dangerous industrial heritage - patrimoine industriel dangereux
Steering Group / Comité de Pilotage
Smoke and fire...










Many industrial sites are dangerous.

Windmills, steam boilers, cogwheels and drive shafts all include potential danger while they do not comply with modern health and safety regulations. Two deaths on Dutch windmills, a miller in Flanders hit by the sails,... are just some examples of the dangers inherent to working historic industrial sites.
Most industrial sites are polluted. Can they be opened to the public without harming visitors? How to allow visits to a boat or an old power station filled with asbestos, or to a former mercury processing plant, a historic nuclear power station,...?
Everyone agrees that interpretation should be based on the real thing, the real history - and not on a ‘created’ Disneyland-image of it. To what extend a ‘reconstructed’ underground mine does offer a real experience and explains to the public the real work and life of miners at the coal front? Or does it only offers some ‘kick’ which has no or little reference to the original? Visiting a coal mine without being black when returning to the ‘surface’ ?

Aims of the steering group : 

  • to exchange information on all aspects of conservation, restoration, interpretation and opening to the public of 'dangerous' heritage - as well buildings, sites as objects in collections and museums   
  • To discuss environmental and safety issues connected to this kind of heritage
  • To compare legislation and practices in different European countries as concerns the cleaning up and conservation of polluted and 'dangerous' historic sites, buildings and objects in museums and collections, including aspects of public health and safety at work and to visitors

Expected results:

  •  An international conference on the conservation, interpretation and opening to the public of 'dangerous' heritage   
  • A overview and analysis of the dangers inherent in old industrial sites, buildings and collections   
  • A list of good examples, solutions and procedures for the conservation of this kind of sites and objects and their interpretation and presentation to the general public

Co-ordinator / Team leader:
VVIA - Vlaamse Vereniging voor Industriële Archeologie (Flemish Association for Industrial Archaeology, Belgium)

> still looking for partners. Contact the team leader if your institute or association is interested to join

Modus operandi :
Electronic communication (e-mail, dropbox, skype)

at present no funding available for the working group members.

Languages used in the group:
English and French for internal communication

Languages accepted for incoming information:
English, French, German, Dutch, Catalan, Spanish and Italian

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