Belgian National Service Providers host Minister of Culture, Jan Jambon

National service providers, as the name suggests, develop services on behalf of the heritage sector. They frequently focus on a particular type of heritage, such as the performing arts, architecture, or industrial heritage. CKV’s purview, in this respect, is art archive care. Organisations which take on a service-oriented role are committed to providing heritage managers and heritage communities with guidance and support in their care and treatment of cultural heritage, based on a specific theme. That support can mean a variety of things, from knowledge sharing and development of expertise to digitisation and research.

Belgian National Service Providers have banded together as a deliberative assembly, chaired by Bart Caron. This organisational category emerged as a product of the 2017 Cultural Heritage Decree, which means it has only been around for a relatively short while. This provided these organisations with the impetus to approach the Minister of Culture and bring him up to speed on everything they are involved in and explain where their added value lies.

Consequently, the deliberative assembly organised several workshops to provide the minister with the opportunity to find out about what their service may entail. One of the key duties that national service providers are tasked with is connecting people, organisations, policy areas, different generations, and other walks of life. This concept of connectedness and solidarity was symbolised by the puzzle the minister put together in one of the workshops, in which one of the pieces supplied information on artist legacies.

The minister later said that he had had a fascinating day and even expressed interest in becoming a heritage volunteer at some point in the future. He did mention, however, that this would have to be put a hold for a while given his busy career.