New Integrated Knowledge based approachs to the protection of cultural heritage from Earthquake-induced Risk

V. Conservation Intervention

V. Conservation Intervention
1. General Directives

Conservation intervention includes the technical means for the treatment of the site and its surroundings. The Conservation Department will guide the choice of the type of treatment, so that it will be based on an understanding of the cultural significance and physical condition of the site, and on the principles listed in Section III (above). Each intervention will be preceded by the documentation and recording of the site's physical condition and the factors contributing to its deterioration. Upon the conclusion of each intervention, a report will be prepared and filed in the IAA archives. The IAA will confirm that the goals of the intervention will be clearly defined, based on a long-term and comprehensive viewpoint, and that use will be made of methods and materials that have been tested and been proven to be non-harmful. The order of priorities for site treatment is to begin with protection and conservation works that will be followed by the reconstruction and development works.

2. Routine Maintenance

Maintenance is the most basic and most important means of conservation that prevents and lessens accumulated damage caused by the ravages of nature and man. The Conservation Department shall require for every site a routine maintenance plan, that includes a security system, and it shall approve and supervise these maintenance plans, that will be updated from time to time as needed. Maintenance reports will be kept in the IAA archives. Special emphasis will be placed on the maintenance of antiquities sites that are open to the public.

3. Preventive Conservation, Physical Protection, and Design

These activities, that are meant to lessen damage to the site or the structure, include, among others, shelter, proper drainage systems, fencing, and guarding. These activities are intended to conserve the greatest possible amount of the original fabric, and to the extent that this is feasible, the site's original character and landscape. The central consideration in the erection of new shelter is to be the degree of protection that this would afford to the site. The enclosure must be simple, practical, and planned so that minimal damage will be inflicted on the site and its surroundings. As a matter of principle, the Conservation Department would prefer fully implementing the preventive conservation activity required to stabilize the site before the implementation of more thorough intervention.

4. Site Reburial

The Conservation Department will generally issue directives for the reburial of archaeological sites upon the conclusion of the research, in order to preserve them and prevent vandalism and looting. In special cases, after the means for the long-term conservation of the site have been ensured, it would be possible to expose the site in order to open it to the public. In order to prevent the overexploitation and deterioration of sensitive sites, the opening of sites to the public on a rotating basis could be considered, by closing some sites to visitors and opening others in their stead. The reburial of sites is to be done in coordination with the excavator and the Conservation Department, following approved reburial specification sheets.

5. Minor Intervention

Minor intervention refers to a system of actions that does not result in considerable changes to the structure, and that does not add new elements, so as not to disturb the basic condition of the site. These actions include the stabilization of distorted or collapsed elements, the repair of elements, and the removal of later elements that are lacking in value. These actions are to be accompanied by detailed documentation, especially if any element is added or removed.

6. Major Intervention

Major intervention is intervention that exerts very major influence upon the original fabric, and that includes the stabilization of the structure by means of main supportive elements and the repair or replacement of missing components. The dismantling and assembly of a structure or the moving of structures and elements are to be considered in a careful manner, due to the severe damage these actions will cause to the original fabric and its surroundings. The Conservation Department will approve the dismantling and reassembly of a structure or the moving of structures for their preservation only as a last resort. New additions must respect the archaeological potential of the remains or the historic structures, without overshadowing the original fabric, and steps must be taken to ensure their harmonious integration with the original design of the structures and remains.

7. Anastylosis

The full in situ reconstruction of a structure will be approved by the Conservation Department only in exceptional instances, for unique structures. In situ reconstruction of a structure is to be conducted only on the basis of reliable evidence, and not on analogies.

8. Reconstruction

Reconstruction shall be done in a controlled manner, using the minimum amount of intervention necessary in order to stabilize and present the site.

9. New Works

Every modern intervention must be distinct from the original remains. These works are to be incorporated in a sensitive and careful fashion, in accordance with the historical nature of the site, and must not overshadow the original remains.

10. The Site Landscape

Care for the site landscape is part of the conservation and presentation of the site. The service structures and modern gardening that are necessary for the site are to be planned so that they will not harm the site and its landscape. To the degree that this is possible, the authentic surroundings of the site are to be reconstructed by suitable landscape planning.

11. Monitoring

A national and interorganizational monitoring system is to be established, for the oversight and control of the degree of risk of antiquities sites that will constitute the basis for site maintenance. The monitoring system shall collect data on the condition of the sites and the factors leading to deterioration, both those due to natural causes and those resulting from vandalism. In instances of the latter, the prior condition is to be restored, to the degree that this is possible, and expeditiously, in order to limit the damage.

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