Kierunek naszej ochrony zabytków
TRENDS IN THE PROTECTION OF HISTORIC MONUMENTS IN POLAND
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A popularization and publicistic campaign to protect historic monuments in Poland is carried oat on a large scale. The work done in the field o f monuments’ protection is now much bigger than ever before, although one could think otherwise when considering critical opinions found in press, television and radio. The thing is that in previous years publicists aimed at displaying achievements and not criticism. Moreover, the subject o f conservators’ interest has been extremely broadened to include objects dating from the second half o f the 19th century and the beginnings o f the 20th, and even from the inter-war period. An intensified rate o f building in Poland, and also a great increase in new space automatically changes quantitative relations between „the new” and „the old”. An impetus o f modern investments creates occasional collisions when modernness enters protected zones, and because o f that it is necessary to deviate from passive protection, based on a ban only, in favour o f active protection characterized by solutions offered. This requires a close link between thinking and humanistic and technical knowledge. Favourable conditions are being created by a fully formed all-Poland organizational system. It combines closely actions o f the Ministry o f Culture and Arts and other departments, Voivodship Conservators o f Historic Monuments with museums, Workshops o f Historic Monuments’ Conservation, „Desa”, Centre o f Monuments’ Documentation and field Offices o f Monuments’ Research and Documentation. It also links research undertakings with practical ones carried out by higher schools, scientific and research institutes, museums, etc. A conducive role is played by a long-standing principle o f regarding museums as links in monuments’ protection working under special conditions. Following changes in an administrative division o f the country there has occurred a marked increase in conservation services as well as a wider involvement o f museums in works on protection. At present, there are in Poland 49 Voivodship Conservators o f Historic Monuments, 5 Municipal and 36 Voivodship Offices o f Monuments’ Research and Documentation. Apart from that, four museum directors perform functions o f conservation authorities with regard to architectonic complexes, folk culture, technology, etc. In 1976 the Conservator General initiated a country-wide programme o f protecting cultural values and develpoing museums. Basing on guidelines set out by the Main Board o f Museums and Historic Monuments’ Protection, Voivodship Conservators o f Monuments presented in 1977 their voivodship programmes. The programmes were then assessed by Voivodship Councils o f Cultural Values’ Protection; in 1978 they will be confronted and made precise in regional and specialistic groups (e.g. those engaged in ethnographic parks, old-towi complexes, monuments o f water engineering, etc.). In conservation practice each decision should be accompanied b) a doubt whether we wish to display a historic monument in its old or present condition. It is not possible to set out one and univocal principle o f procedure. Only to some extent it may be replaced by flexibility and a rule that values o f any monument and its environment should be examined thoroughly prior to any physica1 undertaking. A programme o f protection should also be treated as a principal guideline only, based on an assessment o f the state o f possession and a specification o f probable possibilities o f its use. One o f the main interests o f conservation services in Poland b a traditional care for old-town centres. A need to reconstruct whole complexes, bom as a result o f great devastations, brought about a cooperation between many specialists. The specific approach to programmes, based on broad studies, to mention only historic, archaeological or architectonic research works and closely linked with spatial development, gave rise to the principle o f complexity, o f which the „Polish conservation school” boasts. In the last two years it was possible to work out restoration programmes for more than 70 towns. The programmes were presented in 1977 at two all-Poland sessions at Rzeszów and Toruń. The hitherto experience shows that restoration programmes should be assessed from two points o f view: functional and spatial, from both a historic and modern standpoint. Against a wide-spread opinion that all monuments have to be rebuilt and that a notion o f „historic ruins” is only a condition o f waiting for the next stage o f execution, it is thought now to secure the so-called „premanent ruins” , provided that the condition o f the object, i.e. devastation in per cent, or its age do not qualify it for restoration. Monuments o f the history o f technics are also covered by protection; there is even a programme o f protecting technical monuments and developing relevant museology. A number of active protectors o f monuments shows also an upward trend. A few-years-old campaign o f appropriating historic buildings for rest houses, carried out already for a number o f years, as well as the 1976 competition for the best user o f historic building cultivate a sense o f cultural needs in the society and contribute directly to increasing the interest o f various social circles in the protection of historic buildings.
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