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August 24, 2010

ICOMOS ISC Theory 2007 in Florence: proceedings available

The Life Beyond Tourism Forum is happy to announce that the  2007 proceedings of the International ConferenceValues and Criteria in Heritage Preservation held with the co-operation of ICOMOS and ICCROM in Florence, March 1.4 2007.

Below, we quote the foreword to the International Conference by Mounir Bouchenaki -Director General ICCROM, Andrzej Tomaszewski – President ICOMOS Theory Committee, and Paolo Del Bianco – President of Fondazione Romualdo Del Bianco.
Click here to purchase the proceedings (credit card or bank transfer)
Download here the Table of Contents

The spontaneous and multi-aspectual development over the past few years of an international discussion of the philosophical and theoretical bases of the protection of cultural property gave rise to the declaration of the XII General Assembly of ICOMOS in Xi’an 2005 which called into being the International Scientific Committee on Theory and Philosophy of Conservation and Restoration (henceforth ‘ICOMOS Theory Committee’). The main tasks of the Committee were then defined in its statue as follows:

The aim of the Committee – consistent with the aims of ICOMOS international cooperation – is to explore the basis and framework of conservation, restoration and preservation theory and practice in the globalized world. With these developments in mind the Committee would like to reach the ambitious goal of analyzing recent problems and suggest appropriate proposals, perhaps even answers.

The activities of the Committee in the field of conservation and restoration can include:
•  examining the existing corpus of documents and scientific studies,
•  identifying needs and uncovered areas of interest,
•  developing ideas and visions for the future,
•  cooperating with other ICOMOS committees and scientific units of other institutions (such as UNESCO, ICCROM and ICOM) in order to establish an integrated theoretical basis of preservation of cultural heritage.

The first conference organised jointly between the Committee and the international Centre of Culture took place in Cracow in May 2006. The central issue was “Towards a global philosophy of heritage conservation”.

The second conference organized in Florence between the 1 st and 4 th of March 2007 together with the ICOMOS Theory Committee, International Centre of Study for the Conservation and the Restoration of Cultural Property ICCROM and the Fondazione Romualdo Del Bianco , Florence focused on the Values and criteria in heritage conservation.

This topic received much attention in both theory and practice. The rich variety of values (e.g. from aesthetic and artistic values to utilitarian, material and technical values) of cultural property are perceived and classified differently depending on the cultural zone (factors which have influence on this include cultural traditions and religious beliefs), and udergoing change with time.

Thus the dominated-value perspectives have to consider many factors which together lead finally to the decision of whether or not to list monuments and sights.

Our conference set a beginning to discuss these problems from varied points of views and hopes to encourage an exchange of thoughts and ideas.

Now, thanks to the Fondazione Romualdo Del Bianco , we are pleased to present to the international circe of conservators this book which collects all the acts of the conference.

August 2, 2010

ICOMOS ISC Theory 2008 in Vienna: proceedings are online

The Life Beyond Tourism Forum is happy to announce that the  2008 proceedings of the International Conference of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for the Theory and the Philosophy of Conservation and Restoration (23-27 April 2008, Vienna, Austria) are now available!

The publication has been edited by Michael S. Falser, Wilfried Lipp, and Andrzej Tomaszewski – in collaboration with the Fondazione Romualdo Del Bianco, Florence, Italy in the context of the ethos Life Beyond Tourism under the honorary patronage of ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites)

The publication of this volume has been made possible by generous funding of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation)
in the context of the Cluster Of Excellence 270/1 “Asia And Europe In Aglobal Context” Of Heidelberg University.
Editorial Work: Michaels. Falser

Click here for a preview of the proceedings

Click here to purchase the pubblication of the proceedings

May 13, 2009

Former ICCROM Director writes about Life Beyond Tourism

Life Beyond Tourism
by Marc Laenen – Former ICCROM General Director


“Life beyond tourism” is a brilliant initiative responding to a crucial role for cultural heritage care and work in development: ”opening it up” for society after decades of conservation theory and practice. In UNESCO, ICCROM, ICOMOS, ICOM, CIA and other international organizations conservation of cultural heritage has been strongly promoted and framed in development policies and strategies. Working methods and interdisciplinary partnerships have been investigated, tested, refined and disseminated in charters, recommendations and guidelines, in manuals and other publications and training programs.

