We offer our deepest sympathies to the people of Paris at the devastation to the magnificent Notre-Dame.
These terrible events remind us that our shared cultural heritage is hugely important to our sense of identity. As we consider where the skills will come from to restore the tangible heritage of the building, we also come to understand the value of the intangible cultural heritage, that is the traditional knowledge and skills that created such beautiful buildings. The Heritage Crafts Association exists to ensure that this knowledge is preserved and passed to new generations. We are already working to support the craft industries that will be so in demand in the coming years to restore buildings, their decorative interiors and contents that suffer in such circumstances. We are working to ensure that young people have access to learn these skills so that they may pursue a positive and fulfilling career.
When a tragedy such as this strikes, it is easy to consider only the physical cultural heritage. But quietly, our intangible heritage is being lost at an alarming rate, which ironically puts the physical heritage at even greater risk. We must put a greater value on the skills of craftsmen and women and appreciate their enormous contribution to our shared heritage.
Executive Director – Heritage Crafts Association