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Thousands of strangers from around the world help save this crumbling French castle

The Chateau de la Mothe-Chandeniers was built in the 13th century and has had many owners since then. But not as many as it now has. Over 18, 000 strangers from 115 countries have recently banded together to save this fairytale castle from further decay and inevitable destruction.

A crowdfunding campaign that was run by the French site Dartagnans raised 1,618,927 for the structure’s preservation and every contributor becoming a part owner of the historic home.

The chateau is located roughly 200 miles southwest of Paris in Les Trois-Moutiers. Its oldest sections were built by the Bauçay family in the 1200s. It survived two occupations by the English during the Middle Ages as well as being ransacked amid the French Revolution.

Two major restorations, in 1809 and 1870, helped incorporate the original building into a more Romantic style home. The structure was already in a state of disrepair when it was acquired by a math teacher in 1981 who did his best to preserve the site. But it wasn’t enough and nature has sprouted greenery from windows and rooftops.

Rather than see the building destroyed by developers, locals joined forces to raise the money needed to save the structure. “The idea is not just about raising the money, but getting as many people as possible to participate in saving this magical, fairytale place,” said Dartagnans founder Romain Delaume in an interview with the Guardian. “The more the merrier.”

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Join Us To Preserve Our Heritage

 

The success story of the Chateau de la Mothe-Chandenier in France is undeniable proof that anyone, as a single person with no special skills and of limited means, has the power to preserve their heritage anywhere in the world.

Exactly where on the planet you happen to live today, is irrelevant. It does not matter if it is this chateau in France or the ancient city of Palmera in Syria or the last pioneer’s cabin in Michigan. It is as much your heritage and responsibility than any other person’s to preserve.

We can make excuses and continue to just blame big corporations, government bureaucracies and corrupt billionaire politicians for our failures. Or we can take action and claim that power.

Together we have all the wealth and influence than we need. We have allowed ourselves to be brainwashed into thinking we are incapable of affecting change. And we are paying dearly for our impotence.

The good news is that people are starting to push back. Normal people are getting active in politics realising that their leaders will not serve them without continued and unrelenting pressure. Businesses are changing under the threat of bad publicity that will tarnish their brand and customers that will abandon them. Women, who make up half the population of the world, are standing up against harassment and inequality in a way unseen in history. These successes, just like the story of this chateau, are empowering all of us in very profound ways.

Decide what you want from your world. Then take control and join one of the movements for change.

Let us make this planet great for the first time in its history.

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Tell your story

Do your actions make you part of the preservation chain? Then you have a story we would like to hear.

 

Here are some examples.

  • Jack decides to open a shop in the new mall in town selling new appliances. Unfortunately, as a business, he does not preserve anything.
  • On the other hand, Mike is an antique dealer and his shop is in an old building. He is not only preserving furniture and objects because that is what he sells, he is also preserving his building and his neighbourhood. For instance, he can tell us about his building, his street and his goods.
  • Jill opened a coffee shop in the old part of her town. It has been a catalyst for people and business to move back. A movement has developed and property prices have risen. To protect the character of their neighbourhood, residents must now stand together against developers. Jill definitely has a story. We would love to see the design choice she made overcoming the challenges of a period conversion. All Jills have fascinating stories.
  • Penelope bought a rambling 200-year-old farmhouse and has been lovingly restoring it keeping as much of the finishes intact in order to preserve its rich history. She has had to deal with contractors and officials. The place has cost her a fortune and she has to rent it out on Airbnb to be able to pay the running costs. It has been her dream and she is living it. Her house is perfectly renovated and has retained much of the character of the ruin she fell in love with. But without her, they will just be photos of rooms in a glossy magazine. Penelope is the real story.
  • Jan paints furniture using authentic materials and techniques. She has stopped using modern materials altogether because they are bad for her health and just plain ugly. Her process respects the history of the pieces she works on and her work will age in exactly the same way as the materials from hundreds of years ago. Jan has no degree but her work is that of a master. Jan rescues furniture by adding real value to them. She makes them sellable now and in the future. There are not enough Jans in the world.

 

These are a few examples happening at any time in any town in the world. Our aim is to show the people behind the things that are being preserved and give them a platform to tell their unique stories.

We appreciate what they do and we want to support and promote them because of the choices that they make. Hopefully, new generations would relate to their stories and follow their example.

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Check to see if you qualify for a listing page on PatinaMAP?

  • The products you sell were made by hand before 1920 e.g. antique dealers.
  • Products you produce must be made by hand with materials, tools and techniques in use before 1920.
  • We do not allow products or companies using modern materials such as PVC and acrylics.
  • All products must be biodegradable, non-toxic and earth friendly.
  • We allow modern products using traditional materials and techniques.
  • We allow any person involved in the sensitive and responsible restoration or painting and decoration of buildings, furniture and household objects.
  • Museums such as historic houses, palaces and castles.
  • Shops and businesses located on premises of historic value that were sensitively converted without damage to its age.
  • Private homes and buildings that are rented out or allow visitors.
  • Other buildings of interest not open to the public that was sensitively restored and decorated. The listing will not show an address and contact details. Only a town.

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