The National Monument Service and organs by Christa Hijink

by Christa Hijink | Het ORGEL | Year 97 | (2001) | Issue 5

Christa Hijink The National Monument Service and organs
Het ORGEL 97 (2001), nr. 5, 5-7 [summary]

The board of the Royal Dutch Organists Association recently met the Adviser on Organsof the National Monument Service, Rudi van Straten, and his predecessor, now deputydirector of the Service, Onno Wiersma, in order to get a better understanding of how theService functions.

Generally speaking, the Service advises the responsible minister concerning monuments,grants subsidies (to a maximum of 70% of the subsidizable costs of a project), andmonitors monuments. The local authorities execute the law with respect to monuments; theNational Service supports and advises them. Consequently, local councils grant or deny apermit for an organ restoration plan, which is usually drawn up by the consultant of theowner of the organ. The owner of a monumental organ may not alter it without a permit.

The profession of organ consultant is free, that is, there are no specific diplomas orcertificates required to practice it. The Organ Committee of the recently formedecumenical protestant churches works with a specific pool of consultants. At the moment,the Committee is working on a profile that consultants will have to comply with.

The National Adviser on Organs has no standard policy. ‘Austere andappropriate’ is his motto with respect to granting subsidies. In addition, the use ofthe organ after restoration and the musical identity of the instrument are importantparameters.