(disponible pour l'instant uniquement en anglais / For the time being, available only in English)
“ICOMOS was not conceived as a place for people to boost their own sense of self-worth, but as a way of serving the universal community”.
That is how, when in 1993 he retraced how ICOMOS had come into being, Raymond Lemaire
emphasized the need at that time to bring together people from all the disciplines of the
conservation and restoration of the heritage. He wanted an association of members who were
highly professionally qualified, guaranteeing scientific seriousness and at the same time being open
to and respectful of differences of conception and sensibility. ICOMOS “is not a platform for vanity,
but for dedication. The idea of servus servorum culturae is the very core of the responsibilities we
agree to bear. That is what makes it possible to promote understanding and friendship”. For
Raymond Lemaire, “the special contribution of ICOMOS to peace and understanding between men
is not a secondary objective”.
About the Fund
Professors Piero Gazzola and Raymond Lemaire, two of the founders of ICOMOS, attached the
greatest importance to training young professionals and welcoming them into the ICOMOS family.
Since 1981, at every General Assembly, ICOMOS has awarded the Gazzola Prize to a person or
group of persons who has worked with distinction towards the objectives of ICOMOS. In 1999, the
General Assembly in Mexico passed Resolution 29, which envisaged the creation of an International
Fund named after Raymond Lemaire designed to raise funds for training young heritage
professionals. Thanks to study bursaries and cooperation arrangements with training organisations,
these young heritage professionals would be enabled, throughout the whole world, to take part in
post-graduate courses or traineeships in conservation and restoration.
With the creation of this Fund, endorsed in March 2008 by the Executive Committee, the names of
the two founding fathers of ICOMOS are reunited by two different but complementary initiatives.
The Fund has received particular support from Carmen Añon, Jean Barthélemy, Françoise Choay,
Maria Pia Gazzola, Marie-Jeanne Geerts, Bernadette Gradis, Donald Insall, Jukka Jokilehto, Mark
Laenen, François Leblanc, Jean-Louis Luxen, Andries Van den Abeele, ICOMOS Belgium and the
children of Raymond Lemaire. The sum of 5000 Euros has been raised to launch the Fund.
About Raymond Lemaire
Born on 28th May 1921 in Uccle, Brussels, into a family of architects, Raymond Lemaire was
trained in History, Art History, and Archaeology at the Catholic University of Louvain. His doctorate
thesis (1949) was on “The Origin of the Gothic Style in Brabant”. A lecturer since 1947, he was
appointed to a professorship in 1954.
He is one of the authors of the “Venice Charter”, which he drafted during the 2nd International
Congress of Architects and Monument Technicians in 1964, at the request of his colleague and
friend Piero Gazzola. The “Venice Charter” later became the basis for the creation of ICOMOS in
1965. After almost ten years as Secretary General of ICOMOS, Raymond Lemaire succeeded Piero
Gazzola as President of ICOMOS in 1975.
A teacher in many Universities, Raymond Lemaire was above all a “visionary, a master and a
conservator without equal”, in the words of Dr. Roland Silva, past president of ICOMOS. During his
life, he was particularly concerned with the education of young professionals. In 1976, he founded,
as part of the College of Europe in Bruges, the Centre for Conservation of Historic Towns and
Buildings, under the patronage of ICOMOS. In 1981, the Centre moved to the K.U.Leuven. It has
up to this date trained more than 700 young heritage professionals and today bears the name “The
Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation” (RLICC).
In her tribute at his funeral in 1997, Françoise Choay summed up the essence of Raymond
Lemaire’s personality as follows: “For all of us who came from the four corners of the world to the
Centre to study, search, work, explore our potential, for all us students, educators, researchers,
and also for his colleagues, he was simply ‘The Professor’: an affectionate designation which did
not just indicate his knowledge and authority, but also the effect of his presence, that fatherly
spirituality which, in conversation with him, made the other person bring out that what was best in
themselves”. This, then, shall also be the aim of the Raymond Lemaire International Fund.
Donate to the Fund
By donating to the Fund, you will be helping the professionals of tomorrow to secure the best
training. By enabling them to hone their skills in the best centres all over the world, you will help
young people to develop that frame of mind so dear to Raymond Lemaire: learning to respect the
differences of conception and sensibility of all peoples and all civilisations.
The Executive Committee of ICOMOS will decide on the method of disbursal and the Fund will be
managed by the International Secretariat.
If you want to help the Fund, send your donations to the ICOMOS account :
IBAN: FR76 3007 6023 5211 5890 0020 018
BIC / SWIFT Code: NORDFRPP
Please mark your donation “Fonds Raymond Lemaire”
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