portraits of pionate entrepreneurs on France 5

The documentary Very precious old stones collects testimonies from owners or managers of open monuments
to the public. Profitable or not, this business is a true priesthood. A film not to be missed, this Tuesday September 12 at 9:05 p.m. on France 5

The maintenance of heritage is sometimes a financial pit for its owners or those who manage it. In the new documentary entitled Heritage, old very precious stones, we follow some of them, ready to “invest” in a monument. They even made it, this is the angle of director Valentine Amado, a “business”.

Financial charge

Cave, amut park, housing in old buildings, old locomotive, private castle, church or public monument… In one hour, portraits of enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, managers or owners emerge. Not everyone has the same financial burden on their backs, nor the same challenges, but they all fight to keep the community alive. heritage.
Some people buy a sports car, we finance work », summarizes Nicolas Navarro, owner of the Château du Taillis, on the banks of the Seine, near Rouen and Le Havre, in front of the camera. This enthusiast took over the 16th century residence acquired by his parents in 1998 and is fighting to restore the walls or the door frames. Knowing that the restoration of its pavilions represents 80,000 euros (half of which will be covered by the State), it is imperative to find funds. We thus attend a dinner given in the lounges for a group of Americans, delighted to be there (1,500 euros of receipts) and a day of historical entertainment around the commemorations of May 8, organized in the gardens.

The church market

In Villefranche-de-Conflent, the Lopezes acquired a cave for 400,000 euros, in which they installed an amut park with dinosaurs (from China!). We are far from the major refurnishings of historic castles, but the couple of owners clearly see that “heritage and fun” are not contradictory.
In Brittany, we follow Kléber Rossillon, boss of a company which manages sites throughout France, including the replica of the Chauvet cave or the Ardèche train. Since 2022, he has been dealing with the fate of Suscinio Castle, in Morbihan, in the town of Sarzeau. The monument stands on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. It belongs to the department, which financed the heavy restoration work. Kléber Rossillon is responsible for managing and running the premises. Reconstruction of medieval weapons or tables, sound and light shows… The Rossillon company, which has invested 2 million euros, is striving to find ways to seduce the public, and expects at least 200,000 visitors to the castle Dukes of Brittany.

“Heritage is always human”

The documentary ends with a burning issue, that of churches. Five thousand of them belong to the dioceses, which are sometimes tempted to sell them. There is a market for this, and Patrice Besse, specialist in exceptional real estate, took the plunge, in 2022, by becoming the owner of the church of Sainte-Barbe in Crusnes, in Meurthe-et-Moselle. Commissioned in the 1930s by the Wendel family for metallurgical workers, clified as a historic monument since 1990, restored to normal by the diocese between 1997 and 2006, sold for the first time in 2015, it should be transformed into a place of culture , hosting concerts. Some residents, who used to frequent Sainte-Barbe, are delighted. “Heritage is always human», concludes Patrice Besse

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