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

III. Conservation Principles

III. Conservation Principles
1. In Situ Conservation

1.1 The utmost priority is to be given to in situ heritage conservation, with the goal of preserving all the elements in situ. High priority is to be given to the conservation of artistic elements such as mosaics, frescoes, and stone details. Individual elements are to be removed from the site only in special circumstances and under the supervision of the Conservation Department, when there is no other way of protecting them.
1.2 Site relocation is to be considered on a case by case basis, based on the values of the site and its surroundings, with an examination of the options for the relocation, and shall be approved as a last resort and only in exceptional cases.
1.3 The historical setting of the site is an important element in the determination of its value,
and every effort must be made to protect the site in its setting and incorporate it in the overall
management plan of the site. This plan is to include the definition of a buffer zone around the site.

2. Minimal Intervention

Intervention in heritage assets is to be minimal in order to preserve as much original fabric as possible. The goal of such intervention is to conserve the status quo and retard to the greatest possible extent the process of deterioration, by preventing destruction caused by the ravages of nature or human activity.

3. Respect for the Original Fabric

3.1  The conservation treatment is to be guided by the principle of respect for the original physical fabric of the remains, that are to be conserved in their historical condition, without the loss of evidence and information. The use of nondestructive means is to be preferred, and special justification would be required for any deviation from this principle.
3.2 Preference is to be given to the use of traditional technologies and original materials. New materials are to be used only after testing of the material has confirmed that it is compatible and retreatable.

4. Documentation and Recording

4.1 Sites of national value are to be documented and surveyed. In the instances in which a site faces destruction, documentation is to be prepared and kept in the public archives of the local authorities and in the IAA archives.
4.2 Documentation and surveying are an integral part of conservation activity that includes documentation of the site condition before the intervention, and detailed documentation of all intervention at the site. The level of documentation and the degree of detail shall be determined by the Conservation Department, in accordance with the value of the site and the conservation goals. All the records relating to the site, including documentation of the conservation works before and after every intervention, in the past and in the present, are to be kept in the IAA archives.

5. Conservation during Archaeological Excavations

 Archaeological excavations are to be accompanied by conservation during and between the seasons and at the conclusion of the excavations. The conservation plan is to be supported by the allocation of suitable resources and will be prepared during and after the course of the excavations. This plan is to be submitted together with the excavations plan as part of the request for an excavation license, and it will be presented to the Conservation Department for approval. In special instances, a conservation plan will be required for a salvage excavation. Special emphasis is to be placed on explaining the importance of conservation to onsite archaeologists, and their participation in formulating the site conservation plan.

6. Emergency Plans

In the light of regional instability and the dangers facing the built heritage, plans should be formulated for emergency activity in case of disaster. Emergency plans are to be prepared for the sites and visitors. Safety and site protection directives and regulations are to be drawn up for public sites; no activity that is liable to endanger visitors or the site itself will be approved.

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