The interior of the Majellakerk in Amsterdam, a recent redevelopment project of Stadsherstel

Brazil: successful exchange of knowledge between IPHAN and RCE

Early September, IPHAN policy officer Beatriz Otto de Santana returned to Brazil after a three-month exchange of knowledge at the RCE

IPHAN is the National Artistic and Historic Heritage Institute in Brazil. During her stay, Beatriz identified three factors for success in the management of Dutch cultural heritage: decentralisation of responsibilities, formal and informal partnerships with the private sector and an extensive system of subsidies and funding for the preservation of monuments.

Like Brazil, the Netherlands distinguishes three levels of protection: municipal, provincial and national. However, in the Netherlands, municipalities are even responsible for national monuments. The second factor for success is a rich variety of public-private arrangements for heritage protection and preservation. Third, the Netherlands has several possibilities to support owners of buildings that have been declared monuments, like subsidies, tax rebates and funding for maintenance and restoration of built heritage. This is reflected in the quality of interventions and the large percentage of buildings in good condition in the Netherlands. As Beatriz sees it, understanding these factors for success is important when it comes to re-evaluating and proposing improvements in the cultural heritage field in Brazil.

The next step in the ongoing cooperation between IPHAN and RCE will be a workshop held in Brazil on cultural landscapes. From the Dutch perspective, it is interesting to understand how Brazil has been promoting landscape studies that make a tie between the tangible and intangible values of a place.