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

IV. The Conservation Process

IV. The Conservation Process
1. Work Plan

The IAA shall execute a conservation process at Israeli heritage sites that is composed of sequential and complementary phases: identification and listing in the inventory; surveying, documentation, and assessment; conservation planning and implementation; and site management, including oversight, monitoring, and maintenance. The stakeholders shall participate in the process, and the value assessment of the site shall be given high priority throughout the conservation process.

2. Inventory List

2.1 The process of the listing and conservation of heritage sites is to be based on the inventory list, and a comprehensive conservation survey. The IAA shall establish a national inventory list, in cooperation with research bodies and national institutions. These lists will be included in a computerized and accessible database of conservation subjects as a means for professional management and monitoring, and for research purposes. The database will include basic information and relevant reports, the results of studies and assessments, the documentation of decisions and activity, and the classification and evaluation of sites by their cultural significance. A conservation inventory survey, that will define the physical condition of the sites and conservation needs, is to be conducted, as well. The degree of urgency of the treatment and its results are to be included in the inventory list. The Conservation Department shall base the order of priorities for the treatment of antiquities sites on a conservation survey of the State of Israel's antiquities, and a risk survey that will indicate their condition and the their needs for treatment.
2.2 Boundaries and a buffer zone that are based on conservation and environmental surveys, are to be established for declared antiquities sites. A file will be opened in the inventory list, and the body responsible for the site will be defined. The Conservation Department sees the need to draw up a supplementary inventory list of heritage sites to which the Antiquities Law does not apply, in order to ensure that the considerations relating to the future of these sites will be guided by their historical value.

3. Surveying, Documentation, and Assessment

The definition of a site's cultural significance and its physical and management condition is to be based on archaeological, historical, architectural, and urban surveying and documentation, as required. The extent of the survey and the scope of the documentation are to conform to the site's value and nature, on the one hand, and to the type of conservation intervention and development needs, on the other.

4. Planning

4.1 The IAA, in conjunction with other relevant bodies, is to formulate a National Master Plan for the Conservation of the Antiquities Sites in the State of Israel. The plan is to be based on the inventory list, and will be constructed over the course of time, in a manner that will reflect all the sites' values, physical condition, type, and periods.
4.2 Site planning will be conducted as part of the management plan that specifies the conservation goals, methods of treatment, suitable uses, manner of presentation to the public, and management strategy, while relating to regional development plans. The management plan will serve as the foundation for the formulation of detailed conservation, development, and maintenance plans that are to be prepared on the basis of the survey, documentation, and assessment of the site's values, its physical condition, and the management aspects. The Conservation Department will guide the planners regarding the archaeological, architectural, engineering, and conservation aspects.
4.3 Site planning will relate to each element or structure in the context of its environment. Treatment of ensembles is to be preferred to that of individual elements or structures that are isolated from their context.
4.4 The plans are to be updated from time to time, in accordance with changing site needs.

5. Site and Project Management

5.1 The Conservation Department, in conjunction with the bodies managing heritage sites, will formulate mandatory standards and directives that are to be followed in the management of heritage sites. Planners and conservers are to be trained and/or employed by the bodies managing heritage sites, such as the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, the Jewish National Fund, municipalities, and local and regional councils that have historic cities and villages within their jurisdictions, tourism development corporations, open museums, and holy sites that are within the purview of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Interior Ministry. In order to ensure maximal protection and suitable conservation of the sites, the Conservation Department, in coordination with other bodies, will take an active part in the determination of site uses, the preparation of management plans, conservation, and maintenance.
5.2 The IAA has the statutory authority to approve plans and treatment, or to grant permission for conservation treatment of the various antiquities sites. All conservation work is to be done under the conservation supervision of, and in coordination with, the Conservation Department.
5.3 The site director will be responsible for the application of the management, conservation, and maintenance plans for the site, that are to consist primarily of preventing risks, man-made damage, and natural deterioration. He also bears responsibility for the quality of the presentation.
5.4 Sustainable site management will balance between the different interests, including development considerations versus those of conservation. The repercussions for the long-term condition of the antiquities resulting from site development for visitors must be the subject of careful and controlled examination. While the exposure of the site can realize the site's economic and educational potential, it can also, and at the same time, raise the level of physical risk to the antiquities. If the site produces income, a portion of the proceeds should be invested in site conservation and maintenance. In the instances in which the site has suffered irreversible damage, consideration should be given to means of protection, including the closure of areas to the public and their reburial.

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