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Mont des Arts: Some areas of historic site awarded protected heritage status
Due to “their historical, aesthetic, artistic, technical, landscape, urbanistic and folkloric interest”, parts of the Mont des Arts have been listed as protected heritage by the Brussels government.
The areas of the historic site now safeguarded include the Mont des Arts esplanade, the equestrian statue of King Albert I, the facades and roofs of the former Palais des Congrès, its entrance hall on Rue Ravenstein and several parts of the Royal Library (pictured below).
Registration on the safeguard list is a more flexible heritage protection measure than classification. It allows for some transformation to a property for a new use as long as its heritage interest is preserved.
“We all have memories of this place. Inscribing it on the safeguard list preserves it for the future without freezing it”, said secretary of state for heritage Pascal Smet in a press release. “We also wanted this recognition in order to reinforce the maintenance obligation incumbent on its owners. The region protects its heritage, it’s up to the federal government to maintain it”.
The Mont des Arts, a popular tourist site, was built between 1959 and 1969. It was designed by architects Jules Ghobert and Maurice Houyouxt, while the layout of its distinctive gardens was carried out by famous landscape architect René Pechère.