Arsène raises awareness of heritage, architecture, design and intangible heritage. Trough exhibitions, debate, publications, guided walks and other media, it addresses a large public.

Arsène’s founders have many years of experience in heritage. For the past ten years, our main focus lies on well-preserved shop interiors.

The rescue action of a beautiful shop interior from 1962 in Antwerp triggered the set-up of our organisation. The action unfortunately failed and it became very clear how fragile shop interiors are. Ever since, Arsène stimulates the debate of the future of shop interiors.

Our non-profit organisation was named after one of the managers of this shop. Dressed in his grey overalls, Arsène Beels was a pioneer selling exotic products. In the same way, Arsène wants to be a pioneer too, in reflecting on heritage. This demands an innovative collaboration between private owners, experts, researchers and authorities.

Our book ‘Well preserved shop interiors’ pleads the conservation of shop heritage. It shows 40 old shops in Belgium. The interiors still have their original design, place and purpose. It shows all different shop types and the interiors are at least fifty years old.

Author and instigator Katherine Ennekens currently works on a book about authentic pharmacies and conducts guided tours in several cities.