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краєзнавство / реставрація

Authenticity and Historical Reconstruction
in Relationship with Cultural Heritage

Regional Conference

October 23-24, 2000, Riga, Latvia


Director Cultural programmes
Latvian National Commission for UNESCO

The Regional Conference on "Authenticity and Historical Reconstruction in Relationship with Cultural Heritage" was held at Reiterna House in Riga (Latvia) from 23 to 24 October 2000. The conference was organised under the auspices of UNESCO World Heritage Centre (UNESCO-W11C), the lnternational Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) and the Latvian National Commission for UNESCO in co-operation with the State Inspection for Heritage Protection of Latvia.

Ninety-one participants from various disciplines involved in urban development took part in this two day conference. The participants included experts from international organizations, ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites), 1CCROM, and the OWHC (Organisation of World Heritage Cities), and local institutions, the State Inspection for Heritage Protection of Latvia, and professionals (planners, architects, sociologists, historians, managers, researchers) from nine different countries (Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus, Canada, Italy, United Kingdom, United Stales of America). Various students also took part in the conference, which was open to the public.

During their visit to Riga the participants became familiar with Old Riga, with visits of Riga Historical Centre, Rciterna I louse (venue of the conference), Latvian Architects Society I louse. Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts, and the Latvian Museum of Architecture.

The main goals of the conference were to create tools of implementation of defined principles and criteria of historic reconstruction of monuments and to summarise information on actual conservation/restoration practise in participating countries.

The themes and sub-themes of the Conference were:

     1. Continuity in contemporary conservation policy and practice (20 century experience).
A. Experience in the field of conservation during the postwar period.
B. Strategy and tactics of the contemporary cultural heritage protection.
C. Management, legislation and conservation practice.

     2. Scientific methodology and practice of historical reconstruction.
A. Contemporary function and historical reconstruction.
B. Inner space reconstruction methodology.
C. Reconstruction of urban fabric.

     3. Public opinion and policy of historical reconstruction.
A. Cultural heritage as the study subject in the academic education.
B. State legislation regarding to publicity of the historical building reconstruction projects
B. Professional ethics of the planners, architects and journalists

The objectives of the conference were:

Initiate ;i dialogue between architecture and urbanism, taking into account the historic urban fabric and the human dimension of the contemporary city.
Create an atmosphere in which multi-disciplinary planning of heritage will be accepted by the majority of the professionals.
Open dialogue regarding the social and economic aspects of Riga's Historical Centre and involve relevant professionals and decision- makers in the partnership.
Adopt the Guidelines - Riga Document (Riga Charter) to guide decision making in the process of authenticity and historical reconstruction of cultural heritage.

The Scientific Committee of the conference was composed of the following experts:

Mr.Janis Lejnieks - Chairmen of the Scientific Committee, Deputy Head, State Inspection for Heritage Protection, Latvia

Mr. Herb Stovel - Programme Director. Heritage Settlements Programme; Coordinator, World lleritage Convention, 1CCROM

Mr. Christopher Young - Head, World lleritage and International Policy in English Heritage, UK

Mr. Hain Toss - Senior Inspector. National Heritage Board, Estonia

Mr. Chernik Vasily - Deputy Head, Committee on the Protection of Historical and Cultural Heritage, Ministry of Culture, Belarus

Mrs. Evnika Lyniova -Chief Specialist, Department of Cultural Heritage Preservation. Ministry of Culture and Arts, Ukraine

Mr. Jonas Glemza - Professor, Academy of Art of Vilnius, Lithuania

Mr. Gediminas Rutkauskas - Director, Vilnius Old Town Renewal Agency (OTRA), Lithuania

Mr. Janis Krastins - Architect, Professor, Faculty of Architecture. Riga Technical University, Latvia

Based on written drafts of the charier (provided by Janis Krastins, Herb Stove] and Juris Dambis) and comments offered by the participants during the conference, the scientific committee prepared a charter. During the final session, which was moderated by Gediminas Rutkauskas. the charter was read and some of the participants offered suggestions for changes. Comments were recorded and some modifications were made. A consensus was readied and the Riga Charter was adopted.

Finally, Mr. H. Stovel, on behalf of the Scientific Committee and organizers of the conference, congratulated the participants on the productive work done during the conference and on the final outcome of the "Riga Charter on Authenticity and Historical Reconstruction in Relationship to Cultural Heritage".