L'abbaye Royale



New project H4IP 2017-2019 

Europe’s cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, is our common wealth – our inheritance from the previous generations of Europeans and our legacy for those to come. It is an irreplaceable repository of knowledge and a valuable resource for economic growth, employment and social cohesion. It enriches the individual lives of hundreds of millions of people. It is a source of inspiration for thinkers and artists, and a drive for our cultural and creative industries.

All of the challenges need to be addressed to ensure the sustainability of Europe’s cultural heritage. The heritage sector also needs to adapt its management and business models and to develop new professional skills  by making the valorisation and preservation of heritage a part of a broader, long-term development plans, rather than by working with authorities through one-off, isolated interventions.

A new approach to heritage and its interpretation consists in:

  • Becoming more people-centred.
  • Taking new opportunities, offered by digitisation and online accessibility that enable unprecedented forms of engagement and open up new revenue streams.
  • Organising an intelligent dialogue between different points of view thanks to an increasingly community-oriented approach, led by people and stories. For instance, proposing heritage-based narratives that weave the personal stories of community members into the interpretation of larger historical events.
  • Engaging the audiences with the collections, by placing them at the heart of the activities.

To address these challenges, an operational committee has brought together 11 partners representing culture (abbeys of Saintes, Trizay, Fontevraud, Saint Jean d'Angely, Noirlac), social inclusion (Belle Rive social center), tourism (MONA, Local Touristic Information Offices for Saintes and for Saint Jean d'Angely) in a strong cooperation with the Saintes Local Authority. This committee aims to identify the best European practices in heritage interpretation and audience development in order to deepen its competencies in these fields.

In this framework, our mobility program plans 5 training sessions and 5 job-shadowing periods in 7 EU member states (Germany, United Kingdom, Belgium, Greece, Spain, Austria and Italy). Each participant will use their specific professional approach to enrich the global project with their analysis.

The final objective of the ERASMUS+ mobility programme called "HERITAGE INTERPRETATION, INHABITANTS INVOLVEMENT & INNOVATIVE PRACTICES (H4IP)" will be the diffusion of a new participating methodology, associating experts and local communities in the co-construction of innovative heritage tours and touristic visits, and their transposition to other historical monuments, to other French, European and non-European territories.

The good practices, identified thanks to the ERASMUS+ mobility programm, will be diffused to the consortium member staff, the foreign host organisations, as well as the French and the foreign professional world. They will be transposed and experimented on at a local level by different targeted publics (local communities and tourists), who could, in turn, enrich, develop and improve their competencies (human capital and social capital) and their experiences. They will also contribute to improving the capacity of their key-competencies, such as "digital competencies", "social and civic competencies", "cultural awareness and expression", and, in this way, contribute to a better transmission of the European cultural heritage, and to maximise its economic and social potential.

In terms of an estimated public, the aim of the project is to instruct innovative heritage interpretation practices:

  • Directly: 52 adults employed by the consortium members and more that 577 persons employed by the host organisations
  • Indirectly: more than 283.000 adults per year within the groups targeted by the consortium members