[Petition text in German, English, French and Italian. See below.]
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is planning to ban the use of metallic lead and its alloys in the EU. This would have fatal consequences for artistic and artisanal work, historic crafts and the preservation of cultural heritage in all fields. Whether traditional musical instruments, artefacts of technical and industrial heritage, stained glass windows and historical architecture, traditional printing techniques or numerous works of fine art: without lead materials, their creation and design, as well as their conservation, repair or restoration would no longer be possible. Without lead materials, we would also lose the important traditional knowledge and culturally valuable working techniques that are necessary in this context.
According to the ECHA draft, lead and its alloys would only be allowed to be used following very complex and extremely costly individual authorisation procedures. These cumbersome and difficult requirements could not be met by the few experts working in the field of art, traditional crafts and cultural heritage. The same applies to the small companies producing the corresponding special materials. Consequently, the cultural heritage in the European Union could no longer be adequately safeguarded.
In May 2022, a joint initiative of stakeholders in this field (including ICOMOS, ICOM, ECCO, ISCCSG, CVMA, INPA, craft associations and many others) submitted about 2,000 objections against these plans to ECHA.
It may be possible that the European Commission, which has to make the final decision on this matter, will not follow ECHA’s recommendation for a complete ban on lead. In the meantime, further efforts have been made within the EU legislation, to limit the values for lead in the workplace even more strictly, so that specialists in the fields mentioned above practically will not be able to comply with this (i.e. a ‘ban by the back door’). In these professions, however, the important questions of occupational safety are not about limiting the values, but have to be addressed by personal protection and sustainable training. This means, we must continue to raise political awareness of this issue.
Today we are asking for your help. A petition to the European Parliament, submitted by an interdisciplinary working group, can be signed to demonstrate your support. The aim of our petition is simple. We demand that traditional lead materials continue to be available and allowed to be used for traditional crafts and the artistic, artisanal, repair and conservation/restoration work regarding cultural assets and historic objects.
With your signature, you can help to ensure that our cultural heritage can be preserved for future generations.
Support the petition on the website of the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament (German version): sign the petition
(there you also find the summary of the petition prepared by the EU Secretariat and the related background document).
How to support: Register a user account / enter address details / confirm email / then log in with the user account / search for petition (our petition number is: 0724/2023) / click on petition / click ‘Support this petition’.
Please forward this email to colleagues, associations, museums, politicians, institutions and individuals in your network. It is imperative that as many people as possible express their support now, to stop this incomprehensible and thoughtless plan.
As the petition has been prepared in Germany, it is particularly important to involve as many supporters as possible from other European countries. In this way, we can show that this is not just a ‘German idea’, but a valid problem for the whole EU.
The petition text is available in several languages in order to pass on the information in the best possible way (see below). You are welcome to use this e-mail, all the text modules and links included in it in your correspondence:
Der Petitionstext auf Deutsch: HIER
Bitte unterstützen Sie die Petition auf der Website des Petitionsausschusses des Europäischen Parlaments (deutsche Fassung): Unterzeichnen Sie die Petition
(unter diesem link finden Sie auch die Zusammenfassung der Petition (angefertigt durch das EU-Sekretariat und das dazu von uns eingereichte Hintergrunddokument).
Vorgehensweise zur Unterstützung: Registrieren Sie ein Nutzerkonto / Adressdaten eingeben / Email bestätigen / dann mit dem Nutzerkonto anmelden / Petition suchen (unsere Petitionsnummer ist: 0724/2023) / Petition anklicken / „Diese Petition unterstützen“ klicken.
The petition text in English: HERE
Please support the petition on the website of the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament (German version) via this link: sign the petition
Procedure: Register a user account / enter address details / confirm email / then log in with the user account / search for petition (our petition number is: 0724/2023) / click on petition / click “Support this petition“.
Le texte de la pétition en français : ICI
Veuillez soutenir la pétition sur le site du comité des pétitions du Parlement Européen (version allemande) via ce lien: signer la pétition
Procédure à suivre: Enregistrement d’un compte d’utilisateur / Saisir les données d’adresse / Confirmer l’email / Puis se connecter avec le compte d’utilisateur / Rechercher la pétition (notre numéro de pétition est : 0724/2023) / Cliquer sur la pétition / Cliquer sur ‘Soutenir cette pétition’.
Il testo della petizione in Italiano : QUI
Sostenete la petizione sul sito web della Commissione per le petizioni del Parlamento europeo (versione tedesca): firma la petizione
Procedura: Registrare un account utente / inserire i dati dell’indirizzo / confermare l’e-mail / quindi accedere con l’account utente / cercare la petizione (il nostro numero di petizione è: 0724/2023) / cliccare sulla petizione / cliccare su “Sostenere questa petizione“.
Thank you for your support and kind regards,
The working group REACH/Lead & Cultural Heritage
(Fritz Cirener, Dr. Ivo Rauch, Dr. Gundula Tutt, Peter Diehl, Mario De Rosa)