The municipality of Le Havre joined the national network, “Cities and territories of art and history” in 2001. The team for this project organises a range of mediation actions about heritage throughout the year including conference, exhibitions, guided tours, activities, etc. The opportunity for the general public to discover all the facets of this reconstructed city’s heritage.
They focus on the architecture of the 1950s, to showcase the reconstructed city which is listed as World Heritage by UNESCO, and raise inhabitants’ awareness.
Since 2010, several of the department’s missions have been broadened to include subjects until then handled by the UNESCO mission:
- Marked itineraries,
- Travelling exhibition,
- Communication and articles,
- UNESCO events
The opening of the heritage centre “Maison du Patrimoine” – Atelier Perret (2011)
The opening of the cultural centre led to new activities and better visibility:
- themed exhibitions,
- A shop (by-products),
- organisation of a permanent presentation,
- creation of a network (travelling projects, participation in national and regional events).
Workshops for school group
These workshops are mainly for cycles 2 and 3 (ages 3 to 10) from half-days to a whole week. These activities can also be proposed to nursery schools, secondary schools and universities.
There are five main themes, used according to the teacher’s programme, the classes’ level and the neighbourhood.
- About the city. Urban evolution of Le Havre, from the beginning to today.
- Artistic and architectural scenes. The historical and social context of the artistic movements in the 19th and 20th centuries, and their echo with architecture.
- A Port City. Historical aspects (evolution of the original military port to a major trading port), geographic (environment, countryside, estuary, etc.) and economic (existing facilities, maritime traffic, technical details, major projects, etc.).
- The Reconstruction. Historical context, principles of the construction and architectural vocabulary of structural classicism, the perception of the modern heritage, world heritage.
- Le Havre neighbourhoods. Raising awareness about the immediate environment then opening to another neighbourhood or theme.
In the “Cities and territories of art and history” network, activities are led by specialised accredited guides to guarantee the service and transmission of knowledge to the target audience with a tailor-made approach. The initial approach for mediation envisaged, “vertical” (expert to public) can be modified and cross-sectional, with the possibility for exchanges. Indeed it is not as simple as a stereotypical speech, repeated over and over again in the face of a unique object in the heritage landscape.
Indeed, it is necessary to “show”, indicate, interpret explaining arguments used at the time of the Reconstruction, then leave room for exchange, in an approach of transmission and re-appropriation, organised as “heritage workshops”, educational projects with site visits, readings of the city and restitution in class.