References of "Houbart, Claudine"
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See detailThe Potential of Digital Tools and Technologies in Architectural Heritage Research for an Inclusive Approach to Built Heritage
Eisazadeh, Negin ULiege; Houbart, Claudine ULiege; Hallot, Pierre ULiege et al

Conference (in press)

In recent years, inclusive design (a.k.a. universal design or design for all) is one of the developed approaches which aim to consider the diverse human abilities and conditions in the design process. As ... [more ▼]

In recent years, inclusive design (a.k.a. universal design or design for all) is one of the developed approaches which aim to consider the diverse human abilities and conditions in the design process. As defined by the European Institute for Design and Disability (EIDD) ‘design for all’ is designing for diversity, social inclusion and equality. Considering the social and demographic changes in the 21st century, which include an international movement towards social inclusion and more specifically the rights of disabled people, an inclusive approach is turning into a necessity for today’s diverse and ageing society. In the case of architectural and urban heritage, the disabled people or in better words those with diverse sensory, mental or mobility abilities who differ from the general public, have the right to experience, interact with, and engage with heritage and its values. As part of an extensive interdisciplinary research on inclusive approaches to built heritage values, which connects the fields of architecture, history, conservation, inclusive design, and digital humanities, this paper investigates the potentials of incorporating digital tools and techniques in the different aspects of this research. The extensive study involves communication between researchers, relevant professional experts, and the historic built environment with the target community of disabled people and in this paper, the digital means to facilitate these interactions have been studied. As a step towards answering the question ‘what are suitable methods and tools for facilitating and acquiring insight into diversely abled people’s engagement with and understanding of architectural heritage and its values?’, it more specifically focuses on the interaction of the disabled people with the historic architecture and urban spaces. Additionally, in a more general approach, by linking the fields of digital humanities and architectural research, the existing tools for the different stages of research ranging from data collection and storage, data analysis, and dissemination are explored. By conducting and elaborating relevant research examples, this study shows how incorporating digital tools and techniques derived from Digital Humanities - such as retrieving data through APIs, textual analysis, creating and querying databases, and data visualization - can facilitate research in the field of architecture and built heritage. Moreover, in studying the relation between disability and the historic built environment, it indicates that acquiring knowledge on the potentials in practical digital tools for disabled people’s interaction with the built heritage, can have a significant impact on the research approach and findings. As for an inclusive approach to built heritage, the disabled people can be taken into account with their prospective extended digital abilities. Hence in today’s digital world, integrating the digital tools and technologies in architectural heritage research is not only a necessary practical mean for conducting research, but can also impact the theoretical approach, allowing to carry out extensive and innovative research in an efficient manner. [less ▲]

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See detailThe lessons of the first reconstruction in Belgium : "La restauration des monuments anciens" by Canon Raymond A.G. Lemaire (1938)
Houbart, Claudine ULiege

in Cimbolli Spagnesi, Piero (Ed.) Al di là delle trincee. Territori e architetture del Regno d’Italia al tempo della Prima Guerra Mondiale (in press)

Contrairement à la seconde reconstruction qui reste aujourd’hui largement inexplorée, la première reconstruction en Belgique a fait l’objet de nombreuses recherches et publications. Et pourtant, une ... [more ▼]

Contrairement à la seconde reconstruction qui reste aujourd’hui largement inexplorée, la première reconstruction en Belgique a fait l’objet de nombreuses recherches et publications. Et pourtant, une figure essentielle n’a que très peu retenu l’attention des chercheurs : le chanoine Raymond A.G. Lemaire. Professeur d’archéologie et de restauration à l’université de Louvain, chantre du néogothique dans le sillage de Joris Helleputte, il participe activement aux débats de la reconstruction, non seulement à Louvain, où il est membre de la Commissie voor Stedenschoon, mais dans tout le pays, en tant que membre correspondant de la Commission royale des monuments et des sites et conseiller de l’archevêché de Malines. Auteur de nombreux articles, il synthétise les débats dans “La restauration des monuments anciens”, publiée à Anvers en 1938, tout en développant une approche personnelle se nourrissant de la théorie des valeurs d’Aloïs Riegl et s’approchant de la théorie du “cas par cas” développée à la même époque, en Italie, par Ambroggio Annoni. Bien que les rapports entre les deux hommes ne soient pas documentés dans les archives belges, les nombreux parallèles entre leurs approches, ainsi que le fait que le chanoine Lemaire enverra son neveu, Raymond M. Lemaire, se former chez Annoni en 1943, laissent entendre qu’ils devaient exister. A travers notre participation à la conférence, nous espérons découvrir des éléments susceptibles d’alimenter la poursuite des recherches en ce sens. [less ▲]

