Christa Hijink The National Monument Service and organs
Het ORGEL 97 (2001), nr. 5, 5-7 [summary]

The board of the Royal Dutch Organists Association recently met the Adviser on Organs of the National Monument Service, Rudi van Straten, and his predecessor, now deputy director of the Service, Onno Wiersma, in order to get a better understanding of how the Service functions.

Generally speaking, the Service advises the responsible minister concerning monuments, grants subsidies (to a maximum of 70% of the subsidizable costs of a project), and monitors monuments. The local authorities execute the law with respect to monuments; the National Service supports and advises them. Consequently, local councils grant or deny a permit for an organ restoration plan, which is usually drawn up by the consultant of the owner of the organ. The owner of a monumental organ may not alter it without a permit.

The profession of organ consultant is free, that is, there are no specific diplomas or certificates required to practice it. The Organ Committee of the recently formed ecumenical protestant churches works with a specific pool of consultants. At the moment, the Committee is working on a profile that consultants will have to comply with.

The National Adviser on Organs has no standard policy. ‘Austere and appropriate’ is his motto with respect to granting subsidies. In addition, the use of the organ after restoration and the musical identity of the instrument are important parameters.