Community Involvement And Military Heritage Conservation: A Case Study Of The Demolition Of The Antwerp Sixteenth-century Fortifications
Free (open access)
267 - 278
J. Dobbels & I. Bertels
This paper focuses on the case study of the nineteenth-century demolition of the sixteenth-century Antwerp fortifications (Belgium), more specifically on the various actors and motives behind the nineteenth-century debate and quest for both the demolition and preservation of this military heritage. The community involvement, including the various actors, their motives and impact of urban action groups on the nineteenth-century conservation debate will be reconstructed. An evaluation of the success of action groups if often based on immediate success (e.g. demolition or protection of heritage) or their life span. One has to question whether such an approach does not underestimate the possible impact of action groups that intensively influenced the political decision-making for a brief period? Therefore within this paper we will examine if other parameters like individual and sociological aspects are relevant to study action groups in a historical perspective, which mechanisms these actions groups used to influence the lively conservation debates and practices and how the authorities and public reacted on it. Keywords: community involvement, urban action groups, contentious politics, military heritage, monument conservation, material preservation, iconographic preservation. 1 Introduction Until recently the status of military heritage remained ambiguous. Both in the fields of (historical) heritage research and heritage policies, military architecture gained little attention. There is however a growing interest in the preservation of military heritage all over Europe. The establishment of an International Scientific
community involvement, urban action groups, contentious politics, military heritage, monument conservation, material preservation, iconographic preservation.