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14.00  To Use or Not To Use: A Question of Protection

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In 2010, the Caroli Church in central Malmö, built in 1879 and protected by the Heritage Conservation Act, was deconsecrated and sold to a real-estate company. The new owner aimed to use the church for events related to a nearby shopping centre. The County administration granted permission to remove most of the ecclesiastical furnishings. However, the National Heritage Board, arguing that these measures would diminish protected historic values, appealed to the Administrative Courts. Pending a final judgment, the church is still without use and is now starting to decay. Based on this case, this paper will discuss how the legal concept of historic values is differently interpreted by various actors and what consequences this might bring for management and alternative use of redundant churches.

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