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Conservation and revival of cultural heritage is one of the most influential measures to preserve Iranian identity and transfer its culture beyond history from the past to future generation. The culture of restoration and revival is rooted in the country’s historical heritage and using and settling in a building during different historical periods is evidence.

According to the ratified rules, Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) has been assigned to undertake this responsibility. ICHTO has done some activities in this regard in the last two decades in different scales and areas.

Revival is a targeted process, implemented to enhance preservation and granting appropriate land-use for utilization of cultural and historic places in addition to maintaining authenticity and integrity. Considering the huge number of cultural and historic places in the country alongside the civil society growth in different dimensions and extension of needs and changes in today’s condition, efficient participation of public and private sectors with the regard to revitalize culture and society is required.

Hence, supported by ICHTO, “the Revival Fund” is assigned to proceed in the fields as follows:

- Enhancing technical services; national and international research exchange.

- Promoting the culture of revival, attracting contributions in different areas towards realization of the revival and utilization of cultural and historic places.

- Institutionalizing revival and its economic impacts on cultural heritage as a sole means to assure sustainable preservation of the values in development momentum of today.

In order to achieve aforementioned goals, prior to launching executive activities of reviving places in compliance with defined legal duties of the Fund, it is necessary to recognize the scope of cultural and historic sites, relevant and dependant values, principles of conservation and assuring the survival, interaction and compatibility between the historic and cultural places with the contemporary needs in its surroundings.

 

Background of revival and utilization documents:

The importance of cultural and historic places from national and man-kind culture view, any interventions aiming at restoration and revival have been considered scientific and professional. Therefore, scientific and technical criteria approved by experts have always been well-recognized and determined in national and international levels.

“Athena Charter for Restoration of Historic Monuments” and “the Venice Charter 1964” are key steps towards setting practical and theoretical criteria in the field of restoration and revival.

Establishing International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) expedited the process of defining international, regional and national documents. As a result, defining revival and preservation documents has become common and essential.

In spite of availability of international documents and other countries’ experiences in this field, Iranian professionals have not been able to prepare Iran’s national document for preservation and revival of cultural and historic places and buildings. Although, ICHTO, in collaboration with ICOMOS, has had definite endeavors in this regard.

Necessity of providing a national document on revival of cultural and historic places:

Existence of national criteria and regulations agreed by experts and cultural heritage management systems are inevitable due to multiplicity and diversity of cultural and historic places in the country and the wide-range of stakeholders (including executive entities, urban management and owners, etc.) and the necessity of interventions as a measure for restoration and revival of historic and cultural places.

Absence of scientific and technical criteria at the national levels would make any interventions heterogeneous influenced by different authorities’ tastes in an unacceptable quality for monitoring and management.

 

 

Method of Codification:

Firstly, recognizing the needs (revival and utilization of cultural and historic places)

Secondly, studying global experiences and best practices.

Thirdly, providing required contents responding to the needs, considering domestic requirements. This process has been done in 4 approaches with scientific methods:

- Complying needs with similar international areas and deducting principles

- Amending some principles and methods

- Revising the total concepts of some methods according to conditions and features related to local needs. Some other methods are proposed with regard to requirements.

Due to weakness of information system, documentation of technical and scientific experiences and accumulation of elites’ knowledge, the appropriate method chosen for defining revival and utilization of cultural and historic places and buildings was based on “Elites’ experiences and stakeholders’ consensus”.

In terms of required investigation and studies assessing and evaluating references and resources, analyzing national experiences and preparing draft of revival got ultimately chosen.

The most preliminary and influential step was recognizing and defining interpretations and definitions of vocabulary and concepts of: revival, support, guidance, capability of revival, appropriate land-use, maintenance and etc. (according to definitions presented in national and international legal documents.)

The second step was defining principles and supervisory criteria for activities of revival and utilization of cultural and historic places taking into account the conditions of these places in Iran and similar situations in international level.

The result of all endeavors in this regard was the present document called “Document of Revival and Utilization of Cultural and Historic Places and Buildings” of which the sixth part is getting prepared focusing on” the System of Monitoring Revival Activities (Assessment, Technical Monitoring and Project Control.)

