HRH Prince Lorenz graciously accepted to become Honorary President of the Heritage Fund.
The Foundation’s involvement in heritage began in 1987, with support from the National Lottery. The Heritage Fund was created with the objective of conserving and protecting Belgian heritage. It is mainly active in acquisitions, either on the open market or through the intermediary of generous donors. The Fund has an annual budget of some 1 million euros, €600,000 of which are devoted to acquisitions.
Conservation and Promotion
Over time, and thanks to numerous donations, the Fund has been able to build up a precious collection of almost 21,560 works of art and 22 archival funds. Each of these acquisitions has been made available for everyone. Through its system of permanent loans, the Fund has entrusted the works in its collection to over 65 museums and public institutions across Belgium.
The Fund has also committed to taking the measures necessary to preserve the pieces it has acquired and, where necessary, to restore them. Every acquisition or donation is individually promoted. This may be via a publication, an exhibition and/or a dedicated website. The management and promotion of the works is conducted in consultation with the institution to which they have been entrusted.
A role as facilitator
The Heritage Fund’s policy of safeguarding important elements of our heritage has conferred on it a special role as actor in this field. Since the King Baudouin Foundation has the status of being a private institution working on everyone’s behalf, it enjoys the unique possibility of providing a link between private initiatives and public bodies. The Fund is therefore also approached to facilitate projects to safeguard our heritage emanating from third parties such as public bodies. This role as facilitator is based notably on the Fund’s image of impartiality, as well as its numerous networks, its flexible and transnational formulae for patronage and its links with the various communities.
Philanthropists share the Heritage Fund’s concerns and back up its activities through their own initiatives. Some provide financial support to achieve a particular objective that they have chosen. Others entrust to the Fund important elements of our heritage that they have been able acquire or collect.
Individual funds active in the heritage field on the other hand, have been created by patrons or companies. Whatever the initiative, the Heritage Fund coordinates them all in order to ensure for them the greatest possible impact.