Friday, November 17, 2006

Preventive Conservation Of UNESCO World Heritage Sites Complicated When Domain Of Conservation Shifts From Museums To Monuments

"Preventive conservation is more complicated in the domain of conservation of national monuments than in the case of museums. The conservation of national monuments not only investigates and deals with the sources of material degradation, e.g. unfavorable climatic conditions, the influence of light and microorganic infestation, but has to seek solutions for other sorts of problems such as the legal protection of UNESCO World Heritage sites and the loopholes therein, the quality of and the potential risk to the protection of the surrounding areas of cultural sites or the consideration of potential risks inherent in applications for inclusion in the World Heritage List. The topic of the conference, preventive conservation, is quite relevant for the conservation and protection of national monuments in general. University study programs and workshop training programs should reflect the concerns of experts and specialists responsible for developing concepts and methods in preventive conservation and those who put them into practice.

As Hildesheim is the venue of the conference, the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Hildesheim Cathedral and St. Michael's Church will be involved. St Michael's Church is presently under restoration, which includes archaeological excavations. Following an architectural competition in 2005 the Cathedral will undergo comprehensive alterations."

Nov 23, 2006 - Nov 25, 2006
Hildesheim, Germany, European Union

"St Michael's Church was built between 1010 and 1020 on a symmetrical plan with two apses that was characteristic of Ottonian Romanesque art in Old Saxony. Its interior, in particular the wooden ceiling and painted stucco-work, its famous bronze doors and the Bernward bronze column, are – together with the treasures of St Mary's Cathedral – of exceptional interest as examples of the Romanesque churches of the Holy Roman Empire."


18th Century Old Wooden Synagogue outside of Grodno, Belarus, Future European Union. (Destroyed by the Germans in 1941-44.)

"Wood was the main building material in Belarus up to the end of the 19th century. Artistic styles of stone architecture influenced greatly the development of worship wooden architecture. The process of the form development in wooden architecture was more complex than in stone architecture, for it presupposed not just renewal but also a return to the cultural roots. Therefore, in 17th and 18th centuries, two types of the Polesye architectural schools emerged - those of the Western Polesye and of the Eastern Polesye.

The Western Polesye school has formed itself in the territory between Brest and Pinsk [southwestern Belarus]. The typical edifices of the zone are marked by the peculiar construction, planning design, organizational pattern of the yard and architecture. Typical for the school temples were frames, different in size and form, united under a single plastic shingled roof (St. Nikita Church in Zditovo). In addition, churches were constructed with pyramidal tower roofs, with their upper parts cut off (Spasopreobrazhenskaya Church in Otlusha), temples with steeples built to the main facade etc. This architectural school has common features with the architecture of Ukraine, Lithuania, and Poland.

St. Nikita Church in Zditovo is a monument of wooden architecture. It was constructed in 1502 in the village of Zditovo of the Zhabinka Rayon on the right bank of the Muchovets River. The temple sizes 9,40 x 15,65 x 6 meters. The Church has three right-angled frames and the apses, covered by a joint pent roof. In the 19th century a frame tambour was attached to the entrance. The walls are covered by vertical wooden planks."

Photo (1) and caption credits: UNESCO World Heritage Site Pages for Gemany and Belarus. Photo (2): With thanks.


Germany has 31 sites listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List; Ukraine and Belarus , sites of massive Nazi human and economic destruction during World War II, each currently has only two listed UNESCO World Heritage sites [Kyiv, Lviv, Nesvizh, and Mir].


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