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Destruction or restoration of industrial heritage

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 12677 | 30 June 2011

Ms Andreja RIHTER, Slovenia, SOC ; Ms Anne BRASSEUR, Luxembourg, ALDE ; Mr Michael CONNARTY, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Ismeta DERVOZ, Bosnia and Herzegovina ; Mr Joseph FALZON, Malta, EPP/CD ; Mr Gvozden Srećko FLEGO, Croatia, SOC ; Mr Hans FRANKEN, Netherlands, EPP/CD ; Sir Roger GALE, United Kingdom, EDG ; Mr Margus HANSON, Estonia, ALDE ; Mr Željko IVANJI, Serbia, EPP/CD ; Mr Zmago JELINČIČ PLEMENITI, Slovenia, EDG ; Ms Francine JOHN-CALAME, Switzerland, SOC ; Mr Michail KATRINIS, Greece, SOC ; Ms Elvira KOVÁCS, Serbia, EPP/CD ; Ms Darja LAVTIŽAR-BEBLER, Slovenia, SOC ; Mr Alejandro MUÑOZ-ALONSO, Spain, EPP/CD ; Ms Christine MUTTONEN, Austria, SOC ; Mr Jakob PRESEČNIK, Slovenia, EPP/CD ; Mr Leander SCHÄDLER, Liechtenstein, EPP/CD ; Ms Melinda SZÉKYNÉ SZTRÉMI, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Mr Mehmet TEKELİOĞLU, Turkey, EPP/CD ; Ms Nataša VUČKOVIĆ, Serbia, SOC ; Mr Piotr WACH, Poland, EPP/CD

The cultural heritage in Europe presents specific characteristics that distinguish it from other parts of the world.

Industrialisation, which started in the 19th century and significantly marked the region at the beginning of the 20th century, transformed the way of life in Europe, and even worldwide. In Europe, we built industrial environments, large centres made up of living spaces and all the corresponding buildings, which completely changed the environment.

What is happening today to such environments, regions, and buildings? In some regions, they have been successfully transformed into protected cultural heritage and capital has been invested to give these environments a new image. We can thus see some good practices of industrial heritage restoration in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands and Poland. Such investments were encouraged by the recognition that by saving the industrial heritage we can preserve the identity of a certain period, a specific way of life, which at the same time of its emergence imprinted itself on the environment and landscape.

In view of the above, the Parliamentary Assembly should devote particular attention to the emerging, identifiable industrial heritage which is in need of new content and existence. However, we should not forget the natural environment and the conformity of industrial buildings with this environment, even though they have served their purpose, as well as the important role of capital which is becoming increasingly interested in such investments. Every renovation project should have an answer to the questions: why invest? What makes the industrial heritage so important that we should place it on the UNESCO World Heritage List?