The General Conference of the United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, meeting in
Paris, at its seventeenth session, from to 1972,
Considering that, in a society
where living conditions are changing at an accelerated pace, it is essential
for man's equilibrium and development to preserve for him a fitting setting
in which to live, where he will remain in contact with nature and the
evidences of civilization bequeathed by past generations, and that, to
this end, it is appropriate to give the cultural and natural heritage
an active function in community life and to integrate into an overall
policy the achievements of our time, the values of the past and the beauty
Considering that such integration
into social and economic life must be one of the fundamental aspects of
regional development and national planning at every level,
Considering that particularly serious
dangers engendered by new phenomena peculiar to our times are threatening
the cultural and natural heritage, which constitute an essential feature
of mankind's heritage and a source of enrichment and harmonious development
for present and future civilization,
Considering that each item of the
cultural and natural heritage is unique and that the disappearance of
any one item constitutes a definite loss and an irreversible impoverishment
of that heritage,
Considering that every country
in whose territory there are components of the cultural and natural heritage
has an obligation to safeguard this part of mankind's heritage and to
ensure that it is handed down to future generations,
Considering that the study, knowledge
and protection of the cultural and natural heritage in the various countries
of the world are conducive to mutual understanding among the peoples,
Considering that the cultural and
natural heritage forms an harmonious whole, the components of which are
Considering that a policy for the
protection of the cultural and natural heritage, thought out and formulated
in common, is likely to bring about a continuing interaction among Member
States and to have a decisive effect on the activities of the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in this field,
Noting that the General Conference
has already adopted international instruments for the protection of the
cultural and natural heritage, such as the Recommendation on International
Principles Applicable to Archaeological Excavations (1956), the Recommendation
concerning the Safeguarding
of the Beauty and Character of Landscapes and Sites (1962) and the
Recommendation concerning the Preservation
of Cultural Property Endangered by Public or Private Works (1968),
Desiring to supplement and extend
the application of the standards and principles laid down in such recommendations,
Having before it proposals concerning
the protection of the cultural and natural heritage, which question appears
on the agenda of the session as item,
Having decided, at its sixteenth
session, that this question should be made the subject of international
regulations, to take the form of a recommendation to Member States, Adopts
this day of 1972, this Recommendation.
OF THE CULTURAL AND THE NATURAL HERITAGE
1. For the purposes of this Recommendation,
the following shall be considered as "cultural heritage":
monuments: architectural works,
works of monumental sculpture and painting, including cave dwellings
and inscriptions, and elements, groups of elements or structures of
special value from the point of view of archaeology, history, art or
groups of buildings: groups of
separate or connected buildings which, because of their architecture,
their homogeneity or their place in the landscape, are of special value
from the point of view of history, art or science;
sites: topographical areas, the
combined works of man and of nature, which are of special value by reason
of their beauty or their interest from the archaeological, historical,
ethnological or anthropological points of view.
2. For the purposes of this Recommendation,
the following shall be considered as "natural heritage":
natural features consisting of
physical and biological formations or groups of such formations, which
are of special value from the aesthetic or scientific point of view;
geological and physiographical
formations and precisely delineated areas which constitute the habitat
of species of animals and plants, valuable or threatened, of special
value from the point of view of science or conservation;
natural sites or precisely delineated
natural areas of special value from the point of view of science, conservation
or natural beauty, or in their relation to the combined works of man
and of nature.
II. NATIONAL POLICY
3. In conformity with their jurisdictional
and legislative requirements, each State should formulate, develop and
apply as far as possible a policy whose principal aim should be to co-ordinate
and make use of all scientific, technical, cultural and other resources
available to secure the effective protection, conservation and presentation
of the cultural and natural heritage.
III. GENERAL PRINCIPLES
4. The cultural and natural heritage
represents wealth, the protection, conservation and presentation of which
impose responsibilities on the States in whose territory it is situated,
both vis-a-vis their own nationals and vis-a-vis the international community
as a whole; Member States should take such action as may be necessary
to meet these responsibilities.
5. The cultural or natural heritage
should be considered in its entirety as a homogeneous whole, comprising
not only works of great intrinsic value, but also more modest items that
have, with the passage of time, acquired cultural or natural value.
6. None of these works and none
of these items should, as a general rule, be dissociated from its environment.
7. As the ultimate purpose of protecting,
conserving and presenting the cultural and natural heritage is the development
of man, Member States should, as far as possible, direct their work in
this field in such a way that the cultural and natural heritage may no
longer be regarded as a check on national development but as a determining
factor in such development.
8. The protection, conservation
and effective presentation of the cultural and natural heritage should
be considered as one of the essential aspects of regional development
plans, and planning in general, at the national, regional or local level.
9. An active policy for the conservation
of the cultural and natural heritage and for giving it a place in community
life should be developed. Member States should arrange for concerted action
by all the public and private services concerned, with a view to drawing
up and applying such a policy. Preventive and corrective measures relating
to the cultural and natural heritage should be supplemented by others,
designed to give each of the components of this heritage a function which
will make it a part of the nation's social, economic, scientific and cultural
life for the present and future, compatible with the cultural or natural
character of the item in question. Action for the protection of the cultural
and natural heritage should take advantage of scientific and technical
advances in all branches of study involved in the protection, conservation
and presentation of the cultural or natural heritage.
10. Increasingly significant financial
resources should, as far as possible, be made available by the public
authorities for the safeguarding and presentation of the cultural and
11. The general public of the area
should be associated with the measures to be taken for protection and
conservation and should be called on for suggestions and help, with particular
reference to regard for and surveillance of the cultural and natural heritage.
