La saline d'Arc-et-Senans : manufacture, utopie et patrimoine (1773-2011)

Abstract : The Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans were built from 1774 according to the drawings of thearchitect Claude Nicolas Ledoux. Today they are a famous touristic and cultural centre, especially since they have been inscribed on the Unesco World Heritage List in 1982. However their history is before everything a history of a place where salt is produced during more than one century. Further to the decision of the Ferme générale, they were built to solve the difficulties about salt sources exploitation at the saltworks of Salins, particularly the lack of wood. Because they are saltworks without salt resources, their exploitation question their lack of autonomy behind their economic failure. They struggle to find a place in the salt market because of legal and economic frameworks of the Salines de l'Est. These latter were firstly protected by the state monopoly on salt until the law of 1840. Then they were left incompetiton with private entrepreneurs who tried to gather all the eastern salt mines within a public limited company. The Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans closed in 1895 because they were less profitable than the others and this could not be improved. They narrowly escaped usual destiny of former production places : become an industrial wasteland. In 1926, they were listed historical monument then bought by the department of Doubs in 1927. It was the time to approach the future of industrial sites whose activity stopped. Many projects of conversion suceeded each other until the 1960s with no results. A solution was found in 1972 by technocrats working in cultural fields, with the creation of the Centre du futur. The identity of this place was rebuilt with the concept of ideal city and the Saltworks became the heritage of utopia. However from a touristic point of view, they struggle today to show a coherentidentity to visitors. Because the industrial memory of this place has been eclipsed, the Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans is an unique example of invented heritage.
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Emmeline Scachetti. La saline d'Arc-et-Senans : manufacture, utopie et patrimoine (1773-2011). Histoire. Université de Franche-Comté, 2013. Français. ⟨NNT : 2013BESA1030⟩. ⟨tel-01327327⟩

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