Our History

The Institut des Métiers d’Art et du Patrimoine cluster of excellence propagates the economic and cultural development triggered by the launch of the Louvre-Lens Museum in 2012.

Starting in 2010, elected officials and stakeholders in this territory set forth the EURALENS strategy which combines:

  • urban renewal and
  • economic and social development with
  • revitalisation through culture and excellence

The arrival of the Louvre in Lens in 2012 provides an exceptional opportunity to revive the surrounding territory, to mobilise stakeholders and the population through a collective project, and to commit to economic, social and cultural development by reinforcing the assets of the territory.

© SANAA / Kazuyo Sejima et Ryue Nishizawa – IMREY CULBERT / Celia Imrey et Tim Culbert – MOSBACH PAYSAGISTE / Catherine Mosbach / Muséographe : Studio Adrien Gardère. Photographie © Musée du Louvre-Lens / Iwan Baan.

With over one million visitors in 2013, the attractive Louvre-Lens museum has contributed to developing a thriving economy and fostering innovation, and has generated conditions that favour the launch of clusters.

The Institut des Métiers d’Art et du Patrimoine cluster of excellence is one of these regional clusters.  It fosters networking between companies, training organisations and public as well as private research centres.

IMAP draws inspiration by fostering growth locally and nationally.


  • the arrival of the Louvre, international beacon of artwork restoration and the world’s best-known museum
  • the density of artisanal expertise in the Nord-Pas de Calais region
  • the Salon International des Métiers d’Art de Lens (Lens International Arts and Crafts Fair), first launched in 2007 (13,000 visitors)
  • the existence of 32 Entreprises du Patrimoine Vivant (Living heritage companies) (national quality label).

Nationally, “arts and crafts trades” is synonymous with “rich, productive trades”.

They represent:

  • 95,000 jobs* (Source: French Ministry of Artisanry)
  • 217 trades
  • 38,000 companies, 99% of which are small or very small enterprises
  • 8 billion Euros in turnover* (Source: Les Echos, April 2013)