The Development of Attitudes to Historic Conservation - From Eurocentrism to Cultural Diversity -

  • Chung, Seung-Jin (Department of Architectural engineering, Hyupsung University) ;
  • Kim, Chang-Sung (Department of Architectural engineering, Hyupsung University)
  • Received : 2010.01.13
  • Published : 2010.06.30


This paper investigates the development of attitudes to historic conservation from the turn of the nineteenth century when certain theoretical opinions on the protection of buildings began to be developed, through the time when the Venice Charter was established, to recent international trends in historic conservation. This paper also explores the contribution of these attitudes and ideas towards an international approach for historic conservation. This paper demonstrates that the Venice Charter is the acme of progress in the European stance towards restoration, reflecting European values of architecture and its conservation, and thus it is not sufficiently 'universal' to be unequivocally applied in non-Western countries. Secondly, recent international trends in historic conservation subvert the notions of Western cultural hegemony which have permeated global conservation practices, and accept the diversity of value criteria for heritage and its conservation in different cultural context. Thirdly, this paper argues that the conservation approaches in Asian societies need to move further into the retention and extension of the spirit and naturalistic sensibilities inherent in the architecture. Historic conservation is an expression of different cultural values attached to heritage resources by different societies. For conservation program to be effective, conservation should take place within a socio-cultural context.


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