January 29, 2012

Jean Linard, La cathédrale/The cathedral: unite to save

 pictures (may 2014) courtesy of Raija Kallioinen

This article describes the activities that after the death of Jean Linard (1931-2012) took place to preserve his creation for the future. For a description of Linard's life and work, see Wikipedia 

Activities to save Jean Linard's Cathédrale after it's creator had died

End January 2012 in accordance with the Linard family, a group of 43 artists, art critics, curators, art collectors and writers about art has signed a petition, adressed to the french minister of culture, asking to do what is in her power -cooperating with regional and local authorities- to keep the site open for the public, protect and save Linard's creation and promote that the complex becomes a cultural centre. 

Of course, France has more art environments that deserve to be saved for the future. One of the three most important sites in France, les Rochers sculptés by Abbé Fouré. even hasn't a protected status, and then you have the sites of ChomoGabriel Albert and Bodan Litnianski that need attention, not to mention other less known sites.

However, it could be that Linard's art environment precisely has the connotation and circumstances that may lead to actions by public officials, which not only are relevant for this site, but also for other ones.

Maybe this is the moment. So, that's why this post is subtitled "unite to save".

Activities in 2012 and following years

Mid-march 2012 the minister of culture has reacted by paying a visit to the site and expressing a positive attitude towards measures promoting the survival of the site.

A committee has been formed, with members of the Linard family and representatives of local and regional public bodies. This committee will steer activities to have the site saved for the future.

Take a look at their new website: la Cathédrale de Jean Linard (english version is under construction)

A poster summarizes the activities of the summer of 2012. In July and August the site will be open for visits by the public, there will be shows, live concerts and meetings with artists.

And there will be lectures and bookshops about art environments in France in general.

The association "Autour de la cathédrale Jean Linard" 

An association Autour de la cathédrale Jean Linard was established to organize activities related to the maintenance of the site (done by volunteers), the reception of visitors, the publicity, the organization of various discussions, meetings and events and -last but not least- the preparation of a plan for the future of the site.

In 2013 the site was open during the summer, which was continued in the following years. In 2019, 8,000 visitors visited the art environment. Regular maintenance was also carried out and all kinds of meetings took place.

2019: a plan for the future management of the site

A plan was also developed for the future management of the site via what in France is called a SCIC (Société coopérative d’intérêt collectif), the formation of a cooperative of involved people who purchase shares to raise the capital to buy the site.

In November 2019 the association discussed this plan with the heirs, also asking for a period of three years to realise their plan to form a cooperative. The association had three proposals to continue the management of the site: a free rental, a lease-sale, an emphyteutic lease (a type of real estate contract used in France that includes that the lessee must improve the property).

However, the heirs in majority did not accept the plan. This means that in summer 2020 the site will not reopen.

* A link to Facebook (february 2012), with the background (in english) of the campaign to save the site 
* A new website "La cathédrale de Jean Linard" (launched may 2012)
* Video (published sept 2014) by the direction de l'inventaire du patrimoine de la region Centre (Heritage board of the Centre region), with views from the air of the site
* Article (December 2018) in regional journal le Berry Républicain about the plan to form a cooperation
* Article (December 2019) also in the regional journal le Berry Républicain about the rejection of the plan by the heirs

first published jan 2012, last revised dec 2019

Jean Linard
la Cathédrale
18250 Neuvy-deux-clochers, dept Cher, region Centre-Val de Loire, France
was open for the public in summer
will probably be closed from summer 2020 on


  1. At the new website I just discovered that La Cathédrale is

    "depuis le 16 juillet 2012 Monument Historique" !

  2. Hello Rita, Yes indeed, the cathedral is a "Monument Historique" nowadays....Very good!