Connecting principles with practice: From Charters to guiding case studies
Luisa de Marco, Ministry of Culture, Regional Directorate of Liguria for Cultural and Landscape
Conservationists have always expressed through written declarations principles and norms that they deemed to orient their ?discipline?. These documents therefore reflect the debate and the modifications of perspective within conservation. Over time, however, their usefulness in practice has been questioned from various sides and today many think that they have exhausted their validity as guiding instruments for conservation practice. Criticists have called for many reasons for this situation, namely ambiguity of language; inconsistencies; only apparent strictness and univocity; gap with real practice and failure to address new theoretical questions and related technical responses. Consciousness of the present situation among some professionals has triggered the exploration of more effective alternative means to orient conservation practice: the best known examples are the Illustrated Burra Charter (ICOMOS Australia) and the GCI. This paper explores the recurrent weaknesses of charter through some examples and, on the base of exisitng experiences, offers some proposals that may contribute to enhance future professionals? awareness about the historical context and theoretical, methodological and practical issues of conservation.