Aanzetten voor een erfgoedbeleid. De afbraak van het Antwerpse burchtgebied als casestudy voor de veranderende omgang met erfgoed (1863-1900)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article offers a closer look on the nineteenth-century 'paradoxical' handling of the
past: demolition next to preservation. As a result of enormous infrastructure works,
great parts of the old European town centers were demolished. On the other hand a
conservative vision arose that pleaded for town renewal with respect for the historical
heritage. In the literature Belgium is seen as an example of the top-down model,
because of the fast institutionalization of heritage conservation through the creation of
the Royal Commission for Monuments in 1835. However, this article argues that the
importance of the local and regional level has been underestimated in studies of emerging
heritage conservation. The main focus of this article is the local level, more specifically
the functioning of the supervision commission (1882-1885), which decided on the
preservation of relicts from the citadel area that had to be demolished in the period of
the redrawing of the river Scheldt. A study of the preservation arguments used by this
commission offers insight in its policy vision. The resemblance between these urban
lines of policy and the provincial, national and even international visions becomes clear.
This study of the urban supervision commission intents to offer an alternative view on
the (inter)national story of the rise of a nineteenth-century monument care.
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)129-145
Number of pages17
JournalStadsgeschiedenis (Hilversum)
Issue number2011/2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2012


  • Monument conservation

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