You have been invested in cultural heritage for a long time. How is it a strong economic asset for France?
The cultural heritage supports the economy in more than one way. You should already know that cultural and heritage tourism represents 7 points du PIB. It is as much as the automobile. There are also 500,000 jobs concerned, while the heritage sites bring together 35,000 craftsmen or individual entrepreneurs.
How do these independents cope with the health crisis?
Bad, of course! They were directly impacted by this crisis since they did not benefit from measures to help them, such as partial unemployment for example. Even double trouble! They work with local authorities, and in particular municipalities. However, the municipal elections having been postponed, all heritage restoration projects in the municipalities were postponed accordingly …
Has support for culture been too low?
Through the Recovery plan, the government has planned 2 billion for culture, including 614 million for heritage. It is very good ! In particular for the classified heritage, protected, for the museums, even if I regret that there is only 40 million for the private owners.
Their heritage nevertheless sustains the local economy …
Indeed, it allows create jobs in the territories : 52% of our heritage is located in municipalities with less than 2,000 inhabitants. Where companies have sometimes deserted, it is the only wealth that remains. In the Sarthe for example, in Montabon, the inhabitants demonstrated to defend the last local company, a printing press. It has since been relocated to the countries of the East. Today, all that remains in Montabon is a railway rotunda that is regularly restored and which brings in tourists. The proof that heritage energizes regions : it gives life to a village and its economy.
What about industrial companies, aren’t they part of an industrial heritage?
Those which bring artistic crafts to life are not sufficiently defended. What pains me is to see that one of our jewels like Baccarat is going through a terrible crisis. I do not understand why we let our capital go abroad, to the Chinese who do nothing. These crafts are the soul of France and these are entire sectors that must be saved. All the more so since the French are always proud of their heritage: they must also be proud of that of their companies. In each village, there are artisans, freelancers or SMEs who do great things and we never put them forward.
Hence the importance of promoting the made in France?
Behind the made in France, there are creators, know-how, the best workers of France. Mof, for example, there are 17 at Baccarat. The English have already lost this battle, because they no longer have a flagship of British industry since they separated from Rolls Royce. Everything has been sold in the name of the most unbridled liberalism. Also, I am happy with the success that made in France meets more and more. The Élysée Palace has created an online store with companies that each defend a sector of activity (Le Jacquart Français, Kusmi Tea, Le Parapluie de Cherbourg, Le Slip Français …). They promote the label France and it works ! Sales bring in money that allows work to be done that does not cost the taxpayer a dime.
What then do these companies need?
From an even stronger renewed interest, in a spotlight! It’s easy to say we’re going to relocate, but what if people don’t buy the products? The French want relocations, but not pay the price. However, yes, there are taxes in France, the work is more expensive and therefore the finished product too … So it starts with explain the economy to the French, and especially to young people.
Born in Lyon.
Graduated from the École supérieure de Commerce (Lyon).
Editor-in-Chief of Dynastie magazine.
Debut on the radio (France Inter).
Debut on television (TF1).
Beginning of Secrets d’Histoire (France 2).
Launch of the Heritage Mission.