Amateur archaeologist worried workshop could be demolished

son en breugel
Photo credit: Studio040

Geit Emmery (56) is an amateur archaeologist.

Twenty years ago, the Municipality of Son en Breugel granted him the use of a building from 1839. Known as De Villa, he uses it as his workshop. Now the building on Wilhelminalaan in Son is no longer considered a municipal monument.

So, Geit’s afraid that the municipality wants to demolish it. He objects because, according to him, it is a craftsman’s home unique to Son.

Never imagined it would be his

As a small boy of four, Geit used to drive past the building on his scooter. He could never have imagined that this building would one day become his workshop. Towards the end of the last century, the municipality allocated him to use De Villa.

“I use the workshop as private storage and as a working space for my activities as an archaeologist”, Geit says. According to him, the municipality bought the Villa ‘strategically’. “The municipality can demolish the building because if it’s not a monument, no one can object.”

The municipality says there are no plans to demolish the building yet. “The monument committee doesn’t consider the building interesting enough for the status of municipal monument”, spokesman Joost Claassen, of the Municipality of Son en Breugel, says. They’ve given Geit another six months to submit an objection to the decision.

‘Not a farm’

“The monument commission assumes this building used to be on a farm. And that there’s nothing remarkable about that. But I don’t believe this building was part of a farm”. Geit is sure: “This is the last craftsman’s house with original elements”.

According to him, there are more buildings like this in the village. “But everything from those has been restored and broken down”. The Villa has the original cellar, upstairs room and the cupboard that later housed the bed box.

“It’s rare that this property hasn’t been modernised. You can see the financial tightness through the generations. People made changes without completely destroying anything. Even the original interior doors have been reused elsewhere in the building”, Geit says.

Geit’s going to object, but not because he wants to stay in the building. “I’m not doing it out of self-interest. We already have few monuments in Son en Breugel. It would be a shame if the council were to demolish it. You take the soul out of the area”, Geit says.


Translated by: Bob

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