ICOMOS was founded in 1961, on the occasion of the 8th UNESCO international congress for the protection of historic monuments. The idea behind ICOMOS was to create an international agency focused on the preservation of historic moments and archaeological site.
Few years after, in 1964, the Second International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Historic Monuments held in Venice, adopted the international charter for the conservation and restoration of monuments and sites, also known as “The Venice Charter”. ICOMOS will be established with the intention of creating an organization able to apply the principles dictated by the Venice Charter worldwide.
Five of the principal articles are summarized below:
1. The concept of a historic monument
The concept of a historic monument does not simply entail a single architectural unit but also its urban or rural setting, the historic site is an ensemble of significant elements to testify the history and development of the monument.
2. The conservation
The conservation is facilitated by making use of the monument for socially useful purposes. A monument is inseparable from the history to which it bears witness and from the setting in which it occurs.
3. The restoration
The restoration must stop at the point where conjecture begins, and the valid contributions and changes that occurred to the building in all periods must be respected.
xcavations should be carried out in accordance with scientific standards. Ruins must be maintained and measures necessary for the permanent conservation and protection of architectural features must be taken.
In all work of preservation, restoration or excavation, there should always be precise documentation in the form of analytical and critical reports. This record should be placed in the archives of a public institution and made available to research workers.
Basing on the principles of the charter, ICOMOS is conducting is work while always searching for specific solution in response to the new problematic it encounters. The principles of the Venice Charter succeeded to the 1972 World Cultural Heritage Convention, which Japan ratified in 1992.