After finalizing the studies of specialized committee and preparation of the draft of this document, experts, professionals, stakeholders and influential individuals were urged to comment on the content in order to get it revised and completed. During the meeting of the committee and experts in March 2009, after expressing appreciations for efforts undertaken for preparation of the present document, some amendments were applied which have been implemented in the current document.

References:

All resolutions, UNESCO conventions, ICOMOS approved documents and some countries’ national documents in this regard and relevant professional books have been studied for the preparation of this document. In addition to abovementioned studies, rules and regulations of supervising and monitoring in the realm of internal rights, long terms and middle terms development documents and available relevant thesis and publications have been studied.

Recognition of the document:

The general concept of the document has been approved by National Elites Foundation of Iran and studies have been revised by Cultural Heritage Deputyship of ICHTO, notified for a period of one year as a pilot.

It is obvious provincial directorates’ points of view will be considered in revision, review and implementation of the document.

Since this type of documents is considered as knowledge-based documents, it is essential to be in the framework of up-to-date cultural, scientific and technical progress. This document as the second edition is based on scientific, technical and executive capacities and promoted needs.

The legal and lawful context:

The assessment and completion of the present document in terms must be fulfilled as the final phase.

 

1- General definitions:

Revivable Places:

Refers to the historic and cultural places and buildings of which capacities can be in compliance with contemporary needs (by confirming its current historic land-use or granting new appropriate land-use and utilization) taking into account the preservation and promotion of the place.

Revival:

Revival is a purposeful process aiming at enhancing preservation, assuring the survival of the place, defining appropriate land-use in order to have a better utilization, taking into account the authenticity and integrity.

Appropriate land-use:

Appropriate land-use can be defined in the framework of the criteria as follows:

Preservation and promotion of historical, cultural, social, artistic, functional, natural and spiritual values by utilization of historical, cultural, social, economic capacities and advantages in order to respond to contemporary needs in compliance with applicable rules and regulations.

Protection:

A set of activities and measures adopted to prevent damages to a place and decay of its values which leads to revival of the place in a new social, economic and cultural context

Support:

A set of activities and measures adopted to help initiatives and activists in terms of revival, promotion, safeguarding, management and utilization activities.

The main ones are as follows:

- Masters and professionals ( experts, producers, designers, etc.)

- Investment ( investments, investors, beneficiaries)

- Ultimate consumers

- Establishing educational, vocational and management institutes

- Local communities and non-governmental entities

- Human resources

- Owners and legal possessors of the cultural and historic places

Guidance:

A set of strategies, solutions, measures and activities adopted to orient capacities and capabilities at national and international levels for revival and utilization of cultural and historical places.

Utilization:

Utilization is a process which is required to be done following the revival in order to implement the defined land-use to benefit from cultural, social, economic capacities in compliance with preservation-maintenance regulations.

Beneficiary:

Refers to a person or entity that is morally and technically eligible to take the responsibility of utilization management of historic and cultural places.

Maintenance:

A set of measures applied by the beneficiary and “the Fund for Revival and utilization of the Cultural and Historic Buildings and Places” for the survival of the building and the good performance on the place and building in compliance with approved rules of procedures.

Supervision:

All activities and measures adopted for assurance of accuracy and quality of implementation of restoration, utilization, maintenance and management of the place, realization of commitments between parties, prevention of any activities causing damages to authenticity and integrity of the place.

Particular definitions:

2-1- Conservation zones of historic and cultural places and buildings

Place:

Refers to site, area, building and a set of buildings and related belongings and surrounding environment.

Cultural significance:

Refers to aesthetic, historical and scientific or social values of the place or building for the past, the present and the future.

Historical Buildings and landscape:

Refers to a part or some parts of the current city reflecting its cultural and historical values as a result of human’s interactions with its surrounding environment during the history.

Conservation:

Refers to all methods and processes applied on a place to preserve its cultural significance including maintenance, preservation, restoration, reconstruction and adaptation and generally a combination of all.

Maintenance:

Refers to constant maintenance and preservation of landscape, content and location and it must be differentiated from repair. Repairing requires restoration and reconstruction which must be considered.

Preservation:

Refers to maintaining of a place with its current structure and postponing ruin and decay.

Restoration:

Refers to returning the structure of a place to its former situation by removing the additional and reassembling the details and components without using new materials.

