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

I. General Principles

I. General Principles

The built cultural heritage consists of all the sites that came into existence by human endeavor over the course of time and that are of cultural significance. It includes archaeological remains, underwater sites, ruins, traditional structures, building ensembles, historic villages and cities, historic gardens, traces of ancient agriculture, and cultural landscapes. The built heritage usually refers to relatively large architectural remains, and is distinct from the broader definition of material culture, that also includes small finds such as pottery and coins.
Conservation relates to all the actions pertaining to the physical conservation of the asset in its historical surroundings. The goal of conservation is to preserve the authenticity of the site, with its cultural, aesthetic, historical, social, and scientific values to the greatest extent possible. These values and information are embodied in the materials from which the asset is made, its design, its setting and environment, and the uses and emotions connected with it. Conservation, on the practical level, is concerned with the destruction caused by the ravages of nature or human beings, and the prevention of deterioration processes by technical and management means.

1. Cultural Heritage Values

1.1 The significance and importance of cultural heritage ensue from the cultural value of the site, including aesthetic, historical, social, and scientific values. Its aesthetic value is expressed in the experiential and sensory qualities of the site, and is evaluated by the criteria of form, color, and texture, as these are expressed in a work of art or architecture. Its historical value contains the history of the site's aesthetic, social, and scientific aspects, and embodies the educational potential of the latter. The criteria for assessing historical value are measured in terms of the site's influence on its surroundings as a consequence of a historical figure, event, or some other activity connected with it; this value rises in relation to the number of in situ evidence related to the figure, event, or activity. Social value pertains to the site's ability to support the formulation of a collective identity and other social ties that are built in relation to the site, such as sites of national value. Scientific value is based on the site as a source of information for research, such as archaeological sites. The Conservation Department will support research and the formulation of accepted criteria for the assessment of the various heritage assets.
1.2 The IAA will recognize and respect the existence of differing and at times contradictory values at a site, especially in places where they clash; for example, at a site that represents a number of periods, and at which it would be difficult to accent one period over the others not at the expense of the latter. The Conservation Department will aspire to find solutions that will enable the coexistence of values and a multiplicity of interpretations at the site. The preservation of cultural heritage will be done employing a professional conservation approach, one that is equal in effort, regardless of the kind of site or its period, cultural context and location in the past and present.
1.3 The contribution of each period to the historical significance of the site should properly be respected. The exposure of previous strata by the removal of later strata is to be conducted with maximal care, following detailed documentation, and only when there is sufficient information that justifies such an action. The excavator or planner is to take these decisions in consultation with the others involved with the site, such as the site director, the conserver, and the planner.

2. Value as a Basis for Treatment

 The cultural value of the site will be the primary guiding consideration in the determination of policy and courses of action at the site. All of the factors influencing the site, including its physical condition, available resources, and external constraints, are to be taken into account.

3. Uses

3.1 Cultural sites will serve the public good. Proper use of a site will respect its historical value and physical integrity and will advance public understanding of and respect for the site. The use of the site will be of benefit to the public, in a controlled fashion, so as not to harm the site values due to shortsighted utilitarian considerations.
3.2 The continuity of the traditional use, such as dwellings, in historic cities, or of uses of cultural value, are to be encouraged.

4. Site Presentation

4.1 In order for the public to gain an understanding of and appreciation for the cultural significance of sites, they must be presented to the public, and suitable services and information pertaining to the site's messages and values must be provided. The IAA will cooperate with the bodies engaged in the management of heritage sites in the selection and development of the methods for the presentation of history and the cultural heritage for the benefit of the public.
4.2 Reconstruction as a means for presentation is to be used as little as possible, and only in instances in which there is sufficient verified evidence from the source. Preference is to be given to indirect means of presentation that do not entail physical intervention and harm to the original remains.
4.3 The historical truth, in all its complexity and with all its diverse interpretations, is to be presented in a sincere manner.

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