Contact: +32 16 40 60 73
Postal address: Abdij van Park 7 3001 Leuven
Geographic Coverage of NGO’s expertise: Belgium


Year of creation: 1997

Safeguarding measures:

- identification, documentation, research (including inventory-making)
- preservation, protection
- promotion, enhancement
- transmission, (non-)formal education
- revitalization


PARCUM, museum and expertise centre for religious art and culture, was founded in 1997 as a non-profit organisation with the aim of taking care of the religious heritage of the different religions and worldviews in Flanders and Brussels, Belgium. PARCUM uses an integral and transversal heritage approach. Through an integrated approach, PARCUM takes on all steps in the care of religious heritage, from inventory to valuation and selection to valorisation and the active search for a new future for religious heritage. The transversal approach across the different heritage types ensures that PARCUM always takes into account immovable, movable and intangible heritage when caring for the heritage of a church, monastery or house of prayer ( of different religions and worldviews) . Dialogue is at the heart of PARCUM's work. Religious heritage is a multilayered heritage with different meanings according context and audience. Because of this great diversity of perspectives and opinions on religious heritage, 'dialogue' is a key concept. Dialogue helps to deal meaningfully with religious heritage in today's secularised, multi-religious and super-diverse society. Multi-voicedness and multiculturalism are important pillars in the functioning of PARCUM.


Participation of heritage communities is at the heart of PARCUM's intangible heritage work. PARCUM always works with and for heritage communities. The voice of the heritage communities is decisive in the development of immaterial heritage policy and management in our NGO. The safeguarding programs are always drawn up together with the heritage communities. PARCUM also attaches great importance to enhance cross-fertilisation between heritage communities. In this way, heritage communities, groups, and individuals can exchange expertise and strengthen each other in the safeguarding of intangible heritage. To this end, PARCUM facilitates networks of heritage communities (e.g. procession organisers, volunteer Maria caves, organisers of St. Anthony's celebrations, associations of nativity scene builders, organisers of iftar meals, etc.).