Saturday, January 28, 2012

Protecting the Village Heritage

A handful of us met last evening at the Mairie. First order of business was to form an association for the protection du patrimoine. I admire the French because they work hard to retain and preserve their historic and cultural heritage; this is the purpose of our association. In France, an association can be formed with as few as three people. Once you are officially recognized, it's possible for the association to apply for government money to restore and preserve historic buildings and cultural activities. While the church isn't falling down, it is an old structure that needs some tender loving care. Our association has made it our first priority, but other village sites such as the lavoir are also part of our mission.  Christiane drew up a letter that will be hand-delivered to everyone in the village's mailbox stating our intent and asking for their support...either with their presence or their ideas. We also scheduled our next meeting for March 2.

The church badly needs the peeling plaster scraped from its interior walls. I figure even if I can't speak French (Christiane had to translate for me most of what was discussed at the meeting), I can provide manual labor. So, scraping plaster will be our first big project. I'll update you as we progress with additional photos and perhaps some historical information about the church itself. I'm glad to be able to give back something to this village that has welcomed me so warmly!

2 comments:

  1. That's just how we feel about giving something back. We belong to a local association that is restoring a dilapidated chapel. There's a lot to do but it's worth it and will be so rewarding.

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  2. I really commend you for entering into your life in rural France and not just observing it. The need and desire to preserve history and heritage is something I have found sadly lacking in many parts of the USA compared to France. What better way to become a part of a community than by lending a helping hand.

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