Full-text resources of CEJSH and other databases are now available in the new Library of Science.
Visit https://bibliotekanauki.pl


1980 | 2 | 100-103

Article title

ICOMOS 1965-1980


Title variants

ICOMOS 1965—1980

Languages of publication



In the spring of 1926 the Commission for Intellectual Cooperation of the League of Nations initiated the establishment of the International Institute of Museums (Office International des Musées). In January 1927 the first meeting of experts was held at Geneve, at which a programme for the work of this new organization was set up. In April 1927 there appeared the first volume of the „Mouseion” , an official publication of the International Institute of Museums, while the last volumes (55—56) were published in 1946. In 1948, upon the initiative of the UNESCO the first book of a new publication entitled „The Museum” was published and it was a continuation of the „Mouseion” . It was also in 1948 that the first General Assembly of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) was held in Paris, in Ecole du Louvre. The international cooperation in the field of the protection of monuments found its expression in a number of works. Still, before the last World War there was neither any office that would correspond tot he International Institute of Museums nor any publication of international character. One should however note at this point that initiatives of international cooperation in the field of the protection of art monuments were undertaken by the organizations grouping architects, just to mention the resolution of „The Athenian Charter” in 1931. In 1932 the International Commission for Intellectual Cooperation addressed the Assembly of the League of Nations with a proposal that all member countries should organize — in their respective territories, amongst the people, particularly amongst the young ones, campaigns aimed at their awareness of the significance of cultural property and the conviction that all people should participate in the protection of the heritage of the past. However, no concrete broad-scaled activities were undertaken at that time. The establishment of the 1COM in 1948 brought about the necessity to agree an adequate organizational structure for international cooperation in the field of the protection of art monuments. On October 17—21, 1949 the Experts Committee had its meeting in the offices of the UNESCO in Paris. Professor Paulo Cornerio from Brasil was appointed Chairman of the meeting, Stanisław Lorentz from Poland — Vice-Chairman, while Ronald Lee from the USA was a commentator. The meeting of the Committee was attended by nearly 20 representatives of the countries from a few continents. They called for the setting-up of a permanent international committee of the UNESCO experts to deal with problems of art monuments, historic complexes and archaeological excavations. Besides, the participants of the meeting examined reports presented by the delegates and discussed problems involved in war destructions and a post-war reconstruction of historic complexes. The Polish delegate presented a photographic display illustrating the reconstruction of art monuments and historic complexes in Poland after the war. The Committee of Experts was brought to life by Director General of the UNESCO; the Polish delegate became its member and later its chairman. However, activities of the Committee died out after some time. Still, both in 1949 and in the subsequent years a very active role was played by Jan van der Haagen, chief of Museums and Art Monuments Section in the UNESCO, who maintained lively contacts with a number of countries in different parts of the world and put much effort in the development of international cooperation in the field of museology and the protection of cultural property. The report from the conference of the Committee o f Experts, held in October, 1949, was published in a special edition of ,,The Museum” (vol. Ill, No I, 1950). The edition starts with an opening speech delivered by Jaime Torres Bodet, Director General of the UNESCO, while comprehensive reflection on the subjects raised during the conference were published by Professor Roberto Pane. The first place was devoted to the discussions on the report presented by a Polish representative, which was a tribute paid to our country. The article was illustrated with photographs showing the East-West Route (the so-called Trasa W-Z), Wroclaw’s Cathedral, St Mary’s Church in Gdańsk and the main building of Warsaw University (altogether 19 illustrations). The years that followed were not favourable for international cooperation in the field of culture. It was only in 1954 that major tasks were undertaken. Upon the initiative of the UNESCO an international conference on the protection of art monuments in case of an armed conflict was called in the Hague. The conference was the first one to introduce an official term „cultural property” . The polish delegation including Stanisław Lorentz (President), Jan Zachwatowicz and Kazimierz Malinowski also attended this conference. After month-long debates an international convention on the protection of cultural property in case of an armed conflict was signed, but due to a disparity of opninion amongst delegates the convention had a compromising character. In spite of that, it should be regarded as an important international act of enormous moral significance. The setting-up of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and the Restoration of Cultural Property in Rome in 1959 (upon the initiative of the UNESCO) represented a further step in the development of scientific and organizational contacts between the states in different continents. Poland was one of the seven countries which inaugurated the activity of the Centre. Our active participation in its works resulted in that that the Polish representative, Professor Stanisław Lorentz, was vice-chairman of the Centre for six years, and then again for six years, its chairman. The idea to create an international organization devoted to the protection of cultural property, corresponding to the ICOM, was voiced more and more frequently by both art historians and architects. This found its reflection in the congress of architects held in Venetia in 1964, where such a postulate was supported by Professor Piero Gazzola on behalf of the Italians, and by Professor Jan Zachwatowicz on behalf of the Polish side. The latter played also a very active role in elaborating „The Venetian Charter” which determined roads of to-day’s preservation art. On account of her great efforts in the field of the care taken of art monuments in a post-war period, Poland was proposed the task of arranging an organizational assembly and the 1st General Assembly of a new institution called ICOMOS (The International Council of Monuments and Sites); a great importance was attached to the introduction of the notion of „historic complex” into the name itself, in the light of the post-war experiences and modern concepts of the protection of cultural property. On June 21—22, 1965 a huge hall of the National Museum in Warsaw was the place o f the Constitutionary Assembly of the ICOMOS, while on June 24—25, 1965 Senators’ Hall in Cracow’s Royal Castle opened its door to the 1st General Assembly. Professor Piero Gazola was elected Chairman of the ICOMOS, Professor Raymond Lemaire — Secretary General, and Professor Lorentz — Chairman of the Advisory Committee. After 15 years we can say that the ICOMOS, which to-day includes representatives of 68 countries performed a great work in that period. The credit for this goes to its Chairman, Piero Gazzola, who represented unique virtues and qualifications and who showed great kindness to people from, all over the world, with different political and social outlooks, of various age and various professional qualifications. Professor Piero Gazzola directed the ICOMOS in a resolute way but with an in-born delicacy. Also Secretary General of the ICOMOS, Professor Raymond Lemaire, who succeeded Professor P. Gazzola as Chairman of the organization, had a great share in its attainments. Thanks to his broad international contacts the ICOMOS has attracted all those countries which attach a great significance to the maintenance of their cultural property and to international cooperation in the field of the care of man’s cultural heritage. The Polish National Committee of the ICOMOS enjoys social trust and government’s support. We attach a big importance to general activities of the ICOMOS and its specialistic Committees. On the 15th anniversary of the ICOMOS we welcome cordially in Poland the Executive Committee and the Advisory Committee, which have chosen this country as a place for their annual meeting. We wish the ICOMOS further successful works and the best development. Professor dr Stanisław Lorentz President o f the Polish National Comittee o f ICOMOS







Physical description




  • prof. dr, przewodniczący Polskiego Komitetu Narodowego ICOMOS


Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.