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See detailConservation Ethics in the 21th Century: Towards an Extended Toolkit
Houbart, Claudine ULiege; Dawans, Stéphane ULiege

Conference (2018, March)

In his now classic essay on the « Régimes d’historicité », the French historian François Hartog (2003) has very well described the effect of globalisation, democratisation and mass consumerism on our ... [more ▼]

In his now classic essay on the « Régimes d’historicité », the French historian François Hartog (2003) has very well described the effect of globalisation, democratisation and mass consumerism on our relation with the past and thus, with heritage. In the course of the 1970’s, at a time when the ink of the Venice Charter was barely dry, postmodernity triggered a loss of collective anchoring and memory, paradoxically accompanied by an amplification of the thirst for commemorations, in the name of identity or heritage. Pierre Nora’s great endeavour « Les lieux de mémoire », fully corresponds to this « presentism » era, including aside from monuments, museum and archives, intellectual constructions such as the Larousse encyclopaedia (Nora 1989). It very well illustrates the « extension of the heritage domain » as defined by the sociologist Nathalie Heinich (2009). In our « post-monumental » era, anything can possibly become heritage, regardless of scale, of artistic qualities, of age or ontological degree – from tangible to intangible. This is a sign of times. Following the example of Nelson Goodman replacing the essentialist definitions of art with the question « When is there art ? » (Goodman 1976), we should consider focusing on a dynamic and operational definition of heritage. The question « When is there heritage ?» better correspond to contemporary cultural studies and our attempt to understand « heritagization »; it contains the idea of a performative action, implying new actors, new dynamics, new process, new research questions, new difficulties and new opportunities. And by necessity new concepts. We are far from rejecting theories from the past which provided us with effective and stimulating tools. But who could still imagine today, in the situation we described, that any system could fully encompass the heritage reality as the grand theories – Brandi, Riegl,… – succeeded to do? The repeated attempts to get the Venice charter revised from the 1970’s on (Houbart 2014), and the multiplication of thematic documents and charters are the best illustration of this impossibility. But while postmodern thinkers made us suspicious towards large systems, they also made us more modest and above all, more inclined to respect « bricolage », as a most helpful attitude after a shipwreck. We believe that the current return to a case by case approach – as promoted from the interwar period by theoreticians such as Ambrogio Annoni (1946) – often mostly relying on practical constraints such as reuse and technical performances, combined with the use of decontextualised concepts – separated articles from the Venice Charter, for example – and practices – using the Ise shrine periodical rebuilding to advocate any reconstruction project – doesn’t mean to accept a cynical relativism in answer to the cause of a capital-intensive machine. But in practice, we cannot deny that it has sometimes been the case: the clearest examples are the debates addressing the reconstruction of monuments all over Europe, based on a jumble of arguments confusing the pure mercantilism of the tourism industry or unconfessed political reasons with post-conflict identity issues or religious traditions (Monumental 2010). Reflecting on such reconstruction projects, raising questions of identity, has convinced us of the incompleteness of the toolkit we inherited from 20th century theoreticians. Though still perfectly relevant to address the issues that were already present at the time when they were elaborated, they might prove inappropriate to address new types of heritage, new concerns, new issues such as cultural tourism, inclusive approaches, modern heritage or the digital turn. In this context, we have been drawn to look at texts outside the conservation sphere, starting from ontology of art and analytical philosophy. We discovered that taking a step to the side could provide a stimulating insight on heritage conservation problems. In fact, it is not surprising that, facing what many have called a heritage inflation, some new actors could help us. Now that heritage has quitted the monuments sphere to encompass any material or immaterial reality worthy of conservation and that the expert point of view is challenged by the ones of a broad range of stakeholders, from the user to the investor, it becomes interesting to look at this reality from different points of view borrowed to a wide range of human sciences such as law, communication, aesthetics, semiotics, anthropology or philosophy, to name a few. Together with our colleague Muriel Verbeeck, we are currently gathering texts in order to propose an anthology that could complement the existing ones in helping to fill conceptual gaps and throw a reinvigorating light on new problems raising old questions. The originality of the project is to chose most texts outside the conservation world, and to address movable and immovable heritage at the same time. During our presentation, we will provide some examples of the usefulness of these new concepts, some already known by a number of conservators – such as the distinction proposed by Nelson Goodman between allography and autography (Goodman 1976) –, some not – the impact of intention on identity, based on texts by Theodore Scaltsas (1981), for example –, and will encourage the members of the committee who might be interested in this approach to contribute to the project. [less ▲]

