The Venice Charter: International Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites-1964

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International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)


International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)



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This charter provides detailed information on the basic principles of preserving and restoring ancient monuments. It can be accessed at the website of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).

This charter was approved at  the ‘Second International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Historic Monuments,’ in 1964. It was adopted by ICOMOS in 1965. This document provides details on the scope of principles guiding preservation, restoration, and excavations of historic sites. Besides this, it defines guidelines for publishing reports of these processes in the public domain for future research.

ICOMOS is dedicated to the development of common doctrines for the protection of cultural heritage sites and monuments, the evolution and circulation of knowledge, the creation of improved conservation techniques, and the promotion of cultural heritage significance. This unique non-governmental, democratic not-for-profit international organization is associated with UNESCO, as an Advisory Body of the World Heritage Committee for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention. The creation of ICOMOS in 1965 is the outcome of initial conversations between architects, historians and international experts that began in the early twentieth century and eventually materialized in the adoption of the Venice Charter in 1964. 

Some of the areas defined in the charter are:

  • Restoration
  • Excavations
  • Publication