The Venice Charter: International Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites (1964)

The Venice Charter: 1964-2014.

Preface: The Venice Charter: International Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites (1964) was adopted by the 2nd International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Historic Monuments, Venice, 1964, and adopted by ICOMOS in 1965.

The Second International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Historical Monuments, in Venice, May 25-31, 1964, adopted 13 resolutions, the first one being the International Restoration Charter, better known as the Venice Charter, and the second one, put forward by UNESCO, provided for the creation of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).

The Venice Charter codifies internationally accepted standards of conservation practice relating to architecture and sites. It sets forth principles of conservation based on the concept of authenticity and the importance of maintaining the historical and physical context of a site or building. The Venice Charter continues to be the most influential international conservation document. The Venice Charter states that monuments are to be conserved not only as works of art but also as historical evidence. It also sets down the principles of preservation, which relate to restoration of buildings with work from different periods.

The Venice Charter is a remarkable document that sets out to define the common responsibility of nations to safeguard cultural heritage for future generations.

Drafted by delegates from places including Peru and Mexico, Tunisia, France and Italy, and finally written by two Belgians and an Italian, the Charter emphasises that each country is responsible for applying the plan within the framework of its own culture and traditions, in “the full richness of their authenticity”.

The breadth of the consensus achieved is impressive, and the Charter has been of inestimable value in the conservation of cultural heritage the world over.   It became the founding document of ICOMOS (the International Conference on Monuments and Sites), and was later adopted by UNESCO, (the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization).   Today it provides the fundamental reference for conservation policy for the 191 UNESCO member states.

The Venice Charter followed a series of charters on conservation that appeared in the inter-war and post-war periods.   In 1931, the First International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Historic Monuments was held in Athens.   The Athens Charter produced at that event set out to proscribe the popular ‘integrative’ restoration epitomised by the work of Viollet-le-Duc and his contemporaries, preferring instead an approach that respected each successive previous intervention, and encouraging a view of old buildings as historical documents.   Viewed as such, ‘historic’ buildings could be studied and admired but never copied, for fear of ‘falsifying’ history.   This modernist concept was promptly incorporated into the Italian Norme per il restauro dei monumenti of 1932, and inspired Le Corbusier to write a text on conservation following CIAM’s fourth congress in 1933.

Post-war reconstruction in the period 1945-1955 was nevertheless characterised by much reconstruction and by large-scale restorations of damaged cities such as Warsaw, Gdansk, Blois and Vicenza.   Concern at the scale of war damage prompted the Hague Convention of 1954 that produced the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, issued in 1956.   A year later, a suggestion was made to update the Athens Charter, which lead to the Second International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Historic Monuments, held in Venice in May 1964.   The Venice Charter it produced reflects, in its 16 paragraphs, the political and cultural history of the tumultuous mid-20th century.

Category
Charter

Date

1964

Promulgation

The 2nd International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Historic Monuments, Venice, 1964.

Descriptions

  • The Venice Charter, adopted by ICOMOS in 1965, codifies internationally accepted standards of conservation practice relating to architecture and sites. It sets forth principles of conservation based on the concept of authenticity and the importance of maintaining the historical and physical context of a site or building.
  • The Venice Charter continues to be the most influential international conservation document.
  • The Venice Charter states that monuments are to be conserved not only as works of art but also as historical evidence.
  • It also sets down the principles of preservation, which relate to restoration of buildings with work from different periods.

Source

 http://www.international.icomos.org/charters/venice_e.pdf

Download

 http://www.international.icomos.org/charters/venice_e.pdf

References

Intellectual Property

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About Sunney 84 Articles

I received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in 1996, 2003, and 2006, respectively, from China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China; Hefei University of Technology, Hefei, China; and Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei, China. From 1996 to 2006, I worked at the School of Computer Science and Technology, Huaibei Normal University, Huaibei, China, as a Lecturer and an Associate Professor. From January 2007 to August 2013, I worked at Wenzhou University, Wenzhou, China. I am currently a Professor at the Zhejiang University of Media and Communications, Hangzhou, China. I am the coauthor of more than 80 articles, which mostly were published in peer-reviewed journals.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Charter on the Built Vernacular Heritage (1999) – Open Repository on Cultural Property
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