II CONGRESS OF POLISH CONSERVATORS – WARSAW 2015
R E S O L U T I O N
We the participants of the 2nd CONGRESS OF POLISH CONSERVATORS direct this RESOLUTION at the governmental and self-governmental authorities, artistic, scholarly and technical circles, non-governmental organisations and at all the citizens of the Republic of Poland. We are aware of the inevitable, dynamic changes that take place in today’s world, also in its heritage1, both in the aspect of its preservation and constant transformation of its scope and its interpretation not only as a cultural good but also as a bearer of memory and identity. This means a change of the ontological status of heritage through the balancing of its value sensu stricto and of the needs of a society. This change requires the intensification of actions for the sake of its protection and conservation understood as a creative process of the steady, rational, pro-developmental integration.
2nd CONGRESS recognises the human tendency towards progress as a justified one, rejecting the view on an inevitable conflict of such tendencies with the traditional values, heritage and the past. Actions which are currently taken in conservation, art, architecture, structural engineering have to be oriented towards the individual character and value of heritage. They should be, if such a need arises, adding new values to the extant spatial-cum-cultural context on the basis of proper relations with the historic environment.
In Polish conditions transformation of the political and economic system after the year 1989 – relying on the democratisation of the State, self-governmental reforms, decentralisation, privatisation and European integration – requires dynamic management of heritage which being the subject of protection itself is at the same time also a new value / meaning serving contemporary goals and also is a potential, factor supporting sustainable social development.
2nd CONGRESS upholds the position of the 1st Congress (2005) regarding the need of introducing the state conservation service not subject to the regional governments [niezespolona], which moreover requires the considerable enlarging of financial means. Consequent striving to reach this postulate does not mean the tendency to the solidification of the system which was accepted once. The Congress points towards the need of its constant perfecting based on practical and theoretical knowledge of the conservation circles integrate with the world of science and art, understanding Polish heritage as a common element of the world heritage. 2nd CONGRESS supports the discussion on the perfecting of the system, aiming at the enlarging of self-governmental forms of managing the heritage and conscious social responsibility for it.
2nd CONGRESS supports the introducing of the system of evaluation of monuments, whose basis would be the objectivised, universal value. One needs to remember about the differentiation of the resource of monuments which renders the completely uniform principles of its protection impossible. At the same time one considers necessary the protection of especially valuable elements of heritage hailing from the 20th century.
Monument of History which currently is a form of protection should become a key ‘heritage project’ in the area of promotion and ennoblement of historic structures and complexes which are the most important for the Polish culture. Introduction of clear, unequivocal criteria and mechanisms of financial aid of the State in proper upbringing and use of Monuments of History is necessary here. This pertains also to the monuments and sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
At the same time the 2nd CONGRESS stresses the need of defining the untouchable values in the procedures of inscribing a structure into the register of monuments for the sake of their protection during processes of transformation which are often inevitable. This is to serve to ‘break away from the syndrome of the besieged fortress… which monument protection became in Poland’2.
2nd CONGRESS directs the attention towards the need of strengthening of the role of integrated monument protection and area protection in the future, indispensable and coordinated legislative initiatives and reinstating of spatial planning as indispensable instruments of policy of heritage protection.
2nd CONGRESS postulates the summoning of the codifying commission of the law on heritage protection at the office of the Prime Minister, with the participation of representatives of entities professionally actively involved in the heritage protection.
2nd CONGRESS considers strengthening of the constant presence of Polish representatives, experts, in the international scholarly and institutional forums, councils and associations active in the area of the broadly understood protection of the global heritage as important. In this context the needs of strengthening of the internal structures of international cooperation, developing of Polish monuments and sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and protection of Polish heritage outside the borders of Poland are to be understood.
2nd CONGRESS postulates the creation of the fund for heritage protection. Moreover, 2nd CONGRESS postulates the State support for scientific, research and educational institutions oriented in their works at protection and conservation which are perceived as an interdisciplinary process, also pointing towards the need of systemic solutions re. support and education in the scope of traditional crafts and technique which are indispensable for the effective heritage protection. 2nd CONGRESS postulates the separation of special means within the budget of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage dedicated to GRANTS and SUBSIDIES whose aim is to work on methodology, technologies of conservation, enlarging the research potential and equipment as well as actions aiming at raising the quality of conservation, restoration and building works, executed in historic monuments.
2nd CONGRESS OF POLISH CONSERVATORS appeals at all the participants of the process of protection of heritage and conservation of monuments in Poland, calling for a new opening – regarding the spheres of the matters as such, of legislation, heritage management and mentality.
Heritage today must be regarded as an indispensable factor of the individualised forms of Polish development while respecting its universal value. Guaranteeing general access to heritage, not only in the physical sense, but also through the development of knowledge and awareness of its meaning for the sustainable socio-economic development, relying on the participatory model of society, is also necessary.
Warsaw, October 8, 2015
- 1According to the new understanding heritage of culture and nature, encompassing tangible, intangible and digital heritage.
- 2Report ‘On the system of protection of cultural heritage in Poland after the year 1989’ .