Belgium

Sonja Vanblaere

Belgium

Sonja Vanblaere was born in Antwerp in 1957. She studied Germanic philology at the KU Leuven, where she obtained her degree in 1979. In 1982 she started her professional career at the Ministry of the Flemish Community, where she held various positions in different organisations (Culture, Health Inspectorate, Family and Social Welfare, Human Resources). In 2006 she was appointed Administrator General of the Agency for Immovable Heritage. This agency is situated within the Environment and Spatial Development policy area, and is responsible for the preparation, implementation and evaluation of Flanders’ immoveable heritage policy. The policy implementation comprises the valorisation and protection of the immovable heritage, the guidance of its management by providing knowledge, expertise and financial support, as well as the recognition and support of various actors. To carry out this mission the agency has a workforce of about 250 full-time equivalents and an annual budget of around 120 million EUR. The Flemish heritage inventory includes some 74,000 heritage objects, 13,500 of which are protected. Flanders’ heritage is especially known for its historic city centres and their cathedrals, belfries and beguinages, many of which are recognised as world heritage.

She is also a member of the board of 13 Flemish CEOs that represents the 70 agencies in Flanders. She lives in a village that has a lot of rural and landscape heritage values and she is a ferocious reader.

 

 

State Heritage Authority website: https://www.onroerenderfgoed.be/