For endless centuries, the Walloon subsoil has been supplying a great variety of natural stone. After the Second World War, the sector experienced difficult times, related, in particular, to the introduction of new materials, which gave stone a somewhat “backward-looking” image.
In order to counter that trend, public authorities reacted through various initiatives:
- through the publication of the book “Pierres et Marbres de Wallonie” entrusted to the Belgian association Les Archives d’Architecture Moderne
- 1988, through participation in the Technipierre trade show in Liège and in 1989 in the Stone Tec international trade fair in Nuremberg
- lastly, 1990, through the creation of the non-profit-making association PIERRES ET MARBRES DE WALLONIE, so that the outcome of participation in trade fairs and exhibitions should have a long-lasting effect, and through providing first-rate professional services.
The PIERRES ET MARBRES DE WALLONIE association brings together thirty or so quarries extracting some fifteen ornamental stones. This association is supported by the Walloon Region and the Walloon Export Agency (AWEX).
The association’s main role is the overall coordination of actions for the promotion of ornamental stone both in Belgium and abroad.
Those actions include the publication of works and brochures, the organisation of events, exhibitions and conferences and participation in national and international trade fairs.
The PIERRES ET MARBRES DE WALLONIE association provides information about stone and its applications to the general public, architects, contractors and public authorities.
The association has many publications to its credit, namely technical sheets and theme brochures, including Pierres et Jardins, but also prestige books such as Vies de Pierre or Stone published with the Editions Prisme.
PIERRES ET MARBRES DE WALLONIE therefore disseminates quality information about all its members and its involvement is frequently required for matters of identification or choice of stones in the context of restoration sites and building projects.
Its general secretary, Francis Tourneur, also teaches in various institutions such as the University of Liège and regularly participates in training sessions organised by the Paix-Dieu training centre.
PIERRES ET MARBRES DE WALLONIE also works together with official bodies in defining technical approval standards, etc.