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Palace and Park of Versailles

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    Palace of Versailles and its garden is a royal symbol and historic monument located in Versailles, near Paris in France. The Palace was occupied by the kings and their court from the 16th century until the French Revolution in 1789 when the absolute monarchy has been abolished (Chateau Versailles, n.d.). Firstly a modest castle built for Louis XIII, his son Louis XIV did not cease to extend it and installed the court in it to become a huge Palace of 63 154 m² and 2 300 rooms. The aim of Louis XIV was to build a model of royal residence for European kings. Beside the Palace, Louis XIV undertook the construction of a garden and of the Trianons, which took 40 years to build. Even if the Palace lost its kings residence character after the Revolution, Versailles becomes from the 19th century the museum of French history (Chateau Versailles, n.d.).

     

    The importance of this World Heritage site lies on the history and culture the site represents to the world. The site of Versailles is part of the UNESCO convention since 1979 and, thus, has been one of the first French world heritages to be on the list (Advisory Body Evaluation, 1979). The Palace has been under construction during more than a century and gathers the work and art of numerous French artists with sculptures, architecture, paints, different decorations, and landscape architecture which make it a “unique artistic realization” (Advisory Body Evaluation, 1979). As said previously, the aim of the king by building such a Palace was to provide to other European Kings a royal ideal. Thus, we find Versailles influence on royal palaces all around Europe as in Germany, Russia, Sweden, . (Advisory Body Evaluation, 1979; Peduzzi, 2014).

     

    The managerial challenge is, in this case, financial. As Aas, Ladkin and Fletcher (2005) noticed, World Heritage sites invovle many challenges in the managment of these one. Being an important site by its size and by its number of visitors, the palace and the park ask a continuous maintnance all the year round and thus, invovles a lot a money. To face the important costs that occure to renovate the Palace and maintain the gardens, Versailles find a help in sponsorships (companies, organisations and privates). In 1999, numerous trees dating from the kings century have been destroyed by a storm. A campaign called "10 000 trees for Versailles" have been leaded and enabled to reorganize the gardens. After the success of this campaign, other one have been run for the whole domain. Sponsoring represent nowadays 20% of the financial ressources. The 80% rest are financed by the French cultural ministry. However, the renovation cost has never been a reson to break the cultural offer and Versailles still gives to the visitors an affordable cultural experience to 4 millions visitors per year. (Peduzzi, 2014, Guénot, 2012)

     

    References:

    GUÉNOT H. (2012) Revolutions au château de Versailles. Le Journal Du Dimanche. [Online] Available in: http://www.lejdd.fr/ [Accessed 13/11/2014]

    AAS, C., LADKIN, A. and FLETCHER, J. (2005) Stakeholder collaboration and heritage management. Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 32, No. 1, pp. 28–48.

    UNESCO (1979) Advisory Body Evaluation [Online]. Available in: http://whc.unesco.org/archive/advisory_body_evaluation/83bis.pdf [ Accessed 12.11.2014]

    UNESCO (1979-2014) Palace and Park of Versailles. [Online]. Available in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/83 [Accessed 12.11.2014]

    PEDUZZI, L. (2014) Own experience and knowledge of the site. [Reviewed 12.11.2014] student/French citizen, h13laepe@du.se

     

      

    Laetitia PEDUZZI

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    Comments (4)

    Viewing 4 of 4 comments: view all
    Hey Laetitia!!
    The presentation was very interesting! The initial overview of the sight is very good also I like the contents you choose for the managerial challenges. However, I don’t think they are elaborated very well, even you have mentioned about sponsoring and you said that “ the other one cover 20% financial resources” what is the other one? And I am not sure about the number but you said “4 billion visitors per year” is that really the exact number?
    Best regards,
    Yonas edited 01:53, 17 Nov 2014
    Posted 01:47, 17 Nov 2014
    Yonas, thank you for your comment and I am glad the topic interested you. By "other one" I meant that other sponsoring campaigns have been run after the first one (for the trees in 1999). Since it has been a real success and enabled to finance all new trees, they decided to spread it to the whole domain. Today, sponsoring represent 20% of the resources. For the rest, being a national museum, Versailles is mainly financed by the state and especially by the culture ministry. Unfortunately, as you may know, France has an important debt and the resources given to it are getting lower year after year. Thus, they decided to use sponsoring to keep the place attractive; and it works.
    Then, thank you for pointing the number of visitors, I actually made a mistake and it is around 4 million visitors per year. Of course it depend of the years and different numbers can be found then ( it has been up to 6.5 million in 2011).
    I will update the article, thank you again!
    Posted 09:39, 17 Nov 2014
    Hi Laetitia,
    This is a really interesting and great work. You clearly point out the facts, most people are interested in and it in my opinion it is very good, that you also mention failures, such as the money issue. I am just wondering about the private sponsoring: Who gives basically the most money? Tourists or mainly the inhabitants of Paris? Because if it is the mostly depending on the residents, I am wondering if they may stop funding it after a while, as the renovation is a never ending going process.
    But all in all, it was a pleasure to read your piece of work. Thank you :-)
    Posted 16:07, 20 Nov 2014
    Hi Amy, thank you for your comment. Sponsors are different kind of people, all having a fortune (some more than others of course), being from Paris but also from some other countries and just loving art. It is also several big companies as Vinci which has been financing two year of renovation in exchange they have been the official partner of the palace for these two years. So I believe there will always have several art lover who want to "adopt" a piece of the palace and also companies who want to be part of such an important project. By the way, this year started the renovation of the Queen's house sponsored by Dior.
    I hope it answered your question ;)
    Posted 13:12, 22 Nov 2014
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