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See detailLa modélisation 3D comme outil de convergence des données au service du projet patrimonial
Hallot, Pierre ULiege; Houbart, Claudine ULiege

Conference (2018, February 08)

L’une des difficultés rencontrées par les étudiants en architecture confrontés au patrimoine classé (ou non) est la prise en compte des données multiples issues de l’étude interdisciplinaire du bien ... [more ▼]

L’une des difficultés rencontrées par les étudiants en architecture confrontés au patrimoine classé (ou non) est la prise en compte des données multiples issues de l’étude interdisciplinaire du bien concerné, qu’ils en soient ou non les auteurs. Données historiques et archéologiques, identification des matériaux et pathologies, étude de la structure, potentiel et limites d’usage, sont autant de paramètres qui doivent guider les options de restauration ou de reconversion, mais qui sont trop souvent mis de côté, voire oubliés, au moment de passer au stade du projet. Dans ce contexte, nous sommes convaincus que la modélisation 3D du patrimoine, peut, en plus de fournir les données dimensionnelles indispensables au projet, servir de support virtuel à la représentation des données collectées. La convergence des savoirs dans une structure intégrée peut constituer un outil au service de l’évaluation patrimoniale et de l’établissement d’un projet en pleine connaissance de cause. La modélisation 3D dans un environnement virtuel permet de confronter plus aisément les différentes sources relatives à l’édifice, notamment au travers de la composante spatiale permettant la localisation de chaque donnée collectée. La participation des étudiants à la réalisation et l’alimentation du modèle « intelligent » tout au long du processus les engage activement dans l’approche interdisciplinaire en les amenant à collecter et croiser les données issues des diverses études (en général dispersées au sein de plusieurs rapports, mobilisant diverses techniques, confrontant plusieurs approches du métier), à en comprendre la complémentarité et à en faire un véritable ressort du projet. Finalement, le contexte virtuel 3D développé dans l’approche permet d’analyser aisément les premières les hypothèses du projet au travers de son environnement et de l’ensemble des informations collectées. [less ▲]

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See detailLa charte de Venise en France : acteurs, réception, interprétations 1957-1976
Houbart, Claudine ULiege

in Apuntes - Journal of Cultural Heritage Studies (2018), (30),

Il y a deux ans, à l’occasion du cinquantenaire de la Charte de Venise, colloques et publications ont proclamé, à travers le monde, l’importance historique de ce « monument de la doctrine » et parfois ... [more ▼]

