interest. Thank you to all the patrons and partners of the operation And thank you, of course, to the officials of the Ministry of Culture, those of the Decentralized Services (DRAC), and those of the Directorate General of Heritage, who intervene at all stages of the operation.

This lottery is complementary to the policy of the Ministry of Culture in favour of historical monuments.

It makes it possible to recall the existence of architectural jewels sometimes forgotten, many of which are not protected under the title of historical monuments.

This year, 18 emblematic sites, located in 18 regions of France and overseas, have been selected.  Everyone contributes to the richness of our country. Everyone generates attractiveness for our territories. Everyone forges our identity. Each of these restoration projects represents a territory and inhabitants who have chosen it. With the heritage lottery, things don’t come “from above” but “from below”, from the ground. There is one last characteristic of this lottery, that is, the great variety of types of monuments selected. They are part of the cultural heritage, but also religious, agricultural, artisanal, industrial or military. Because heritage is not just castles; it is also chapels.

They’re not just forts; they’re also lighthouses. They’re not just Roman theatres; they’re also mills.  They’re not just steeples; they’re also dovecots. Or hanging bridges. They’re not just monuments; they’re also gardens. Our heritage is all of these things.

There is, if I may use the term, an ecumenism of the heritage lottery. Théophile GAUTIER, in his preface to Mademoiselle de Maupin, regretted that some “prefer the mills to the churches, and the bread of the body to that of the soul.” The Heritage Lottery does not prefer mills to churches.

Nor does it prefer churches to mills. It allows us to save both. And many other emblematic sites, which you will discover in a few moments.

To succeed, the Heritage Lotto needs three things: expertise, money, and passion. Expertise first. It is that of the Ministry of Culture and its agents who, in central administration, in the regional cultural affairs directorates, and in the operators of the Ministry, ensure the contracting of works for state monuments and the scientific control of interventions on historical monuments. It is, in particular, that of the agents of regional conservation of historical monuments and departmental units of architecture and heritage that criss-cross our territories: to select the projects of the Loto, in connection with you dear Stéphane, and the teams of the Heritage Foundation, dear Guillaume; to help, to advise the owners; to locate the masterpieces of our architecture that will, tomorrow, need the support of the State to be restored.

The expertise is also that of the chief architects of historic monuments, of the architects of the heritage, of the professionals of the conservation and restoration, who have acquired by high level formations the right to intervene on these monuments without distorting them. It is that of the companies specialized in heritage restoration: that of their managers and their employees, trained in the complex profession of restoring the built heritage, of respecting the gesture of those who preceded us, to preserve the beauty of the monuments of which we are heirs.

For the Lotto to be a success again this year, it also needs money. Since the start of the operation in 2017, the total amount of funds mobilized for the Loto is €89 million. And I am pleased to announce today that we will continue to compensate the Heritage Lottery. We had already compensated for them for the two previous editions, since in addition to the ordinary allocations devoted to operations relating to historical monuments, the Ministry of Culture provided: 14 million exceptional appropriations in 2018; and 14 million in 2019. 28 million which corresponds to the amount of taxes to be collected by the State on the games Mission Patrimoine, and which were added to the usual aids of the ministry.

From now on, the State guarantees that, at the beginning of each year, a volume of budget appropriations will be made available on the heritage budget of the Ministry of Culture equivalent to the amount of taxes collected the previous year. This commitment will be entered in advance of the 2021 budget vote. The corresponding amounts will be clearly indicated on the projects selected by the Heritage Lottery. 

I know that I can count on your vigilance, dear Stéphane, so that there is no switch error in the piping! We received this compensation in the previous two years.

I thank you for carrying this fight with the commitment, the fervor and the passion that the French know you. Passion is the third thing the Loto needs to succeed. Yours, dear Stéphane. But also the passion of the Heritage Foundation volunteers who, in the field, work hand in hand with the DRAC services to select the monuments. The passion of mayors, and of all local elected officials who choose heritage to embellish the daily lives of their fellow citizens and to create activity.   The passion of private owners who fight every day to maintain, protect, magnify a heritage so difficult to manage.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

This passion that has just been evoked, the summer that is beginning is a unique opportunity to share it with as many people as possible; to bequeath it; to pass it on to future generations. The Ministry of Culture is fully engaged in the “This summer I’m visiting France” operation, launched by the “Patrimoine 2.0” start-up network. An initiative in which you have mobilized: dear Stéphane, as well as the Heritage Foundation, and of course Atout France.

In addition and in articulation, we have developed a geolocation platform that lists all the heritage places reopened (and more broadly cultural) labeled by the ministry.

It is available on the #culturecheznous website and will be available in a few days as a smartphone app.

This application will particularly highlight, in each region, about ten places to visit.  I would also like to highlight the role that the national universal service set up by Jean-Michel Blanquer and Gabriel Attal will play, which proposes to young people to commit themselves to heritage, thanks to exceptional associations, grouped in the “Cotravaux” network.

It’s great that young people are able to dedicate their time to heritage restoration. To pass on the desire for heritage. We need to develop it with the associative, entrepreneurial fabric, in connection with local authorities. I have already talked too much. Like you, I am looking forward to the 18 sites selected!

It’s time for Stéphane Bern, then Guillaume Poitrinal and Stéphane Pallez