Heritage, Memory and Local Communities

Project 2004-2006, with the support of the European Union Culture 2000 Programme

For the historic monuments that are re-used for creative cultural and artistic projects and research, interaction with the local community plays an important role in forging links with the territory. This interaction underlines the social importance of these monuments today, especially for young people and the socially deprived. It also justifies other possible functions for the monuments intended to smaller social groups, as researchers and artists.

By local community, we mean all the people who live near monuments and relate to them in an emotional way linked to physical proximity and memory.

Eight European institutions from various countries around the continent that work on the re-use of historic monuments with complex contemporary projects wish to work together on this common dimension of their activity to expand their methodological approaches and improve their practice. Their aim is to render their work more socially efficient and share the results of their efforts with other professionals and the public.

These institutions are:

 General objectives

  • Contributing, in each partner country, to raising local awareness of the historical, intellectual and emotional links existing between the local communities and the monuments, and of the skills that people could bring today to protect and enhance the monuments; contributing to make them discover how important the same links are on other historic sites in Europe, at the same time different and similar.
  • Sharing, amongst managers of historic monuments re-used for cultural, artistic and research projects in Europe, a whole range of well-known practices and new experiences concerning the relationship between a monument, its territory and the local community; defining common methodological approaches through sharing and assessing experiences specific to each site.
  • Widely disseminating the results of these experiences, be it among professionals of monument re-use (methodology) or towards the general public (activities).


Appropriation of historical places by local people
Know-how exchange between professionals; mobility of artists, social actors and professionals
Documentary platform for network exchanges: the PROXIMA database
Simultaneous multimedia exhibitions at the sites