The next question however is how cultural heritage can be embedded or integrated in social and spatial development, how cultural heritage can become raw material for development of cultural landscapes, urban and rural social and spatial fabric, how its experience by the local population and their visitors, the tourists, can be sustained and how its conservation can be ensured trough development. Life beyond tourism offers an important instrument for such objectives.

Towards integral and integrated value based heritage work: a basis for “opening up” cultural heritage in social development and planning. The theoretical references.

Cultural heritage has been used to underscore cultural identity of societies and to enhance their cultural specificity in a culturally and economically globalizing world. One of the motives behind  the promotion of cultural diversity is that mankind needs more than one mirror to recognize itself. Whereas in Romanticism such conservation has been idealized and “museifyed”, today conservation is being interpreted as a dynamic social process aiming at the creative and specific continuity of  heritage values of societies and their environment, a shared responsibility off all. Its conservation offers at the same time an environment of human scale responding to human and humane perceptions, conditions and expectations.
However cultural heritage conservation and the enhancement of cultural diversity needs framing in a more general development policy and should be proved as being instrumental for quality of life and well being of individuals and societies in their living environment as, among others, the UNDP programmes pointed out in the seventies of last century. These development policies are based on an interculturally accepted image of mankind and the recognition that not all existing cultural patterns and living cultural heritage correspond to this vision and still have a way to go, which is not adopted by all communities. Certainly not in an era in which a rather strict conservative interpretation of heritage care is considered as a right of heritage communities.

The interpretations of the notion heritage has changed over time: It developed from the elitist to the vernacular, from the remote past to recent past and from the tangible to the intangible. In fact local population makes no analytical, administrative nor intellectual distinction in their heritage experience. They experience their heritage as a holistic issue because the intrinsic relationship between all heritage expressions and their coherent anchoring in their immediate living environment. In fact cultural landscapes, townscapes and rural areas are context of heritage and heritage at the same time, object of development and subject to decisions. We inherit these cultural environments and have the responsibility to manage them with care for today and for those who come after us. Distinction between heritage sectors is only made in governmental administrative systems and in educational or tourist programmes. This leads to the option that heritage work should be managed in environmental context, that all heritage sectors should be considered together in regional or local development and that all relevant institutions and organizations (museums, institutes of immovable cultural heritage and those dealing with intangible heritage) are invited to work structurally together while opening up heritage for the local (heritage) communities ( = integral approach).

The essence and at the same the substance of cultural heritage are heritage values and their significance for heritage communities in society. Development and decisions are to be based on a general humanistic morale and commitment for the betterment of society and environment. Furthermore is the (creative) renovation and recalibrating of heritage values a key issue for the continuity of the genius loci, the specific character of the place and more generally for the enhancement of cultural diversity. It boils down to the reinterpretation of these values and to giving them a new relevant significance for us today and to their integration with other sectors in development: economy (tourism), cultural development, natural environment, education, well being, and above all planning. (= integrated approach).

Opening up cultural heritage for society and environment means its sustainable experience for the local population and for their visitors by linking it structurally with physical environment, economy, cultural development, social development, education etc. Integral and integrated approaches can be instrumental to reach these objectives.

Substantive tourism

Tourism has an important potential to convey substantive information about cultural heritage to target audiences (… click here to read more …)

February 26, 2009


Life Beyond Tourism, together with Vivahotels and

Auditorium al Duomo, is sponsoring


Changing Perception, Permanent Responsibilities

Project Leader: Prof. Andrzej Tomaszewski
President of the ICOMOS ISC Theory

Since the beginning of civilization, man’s main form of contact with works of architecture has consisted in visiting them physically(pilgrimages, journeys and recently tourism). Getting to know them indirectly from descriptions or visually was possible only through the media, changing and becoming more powerful with altering technology (printing techniques, graphic techniques, photography, film, television, recently computer technology).

The current rapid development of tourism and the media and their increasing accessibility have in recent years radically changed our perception of the cultural heritage.

These changes require a scientific description and analysis, leading to a diagnosis of the current situation and a prognosis of future developments.
What role should tourism have, and how can it be made into sustainable cultural tourism? What role and responsibility should the media take on? What benefits and threats do the development of tourism and the media bring with them? What kind of approach should the international movement for the conservation of the cultural and natural heritage adopt towards these phenomena?

