Preservation of monuments and historic buildings

Monuments are important for the islands of the Caribbean Netherlands. Not just because of their beauty but also due their historic, scientific or anthropological value. The island government designates monuments and records them in the register of monuments and historic buildings. The protection of monuments is provided for in your island’s ordinance on monuments.

Financial support for monuments

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap, OCW) and the Nationaal Restauratiefonds (National Restoration Fund) provide funds for protected monuments in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. As a result, owners can receive financial support for the (restoration) work on the monument.

What financial support will you receive as owner of a protected monument?

There are various advantages for you as an owner of a protected monument. Apart from tax advantages, you may also apply for a loan from the Nationaal Restauratiefonds at an attractively low interest rate to finance your restoration work.

1. You have additional tax advantages

If your protected monument is an owner-occupied home, you are entitled to additional deductible items. This is the result of the BES Income Tax Act (Wet inkomstenbelasting BES), which came into force on January 1st, 2011. As a result of this Act, some costs are deductible as personal expenses. This applies to residents of a listed building which serves as principal residence. So this deduction does not apply to second homes.

The following items are tax-deductible from your income:

  • The interest on debts ensuing from the purchase, maintenance or improvement of the owner-occupied home. This includes premiums for a life insurance policy. This deduction is capped at USD 15,364.00 per year;
  • The maintenance costs of the owner-occupied home which an island ordinance on monuments has designated as protected monument. This deduction of maintenance costs is not capped;
  • The premiums for fire and natural disaster insurance.

2. You may apply for a low-interest loan from the Nationaal Restauratiefonds

The loan provided by the Nationaal Restauratiefonds is a loan with an attractively low interest. This loan should be used for the restoration work on your monument. It concerns investments for the preservation of the historic value. Costs ensuing from embellishments, expansions and paving are excluded. The island government decides which monuments qualify for a loan and for what amount.

When may you apply for a loan?

  • Your building is listed in the register of monuments and historic buildings;
  • You are the owner of the monument;
  • The monument is not owned by a local government;
  • You have not yet started the restoration work;
  • The island government issued a permit for the restoration work.

What does the loan comprise?

  • The loan is issued in American dollars;
  • The interest rate is 2%. This interest is tax deductible if it concerns an owner-occupied home;
  • The maturity period of the loan is a maximum of 20 years;
  • The handling charges are 1.5% of the principal.

What should you do to obtain a low-interest loan from the Nationaal Restauratiefonds?

Please follow the following steps to apply for a loan:

  1. Ensure that your building is a protected monument. You can check this with the island government.
  2. Have a restoration plan drawn up for you, including the cost required to restore the monument.
  3. Apply for a restoration license from the island government.
  4. Submit an application with the island government to qualify for a low-interest loan.
  5. After approval from the island government, you may apply for the loan from the Nationaal Restauratie Fonds. Send your application by e-mail to
  6. On receipt of your application, a financial account manager of the Nationaal Restauratie Fonds will contact you. You will then also be informed what financial documents you should provide.
  7. The Nationaal Restauratie Fonds will use these documents to assess whether you will be able to pay the interest and instalments of the loan. If this credit assessment is positive, a proposal will be drawn up.
  8. You then decide whether you want to accept the Nationaal Restauratie Fonds’ proposal.
  9. The restoration work can start after receipt of the restoration license, the building permit, if required, and registration of the mortgage deed.

Do you want to know more?

Please contact your island government for more information

About the Nationaal Restauratie Fonds

The Nationaal Restauratie Fonds is an independent foundation which grants funds and subsidies to owners and custodians of monuments. This includes funds for the restoration and maintenance work on their building. The Nationaal Restauratie Fonds provides information, advice and guidance as regards financial and process-oriented aspects of the restoration and maintenance work on your monument.