Survey Letter to Presidents of National and International Scientific Committees

Dear President,

We are writing to you to ask for your Committee’s contribution to a Global Survey ICOMOS is conducting of 20th C. heritage in its full diversity: buildings of all style and functions (new construction, vernacular, examples of reused buildings); urban ensembles (neighbourhoods, new towns); city parks, gardens and landscapes; artwork, furniture, interiors or integrated industrial design; engineering works (roads, bridges, waterworks, harbours, industrial complexes); archaeological or commemorative sites, etc.

Over the last 10 years, many discussions have taken place within ICOMOS on 20th C. heritage. ICOMOS organised major international meetings in Helsinki in 1995 ) and Mexico in 1996 on the topic and many national committees held special conferences on it as well. In March, the Executive Committee accepted the proposal to hold a meeting in Montreal (Québec), Canada, to develop a proposed ICOMOS Action Plan on 20th C. heritage. The plan was presented and discussed in October, at the meeting of the Advisory and Executive Committee in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and was approved for implementation. A main component of the “Montreal Plan for 20th C. Heritage” (MP20) for ICOMOS is the production of a global survey of the theme from our world-wide network of National and International Scientific Committees.

The survey will gather illustrative cases of 20th C. heritage that will help identify the main issues relating to the understanding, conservation and proper recognition of this cultural heritage and its sources. It can also include earlier examples of buildings or sites that may be important precursors of the heritage of the 20th C. The purpose of this survey is not to produce a list of monuments of 20th C. architecture. Its goal is to assemble, with your contribution and assistance, a description of the wide diversity of cultural heritage of the 20th C. and its sources so that ICOMOS can develop strategies, scientific actions, etc. to address the issues related to its conservation within its own network or in partnership with other organisations. For Federal States, we invite the National Committee to present a summary report rather than rather than a collage of individual cases.

The “Montreal Plan” is to be implemented by the core group who developed it; this core group integrates strong ICOMOS connections as well as links to other interested groups such as DOCOMOMO. With the generous support of US/ICOMOS as Co-ordinator of the Survey, we hope to complete and publish it on time for the International Monuments and Sites Day, on April 18, 2002, which ICOMOS proposes to dedicate to 20th C. heritage. Then, the core group could develop a series of recommendations for the next General Assembly, in October 2002, including the establishment of permanent International Scientific Committees.

We are aware that other international or national organisations are exploring this field as part of their mission or in the context of their work. DOCOMOMO has recently published a valuable survey of the modernist architecture. While we respect the value of these and encourage linkage between all the work, we want to stress that the ICOMOS initiative, in particular the survey its includes, covers the whole of the 20th Century’s heritage as well as those precursors buildings, ensembles, sites or landscapes.

We enclose a short questionnaire presenting issues we invite your Committee to explore the selection of some 10 to 20 representative cases. In doing this exercise, we encourage you to get in touch with organisations such as working parties of DOCOMOMO or TICCIH, or national or regional organisations that might prove an interesting source of information.

Considering the very tight time frame in which the work is to be accomplished, and confident in your understanding, we will appreciate very much if you could return your report with at least one illustrations by the 31 January 2002. Reports may be submitted in English, French or Spanish. To facilitate publication of the report, we ask that you send it in a standard electronic format such as Word 2000 and that all illustrations, be sent in an electronic format (jpg). Finally, in order to facilitate and follow through with this important initiative, we also ask you to identify a contact person within your committee.

Please send submissions to:
Via e-mail: gkubaitis@usicomos.org
Via regular mail (Send paper copy and diskette with files-Word or WordPerfect for IBM PC):
Attn: ICOMOS 20th C. Heritage Survey
401 F Street NW, Room 331
Washington DC 20001-2728 USA

Yours truly,

Gunny Harboe (US/ICOMOS), Survey Co-ordinator
Alfredo Conti (ICOMOS Argentina), Survey Secretary

ICOMOS Montreal Plan on 20th C. Heritage

Survey Questionnaire to National and International Scientific Committees

1. General information on the official context

    1.1 Does your country have specific criteria for listing 20th C. heritage properties? What are they?

    1.2 Are there any legal or regulatory time constraints such as a minimum age, to heritage listing? Who is administering such rules?

    1.3 What are the most recent 20th Century properties listed in your country? How old were the properties at the time thay were listed? Were there any properties listed at the early stage of your country's listing process or were they listed only recently?

    1.4 Is listing of 20th C. heritage common in your country? How many 20th C. properties / sites are listed? What % of the total heritage list does it account for?

2. Representative cases

Identify 10-20 different cultural properties - buildings, urban or rural ensembles, vernacular examples, sites, landscapes, engineering works, interiors, etc. - that illustrate the characteristics and diversity of the 20th C. heritage and its sources, or issues related to its conservation in the context of your country or scientific field. (These examples do not have to be formally listed to be presented).

    2.1 Description of the example / Description de chaque exemple

    • Name (all)
    • Date or Period
    • Location
    • Architect, Builder and Client (In the 20th C., these are more commonly three distinct and identified entities)
    • Contextual condition of the site at the time of the construction
    • Current status of recognition or level of protection.
    • Recognition by other groups (DOCOMOMO working parties, TICCIH, national or local NGOs, scholars, etc.)
    • Information on ownership or stewardship history from construction to present.
    • Information of current condition of the example, its context and management

    2.2 Justification of significance (5 - 10 lines per example)

3. Other information

    3.1 Please attach a National Selective Bibliography of publications or websites in the field of conservation of 20th C. heritage.

    3.2 Please provide examples of local / national activities on 20th C. heritage with the names of the organising groups.

    3.3 Please include local, national or international contacts or sources of information on the theme of 20th C. heritage.


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