Pilot scheme with the German Commission for UNESCO

Autumn 2013: The German Commission for UNESCO and the cleaning specialist Kärcher are cooperating on a nationwide model project to help preserve cultural monuments in Germany. This means that a German UNESCO World Heritage Site will be cleaned free of charge and in accordance with the guidelines for the preservation of monuments. The cooperation with Kärcher is part of the German Commission for UNESCO's Public-Private Partnership programme. For two years, the partners will combine their expertise for the preservation of cultural monuments.

Sponsoring Aachen

Nationwide competition

Spring 2014: up until February, Germany's 38 World Heritage Sites can apply for inclusion in the pilot scheme, which focuses on sustainability. The jury, composed not only of representatives from the German Commission for UNESCO and from Kärcher but also of experts from the fields of heritage conservation, culture and science, will receive a total of 14 dossiers from 9 World Heritage Sites. In April, the expert jury will shortlist three cultural monuments: the Chapel of St Charles and St Hubert in Aachen Cathedral, Quedlingen Town Hall and the Franconia Fountain at the Würzburg Residence.

Sponsoring Frankoniabrunnen

 Franconia Fountain at the Würzburg Residence

Sponsoring UNESCO

The Chapel of St Charles and St Hubert in Aachen Cathedral

Sponsoring Quedlinburg

Quedlinburg Town Hall

Between now and the summer, Kärcher will examine the applicant sites to determine the level of contamination of the building material and to decide on suitable cleaning methods. In late autumn, the expert jury, in consultation with the authority responsible for the protection of monuments and in close cooperation with restorers, will then select the applicant site to be cleaned by Kärcher in 2015.

Members of the expert jury

In addition to one representative from Kärcher and one from the German Commission for UNESCO, the expert jury consists of:

  • Professor Berthold Burkhardt, member of the board and spokesman for the World Heritage Monitoring Group of ICOMOS Germany
  • Professor Gabriele Grassegger-Schön, head of the construction chemistry lab at Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences
  • Dr Birgitta Ringbeck, representative of the federal German states on the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, currently of the Federal Foreign Office
  • Georg Schmid, deputy spokesman for the Baden-Württemberg group in the association of restorers
  • Former section head, Dr Werner von Trützschler, representative of the ad hoc working party on the heritage of the German federal states at the Standing Conference of Education and Cultural Affairs
  • Professor Gerd Weiß, chairman of the Association of Curators of Federal State Monuments
  • Otto Wölbert, restorer, State Office for the Preservation of Historical Monuments, Baden-Württemberg

Test cleaning

Summer 2014: Test cleaning is carried out at the three cultural sites selected.

Educational project

The German Commission for UNESCO is accompanying the project with training measures for young people and the Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences is providing scientific support for the initiative.


December 2014: the expert jury selects the Chapel of St Charles and St Hubert in Aachen Cathedral for specialist monument cleaning. The 540-year-old chapel emerged as the winner of the competition between German world heritage sites. Kärcher will carry out and assume the costs for the restorative cleaning in the spring of 2015. Extensive tests showed that the chapel would be the most suitable site for specialist monument cleaning by Kärcher. "We are delighted to be involved with a building of such cultural and historical importance," says Hartmut Jenner, Chairman of the Management Board of Alfred Kärcher GmbH & Co. KG.

Sponsoring Aachener Dom