ICCROM International Architectural Conservation Course (ARC): Study Project, Capua, Italy, 1971

This drawing, integrated with photographs, depicts the historic centre of Capua, near Naples, in 1971. It delves into the visual aspects, volumes and spatial configurations of the urban landscape within the fortified city. The drawing was elaborated by participants of the 1971 Architectural Conservation Course, organized by ICCROM in co-operation with the Scuola di Perfezionamento in Restauro, University of Rome, La Sapienza.

The International Architectural Conservation Course (ARC) was the first ICCROM regular training programme, which started in the 1965-1966 academic year. It was established in response to recommendations of the Second International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Historic Monuments held in Venice in May 1964, where the Venice Charter was adopted. ICCROM played a key role in drafting the Charter.

A resolution from the Congress regarding the education of monument preservation and restoration stated: “[…] II. That the international courses organized at the Architecture Faculty of Rome University should be developed in a spirit of international co-operation and of co-operation with the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and the Restoration of Cultural Property. That the national authorities interested should give their support and facilitate attendance at these courses of young architects, art historians and archaeologists, who by their qualification will be most likely to benefit by them so that a high scientific standard can be guaranteed. […]”.  

Embodying this spirit, the ARC course brought together young professionals worldwide for six months in Rome. They attended lectures by leading experts from different countries, and shared knowledge and experiences. The course combined theory and practice, through field projects involving practical analysis of historic buildings and areas in Italy, such as Capua, Bologna, Ferrara, Tivoli, and Rome itself, as well as in neighbouring countries, such as Trogir (Croatia), Segovia (Spain), and Testour (Tunisia).

The ARC field projects are documented by architectural drawings and photogrammetries, photographic material and study reports, available in ICCROM Archives. As the Venice Charter states in Article 16: 

“In all works of preservation, restoration or excavation, there should always be precise documentation in the form of analytical and critical reports, illustrated with drawings and photographs. Every stage of the work of clearing, consolidation, rearrangement and integration, as well as technical and formal features identified during the course of the work, should be included. This record should be placed in the archives of a public institution and made available to research workers. It is recommended that the report should be published.”

We are delighted to confirm that the ARC course participants followed recommendations, and field projects are well documented and preserved at ICCROM, including related publications. In the case of Capua: Brock, Ingrid; Giuliani, Paolo; Moisescu, Cristian. Il centro antico di Capua. Metodi d’analisi per la pianificazione architettonico-urbanistica, Marsilio, Padova, 1973.


Jokilehto, Jukka, ICCROM and the Conservation of Cultural Heritage: A History of the Organization’s first 50 years, ICCROM, Rome, 2016.

The Venice Charter - 1964, ICOMOS: https://www.icomos.org/en/participer/179-articles-en-francais/ressources/charters-and-standards/157-the-venice-charter (consulted on 04/06/2024).