Rome Conference: “Beyond Brandi: 60 years after the Teoria del Restauro“. On the 22 May, Rome, Italy

Rome Conference: “Beyond Brandi: 60 years after the Teoria del Restauro“.
On the 22 May, Rome, Italy.


On the 22nd of May 2023, at the auditorium of the Ara Pacis, Via Ripetta 190, Rome, from 9:00 to 16:30 the international conference “Beyond Brandi: 60 years after the Teoria del Restauro” was  held. In the occasion of the General Assembly of E.C.C.O. – European Confederation of Conservators-restorers’ Organizations, – sixty years after the publication of the first edition of Cesare Brandi’s Theory of Restoration, the founding work of the “critical restoration”, ARI -Associazione Restauratori d’Italia – in collaboration with CHARTER– Cultural Heritage Skills Alliance – invites to reflect on the role of conservation-restoration in reference to the changed historical and social context.

Since 1963 much has changed, from the vocabulary to define the object of intervention, to the actual operational activity increasingly understood as an interactive process and not as an exclusive final act.

The profession of the conservator-restorer has been totally renewed through specific study courses, just as the legislation has evolved pursuing the objective of guaranteeing the protection and conservation of heritage.

The access to cultural heritage has been recognised as a universal right and the FARO Convention identifies it as a fundamental element for sustainable development, postulating community participation in the decision-making processes regarding heritage.

We are assisting a process of “democratization” of heritage transforming the idea of cultural goods as an expert domain into the concept of cultural heritage as a fundamental element of collective wellbeing.

In this cultural, social and regulatory backdrop of a system aimed not only at the protection but also at valorization, promotion and broad, interactive and participatory enjoyment of Europe’s cultural heritage, the question arises:

  1. Between the preservation of historical memory and its future transmission, how can the process of conservation and restoration foster the encounter between generations?
  2. What economic value can conservation in all its forms – preventive + remedial conservation, restoration and maintenance – generate in local communities? What new skills are required to maximize it?
  3. From theory to practice, what are the changes in “doing conservation-restoration”? How has the evolution of the theoretical premises modified the sector’s operational responses? (case studies)

These three themes were the focus of the day together with other aspects of sustainability like lifelong learning, social equity, legislation, with contributions of international and Italian experts and round table discussions.

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