13 - 16 june 2019

Scientific Symposium: Contemporary interventions on cultural heritage: theory and practice
14 - 16 june 2019



ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) is a non-governmental and non-profit organisation, dedicated to promoting the application of theory, methodology, and scientific techniques to the conservation of the architectural and archaeological heritage. A network of experts benefits from the interdisciplinary exchange of its members. ICOMOS is the Advisory Body of UNESCO for cultural World Heritage.

Annually the Europe Regional Group meets and promotes an international scientific symposium, this year being organised by ICOMOS Portugal. The event will take place in Lisbon, at ISCTE-Institute University of Lisbon, from June 13th to 16th, 2019.

The scientific symposium will be dedicated to the theme "Contemporary interventions in cultural heritage: theory and practice".


The rehabilitation of the built heritage has become the central activity in the construction sector in Portugal. The recent pressure from tourism and speculation has accelerated this phenomenon, principally in historic centres, in classified and protected areas; however, not always with respect for the authenticity and integrity of existing built cultural heritage. Challenges arise in reconciling the preservation of heritage values with contemporary demands.

This problem is common in all Europe and has received special attention from ICOMOS, leading to several actions, aimed to improve the quality of the interventions. In 2018, the ICOMOS Europe Group was instrumental in the European Commission's project 'Cherishing Heritage: developing quality principles for cultural heritage in Europe', organising two workshops in Paris and Venice, and contributing with a strategic reference document. ICOMOS-France has launched a reflection on the implementation of the Charter of Venice involving all the European National Committees, and a debate at a conference organised in Paris.

It is a goal of the symposium to publicise these actions and to extend the reflection, through a critical assessment of the situation, from an international perspective. In particular, it is intended to question the relationship between theory and practice, in different dimensions: in teaching, in legislation, in management, in planning, in design and in rehabilitation work. Experts from various European countries will come forward to present their vision on the main problems they face today, the good and bad practices, contributing to a joint reflection and approach to a state-of-the-art in Europe, on contemporary interventions in cultural heritage.