FESAC -Foundation for European Societies of Arms Collectors
Arms are an essential part of our history. Whether used for hunting, sports, self protection, warfare or even ceremonial purposes, they might very well be regarded as the single most important man-made implement that shaped the development of the human race. The weapon is arguably the first tool ever invented by man. Arms, in the broadest sense of the word, therefore form an extremely important part of our heritage. To study the development of arms provides an insight into all aspects of mankind’s development through the ages. From the simple club to the assault rifle, arms have shaped our history.
Private arms collectors are custodians of a considerable part of this heritage. They acquire, preserve, study, research and document these historical artefacts that shed so much light on our past and thus also on our future. It is essential that they are able to do so, so that we may better understand our own history.
FESAC represents a focal point for European arms collector societies that have, as their main objective, the encouragement, guidance and proper regulation of their members’ interest in collecting, preserving and researching arms. The Foundation recognises private collectors’ significant contribution to the preservation and study of our common European heritage – hence its commitment to support their activity, which it considers to be complimentary to the obligations of the curators of existing national collections. After all, many great public collections owe their origin to accumulations by knowledgeable private collectors.
The aims of the Foundation are to:
- Promote the collecting, research and preservation of arms and related objects, in their original form, from all periods in history.
- Ensure that national and supra-national legislation protects bona-fide collectors and recognises the importance of their activity.
- Represent and defend the interests of European arms collector societies and their members at national and supra-national level.
- Support the sharing of knowledge between collectors and the diffusion of this knowledge, through member-societies’ activities, among the public, the media and the authorities.
- Assist national and supra-national authorities in the proper identification and classification of arms as artifacts representing mankind’s common heritage.
- Encourage strong links between member societies as well as between these societies and the authorities and media in their respective countries.
FESAC also promotes research and activities to further the study of the subject and collaborates with other organisations, private collections and national museums which have similar aims. The foundation has close ties with the International Committee of Museums of Arms and Military History (ICOMAM).
FESAC is a democratic institution: Each country nominates a representative who enjoys broad support from the collector-organisations in that country. After acceptance into the Board the Board Member shall, during his/her one-year term, represent his/her country’s views, vote on its behalf and report back to the national organisations. Each board member and hence each member country, has one vote. The Chairman is a Board Member who is elected to the post by his colleagues. Once elected, the Chairman must relinquish his position as country representative.
FESAC Board members meet at least once a year, at the annual conference which is also attended by a number of advisors, observers and guests. The Board members review the country situation reports and set the strategy for the next twelve months. New members are also admitted during the conference. A separate seminar with specific themes, which is open to non-members and distinguished guests, has now become a regular feature of these annual meetings.
The Foundation maintains its website, as a means of communication between members and interested parties and also to give fellow collectors from all over Europe the opportunity to share news and information.
Since its foundation in 1993 in Maastricht (it is presently legally based in Amsterdam), FESAC has gained the respect of national and EU authorities and is now acknowledged as the voice of the serious arms collector in Europe.
FESAC is privileged to represent collector societies in the following countries:
- Great Britain
FESAC maintains an active policy of seeking to add representatives from other European countries to its Board. Moreover, it is the Foundation’s policy to invite observers representing collector organisations in non-European countries to participate in its conferences and workshops.
FESAC is a member of the World Forum for the Future of Sports Shooting Activities (WFSA) and the European Sports Shooting Forum (ESSF).