A tour through 9000 years of history under Place Saint Lambert
The Walloon Region took over supervision of all excavations in 1990, when a new project for putting in a car park and a coach station again threatened the vestiges on the spot. Under this project, only the two choirs of the cathedral would be conserved with a museum to be set up for the Eastern choir.
Protective excavations began at that time for a six-month term. The research was led by Jean-Marc Leotard from the Liege Province Archaeological Department, the Ministry of the Walloon Region and the General Department of Urban planning, the Territory, Housing and Heritage, with the support of the University. After the first destruction, associations like the SOS Mémoire de Liège, began to lobby to conserve the site.
Visits of the excavations were organized to sensitize the population. Politicians, entrepreneurs, archaeologists held meeting after meeting to reach an agreement, and in September 1992, the project for a huge car park was reduced by half, and it was decided that the national road would be constructed on pillars in order to maintain the archaeological subsoil. But this did not mean that the vestiges had been saved – destruction was still planned on the western side of the site.
In 1994, the plan was modified to skirt the site and preserve the western choir of the cathedral. That same year, the masonry structures that had been removed in 1982 were returned to the site.
In 1995, revisions of the project made it possible to envisage definitively safeguarding the site. Later, the vestiges were covered with a concrete slab that protected the site, and made it possible to walk through it. On the initiative of Robert Collignon, Prime Minister of the Walloon Region, who was then in charge of Heritage, the Region acquired the subsoil of the future Archeoforum which therefore became regional property.