History of the European network ‘In the Footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson’

To celebrate the 130th anniversary of Stevenson’s travels in the Cévennes in France with the donkey Modestine, the association “sur le Chemin de Robert Louis Stevenson” created an exhibition on the life of Stevenson ter in the years 2006-2007, an exhibition which will be created in 2008.

To create the exhibition information, quotes and iconography, were gathered form a wide variety of sources, people and institutions (associations, museums, libraries, etc.) including:

  • Le Club Cévenol
  • The Robert Louis Stevenson club of Edinburgh
  • La médiathèque “l’Oise aux livres” d’Etréaupont
  • L’association “Artistes du bout du monde” in Grez sur Loing
  • Le Parc Naturel Régional de l’Avesnois
  • Le Parc national des Cévennes

On the occasion of the multiple, fruitful and warm meetings held with these different groups, an old dream resurfaces within the Cévennes association which also appeals to some of the partners met: creating a European Cultural Route around the writer and of the Stevenson man. After long, fruitless searches for an organization capable of providing guidance for such a project (several years), contact was finally established with the European Institute of Cultural Routes in Luxembourg. This organization is experiencing new vigor after a difficult financial period, thanks to the support of the Luxembourg government. It is directed by Michel Thomas Penette assisted by Eleonora Berti.

Then begins a series of steps: training sessions in Luxembourg, drafting of files, alongside the intensification of the links already established with the partners of this adventure in Edinburgh, Grez sur Loing, Bristol (with the Long John Silver trust) and of northern France.

The project finally took shape with the creation in 2013 of an association with a European vocation in the premises of the P.N.R. de l’Avesnois, the association “in the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson”

The partner territories are becoming more precise and structured, others are joining us (Highlands, Brussels) and the certification file as a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe is submitted and presented in 2014. It is considered “perfectible” by the committee approval, enriched and represented in 2015. It is finally accepted and certification granted. It will be again in 2018 and 2022.

The rest is, of course, to be written and above all to be lived. More great encounters and beautiful moments in perspective so that friendship and cooperation between the citizens of Europe can live!

And that’s not all.. In 2022 the network began project to translate the RLS exhibition into German.

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