In Tarn, pastel painting becomes a protected heritage

It’s done! The knowledge and experience related to pastel painting in the Pays de Cocagne has just been included in the French Intangible Cultural Heritage (PCI). It is the result of the work started a year and a half ago by the Chamber of Crafts (CMA) of Occitania and which led to the presentation of the registration form to the Ministry of Culture on June 29 last year. “One of our missions is the promotion and defense of rare and local knowledge. We have gathered pastelists and we are very proud of this recognition. It is also an important tourist asset,” we welcome CMA Occitanie.

Pastel (Isatis Tinctoria), which gave its name to the Pays de Plenty, was the source of the first economic boom in the Toulouse region in the 15th and 16th centuries. For Sandrine Banessy, co-founder of the Terre de Pastel group, this registration is “a great joy and a great pride. For 8 years, we have been working on highlighting the incredible virtues of pastels, both in plant colors and in cosmetics. An important highlight for this company, which today employs 40 people.

The reaction is more nuanced on the side of Fran├žoise Carayol, who practices natural vegetable coloring at Ferme au Village, in Lautrec (Tarn). “I was very happy with the initiative because it enabled a collection of practices. It is a good start, but I regret that the toxicity of sodium hydrosulphite tincture has been minimized. While he recognizes that it is an important label from a commercial point of view, he wants more transparency in the form and hopes that it will evolve.

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