Polski Komitet Narodowy
Międzynarodowej Rady Ochrony Zabytków


  • Zamek Królewski w Warszawie
    Zamek Królewski w Warszawie
  • Łazienki Królewskie w Warszawie
    Łazienki Królewskie w Warszawie
  • Zamek Królewski na Wawelu, Kraków
    Zamek Królewski na Wawelu, Kraków
  • Toruń
  • Zamość
  • Muzeum Żup Krakowskich, Wieliczka
    Muzeum Żup Krakowskich, Wieliczka
  • Malbork

International Scientific Conference


In 1931, the First International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Historic Monuments was held in Athens. More than 100 delegates representing 22 countries participated in the Congress. The Congress, which lasted for 10 days provided an opportunity for a wide exchange of views and experiences on many aspects of the preservation of monuments. Almost 40 contributions were presented in Athens. The Congress adopted a document entitled The Athens Charter for the Restoration of Historic Monuments. This document can be considered as the first international text formulating conservation doctrine.

In 2021 the conservation community will celebrate the 90th anniversary of the adoption of the Athens Charter. This presents an opportunity for the international conservation community to once again discuss doctrinal texts in heritage protection. In view of global developments, socio-political, economic, climatic changes there are several pressing reasons to organize discussion on this topic.

The first reason is the growing importance of doctrinal texts. Doctrinal texts have long played an important role in protecting heritage, however, in recent years they have become increasingly more important and necessary. Conservation theory develops in response to the transformation of heritage and the needs of societies. Today, modernization pressures and social change are leading to ever deeper interference with historical objects and sites. Therefore, normative documents are increasingly necessary, which define the principles and limits of the handling of cultural heritage in contemporary conditions.

The second reason is the large number of doctrinal texts that have been created in recent decades. Today, the meaning of heritage is very large and diverse, and consequently the conditions for its protection are more complex and diverse. Therefore, the conservation theory is fragmented. As a result, the usefulness of universal doctrinal texts, which were normative for the entire protection of heritage, has decreased. Numerous new doctrinal texts have been created, which concern only specific groups of objects, regional heritage or selected conservation activities. In this situation, it is necessary to examine what kind of picture of discipline these texts create, or whether it loses consistency.

The third reason is the clear increasing focus of current conservation theory on the stakeholders. Many important doctrinal documents, which have been adopted by international organizations (UNESCO, ICOMOS International), very clearly emphasise the rights of stakeholders to define heritage, forms of its protection and use. In practice, this leads to a weakening of the position of the conservation services and greater transformation of historical objects. It is therefore necessary to examine the current state of conservation theory as a result of the implementation of a stakeholder-centred approach to practice. Does current conservation theory strike the right balance between stakeholder rights and heritage rights?

Doctrinal texts are a recognized form of shaping conservation theory. ICOMOS is the world's most important international heritage protection organization, which is why it produces the most doctrinal texts that are distributed worldwide. Therefore, it is relevant that ICOMOS should have a debate on the contemporary state and prospects for the entire corpus of doctrinal documents in heritage protection.


The aim of the conference Doctrinal texts – achievements, importance and future in the protection of heritage is a discussion on the key issues of doctrinal documents in heritage conservation that condition and specify the future of this discipline.

The aim of the conference is to take a comprehensive look at the current situation of doctrinal documents in heritage protection and thus create a basis for identifying the main threats, problems and proposals for heritage solutions.

The aim of the conference is to articulate the problems and topics that can be discussed by the various bodies of ICOMOS.

The conference will address three groups of problems (in 3 sessions).

1. Contemporary conservation theory in the light of doctrinal documents – critical analysis of doctrinal texts.
2. The importance and role of doctrinal texts in conservation practice - implementation of doctrinal texts into practice.
3. Development of doctrinal texts – needs and proposals of new doctrinal texts.

We invite all specialists who wish to take part in the discussion on the problems and future of doctrinal documents of heritage protection. We invite representatives of all the International Scientific Committees of ICOMOS and National Committees of ICOMOS. We invite all those involved in the theory and practice of heritage protection in all its aspects.

We hope that the conference will be a forum for exchanging views and shaping opinions for the different international environments of ICOMOS.


Abstracts of the proposed papers should be sent by 1 May 2021 to the following e-mail: Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie w przeglądarce obsługi JavaScript.

Abstracts should not exceed two pages of text (the form of separate points will make it easier for reviewers to grasp the concept of presentations).

The authors of conference presentations are asked to indicate the session during which the proposed paper is to be presented (session 1, 2 or 3).

The choice of papers to be presented at the conference will be made by reviewers appointed by the Organizing Committee of the conference. Authors of the submitted papers will be informed about the decision of the
reviewers by 15 May 2021.

The conference materials will be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal "Protection of Cultural Heritage”, published by ICOMOS Euro Group, ICOMOS Poland, LUT.


On behalf of the Organizational Committee
Bogusław Szmygin


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