Decisions about whether movable or immovable goods should be listed as historic monuments stem from several elements that form the doctrine in protection terms. The foundations of heritage policy are determined by the measures in the Heritage Code in respect to two protection provisions – classification and registration.2 As regards the listing of immovable goods, Article L. 621-1 states that:

Article L. 621-5 on registration provides that:

On this basis, several facts result in a monument becoming protected. They are essentially founded on two elements: the interest of the monument and the risks that it incurs. The interest of the monument, which is the legal primary criterion, is evaluated in the light of national or regional history, archaeology, the rarity of the evidence formed by the remains, the architectural, scientific or technical quality, the quality and rarity of its adornments, the aesthetics of the historic monument, the tourist interest, the environment … As to the risks incurred by the monument, they relate to threats resulting from human activity (destruction, modification) or else to lack of maintenance, to the poor condition of the building or to the failure of the owner.