Slide 1





Thierry Wauters, Director

Since the 1st October 2013, Thierry Wauters has been appointed Director of the Directorate for Cultural Heritage of the Brussels-Capital region.

Graduated in Botanical sciences (University Libre Bruxelles), he was entrusted for 20 years the coordination of the department on natural heritage with a 5-year interruption during which he was heritage ad- viser for the secretary of State in this specialty. Thierry Wauters has participated to the restoration of numer- ous protected buildings and sites in Brussels, such as the castle Charle-Albert, the Park of Brussels, the castle of Groesselen- berg, the Bois de la Cambre, or the room Henri Leboeuf in the Palace of Fine Arts. He also coordinated 5 big campaigns of protection which have significantly influenced the heritage policy of Brussels. They are the campaign “Ancien regime”, the remarkable trees, the city-gardens, Brussels Art Nouveau, as well as the “Palais de Bruxelles”. More than 200 properties have been thus definitely protected.


Sonja Vanblaere, Director

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.


Jean Plumier, Administrateur Général

Born in 1960, Jean Plumier bachelored in archaeology and art history at Louvain-la-Neuve, in 1982. He then worked as scientific counselor at the Namur Archaeological Museum and at the National Excavation Service. Although, he spent most of his career working at regional level. He joined the team responsible for the Namur Province in 1992 and was quickly put in charge in 1997, before he was appointed Director of the Regional Excavation Service, in 1999. From 2014 to 2018, he counseled the Wallonian Ministry for Heritage and then joined the new Wallonian Heritage Agency (AWaP), where he became General Inspector in April 2018. Throughout his career, he participated to many ecavations abroad (Italy, France, Cambodia, Tunisia). Jean Plumier is a man of science as well as a field worker. He is a humanist and a pedagogue, who gives great interest in heighten awareness amongst the citizens, by initiating open and engaging projects.

A little bit of history

A European Heritage Summit was first organized in London on 26–28 April 2006 by Dr. Simon Thurley, former Chief Executive Officer of English Heritage. The mission of the Summit was to gather for the first time the European cultural heritage leaders who had the opportunity to exchange their experience and initiate common actions. It was attended by 23 European states which agreed in the Final Statement to continue to meet annually as a forum of European heritage heads, known as the “European Heritage Heads Forum”. Future hosting countries are chosen by general agreement at the annual meeting.

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All rights reserved.