||International Course on the Conservation of Built Heritage (CBH07)
1 February – 30 March 2007
- Associazione Herculaneum
- Centro Internazionale per
gli Studi di Herculaneum, Italy
- ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property
Duration: 8 weeks (1 February – 30 March 2007)
Place: Rome, Italy
Twenty-two participants from twenty-one countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Palestine, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, United States of America.
The course served a wide range of conservation practitioners and decision-makers. Emphasis was placed on technical aspects as well as planning and management issues relevant to conservation. Through formal lectures, group work/discussions, site visits and on-site application, the aims of the course were:
- to give participants a better understanding of the critical processes followed in conservation;
- to improve their strategic planning skills relevant to heritage management;
- to expand their awareness, knowledge, and understanding of current principles and practices in conservation of the built heritage; and
- to enhance their skills and judgments.
Unit 1: General overview
The first part of the course consisted of an overview of the historical developments, different approaches and key concepts in built heritage conservation. A key component of this was the presentations of participants on how heritage was defined in their own countries. The western notions of heritage conservation, its global influence, both complementary and contradictory, and the importance of the cultural basis of conservation decision-making were highlighted. Emerging concepts such as sustainability, culture-nature interaction and historic urban landscapes were also discussed.
Unit 2: Planning and management context
This unit provided an opportunity to present and compare different planning and management models. It started with a review of management systems currently used in various parts of the world, followed by lectures on legal and institutional frameworks. Conservation planning at national and site levels was discussed, illustrated with examples from different countries including World Heritage Sites. The importance of strategic thinking in heritage management was highlighted while emphasizing an integrated and participatory approach. As a case study, participants visited the Parco Regionale dell'Appia Antica in Rome to learn about the management of this cultural landscape in an urban environment.
Unit 3 – Conservation
Current conservation processes, principles and practices in different parts of the world formed the major part of this unit. Topics included information and documentation, condition assessments and conservation practices. The role of information in conservation decision-making process was discussed as well as the options for various types of heritage (tangible and intangible elements, cultural and environmental aspects). For condition assessments, the options available for understanding materials, structures, sites and landscapes and their causes of deterioration, and the methods for making assessments (visual, analytical and scientific tools and techniques including laboratory) were explained. With respect to conservation practices, participants learned about conservation treatments and interventions. Discussions ranged from first aid and emergency treatments (invasive or non-invasive) to options available to achieve conservation (buildings, sites, urban and rural centres and landscapes) goals based on current philosophical, ethical, and cultural considerations.
The final week of the course was spent in Herculaneum, a Roman site buried during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, later excavated, and now part of the World Heritage Site of Pompeii. Participants used this opportunity to apply what had been learned during the course to a real-life situation, discussing their views with staff from the Herculaneum Conservation Project and ICCROM.
During the eight weeks of the course, participants went on study visits in Rome. These included: walking tours of Trastevere and the Forum; a visit/exercise at S. Maria in Trastevere and the surrounding area; S. Maria Antiqua; and the ex-Convent of S. Franceso a Ripa; and a visit to see the restoration work on the frescoes of Raphael at the Villa Farnesina (Accademia dei Lincei). Participants also had the opportunity to take part in a two-day study trip to Florence to look at conservation of wooden structures and monumental architecture.
- The course provided a unique opportunity for twenty two participants of diverse backgrounds (architects, archaeologists, planners, engineers etc.) from twenty-one countries to interact with ICCROM staff and thirty resource persons from around the globe who brought their conservation experience and teaching skills to increase participants’ knowledge in many aspects related to conservation of built heritage.
- The course displayed the strength and uniqueness of ICCROM as a multilateral organization that provides a forum for sharing worldwide conservation knowledge and experience.
- Participants used the fieldwork at Herculaneum to reflect on what they had learned during the course by being involved in group-work as applicable to a real-life situation.
- The course provided an opportunity for networking among conservation professionals.
- The course marked the return of a major training course in architectural conservation to Rome after an absence of almost a decade, as requested by many professionals and Member States..
- Evaluation results of participants demonstrate very high levels of overall satisfaction with course coordination, contents, resources persons, study tours, fieldwork and interaction among participants and the hospitality of ICCROM.
8 April, 2010