Experts of the Romualdo Del Bianco Foundation, all members of ICOMOS, member states of ICCROM, the network of the Romualdo Del Bianco Foundation, and anyone interested have the possibility of attending the conference.

Online the proceedings! – CLICK HERE!!

February 6, 2009



“Life Beyond Tourism for Intercultural Dialogue” is an association that proposes to disseminate, both in Italy and abroad, the founding principles of an initiative known as Life Beyond Tourism® originally formulated by Paolo Del Bianco, the promoter and chairman of the Romualdo Del Bianco Foundation in Florence, and designed to promote a form of tourism based on values rather than on the mere offer of services to the traveler.

To date, Life Beyond Tourism® has attracted the patronage of ICCROM, of the Tuscan Regional Authority, of the Florence Provincial Authority and of the Florence Municipal Authority.

Transcending consumer tourism, the cultural initiative known as Life Beyond Tourism® aims to help foster and disseminate such universal values as respect and harmony among peoples through intercultural dialogue and an awareness of, and familiarity with, cultural diversity and traditional knowledge.

Life Beyond Tourism® was officially launched in the Salone dei Duecento, in Florence’s city hall, Palazzo Vecchio, on 15 March 2008 (a practical experiment began on that date at the Vivahotel Pitti Palace al Ponte Vecchio and is still under way) with the participation of

– Deputy Mayor Eugenio Giani

– Antonio Natali, director of the Uffizi Gallery

– Maurizio Bossi, director of the G.P. Vieusseux Literary and Scientific Cabinet’s Center for Romantic Studies

– ICCROM Director General Mounir Bouchenaki, represented for the occasion by Andrzej Tomaszewski, chairman of the ICOMOS International Committee for the Theory and Philosophy of Conservation and Restoration, and by Limburg Cultural Heritage Center Director Marc Laenen, both of whom are Emeritus Director Generals of ICCROM (International Center for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property)

– and in the presence of Maurizio di Stefano, chairman of the Italian National ICOMOS Committee

– along with over 90 experts from 23 countries on three continents, and of an authoritative audience of Florentine citizens.

The launch of the “Life Beyond Tourism for Intercultural Dialogue” Association was designed to provide a framework for the implementation and practical application of a “Declaration of Intent” signed on 16 March 2008 by those who attended the project’s presentation the day before. This declaration acknowledges the importance both of the “Life Beyond Tourism” project per se and of getting it started; it voices the hope that the project’s promotion, development and immediate practical application may take off also at the international level, in harmony with such international and intergovernmental institutions as UNESCO, ICCROM, UNWTO, the Council of Europe, and with such International NGO’s as ICOMOS, IUCN and ICOM. It also aims to promote the development of training curricula in cooperation with UNESCO, ICCROM, UNWTO and the tourist industry in order to further intercultural dialogue.

Life Beyond Tourism® is designed to help as vast a number of tourists as possible impart a quantum leap to the quality of their demand — a demand aimed not only, or not so much, at standard tourist industry services, and more at the world of values which can provide the real motivation behind those services, thus making tourists’ own investment in time and money more fruitful. In keeping with this aim, the Association aims to help to make cultural heritage easier to interpret and more easily comprehensible, as a crucial tool for fostering intercultural dialogue and an awareness of, and familiarity with, cultural diversity and traditional knowledge.

At the same time, “Life Beyond Tourism” hopes to be able to help boost an awareness in the tourist industry itself of the importance not so much of increasing the amount of services offered, as of fostering intercultural dialogue, and of using healthy competition in that field as a yardstick of success. In conclusion, Life Beyond Tourism is designed to change the current cliché “Been there, done that… “ into “I have familiarized with … “, “I have realized …. “, “I have understood that there is a whole world of values out there for me to delve into and embrace”; also, it aims to help boost people’s awareness, limiting or restricting the number of their potential yet inappropriate “certainties”. Thanks to the reversal of perspective proposed by “Life Beyond Tourism”, that very tourism which is helping today to ‘standardize’ the world and to threaten both our tangible and our intangible universal heritage, can help to safeguard and to enhance the diversity of expression that is the very lifeblood of that heritage.

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