How does a building become listed?
Normally, a building must be more than 50 years old in order to become listed, but in special cases younger buildings of exceptional quality can also be listed. The most recent listed building is from 1974. All Medieval buildings in Denmark, that is buildings from before the Reformation in 1536, are automatically listed.
Who can List a Building?
Any citizen can submit a proposal to list a particular building to the Danish Agency for Culture. The Agency then assesses whether the building in question meets the criteria. Listing requires that the building is of special architectural or cultural heritage value. The Agency also lists buildings at its own initiative, e.g. after consideration of particular types of building such as modernist villas, agricultural buildings and lighthouses. The decision implies approval by the Historic Buildings Council (see box to the right).
The immediate surroundings of a building, e.g. a garden, courtyard or wall, may also be listed.
The Agency may expand an existing listing to include other buildings on the same property or some of the building's surroundings.
A building may be delisted if there is no longer any point in listing it. This may be the case if the building has burnt down to the ground or has been rebuilt so much that it has lost its architectural and cultural heritage value.
Before the Danish Agency for Culture can list or delist a building, the case must be submitted for public consultation. Within a period of three months, any private individual, association or authority may comment on the proposal, after which the Agency makes its decision. This decision may be appealed to the Minister for Culture, who makes the final decision.
The approx. 2,000 church buildings of the Danish National Evangelical Lutheran Church, most of which are Medieval, are protected under a special act. The churches are outside the remit of the Danish Agency for Culture.
The Danish Agency for Culture is advised by the Historic Buildings Council.
The 12 council members are appointed by the Minister for Culture at the recommendation of institutions and organisations within the sphere of the culture heritage of buildings.
The Agency can only list a building or expand an existing listing if the Council supports the proposal. However, the Agency may delist a building even if the Council is against it.