Il y a deux ans, à l’occasion du cinquantenaire de la Charte de Venise, colloques et publications ont proclamé, à travers le monde, l’importance historique de ce « monument de la doctrine » et parfois même, réaffirmé l’actualité de ses principes. Les recherches que j’ai consacrées à Raymond M. Lemaire (1921-1997), dans le cadre de ma thèse de doctorat, m’ont donné l’occasion, à travers l’examen des archives très complètes du conservateur belge, d’éclairer la « fabrique » de la charte. Signée par 23 experts présents au congrès, la première version de celle-ci se révèle avoir été, en réalité, rédigée par un groupe de cinq personnes, parmi lesquels Piero Gazzola et Roberto Pane, membres du comité d’organisation du congrès – et auxquels la paternité de la charte est souvent attribuée sur base d’un document préparatoire rédigé à quatre mains –, les belges Raymond M. Lemaire et Paul Philippot, mais aussi un français, Jean Sonnier, vice-président, 7 ans plus tôt, du comité organisateur du Congrès international des architectes et techniciens des monuments historiques à Paris et ACMH. Par ailleurs, mes recherches ont mis en lumière le fait que tout en faisant, aujourd’hui encore, figure de monument intangible ou même, de « constitution de l’ICOMOS » à l’échelle internationale, la charte a pourtant fait l’objet, six ans à peine après son adoption, de projets de révision : deux de ses auteurs, P. Gazzola et R. Lemaire, devenus respectivement Président et Secrétaire général de l’ICOMOS, considéraient en effet le document inefficace face aux enjeux montants de la « réanimation » des ensembles urbains. Bien que tous les comités nationaux de l’ICOMOS aient été associés à ces réflexions, qui allaient se poursuivre, sans aboutir, jusque 1990, le rôle de deux français mérite à nouveau d’être souligné: Jean Sonnier, pour sa collaboration avec R. Lemaire à une version révisée de la charte en 1978, et François Sorlin, administrateur civil chargé des sites, en oeuvrant avec Lemaire et Gazzola, pour le Comité des monuments et des sites du Conseil de l’Europe, à l’élaboration des principes qui deviendraient ceux de la conservation intégrée en 1975. Cette étroite implication de deux personnalités françaises lors de la rédaction et de la révision de la charte m’a convaincue de la nécessité d’explorer plus avant le contexte français, là où ma thèse s’était cantonnée aux contextes belge et italien et ceci d’autant plus que la France me paraissait, sur base d’une connaissance superficielle, avoir été moins réceptive – en dehors de personnalités isolées telles qu’Yves-Marie Froidevaux, Bernard Vitry ou Pierre Prunet – aux aspects de la charte les plus proches des principes de la restauration critique. Dans son ouvrage de 2003, X. Laurent révèle que Bertrand Monnet pensait être l’un des seuls ACMH à connaitre le document, et souligne qu’il « est hasardeux de parler d’influence de la charte de Venise avant le milieu des années 1970 » et que « le dépouillement des archives révèle qu’il [lui] a fallu plus de dix ans (…) pour devenir une référence en France », ceci même si Françoise Bercé considère quant à elle la charte comme un événement majeur des années 1960. Cette question n’a, à mon sens, pas suffisamment retenu l’attention des historiens de l’architecture français. C’est pourquoi, ayant eu la chance de bénéficier du statut de chercheur invité à l’INHA en avril et mai dernier, je me suis employée à clarifier les contributions françaises à la charte, sa réception en France et les possibles particularités de ses interprétations par les ACMH en prenant pour point de départ un dépouillement systématique de la revue Monuments historiques afin d’identifier l’apparition des références explicites (ou même implicites) aux principes de la charte ainsi qu’un corpus de projets représentatifs. Alors que j’avais programmé un dépouillement de 1957 à 1976 (du Congrès de Paris au colloque Les restaurations françaises et la Charte de Venise), il s’est avéré nécessaire de poursuivre les investigations jusqu’en 1990, date de la 9e assemblée générale de l’ICOMOS à Lausanne, lors de laquelle les contributions majeures de comité français ont consisté à faire le point sur l’application de la charte de France durant les 20 dernières années. J’ai pu constater que si jusqu’au colloque de 1976, les références à la charte sont essentiellement implicites, dans les années qui suivent, les réflexions se succèdent rapidement, le plus souvent à l’initiative du comité français de l’ICOMOS, dont le premier président avait été Jean Sonnier. Ce sont les résultats de cette recherche que je me propose de présenter dans un article pour la revue Apuntes, autour des quatre balises chronologiques que sont 1957, 1964, 1976 et 1990, en illustrant mon propos par des projets et manifestations (colloques, expositions) représentatifs à propos desquels j’ai approfondi la recherche aux archives de la Médiathèque de l’architecture et du patrimoine. [less ▲]

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See detailMatériaux, métiers et techniques. Vers une histoire matérielle du chantier de restauration (1830-1914): Introduction au colloque
Houbart, Claudine ULiege; Piavaux, Mathieu; Timbert, Arnaud

Conference (2017, December 14)

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See detailDe Barcelone à Amsterdam : l'émergence de la conservation intégrée à travers les colloques internationaux du Conseil de l'Europe et de l'ICOMOS
Houbart, Claudine ULiege

Conference (2017, January 31)

En 1975, la notion de conservation intégrée est consacrée par la Charte européenne du Patrimoine architectural, adoptée par le Comité des Ministres du Conseil de l’Europe avant d’être solennellement ... [more ▼]

