Belgium: Europa Nostra welcomes Centre for Religious Art and Culture

The Centre for Religious Art and Culture (CRKC) joined Europa Nostra’s network of Member Organisations in October 2015. The CRKC is a centre of expertise for religious heritage in Flanders and Brussels, Belgium. It was founded in 1998 by the Flemish Catholic Bishops, the University of Louvain and the Flemish association of religious orders. The Centre collects and shares expert knowledge about religious tangible and intangible culture, supports and advises heritage managers, enthusiastically promotes an interest in this rich heritage, and advocates the active distribution of this valuable information. The scope of the Centre’s work encompasses all the recognised religions in Belgium: Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, Anglicanism, Judaism, Islam, and the Orthodox Churches.

Since 2009, its Department of Movable Religious Heritage has been recognised as a focal point for movable and intangible heritage by the Flemish government. In 2012 its Department of Immovable Religious Heritage, which focuses on the future uses of parish churches and the reuse of redundant churches, was created as a result of the report ‘The future of parish churches in Flanders’ by the Flemish Minister of Heritage, Geert Bourgeois.

The Centre’s base of operations is located at the historical abbey of Park in Leuven, one of the most important religious heritage sites in Flanders. The abbey houses the Museum for Religious Art and Culture which was established by the CRKC in 2003 and opened to the public in 2009. The new wing of the museum will be opened in 2017.

“To face the future challenges for religious heritage and heritage in general, the exchange of experiences and strategies at the European level is a must. The CRKC joined Europa Nostra with the aims of finding a platform for sharing knowledge and contributing to international actions in favour of heritage,” stated Jan Jaspers, Director of the Department of Immovable Religious Heritage.

In Belgium, Europa Nostra has 35 member and associate organisations. Europa Nostra seeks to strongly engage and further enlarge its network of members, associates, benefactors, partners and supports in Belgium and all over Europe. Together we can save and promote our shared cultural heritage. JOIN US


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