Observations on Concepts in the Venice Charter


  • Jukka Jokilehto

Palabras clave:

concepts, translation, Venice Charter



The 1964 Venice Charter has become an important reference for most of the international charters and recommendations adopted in the second half of the 20th century even though it has not been without criticism. The scope of this paper is to examine some of the principal sources for the concepts expressed in the charter. These sources include the philosophical writings in the first part of the 20th century, ranging from Riegl and Bergson to Heidegger and Brandi. The principal international reference was seen in the 1931 Athens recommendations, as well as in the 1932 Italian Charter by Giovannoni. In 1957, there was an International Congress in Paris, anticipating the 1964 Venice Congress. The main difference in terminology is that the 1931 recommendation focuses on conservation and almost completely excludes the option of restoration. The 1932 charter instead was written in Italian, and mainly speaks of restoration highlighting the differences in languages, one of the problems in interpretation.

The main difference of the 1964 Venice Charter compared to the previous recommendations is in its Preface. This was drafted by Paul Philippot, at the time Deputy Director of ICCROM, and well informed about the policies of Cesare Brandi and the Italian Central Institute of Restoration (ICR). This is the section of the Venice Charter, where the English translation fails to represent the original concepts, that can be traced back to the 1930s, and to the Teoria del restauro by Brandi published in 1963. Even though there are issues that could be criticised, the charter has nevertheless well maintained its position. It has been a source of inspiration for international and national charters. It was adopted as the founding document of ICOMOS in 1965 and forty years later it was included in theWorld Heritage Operational Guidelines.


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Athens Charter (1931) The Athens Charter for the restoration of historic monuments, Adopted at the First International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Historic Monuments, Athens 1931.

Brandi, Cesare (1963) Teoria del restauro, Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, Roma.

Brandi, Cesare (2005) Theory of restoration, trans. Cynthia Rockwell, Nardini Editore, Florence.

Caniggia, Gianfranco (1976) Strutture dello spazio antropico, Studi e Note, UNIEDIT, Firenze.

Carta del restauro (1932) Carta Italiana del restauro [http://www.brescianisrl.it/newsite/public/link/Carta_restauro%20_1932. pdf] (accessed on 10 April 2022).

Cataldi, Giancarlo, Gian Luigi Maffei and Paolo Vaccaro (2002) “Saverio Muratori and the Italian school of planning typology”, Urban Morphology 6 (1): 3-14.

Erder, Cevat (1994) “The Venice Charter under Review (1977)”, The Venice Charter 1964-1994/ La Charte de Venise 1964-1994, ICOMOS Scientific Journal (4): 24-31.

ICOMOS (1994) ICOMOS (1994) “The Translations of the Venice Charter in Alphabetical order - Traductions de la Charte de Venise dans l’ordre alphabétique”, ICOMOS Scientific Journal (4).

Nara Document (1994) Nara document on authenticity, ICOMOS, Nara.

?Philippot, Paul (2005) “The phenomenology of artistic creation according to Cesare Brandi”, in: Cesare Brandi, trans. Cynthia Rockwell, Nardini Editore, Florence, pp.27-41.

UNESCO (1972) Convention concerning the protection of World Heritage, cultural and natural, UNESCO, Paris.

UNESCO (2005) Convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions, UNESCO, Paris.

UNESCO (2005) Operational guidelines for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, UNESCO, Paris.

Whitehand, Jeremy William Richard (ed.) (1981) The urban landscape: historical development and management. Papers by M.R.G. Conzen, Institute of British Geographers Special Publication no.13, Academic Press, London.




Cómo citar

Jokilehto, J. (2023). Observations on Concepts in the Venice Charter. Conversaciones con., (11), 353–363. Recuperado a partir de https://revistas.inah.gob.mx/index.php/conversaciones/article/view/19056