Reshaping a region and preserving a heritage
At the beginning of the recession and with the mine closures, the Houillères du Bassin Nord-Pas-de-Calais gave up the mines and systematically demolished the facilities above ground. The mining law prescribed, however, that all mining facilities be secured. The pit-heads became industrial wasteland and large areas arose that were made available for new activities. For several years, the compulsions of real estate and the economy had priority over the requirement to preserve facilities related to culture and the landscape. Then, however, the traces of mining extraction gradually obtained another meaning and were understood as elements of an historical heritage. The article sketches the contents of the cultural heritage of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais coal-field and explains the organizational steps taken to preserve it.