2007 | 2 | 3-4
Article title

Szanowni Czytelnicy!

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Dear Readers!
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Upon this occasion we have entrusted the cover of “Ochrona Zabytków” to the youngest lovers of historical monuments. The featured works are the outcome of a visual arts competition held by the National Heritage Board of Poland and the Centre for Civic Education as part of the annual celebrations of the European Heritage Days. Over 2 000 works of art competed, all representing a high level and displaying not only the talents of their authors but, particularly important, depicting the most valuable monuments and regions in a new light, frequently unknown to professional conservators. This significant experience made it possible to discern the essential meaning of the reception of artworks and historical monuments, including their non-material dimension. We hope to return to similar forms of promoting cultural heritage, especially among the younger generation. Today, we recommend an article analysing the opinions of Warsaw secondaryschool pupils about fundamental conservation theories. The amassed views proved to be quite different from those dictating the standard treatment of numerous architectural monuments and assessments of historical value. This is yet another important aspect of social participation in all domains associated with the protection of the historical heritage. One of the themes frequently broached during the children’s visual arts competition was Wawel Hill and Castle – a foremost Polish historical complex featured in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The opening pages of our periodical contain information about the establishment of the World Heritage Committee in Poland. The Wawel-related theme also inaugurates texts on conservation presented by an expert on the architecture of the Castle within the context of the ever-topical and outright fundamental discussion on mutual relations between reconstruction and creative conservation. Lately, this debate has pertained to the prominent question of the numerous reconstructions of mediaeval castle ruins across the country and the limits of permissible intervention into historical structures and their landscape merits. The example of Wawel Hill and Castle and the history of their revival demonstrates how every decision concerning this complicated question should be well-documented and justified; its also reflects the sensible and careful nature of resolutions to adapt a historical monument for contemporary functions. The proposed issue of our periodical attempts to evoke the works of Kazimierz Stronczyński, the author of the first mid-nineteenth century inventories of monuments of Polish culture, documentalist and researcher. At present, his meticulous drawings and watercolours are an invaluable source of knowledge about monuments of architecture. It is our sincere hope that the years-long efforts to issue Stronczyński’s publications, deposited at Warsaw University Library, will prove successful. Finally, some personal reflections on the passage of time and the outstanding conservators to whom we bid farewell in this issue. We recall the achievements of Professor Stanisław Latour, who passed away in autumn 2007, his prominent contribution to the post-war reconstruction and conservation of the most valuable historical monuments in Szczecin; in the course of the successive decades of his professional activity, this brilliant architect, researcher, and conservator remained particularly closely connected with “Ochrona Zabytków”. In one of our coming issues we shall return to the Professor’s life and the monuments to which he was passionately devoted. Sincerely yours Marcin Gawlicki Director of the National Heritage Board of Poland
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  • Dyrektor Krajowego Ośrodka Badań i Dokumentacji Zabytków
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Publication order reference
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