An Ateliers d’Art de France event

Heritage, The challenge of Transmission

Heritage, The challenge of Transmission

As one of the founding principles of the notion of heritage, transmission is one of the major challenges of the sector. Conserving, sustaining, developing, training: these are some of the missions shared by all industry stakeholders. All the facets of this word, so dear to the heritage sector and its stakeholders, will be at the heart of the exchanges and programme this year.

Knowledge, Culture, Tradition—Intangible Transmission


As the spearhead of the schools, training centres, fine craft workshops and manufactures, intangible transmission will be given pride of place at the fair: transmission of skills to perpetuate a culture, maintain and disseminate knowledge.

On the national level, over 38,000 fine craft companies are spread across the entire territory, from individual workshops to art manufactures. They hold unique, ancient and reinvented skills. They are the protectors of a vision of society focused on a sustainable future: restoring, conserving, creating, transmitting, lasting. That is one of the goals of such awards as Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF), the “Living Heritage Company” label (EPV), the Compagnons system, and the Association des Maîtres d’Art et de leurs Elèves (Association of Master Artists and their Students), composed of professionals appointed by the Ministry of Culture for their practice and transmission of exceptional skills and rare crafts and their work to perpetuate them. The fair highlights the actors of skills transmissions, including the oldest and yet most modern German gold-beating workshop Eytzinger; or the Atelier Marie-Hélène Poisson, a family business which has been specialising in the restoration of Boulle furniture pieces for four generations, transmitting their skills for nearly 20 years through courses and traineeships. The rich history of the workshop continues today with the integration of the creator’s daughter.

Training, recruitment and career transition are some of the aspects of the transmission challenge for which Ateliers d’Art de France, the professional organisation for fine crafts, is working throughout the year. This year, the fair will welcome a growing number of training organisations specialising in heritage and restoration professions, including Campus Versailles, Cergy Paris University, Institut de Formation Professionnelle 43 or the GIP, formation tout au long de la vie. As a major event for all the actors of the sector, the fair is also the place where business initiatives are highlighted, such as the Manufacture des Forges, specialising in ironwork and brass-work, which has created a training and development centre for these professions. Archaïos, the scientific research society, is developing archaeological projects on an international level and offers heritage expertise and training for archaeologists, leaning on the multidisciplinary skills of its teams of researchers.

Property Assets, Transfer and acquisition of Companies—Material Transmission

The question of the material transmission—of companies and properties—is a true challenge of heritage, and is addressed by many initiatives, from family takeover to associations’, local or government initiatives.

In the field of built heritage, there are many transmission challenges. Transferring and perpetuating a company and its activities is a challenge for all the exhibitors of the fair: suppliers of raw materials, architects, experts in character properties such as Patrice Besse. Some of them have had romantic journeys—industrialisation, family takeover and transmission to apprentices. As the last and only tile manufacturer in the Lorraine region, the Niderviller Tuilerie, established in 1815, is now a family business, whose operation is more artisanal today than it has been during other phases of its rich history. Heritage conservation also involves preserving collections for long periods of time through processes designed to prevent the development of pests, such as the treatments created by 3PA. Fine craft professions working in the restoration industry are also in the spotlight, including Atelier Hugues Losfeld for painted decorations, Atelier Lauranne MK for gold leaf gilding or Atelier Muranese for heritage stained glass windows.

Once again, this edition will highlight the crucial part played by heritage preservation associations to ensure transmission, in the image of Urgences Patrimoine, which is fighting against the loss of certain skills and the demolition of heritage sites.

As a vector of attractiveness and territorial identity, heritage is the object of attention from local actors, local authorities and CMAs (Chambers of fine craft professions) involved in the transmission of skills and the transfer of companies as well as the safeguarding of endangered monuments. This year, the fair will host regional pavilions for the Grand Est and Nouvelle-Aquitaine regions, and the first Collectivité de Corse pavilion.

Transmission on the Agenda!

Conferences and debates, awards, demonstrations … the four-day programme of the fair will revolve around this theme, embraced by Ateliers d’Art de France and its partners, as well as by the exhibitors.


As a nationwide talent scout, every year, Ateliers d’Art de France rewards a new generation of fine craft creators through the Prix de la Jeune Création Métiers d’Art (Young Creative Craftsworker’s Award) and the Concours Ateliers d’Art de France. Some of the 2023 winners will be unveiling their skills to the public and industry professionals at the Carrousel du Louvre.

Since 2013, the “Fine Craft Profession & Built Heritage” award carried by VMF and Ateliers d’Art de France, fosters the sustainability, accession or development of fine craft professions serving built heritage. It includes a “Transmission” category and will be awarded during the fair. A €10,000 grant will give a leg up to the winner’s activity. Discover the winners of the previous editions.


Many subjects will be discussed as part of this year’s cycle of conferences, including the preservation of exceptional skills as one of the major challenges for the transmission of heritage to future generations; the emblematic distinctions of fine craft and heritage professionals, protectors of the transmission of exceptional skills; public procurement at the service fine craft professions: a major challenge for transmission.

For this 28th edition, the International Heritage Fair will once again be a place for special exchanges between property owners and professionals, companies and future apprentices, institutions and sponsors, project carriers and conservation associations, experts and enthusiasts.