Wednesday, February 27, 2008

ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on 20th Century Heritage

The ICOMOS 20th Century Heritage International Scientific Committee

recognises the work and interest of other international non-government and government organisations working and focused on the identification and conservation of the heritage of the twentieth century. In particular the work of DOCOMOMO International and TICCCIH and the UIA is acknowledged.

The Committee’s scope of interest, aims, objectives and proposed work plan seek to augment and align the roles and responsibilities of these organizations and where appropriate develop partnership to achieve the mutual objectives of the recognition, identification and conservation of the heritage of the 20th century.

As the principle international conservation non-government organization ICOMOS International and its member chapters have a responsibility to participate in the conservation of the legacy of the previous century.

The broad network of member nations, the organisation’s multidisciplinary nature and its role in world heritage management provides an opportunity to encompass periods, typologies and issues not included in the more specific remits of other specialist organizations.

The scope of the Committee’s work is currently defined by time – the period 1900-1999. This may over time shift as experience, knowledge and skills are developed in conserving of places from the 20th and mainstreamed. The work of the Committee therefore may in the future need to be redefined to concentrate on the heritage of the recent past.
It is already apparent that the legacy of the early 20th century is increasingly understood and well managed. The period prior to the widespread adoption of new design, construction techniques and materials utilises technical conservation practice and methods developed from dealing with older places. It is therefore recognized that the issues relation to the conservation of the early twentieth century may be markedly different to those of the second half of the century.

The Committee’s scope of interest therefore is defined by the currently identified issues specific to the period of the twentieth century. These fall into two main categories:
Issues arising through lack of recognition of the recent past (largely now the second half of the 20th century),
Issues arising out of the specific construction technology and materials used, and
Issues arising out of specific design issues.
The Committee’s scope of interest can be identified using these categories. Specific programs can be developed with partner organisations dealing with these issues.

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