Cities and Countries of Art and History
Le ministère de la Culture assure depuis 1985 la mise en œuvre d’une politique d’animation et de valorisation du patrimoine en partenariat avec les collectivités territoriales qui se concrétise par l’attribution d’un label "Villes et Pays d’art et d’histoire".
In Occitania 29 sites benefit from this label.
- fifteen cities Carcassonne (11), Narbonne (11), Millau (12), Beaucaire (30), Nîmes (30), Uzès (30), Toulouse (31), Béziers (34), Lodève (34), Cahors (46), Perpignan (66), Montauban (82), Castres (81)Gaillac (81), Moissac (82).
- fourteen countries Cathar Pyrenees (09), Bastides du Rouergue (12), Grand Rodez (12), Grand Auch (32), Pézenas (34), Haut Languedoc et Vignobles (34), Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole (34), Causses et vallée de la Dordogne (46), Grand Figeac Vallées du Lot et du Célé (46), Mende and Lot en Gévaudan (48), Vallées d'Aure et du Louron (65), Conflent Canigó (66), Vallées catalanes du Tech et du Ter (66), Pays Midi-Quercy (82).
Cities and Countries of Art and History, a label of the Ministry of Culture
Since 1985, the Ministry of Culture has been implementing a policy of promoting and enhancing heritage in partnership with local and regional authorities, which is reflected in the award of a "Cities and Countries of Art and History" label. It replaces the “Cities of Art” label, mainly for tourists, which became obsolete in 2005. Today, it is a real tool for heritage policy and regional planning, mainly for residents.
This VPAH label is embodied in an agreement drawn up with the Directorate General for Heritage, the Regional Directorates for Cultural Affairs | Drac and the communities concerned. This agreement involves financial and technical support from the Ministry and includes an obligation for the communities to use qualified personnel approved by the Ministry.
The National Council of Cities and Countries of Art and History, created in 1995, participates in the development and the general orientation of the policy of the network and issues an opinion on applications for the label (submitted to the INPI) as well as on withdrawals for non-Compliance with the framework established by the Convention.
On the whole of the national territory in metropolis and overseas, 205 cities and countries can avail themselves of the quality labels "Cities or Countries of art and history": 124 Cities of art and history and 81 Countries of art and history.
In cities and countries of art and history, the notion of heritage goes far beyond the notion of monumental heritage and prestigious sites. It also concerns the entire built heritage of the city - from the ancient remains to the architecture of the XXe century - as the various collections of its museums and archives, the natural heritage (green spaces, rivers and rivers), the industrial maritime and port heritage, as well as the living memory of the inhabitants through their testimonies.
Heritage, a universal concept, with its aesthetic and social dimension, provides a field of discoveries and special exchanges to be privileged. This is what the network "Cities and Countries of Art and History" intends to make understand and share in an original and lively way, giving keys of discovery and reading to the inhabitants, the young public and, of course, the visitors. The heritage development policy contributes to the emergence of an active cultural tourism, conducive to the economic development of cities and territories.
Cities and Countries of Art and History, a policy of valorization
The strength and dynamism of the "Cities and Countries of Art and History" network is the same quality requirement and the same public concern. The richness of the themes of visits, the variety of routes and approaches are inseparable from the concern to show the city differently, to mark the memories of a lasting footprint, to promote the insertion in the community and the learning of citizenship. The involvement of local and regional authorities, alongside the State, is crucial to offer this quality offer.
This is why the Ministry of Culture is working to pinpoint the criteria for awarding the label. It takes special care to recognize, beyond the identification of the heritage of the city or the country, its political will to value it. The "Cities of Art and History" and "Countries of Art and History" are called to be integrated into the overall cultural project of the community, Particularly with regard to the attention paid to architectural and urban quality and the tools for protecting urban and landscape heritage: Remarkable Heritage Site (SPR)… This approach is part of a constantly evolving valuation policy. The new intercommunal structures (communities of municipalities or agglomeration, PETR, etc.) are naturally linked to the cultural networking tool that constitutes the network.
The "Cities and Countries of Art and History" network is based on two well-defined skills, the label’s project manager and the guide-speakers. Continuing training sessions ensure that their knowledge is up to date.
The label project manager
As a key player in the development of architecture and local heritage, this professional possesses a solid academic background, a sense of contact, a talent for pedagogy, a capacity for initiative and coordination, and a concern for coherence in its action. It works closely with local tourism and cultural stakeholders as well as regional ones and coordinates the team of guides-speakers approved by the ministry whose continuing education is under its responsibility.
The project manager of the label organises guided tours as well as educational activities of the educational service he directs. It provides vocational training for teachers, tourism professionals and reception staff. Responsible for the promotion of the label "Cities and Countries of Art and History", the project manager of the label actively participates in a global reflection on the landscaping and the urban landscape through research work, scientific communications.
The guide-speaker, ambassaOf his city or country
Passionate about his profession, rigorous in the acquisition as in the transmission of knowledge, the guide-lecturer possesses, moreover, a developed sense of welcome. As a mediator between scientists and the general public, it provides guided tours throughout the network and takes visitors' cultural interests to enrich their knowledge. Far from limiting his visit to "old stones", the guide-lecturer presents the heritage in its diversity, private hotels, houses, courtyards and gardens, archaeological sites, natural or industrial, contemporary architecture, etc. He encourages us to see differently, sharpens this new look, gives keys to understand the scale of a square, the framework of a neighbourhood or the successive metamorphoses of a landscape. Thus, it involves the public in the discovery of a site, of an era.
The Direction régionale des affaires culturelles accompanies communities throughout their City or Country of Art and History:
- the candidacy To apply for the label is first to develop a cultural project of territory. Presented in an application file, this project constitutes the essential soil for the drafting of the convention. All of this work is the subject of numerous meetings with the Drac, which brings its scientific and cultural expertise to the community
- the choice of a team The Drac participates in the recruitment jury of the Label Project Manager responsible for implementing the Convention and organises in-service training sessions for the guide speakers.
- scientific and cultural support All the services of the Drac are available to the community to contribute their knowledge and feed the project: archaeological discoveries, ongoing studies and research, restoration work planned in the territory… The Drac participates in the scientific committees set up for the creation of the Centre d’interprétation de l’architecture et du patrimoine.
- the financial support Drac provides financial support for projects under the VPAH Convention. In particular, she contributed to the cost of the label’s project manager for two years, as well as to the funding of the museum of the Centre d'interprétation de l'architecture et du patrimoine.
In charge of the label and the network Cities and Countries of art and history
Tel. 04 67 02 35 29
Inter-pole equity advisor
Tel. 05 67 73 20 69