A Special Heritage Lottery

Press release

A Special Heritage Lottery: The Signing of an Agreement Between the French Ministry of Culture and the French Heritage Foundation


On Tuesday, February 13, 2018; Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic hosted the signing of an agreement between the French Ministry of Culture, represented by Minister Françoise Nyssen and the French Heritage Foundation (Fondation du Patrimoine) represented by its president, Guillaume Poitrinal, relative to the use of government funds that will be generated by a new lottery known as the Heritage Lotto. Signatories also included Stéphane Bern (popular history & heritage Radio and TV show host) and Stéphane Pallez, CEO of “Française des Jeux,” France’s national lottery authority.

Last September, the French President enlisted Stephane Bern’s assistance in identifying and listing France’s imperiled architectural heritage and help find novel ways to finance their restoration. One of these solutions was to create a new lottery, which was voted into law on December 28, 2017.

In the next three years or more, the drawing of the Heritage Lotto will take place during the European Heritage Days and proceeds will go to the French Heritage Foundation and earmarked for the restoration of architectural treasures throughout France. The inaugural drawing will be on Friday, September 14, 2018 one day before the European Heritage Days (Journées Européennes du Patrimoine) to be held September 14 and 15, 2018. A scratch-off game will also be offered.

For its first year, the proceeds from the lotto will subsidize the restoration projects for approximately 100 public and private imperiled monuments, castles or manors throughout France. Other fundraising initiatives will include crowd funding campaigns that will support the restoration of 14 emblematic edifices in each region.

Stephane Bern will head the committee that will select among the 1800 restoration projects inventoried by the French Heritage Foundation and by the French Ministry of Culture that will receive financial aid from the special fund. Applications for funding are taken online by the Ministry of Culture and assessed by both organizations. The projects are both public and private and will represent the diversity and historical periods of France’s architectural heritage: rural, residential, religious, industrial, funereal, military, relating to gardens and public areas.

The selection criteria will be:

  • Cultural and historical significance

  • Urgency of the restoration due to state of the edifice

  • Creating a geographic balance all the while privileging rural and smaller towns to revitalize those areas

  • Support projects to showcase the edifice or its new use and the economic benefits expected, especially in the realm of local tourism development

The French National Lottery estimates that the Heritage lotto will raise between 15 and 20 million Euros. Additional funding managed by the French Heritage Foundation will include corporate sponsoring and crowd funding.


The Fondation du Patrimoine/Heritage Foundation is a private non-profit organization created by law on July 2, 1996 to promote, preserve and showcase France’s architectural heritage that does not benefit from France’s land marking laws. Stéphane Bern: (born 14 November 1963 in Lyon) is a French journalist, radio and television host. He is known as a specialist in nobility and royalty. He has been awarded several honors, including the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France), the Order of Grimaldi (Monaco), and the Order of the British Empire (United Kingdom).

Journées Européennes du Patrimoine/European Heritage Days – two “open-house” days held late September in over 50 European countries to explore and visit, in many cases free of charge, monuments, theaters, churches, castles and also private edifices or those not normally open to the public or not usually visited by the public like courthouses, ministries, police headquarters, prefectures and other administrative buildings housed in historical manors etc…

Photo caption from left to right:

Front: Guillaume Poitrinal, President of the French Heritage Foundation (Fondation du Patrimoine) - Françoise Nyssen, French Minister of Culture

Back: Stéphane Pallez, CEO of “Française des Jeux,” France’s national lottery authority, French President Emmanuel Macron and Stéphane Bern, French journalist, radio and television host


Marion Fourestier – Director of Communications, Atout France USA, Tel: 1-212-745-0967, email marion.fourestier@atout-france.fr

Mi Mi Cloe Park, Media Relations Manager, Tel: 1-212-745-0967, email: mimi-chloe.park@atout-france.fr


Marion Fourestier
ATOUT France
New York, NY 10022
United States