The Challenges of World Heritage Recovery

ICCROM is participating in an international conference entitled The challenges of World Heritage recovery: international conference on reconstruction, to be held in the Royal Castle in Warsaw on 6 – 8 May 2018. The conference is organized by Poland as a State Party to the World Heritage Convention, in cooperation with World Heritage Centre.

This conference builds on past ICCROM conferences on the topic of heritage reconstruction. The first, Saving and Reconstructing Heritage – Roundtable on Post-Conflict Reconstruction of Historic Cities, was held at the Louvre-Lens Museum on 20-21 January 2017, and was co-organized by ICCROM and l’Institut du monde arabe in Tourcoing. The second, a thematic discussion on reconstruction of destroyed or damage historic cities entitled Post-Conflict Reconstruction – Recovery and Community Involvement, was held on 1-2 December 2017, on the occasion of the 30th General Assembly of ICCROM in Rome.

The purpose of the Warsaw international conference is to summarize the previous discussions and experiences regarding the recovery and reconstruction of UNESCO World Heritage sites, and attempt to develop the most appropriate, universal guidelines that enable dealing with properties of exceptional value at the time of destruction.

The conference will be organized around five panels:

Panel 1: Integrative Approach to Recovery – Challenges and Opportunities. Theory and Methodology

Panel 2: The Processes of Recovery - taking stock of the past experiences: Documentation

Panel 3: History and Memory

Panel 4: Communities and Cultural Rights

Panel 5: The Challenges of Urban Heritage Recovery.

The Challenges of World Heritage Recovery

ICCROM has contributed to the planning of this conference, and will present and moderate during the first and fifth panels. ICCROM will also collaborate on the final conference document, tentatively entitled the Warsaw Principles for Recovery.

The place of the conference is deliberately chosen. Poland, and Warsaw in particular, has experienced the tragedy of deliberate destruction and the need to deal with various kinds of challenges, to enable a return to normal functioning. The Historic Center of Warsaw (1980), one of the first inscription on the World Heritage List, was also a precedent. The outstanding value of this property has been noticed, among other factors, for the comprehensive reconstruction of a city destroyed in its material layer. This city reconstruction was the basis for reconstructing the strength of spirit and determination of the nation. This entry for many years had a significant impact on understanding the concept of the authenticity of World Heritage sites and forming the approach to the issue of reconstruction.

The conference is free of charge. The languages of the conference are English, French and Polish.

Registration is open to the public, with mandatory registration via an online form:,konferencja_o_odbudowie_…

A detailed program and the background is available on the conference website at

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