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Our mission and vision

The Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA) is a federal non-profit institution that cares for Belgian artistic and cultural heritage. These beautiful and irreplaceable creations embody our shared history and maintain our identity as a society.

To reveal the beauty and meaning of our heritage and preserve it sustainably, the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage strives towards the highest standards in research and conservation-restoration. Undertaking this role, in a spirit of shared responsibility and sustainable development, will enable many future generations to enjoy their heritage. Our mission is to carefully pass on this precious gift of the past to everyone who will come after us.

Interdisciplinary synergy has been the unshakeable foundation for our dedicated experts since 1948, driven by an ardent passion for heritage and science. With a multifaceted range of expertise and advanced technology, we work together to understand heritage in all its aspects and to keep in ‒ or bring it back to ‒ optimal condition through preventive conservation and conservation-restoration treatments. In addition, the Institute provides for broad knowledge sharing about art and heritage and the technology of research and conservation-restoration. Heritage is a matter for us all, and we want to transmit this message of connection.

As a unique centre of knowledge and expertise, the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage fulfils these core tasks for Belgian heritage:

  • Inventory: establishing a photographic inventory
  • Study: carrying out expert assessments and scientific analyses
  • Conservation and restoration: ensuring a good state of preservation, materially and visually
  • Valorisation: valorising and making available all scientific, photographic and technical documentation, data and know-how.

In doing so, the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage is fulfilling its legal missions:

  • The establishment of an inventory of works in photographic or digital formats
  • The management of the documentary, scientific and technical data related to artistic heritage
  • The national and international valorisation and transmission of scientific data
  • Research on Belgian art, materials and techniques used in art and applied art
  • The monitoring and development of conservation materials and techniques
  • The preservation and treatment of objects and the supportive actions taken in this regard
  • The active participation in national and international scientific projects and meetings
  • The preparation of a digitisation plan for its collections, documents, databases and information systems
  • Keeping a register of conservation reports and analyses formulated by its staff members or external collaborators.