The Building Conservation Directory 2023

6 T H E B U I L D I N G C O N S E R VAT I O N D I R E C T O R Y 2 0 2 3 | C E L E B R AT I N G 3 0 Y E A R S C AT H E D R A L C O MM U N I C AT I O N S T HE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF MONUMENTS AND SITES (ICOMOS) is the only global NGO to work for the conservation and protection of cultural places and it contributes to their conservation through the development of international charters and doctrines which provide national and international benchmarks. It is also an advisor to UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee on cultural world heritage sites. ICOMOS was founded in 1965 to promote the Venice Charter (VC) for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites that was adopted the year before. Its UK national committee, ICOMOS-UK, was also founded in 1965. The VC laid the foundation for standards on the conservation of monuments and sites. It was a response to the long-standing call among architectural heritage experts, based mainly in western Europe, for an internationally accepted framework for definitions of ancient monuments and sites and guiding principles for their preservation and restoration. The VC principles were based on concepts of authenticity and ‘the importance of maintaining the historical and physical context of a site or building’ that are viewed as a part of unity our ‘common heritage’. Conservation ideas and practice have come a long way since 1965, moving beyond what might be seen as Western concepts of monumental heritage to encompass many other dimensions, both tangible and intangible, associated with different societies’ cultural, social and spiritual values and expressions relating to place/setting rather than just monuments. What has changed, too, is the focus towards local traditions, local materials and local methods of management and the inter-disciplinarity of conservation practice. The 36 ICOMOS international Charters and Doctrinal Text adopted over the past 55 years since the VC, together with the seven National Charters, clearly set out this journey and act as a key reference point both for many individual practitioners and for organisations involved in conservation of historic buildings in the UK and worldwide. Disseminating this body of knowledge is the key role of ICOMOS’s scientific committees and by ICOMOS’s worldwide membership of some 11,000 people. This 30th anniversary edition of The Building Conservation Directory marks Cathedral Communications’ own significant contribution to the sector through its promotion of the specialist individuals, companies, organisations and educational institutions who care for our built heritage. In print and online, the Directory continues to be a highly useful information resource for ICOMOS members and others involved in building conservation in the UK and beyond. Clara Arokiasamy OBE President ICOMOS-UK Foreword Bath: the whole city centre was inscribed as a world heritage site in 1987 and, unusually, it received a second inscription in 2021 as one of the great spa towns of Europe.