En 1975, la notion de conservation intégrée est consacrée par la Charte européenne du Patrimoine architectural, adoptée par le Comité des Ministres du Conseil de l’Europe avant d’être solennellement proclamée et développée au Congrès d’Amsterdam (21-25 octobre 1975). Renouvelant fondamentalement les pratiques de rénovation des centres anciens avec l’ambition de créer un dialogue entre aménageurs et conservateurs, cette approche résulte de dix années de réflexions nourries par des échanges entre experts principalement européens, initiés non seulement par le Conseil de l’Europe (Confrontations de Barcelone (1965), Bath (1966), La Haye (1967) et Avignon (1968)), mais également par l’ICOMOS, dès sa fondation en 1965 (Colloques de Cacérès (1965), Tunis (1966), Leningrad et Graz (1969), Lausanne (1973), Rothenburg et Bruges (1975)). Si un regard macroscopique révèle le rôle central joué par Piero Gazzola et Raymond Lemaire, respectivement président et secrétaire général de l’ICOMOS et auteurs, avec François Sorlin, d’une étude de synthèse préalable à la Charte européenne, cette contribution se propose d’augmenter la focale afin de révéler, à travers l’étude des actes des colloques, le rôle des réseaux d’acteurs en présence dans l’élaboration de la nouvelle politique. [less ▲]

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See detailConservation/adaptation. Keeping alive the spirit of the place. Adaptive reuse of heritage with symbolic value
Fiorani, Donatella; Kealy, Loughlin; Musso, Stefano et al

Book published by EAAE (2017)

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See detailBelgium - La collégiale Sainte-Croix à Liège
Houbart, Claudine ULiege; Piavaux, Mathieu

in Machat, Christoph; Ziesemer, John (Eds.) Heritage at Risk. World Report 2014-2015 on Monuments and Sites in Danger (2017)

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See detailQuelques réflexions autour d'un texte de Théodore Scaltsas
Dawans, Stéphane ULiege; Houbart, Claudine ULiege

Conference (2016, December 02)

Face à l’extension du champ de l’intervention sur l’existant et au brouillage des limites entre rénovation et restauration d’édifices et d’ensembles allant du monument historique au bâti générique, ancien ... [more ▼]

Face à l’extension du champ de l’intervention sur l’existant et au brouillage des limites entre rénovation et restauration d’édifices et d’ensembles allant du monument historique au bâti générique, ancien ou récent, il semble plus que jamais utile d’accepter la notion de bricolage conceptuel et de réfléchir à une « boîtes à outils » permettant aux futurs architectes de faire face à la complexité des enjeux de la réhabilitation. En effet, face à ceux-ci, les théories de la restauration monumentale qui sont enseignées dans les instituts et facultés d’architecture atteignent parfois leurs limites et nous semblent devoir être complétées par/confrontées à de nouveaux concepts ou théories susceptibles d’élargir et même de renouveler notre vision des choses. C’est ainsi que depuis plusieurs années, nous avons choisi de faire un pas de côté et d’interroger des champs aussi éloignés que la logique formelle, l’ontologie de l’art et les théories littéraires et travaillons actuellement à une anthologie critique de textes variés mais tous susceptibles d’intéresser les conservateurs (du patrimoine mobilier et immobilier) et donc aussi, les architectes intervenant sur l’existant. Parmi ces textes, oeuvres d’auteurs en grande partie méconnus dans le champ du patrimoine, « Identity, Origin and spatio-temporal continuity », du philosophe Théodore Scaltsas, professeur à l’université d’Edimbourg, et extrait d’une revue en grande partie écrite en langage mathématique, nous parait particulièrement intéressant à analyser lors du séminaire. En utilisant des exemples aisément transposables au milieu de l’architecture, il aborde notamment la question de l’intention d’une reconstruction de manière originale et interpellante, qui n’autorise plus les fréquents amalgames justifiant tout et n’importe quoi et émanant non seulement du monde économique mais aussi des milieux du patrimoine dits autorisés. Par ailleurs, il enrichit le débat sur l’authenticité d’une dimension peu prise en compte à ce jour et particulièrement éclairante dans le cas des productions modernes et contemporaines, qui constituent l’un des enjeux les plus actuels de la réhabilitation. [less ▲]

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See detailCollection Archidoc
Beguin, Aloys ULiege; Charlier, Sébastien ULiege; Houbart, Claudine ULiege

in Devivier, Jolan; Hubert, Jean-Charles (Eds.) Nicolas Simon architecte (2016)