Reconstruction:

The process of returning a building to a known position. It is differentiated from recreation by using old and new materials.

Adaptation:

Refers to amendment applied on a place in compliance with its original use or its appropriate use.

Use:

Refers to the functions of a place in addition to activities and works undertaken there.

Compatible use:

It refers to types of use with no change in the structure of the building with cultural significance, or applying the least changes with the least impacts.

Area:

Refers to surrounding environment of the building including landscape.

Related place:

Refers to a place sharing cultural significance with another place.

Related object:

Refers to an object as a component of cultural significance of a place but not locating there.

Associations:

Refers to particular relations between people and a place.

Meanings:

Refers to motivational implications and expressions of a conceptual place.

Interpretations:

Refers to all ways applied to define the place significance.

Integrity:

Integrity is a criterion assessing a cultural and historic place and its features’ totality and being intact. It can be recognized by considering some points as follows:

- The place must include all components defining its values.

- The place must enjoy required scope and scale to express its related cultural significance.

- The intervening factors caused by development or neglect which do not have fundamental impacts on the place.

Authenticity:

Depending the type and area of the cultural heritage, they would be recognized authentic and accurate once they represent the features as follows:

- Form and design

- Materials

- Usage and function

- Traditions, technologies and management system

- Location and positioning

- Language and other intangible heritage

- Spirit and sensation

- Other internal and external factors

Approved plan:

A set of and/or a part of technical documents prepared for revival of a historical place approved by competent authority.

 

2-2- Recognizing the possibility of revival of cultural and historic places and buildings:

Revival:

Revival is a purposeful process aiming at enhancing preservation, assuring the survival of the place, granting appropriate land-use in order to have a better utilization, taking into account the authenticity and integrity.

Revivable Places:

Refers to the historic and cultural places and buildings of which capacities can be in compliance with contemporary needs (by confirming its current historic land-use or granting new appropriate land-use and utilization) taking into account the preservation and promotion of the place.

According to the aforementioned point, except the exquisite monuments which are generally required to be studied and surveyed solely, all historical places are revivable unless they cannot get resorted due to the lack of information on technical-historical background.

 

2-3- Defining the land-use of cultural and historical places and buildings:

The land-use of cultural and historic places and buildings must be adopted by considering the following criteria:

Preservation and promotion of historical, cultural, social, artistic, functional, natural and spiritual values by utilization of historical, cultural, social, economic capacities and advantages in order to respond to contemporary needs in compliance with certain rules and regulations.

2-4- Utilization Management of cultural and historic places and buildings:

Beneficiary:

Refers to a person or entity that is morally and technically eligible to take the responsibility of utilization management of historic and cultural places.

Utilization:

Utilization is a process which is required to be done following the revival in order to implement the defined land-use to benefit from cultural, social, economic capacities in compliance with preservation-maintenance regulations.

Maintenance:

A set of measures applied by the beneficiary and “the Fund for Revival and utilization of the Cultural and Historic Buildings and Places” for the survival of the building and the good performance on the place and building in compliance with approved rules of procedures.

Conservation:

Refers to all trends concerning safeguarding cultural significance of a place.

Revival:

Revival is a purposeful process aiming at enhancing preservation, assuring the survival of the place, granting appropriate land-use in order to have a better utilization, taking into account the authenticity and integrity.

Adaptation:

Refers to amendment applied on a place in compliance with its original use or its appropriate use.

Cultural significance:

Refers to aesthetic, historical and scientific or social values of the place or building for the past, the present or the future.

Integrity:

Integrity is a criterion assessing a cultural and historic place and its features’ totality and being intact. It can be recognized by considering some points as follows:

- The place must include all components defining its values.

- The place must enjoy required scope and scale to express its related cultural significance.

- The intervening factors caused by development or neglect which do not have fundamental impacts on the place.

Authenticity:

Depending the type and area of the cultural heritage, they would be recognized authentic and accurate once they represent the features as follows:

- Form and design

- Materials

- Usage and function

- Traditions, technologies and management system

- Location and positioning

- Language and other intangible heritage

- Spirit and sensation

- Other internal and external factors

Approved plan:

A set of and/or a part of technical documents prepared for revival of a historical place approved by competent authority.

Project:

Well- designed measures towards achieving a certain goal.