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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.

Article 1
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.

Article 2
The aim is to establish a European training programme in stonemasonry and stone carving leading to qualified stonemason and master mason status.

Foundation training
Article 3
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 practical techniques.
A syllabus is to be agreed upon by all the European parties as well as the course duration. Additional information

Article 4
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 etc.).
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.

Further Training
Article 5
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.

Article 6
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.

Legal situation
Article 7
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 countries.
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.

Social status
Article 8
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 support.
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)

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