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See detailDu stilus à la plume ... du chapeau. Quelques réflexions sur la notion de style
Houbart, Claudine ULiege

in Bruxelles Patrimoines (2016), (18),

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See detailRewriting History in the Time of Late Capitalism: Uses and Abuses of Built Heritage : introduction to the session
Houbart, Claudine ULiege; Dawans, Stéphane ULiege

Conference (2016, June 05)

With his expression ceci tuera cela, Hugo established almost two centuries ago a strong link between words and stones as transmission vehicles of human memory. We heritage experts would be inclined to ... [more ▼]

With his expression ceci tuera cela, Hugo established almost two centuries ago a strong link between words and stones as transmission vehicles of human memory. We heritage experts would be inclined to consider stones as more reliable than words, what semiology seems to confirm : stones are clues, and clues are, according to Roland Barthes, tangible proves of “what has been”. But the inspector Columbo has often shown how we can play with these clues, and Umberto Eco would easily forgive us this incursion into mass culture to agree on the idea that we can rewrite history using false justified clues, that is also, tangible heritage. Since the emergence of the restoration discipline, experts have been aware of the danger of falsification : Ruskin’s texts, Boito’s philological restoration, Brandi’s historical instance or the Venice charter are so many illustrations of this concern. But since the 1990’s in Europe, a growing number of restoration and reconstruction projects very clearly depart from this fundamental idea. Of course, the collapse of the Soviet bloc has created a particular political context in which (re-)emerging nations attempted to (re-)build their identity through architectural symbols (leading to the writing of the Riga charter). But more generally, this phenomenon is closely linked to the cultural context : on the one hand, the postmodern movement has deeply questioned the idea of “sincerity”, with a tendency to blur the limits between true and false and, as a consequence, between original and copy. And on the other hand, in the heritage sphere, the globalisation of the debate progressively rattled european certitudes about concepts as essential as authenticity, leading to the replacement of the self-confidence expressed by the Venice charter by a careful relativism, illustrated by the Nara document thirty years later. These contemporary phenomenons have important side effects. In the context of late capitalism, heritage has become a major economic issue, especially as many cities have well understood its potentialities in terms of city branding. This could of course be seen as a positive opportunity for heritage conservation ; nevertheless, a rich scientific literature has shown that tourism can deeply transform our representation of the past. The tourist is a client rather than an amateur, and his quest of authenticity is often satisfied by what the French philosopher Yves Michaud has called “adulterated authenticity”, the one from over-restored monuments, reconstructed city centres, eco-museums, and, why not, theme parks. More than authentic built remains, the “tourist gaze” shapes more and more our representation of “what has been”, and the arguments developed by heritage experts in response to globalisation and identity issues are seized upon by city marketing specialists willing to meet a mostly commercial demand, sometimes tinged with dubious political motivations. What we intend to question in this session is the limit between uses and abuses of heritage and heritage discourse and more particularly whether, as suggested by Theodore Scaltsas’ inspiring paper “Identity, origin and spatiotemporal continuity” (1981), the intentions underpinning restoration and reconstruction projects affect the very essence of restored or reconstructed objects. Besides architectural history and conservation theory, we welcome contributions in the fields of sociology, anthropology, philosophy, history, political sciences, geography, tourism economy and even psychology. [less ▲]

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See detailLa contribution belge à la rédaction de la charte de Venise
Houbart, Claudine ULiege

Conference given outside the academic context (2016)

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See detailFrom the spirit to the letter of the charters : mind the gap for the future
Houbart, Claudine ULiege; Dawans, Stéphane ULiege

in Szmygin, Bogusław (Ed.) Heritage in Transformation. Cultural heritage Protection in XXI century. Problems, Challenges, Predictions (2016)

Since the 1960’s and the foundation of ICOMOS, charters have been considered as a sort of conservation gospel. In this presentation, we would like to question this fact, in the light of the very ... [more ▼]

