What is heritage?

Well, heritage is the the set of assets acquired by inheritance
– set of family assets
– set of State assets
– set of municipal assets

From heritage also apears cultural heritage that consits in the set of assets that have to do with the culture of a people, nation, city, society…

Now the question is, why preserving heritage?

Preservation is a method of not losing the values of cultural identity. In order to preserve you must know before what the cultural assets of a people are. The heritage has it’s own values:

-cultural value
-artistic value/aesthetic value
-historical value
-value of authenticity
-value of antiquity
-functional/social value
-economic valueç

Ones we know why now we need to know what should be preserved

a) Protection of values: Protect not only the physical architectural heritage but also its values
b) Physical conservation: Every aspect of a building must be taken care of:
– matter
– construction techniques
– shapes, dimensions
– colours, materials, textures
– character
– use
– environment
– meanings…
c) Enhancement: Make the building show and explain its values.

There are two types of preservation instruments; the legislative instruments and the actions of intervention.

In terms of legislative instruments we have to protect:

  • Legal actions, administrative rules outside the intervention on the monument itself.
  • It is exercised through standards or through the development of cataloguing tools. These rules are intended  to enshrine the right of the community over the private interest.
  • Different degrees of protection are often differenciated.

we also have to inventory:

  • Enumeration and description.
  • The inventory is the result of a list, to locate and describe a set of properties. It is an important instrument for preventive conservation. The LPHE (Spanish Historical Heritage Act) pays great attention to inventories and catalogs.

finally we have to list:

  • The action of cataloging involves the enumeration, description and location of a property, but also it provides a historical study and economic valuation of an Heritage Resource.
  • This action is usually linked to general actions or protection planning.
  • The list is an important instrument of indirect and preventive conservation, as a means of knowledge and valuation of assets.

In terms of actions of intervention we have the preservation:

  • Operations to be performed on the good to ensure survival against hazards or possible damages (environmental incidences, from time…). 
  • Impact on the preventive aspect 
  • Actions of this type are the decrease of the flow of tourists entering the monument or the reduction of the traffic nearby to avoid emissions of polluting gases.

the maintence:

  • General meaning: continuous maintenance, through punctual repairs, in a state of efficiency, in conditions to be used. 
  • An operation designed to prolong and maintain as long as possible the materials from which the object is made. 
  • Preserve the building’s material, its character, its meaning, its essence, while maintaining its maximum useful life. 
  • The ideal would be continuous and gradual maintenance. 
  • Maintenance is one of the most recommended actions to avoid “radical» changes in an historical building.

the consolidation:

  • Consolidation is a particular way of preserving; it’s possible thanks to a general strengthening (reinforcement of a structure or of building fabric). The action provides higher consistency and solidity.

the repairing:

  • Literally: leave in good condition an object that was broken or deteriorated. 
  • In the case of buildings it means to fix the damaged parts: roof, walls, eaves, gutters… 
  • Term linked to constructive elements and their correct efficiency. 
  • The concept of reparation is linked to the practice of maintenance.

the restaoration:

  • It supposes a direct intervention on the monument whose purpose is the restitution or improvement of the legibility that is lost with the passage of time, without incurring alterations or falsifications of its documentary nature. 
  • Generic term indicating the discipline (restoration)

the adaptation:

  • Enable or return something to its old state of efficiency or functionality. 
  • Synonymous  with  «recovery” from Latin recuperare, composed of re (again) and capere (to take).
  • While in  Spain it is commonly used «rehabilitacion”, in Italy they use ‘recupero’. AT

the reconstruction:

  • It is a procedure of integral or partial reconstruction of the building, with an absolutely exceptional character that has been carried out in specific historical circumstances and as a consequence of traumatic events. 
  • It is distinguished from restoration by the introduction of new material.

the antilosis:

  • Anastylosis is an archaeological term for a technique whereby a ruined building or monument is rebuilt using original architectural elements. 
  • It’s a set of operations to put in place building elements (generally fallen and scattered).

the repristinar:

  • Ripristinar means returning a building to a known earlier state by removing accretions or by reassembling existing elements. 
  • It’s an action that suggest to “go back” to the original state of a building by removing or added later stages. 
  • It is an action that tends to be generally rejected because the authenticity and age of the monument is usually lost.