Contesting conservation congestions

By Camille FratiLex Kleren Switch to French for original article

Last July, the administrative court annulled the classification of the Place Bleech and the Larochette cemetery – a classification decided by the Ministry of Culture without waiting for the municipality's favourable opinion. This raises questions about the wave of protection decisions that has swept across the country over the last ten years.

The Grand Duchy has seen a marked increase in the number of protection decisions issued by the Ministry of Culture over the last decade. One look at the statistics from the National Institute for Architectural Heritage (Inpa) – the successor to the Department of Sites and Monuments -reveals that the number of listed buildings or objects has risen from 1,024 in 2013 to 2,025 in 2023. Opinions on whether those are necessary differ depending on whether you ask Inpa or certain owners. Not to mention the local authorities.

The Administrative Court has just ruled on two cases between the municipality of Larochette and the Ministry of Culture. The municipality was challenging a Government Council decree dated 11 June 2021 classifying the Place Bleech and the cemetery. Surprising for a town renowned for its old houses and castle. "Larochette is one of the municipalities with the most listed houses, " points out Natalie Silva, mayor of Larochette between 2017 and 2023, and now a local councillor (and CSV candidate in the parliamentary elections). "If all these houses hadn't been listed, Larochette wouldn't have the charm it has today. And the commune has a very good relationship with the Department of Sites and Monuments."

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