Since the 1960’s and the foundation of ICOMOS, charters have been considered as a sort of conservation gospel. In this presentation, we would like to question this fact, in the light of the very particular production and reception conditions of the documents. What may be perceived as a mostly provocative approach seems to us a constructive basis for future reflections. When we read and use charters – in this presentation, we will mainly focus on the Venice Charter, the Nara document and the Riga Charter – , we forget too often that they have been written by human beings, sometimes very tired, in a hurry, and even arguing with each other. The study of the archival material related to the writing of the Venice Charter and the Nara document very clearly illustrates that these documents are rather a conceptual “bricolage” than indisputable normative texts as if they had been written by lawyers. In the case of the Venice Charter, the archive as well as the records of Raymond M. Lemaire, Paul Philippot or Gertrud Tripp make clear that the document has been written at the last moment and adopted too rapidly by an assembly too glad to finally have a updated version of the Athens charter. As a consequence, only a few years later, Raymond Lemaire and Piero Gazzola already questioned the validity of the new text in the light of the extension of heritage debates to the city centers. On the other hand, the fact that a French and an English version of the Nara document were written in parallel by Raymond M. Lemaire and Herb Stovel in 1994 has had immediate consequences on the content and the formulation of the text, which logically left both of them unsatisfied with the result. Even so, the Venice charter and the Nara document still have force of law today. Yet, besides the particular circumstances of their writing, we must keep in mind that these texts answered specific questions, closely linked to the context: a critical answer to postwar reconstruction for the first, and apparently opposed visions of authenticity between East and West for the second. As far as the Riga charter is concerned, the influence of the delicate context of the Eastern bloc collapse is evident. For this reason, using such documents today requires at least a critical reading, going back to the spirit beyond the text. Our presentation will illustrate ad absurdum, through recent case studies, how a cynical reading of such documents can lead to interventions dangerously in conflict with this spirit and the fundamental ideals of conservation philosophy. In the era of late capitalism and heritage globalization, are we allowed to forget the conditions and the context in which our doctrinal documents have been written to justify anything and everything and to meet, for example, the “tourist gaze”, the “nouveaux riches” taste or the architect’s egomania? Do architects really want to know what the writers of the Venice charter’s article 9 meant by the “contemporary stamp”? What are the limits of the tolerance towards reconstruction first expressed by the Nara document, and a few years later, the charter of Riga? So many questions that ICOMOS must face if it wants to pursue its guiding mission in a mostly financial world. [less ▲]

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See detailTowards an “integrated conservation” : the contribution of R.M. Lemaire and Piero Gazzola during the first decade of ICOMOS (1965-1975)
Houbart, Claudine ULiege

in Szmygin, Bogusław (Ed.) Heritage in Transformation. Cultural Heritage Protection in XXI century. Problems, challenges, predictions (2016)

Respectively elected first President and first Secretary General during the first general assembly of ICOMOS in Cracow in 1965, Piero Gazzola and Raymond M. Lemaire have deeply contributed to the success ... [more ▼]

Respectively elected first President and first Secretary General during the first general assembly of ICOMOS in Cracow in 1965, Piero Gazzola and Raymond M. Lemaire have deeply contributed to the success of the newly born organisation. During the first years, they didn’t only provoke the creation of numerous national committees around the world, but they also positioned ICOMOS as a major actor of the international conservation scene, through the organisation of conferences and an active participation in the debates initiated by Unesco and the Council of Europe, for which ICOMOS acted as a consultant. The study of Raymond M. Lemaire’s archive, kept at the KU Leuven in Belgium, clearly shows that one of the major concerns of both Lemaire and Gazzola, who had been, in 1964, amongst the main authors of the Venice Charter, was to broaden the scope of the document in order to address the issue of pre-industrial city centres, threatened by late reconstruction or development projects mostly promoting functionalist approaches. Depending on the time available, this presentation will address one or various aspects of Lemaire’s and Gazzola’s contribution to the emergence of integrated conservation, consecrated by the European Charter and the Amsterdam Declaration of 1975, that is: the new ideas (social value of heritage for example) developed during the expert meetings organised by the Council of Europe in 1965-1968, where they both represented ICOMOS. These ideas are synthesised in the report “Saving the face of Europe” in 1973, the relation between these theoretical contributions and Lemaire and Gazzola’s contemporary field experience, the role of Eastern Europe experiences (D. Libal in Prague and M. Horler in Budapest) in the development of an appropriate methodology to address urban issues, the differences between the concept of “integral planning” proposed by Lemaire in 1973 and the “integrated conservation” that was promoted by the 1975 Council of Europe charters, an epilogue could mention the revision projects of the Venice Charter between 1975 and 1981. Based on my PhD about R.M. Lemaire, recently presented at the KU Leuven (Belgium), this presentation aims at clarifying and illustrating the shift from monument restoration towards city “reanimation” or “rehabilitation” during the late sixties and seventies, as well as paying tribute to the action of two of the most important figures of the beginnings of ICOMOS. [less ▲]

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