Emmanuel Macron will announce on Monday a campaign to classify more religious buildings in France as historical monuments, in order to facilitate their preservation, and plans to launch a financial subscription with the French to restore this "modest religious heritage".
During a trip to Mont-Saint-Michel to celebrate the millennium of the abbey of the famous rocky islet of the Manche, in Normandy, the Head of State will look into the fate of the "unprotected religious heritage of cities less than 10,000 inhabitants,” the presidency told reporters.
Of some 50,000 places of worship (including 42,000 Catholics) that exist in France according to a still incomplete census, only 10,500 are protected as historical monuments, a label which opens access to aid from the Ministry of Culture.
The president will ask his Ministers of Culture and the Interior to present him before the European Heritage Days of September 16 and 17 with a "clearer" inventory of the situation of these buildings, said an adviser.
"In addition, the Ministry of Culture will initiate a campaign to register or classify as historical monuments buildings of worship built in particular in the 19th and 20th centuries, whose heritage interest would justify it, with regard to a set of historical, artistic, scientific and technical criteria,” the Élysée Palace said in a statement.
According to the adviser, "there is progress to be made by taking into consideration the originality of these buildings, the quality of their environment", "their decorative elements" and the "quality of their architecture" which "we can better appreciate -maybe a few decades ago.
To finance the needs for restoration, Emmanuel Macron "opens the door to the launch of a subscription which is specifically devoted to these religious buildings", also announced the Elysée, recalling that the French were already participating in the effort through the Heritage Loto launched during the first five-year term of the Head of State.
"When we see the outpouring of generosity from which Notre-Dame-de-Paris" benefited after the fire, the President of the Republic believes that "calling on the commitment of the French men and women, perhaps also of "elsewhere a certain number of foreigners, in favor of this specific heritage", "it would be worth resorting to this tool of subscription again", it was explained.
Asked if an exceptional tax deduction would accompany this subscription as for Notre-Dame, the adviser did not exclude it, specifying that this point would be "studied" with the Ministry of Finance by September.