According to the 1993 ICOMOS Education & Training Guidelines – Article 5; conservation works should only be entrusted to persons competent in the following specialist activities. Education and training for conservation should produce from a range of professionals, conservationists who are able to:
a. read a monument, ensemble or site and identify its emotional, cultural and use significance;
b. understand the history and technology of monuments, ensembles or sites in order to define their identity, plan for their conservation, and interpret the results of this research;
c. understand the setting of a monument, ensemble or site, their contents and surroundings, in relation to other buildings, gardens or landscapes;
d. find and absorb all available sources of information relevant to the monument, ensemble or site being studied;
e. understand and analyse the behaviour of monuments, ensembles and sites as complex systems;
f. diagnose intrinsic and extrinsic causes of decay as a basis for appropriate action;
g. inspect and make reports intelligible to non-specialist readers of monuments, ensembles or sites, illustrated by graphic means such as sketches and photographs;
h. know, understand and apply UNESCO conventions and recommendations, and ICOMOS and other recognized Charters, regulations and guidelines;
i. make balanced judgements based on shared ethical principles, and accept responsibility for the long-term welfare of cultural heritage;
j. recognize when advice must be sought and define the areas of need of study by different specialists, e.g. wall paintings, sculpture and objects of artistic and historical value, and/or studies of materials and systems;
k. give expert advice on maintenance strategies, management policies and the policy framework for environmental protection and preservation of monuments and their contents, and sites;
l. document works executed and make same accessible;
m. work in multi-disciplinary groups using sound methods;
n. be able to work with inhabitants, administrators and planners to resolve conflicts and to develop conservation strategies appropriate to local needs, abilities and resources;
Do you have the above experience, knowledge and expertise? If not, you ought to leave cultural built heritage well alone and allow only qualified personnel to participate in the deliberation of such historically important and fragile assets as heritage buildings and places.
Paul Rappoport – Heritage 21
21 February 2018
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