chapter  3
24 Pages

Documentation and Value Assessments: The Identification of Local and Global Significance

The First International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Historic Monuments yielded the 1931 Athens Charter for the Restoration of Historic Monuments which called for the protection of the ‘character and historic values’ of ‘monuments of artistic, historic or scientific interest’ (ICOMOS, 1931: Article 2.II). The Second International Congress in Venice followed in 1964 and yielded the Venice Charter according to which restoration’s primary objective was to ‘preserve and reveal the aesthetic and historic value of the monument’ (ICOMOS, 1964: Article 9). The Venice Charter also furthered the notion of world heritage, grounding it in the rationale that ‘people are becoming more and more conscious of the unity of human values and regard ancient monuments as a common heritage’ hence it stressed the need for a ‘common responsibility to safeguard [ancient monuments] for future generations’ (ICOMOS, 1964). Thus this congress led to the establishment of ICOMOS (ICOMOS, 2011a), and to the emergence of three key notions that henceforth prevailed UNESCO’s modus operandi, namely: heritage values and significance; world heritage; and shared responsibility.