When the “Bande noire” was selling off historic building materials

The invention of heritage dates from the beginning of the July Monarchy (a liberal constitutional monarchy in France under Louis Philippe I, 1830-1848).

1830 : French historic buildings and heritage was very threatened, with the time passing, but also with the Revolution:
the castles became public goods and were sold and often destroyed.
In the 1820s, the famous “Bande noire” (speculative, asset-stripping syndicates) bought ancient castles and abbeys at knockdown prices, only to demolish them and sell off the building materials.

in 1830, the post of General Inspector of National Monuments was created by Guizot (Minister of Education then prime Minister of Louis-Philippe).

in 1834, Prosper Merimee was hired for this post. He will go anywhere, categorize and save the heritage.

Today, among these monuments a hundred of them are state-owned. The “Centre des monuments nationaux” is affiliated to the Ministry of Culture and Communication. Its role is to “conserve, restore, manage, lead and open to visitors” , abbeys , castles, prehistoric caves and archaeological sites “.
The others monuments are the property of local governments or private property.

Source: http://www.franceculture.fr/emission-les-idees-claires-de-daniele-sallenave-le-panda-de-chenonceau-2013-09-20

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