European statement on training and culture for the stonemason and
stone caning profession throughout Europe
Great examples of cultural heritage throughout the world are the
legacy of the stonemason and stone carving trade. They embody the
cultural and national identity of people all over the world. Many of
these works took hundreds of years to complete and they still exist
today and will continue to exist for many years to come.
As a result of training and professional ethics, stonemasons acquired
a wide range of skills and knowledge which enabled them to create
these diverse works of architecture and sculpture to a high standard.
Without the technical and educational support of cathedral works
organisations, cathedrals would never have been built The foundation
of the Association of Cathedral Works Organisations in 1459,
commemorates these and other great feats.
The significance of this heritage, and a responsibility towards it,
are of utmost importance if the challenges and tasks of the future are
to be fulfilled. If the skills and knowledge with which these works
were created no longer exist, it will become impossible to preserve
and maintain our heritage for the generations to come. Valuable
artistic principles and skills of craftsmanship have to be preserved
and fostered for the culture of today and for the future. At the same
time, the local situation has to be taken into consideration, while
respecting the achievements of our ancestors and like-minded
colleagues in other countries today. This is the fundamental principle
on which our continual efforts towards me improvement of standards and
a wider recognition of the stonemason‘s profession is based.
There is no standardised system of vocational training in Europe and
therefore none of the existing courses could be adopted by all
countries. There is a need to set up links between the different
systems and to exploit new opportunities. In Europe, closer ties are
being formed and the process of enlargement is taking place, which in
the stonemason and carving trade can be seen as a continuing process
linking generations to each other. This is a great opportunity which
should be taken and exploited in a creative and positive way. The
prerequisite for this development is mutual acceptance among
colleagues all over Europe of the work of others, and the social and
cultural significance of this work for each individual country with
their own legal systems. An additional common tie is the mutual
striving for high standards in practical and academic training.
The following recommendations for a training programme in the
stonemason and stone carving trades in Europe were compiled at the
fourth international meeting for training and culture in the stone
trade which took place on 5 and 6 October 2001 in Soest, where l6
nations were represented.
The skills and knowledge required for the working and finishing of
NATURAL STONE, as well as for other related materials, are an
essential part of the stonemason and stone carving profession.
The aim is to establish a European training programme in stonemasonry
and stone carving leading to qualified stonemason and master mason
The programme is to include training in all conventional techniques of
stone working, restoration and stone conservation. In addition to the
modem techniques of working and finishing stone, traditional skills
should be taught. Importance must also be given to general knowledge
subjects and, in an expanding Europe, at least one foreign language
should be included in the programme. The programme should offer a
European exchange to ensure as comprehensive a training as possible in
A syllabus is to be agreed upon by all the European parties as well as
the course duration. Additional information
The European training scheme is to lead to the qualification and
title of QUALIFIED EUROPEAN MASON. The training is to include
traditional techniques in stonemasonry as well as typical techniques
of other European countries. Particular emphasis should be placed on
techniques in restoration in different periods of architecture as well
as on the common types of stone (granite, limestone, marble, sandstone
The tide of QUALIFIED EUROPEAN MASON will be awarded by an examining
board on successful completion of an examination in which theoretical
and practical skills are to be tested. Completion of an example of
stone work will also be required as part of the examination.
After qualifying, the QUALIFIED EUROPEAN MASON should have the
opportunity to attend specialised training courses relevant to his/her
skills. Training support programmes in each country should offer
further opportunities for qualified masons.
Training programmes should support the mason in working towards the
master examination and qualification. Completion of an example of
master stone work is a requirement for the qualification and title
EUROPEAN MASTER MASON.
In addition to a knowledge of all the latest techniques in working and
finishing stone, the EUROPEAN MASTER MASON has to prove that he/she is
competent in all the traditional skills from ancient to modem times,
in restoration techniques of our cultural heritage and that he/she
observes the CHARTER OF VENICE.
The EUROPEAN MASTER MASON, based on these recommendations, commits
him/herself to take part in training courses, in an on-going learning
process throughout his/her career.
In each European country, a perpetual list of qualified masons and
master masons will be drawn up.
The master title should be a registered title in all European
The EUROPEAN MASTER MASON title is to be unconditionally recognised in
each European country and will allow the holder to work in his/her
profession in that country.
With its importance in a European society, the culture of the
stonemason and stone carving profession in Europe;, in all its facets
and in each local situation, should be given new impetus and continued
The aim is for the EUROPEAN MASTER MASON qualification to be
recognised as a university entrance requirement.
Other trades and professions should be encouraged to follow in our
steps towards a EUROPEAN MASTER qualification.
Members of the committee responsible for the compilation of
recommendations for a training programme in the stonemason and stone
carving trades in Europe in 2001:
Jürgen Prigl (Germany), Chairman; Arnold Dall'Asta (Hungary); Franz
Bamberger (Austria);Andrea Bianchi (Switzerland); Maja Capuder
(Slovenia); Gabriella Csanadi (Hungary); Andre Damkjaer (Denmark);
Harry Färber (Germany); Jean-Paul Foucher (France); Bernhard Grassl
(Italy); Jette Gustafsen (Denmark); Michael Hauck (Germany); Kurt
Johansson (Sweden); Franz-Josef Kniola (Germany); Ján Krtik
(Slovakia); Christian Laurent (France); Håkan Lindkvist (Sweden);
Marcial Lopez (Spain); André Malicot (France); Sándor Molnár
(Hungary); Breda Potočnik (Slovenia); Franz Russegger (Austria);
Barbara Schock-Werner (Germany); Åke Gustaf Sjöberg (Sweden); Carolien
van der Star (Belgium); Ame Stavik (Norway); Bohumil Teplý (Czech
Republic); Tonci Viahovic (Croatia); Ernst Jan de Vries (Netherlands);
Franz Waldner (Italy)