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spect for the integrity of the structure.
LI Charter for the Conservation of Places of Cultural Heritage Value (ICOMOS New Zealand, 1992). Provides comprehensive definitions of the processes involved in conservation, and sets out principles to guide the conservation of places of cultural heritage value in New Zealand. It aims to provide a frame of reference as guidelines for appropriate professional practice. Although written for use in New Zealand, the basic principles are generally applicable and follow the spirit of the Venice Charter.
LI A Preservation Charter for the Historic Towns and Areas of the United States of America (US ICOMOS, 1992). Sets down a comprehensive statement concerning the importance of historic towns, neighbourhoods and places, and states what should be done to tackle preservation issues in a coherent and comprehensive manner.
LI Charter for the Protection and Management of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (draft, 1995). An unusual and specialised subject, but Conservation Officers are frequently called upon to consider such a wide range of issues, who knows when it might prove useful? Considers fundamental principles, project design, funding, objectives, methodology, investigation techniques, and documentation.
The United Nations Educational and Scientific Organisation (UNESCO) was founded in 1947 as part of the United Nations and has promotedvarious Conventions and other instruments for the conservation of the cultural heritage. A selection of these which will be of interest to Conservation Officers are:
LI Recommendations on International Principles Applicable to Archaeological Excavations (1956). Deals with general principles, regulations governing excavations and the trade in antiquities.
LI Recommendations Concerning the Safeguarding of the Beauty and Character of Landscapes and Sites (1962). Considers preventive measure aimed at protecting natural, rural and urban landscape and sites, whether natural or manmade, which have a cultural or aesthetic interest from dangers which may threaten them.
LI Recommendations Concerning the Preservation of Cu!tural Property Endangered byPublic or Private Works (1968). Considers preventive and corrective measures which should be aimed at protecting or saving cultural property from works likely to damage or destroy it, such as urban expansion and renewalprojects, injudicious repair and modification, highway works, agricultural operations, construction of infrastructure and industrial development.
LI Recommendations Concerning the Protection, at National Level, of the Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972). Defines the terms cultural and natural heritage, and provides a lengthy consideration of general principles, the organisation of services, and protective measures under the headings financial, administrative, scientific and technical.
LI Recommendations Concerning the Safeguarding and Contemporary Role of Historic Areas (1976). Another lengthy and detailed document which provides a comprehensive set of standards and principles for the conservation of the historic environment.
The charters should be viewed as providing guiding principles towards an appropriate response to particular conservation issues, not as instant and all inclusive perfect prescriptions. The following factors form the basis of most of the documents: comprehensive analysis of the place, minimum intervention in the historic fabric, precise documentation, respect for contributions of all periods, maintenance of authenticity and the requirement to take a holistic view of the historic environment.

Jack Gillon is a Conservation Officer with Edinburgh City Council.
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