Consideration might also be given to the possibility of financial support
from the private sector.
IV. ORGANIZATION OF SERVICES
12. Although their diversity makes
it impossible for all Member States to adopt a standard form of organization,
certain common criteria should nevertheless be observed.
Specialized public services
13. With due regard for the conditions
appropriate to each country, Member States should set up in their territory,
wherever they do not already exist, one or more specialized public services
to be responsible for the efficient discharge of the following functions:
(a) developing and putting into
effect measures of all kinds designed for the protection, conservation
and presentation of the country's cultural and natural heritage and
for making it an active factor in the life of the community; and primarily,
compiling an inventory of the cultural and natural heritage and establishing
appropriate documentation services;
(b) training and recruiting scientific,
technical and administrative staff as required, to be responsible for
working out identification, protection, conservation and integration
programmes and directing their execution;
(c) organizing close co-operation
among specialists of various disciplines to study the technical conservation
problems of the cultural and natural heritage;
(d) using or creating laboratories
for the study of all the scientific problems arising in connexion with
the conservation of the cultural and natural heritage;
(e) ensuring that owners or tenants
carry out the necessary restoration work and provide for the upkeep
of the buildings in the best artistic and technical conditions.
14. The specialized services should
work with bodies of experts responsible for giving advice on the preparation
of measures relating to the cultural and natural heritage. Such bodies
should include experts, representatives of the major preservation societies,
and representatives of the administrations concerned.
Co-operation among the various
15. The specialized services dealing
with the protection, conservation and presentation of the cultural and
natural heritage should carry out their work in liaison and on an equal
footing with other public services, more particularly those responsible
for regional development planning, major public works, the environment,
and economic and social planning. Tourist development programmes involving
the cultural and natural heritage should be carefully drawn up so as not
to impair the intrinsic character and importance of that heritage, and
steps should be taken to establish appropriate liaison between the authorities
16. Continuing co-operation at
all levels should be organized among the specialized services whenever
large-scale projects are involved, and appropriate co-ordinating arrangements
made so that decisions may be taken in concert, taking account of the
various interests involved. Provision should be made for joint planning
from the start of the studies and machinery developed for the settlement
Competence of central, federal,
regional and local bodies
17. Considering the fact that the
problems involved in the protection, conservation and presentation of
the cultural and natural heritage are difficult to deal with, calling
for special knowledge and sometimes entailing hard choices, and that there
are not enough specialized staff available in this field, responsibilities
in all matters concerning the devising and execution of protective measures
in general should be divided among central or federal and regional or
local authorities on the basis of a judicious balance adapted to the situation
that exists in each State.
V. PROTECTIVE MEASURES
18. Member States should, as far
as possible, take all necessary scientific, technical and administrative,
legal and financial measures to ensure the protection of the cultural
and natural heritage in their territories. Such measures should be determined
in accordance with the legislation and organization of the State.
Scientific and technical measures
19. Member States should arrange
for careful and constant maintenance of their cultural and natural heritage
in order to avoid having to undertake the costly operations necessitated
by its deterioration; for this purpose, they should provide for regular
surveillance of the components of their heritage by means of periodic
inspections. They should also draw up carefully planned programmes of
conservation and presentation work, gradually taking in all the cultural
and natural heritage, depending upon the scientific, technical and financial
means at their disposal.
20. Any work required should be
preceded and accompanied by such thorough studies as its importance may
necessitate. Such studies should be carried out in co-operation with or
by specialists in all related fields.
21. Member States should investigate
effective methods of affording added protection to those components of
the cultural and natural heritage that are threatened by unusually serious
dangers. Such methods should take account of the interrelated scientific,
technical and artistic problems involved and make it possible to determine
the treatment to be applied.
22. These components of the cultural
and natural heritage should, in addition, be restored, wherever appropriate,
to their former use or given a new and more suitable function, provided
that their cultural value is not thereby diminished.
23. Any work done on the cultural
heritage should aim at preserving its traditional appearance, and protecting
it from any new construction or remodelling which might impair the relations
of mass or colour between it and its surroundings.
24. The harmony established by
time and man between a monument and its surroundings is of the greatest
importance and should not, as a general rule, be disturbed or destroyed.
The isolation of a monument by demolishing its surroundings should not,
as a general rule, be authorized; nor should the moving of a monument
be contemplated save as an exceptional means of dealing with a problem,
justified by pressing considerations.
25. Member States should take measures
to protect their cultural and natural heritage against the possible harmful
effects of the technological developments characteristic of modern civilization.
Such measures should be designed to counter the effects of shocks and
vibrations caused by machines and vehicles. Measures should also be taken
to prevent pollution and guard against natural disasters and calamities,
and to provide for the repair of damage to the cultural and natural heritage.
26. Since the circumstances governing
the rehabilitation of groups of buildings are not everywhere identical,
Member States should provide for a social science inquiry in appropriate
cases, in order to ascertain precisely what are the social and cultural
needs of the community in which the group of buildings concerned is situated.
Any rehabilitation operation should pay special attention to enabling
man to work, to develop and to achieve fulfilment in the restored setting.
27. Member States should undertake
studies and research on the geology and ecology of items of the natural
heritage, such as park, wildlife, refuge or recreation areas, or other
equivalent reserves, in order to appreciate their scientific value, to
determine the impact of visitor use and to monitor interrelationships
so as to avoid serious damage to the heritage and to provide adequate
background for the management of the fauna and flora.
28. Member States should keep abreast
of advances in transportation, communication, audiovisual techniques,
automatic data-processing and other appropriate technology, and of cultural
and recreational trends, so that the best possible facilities and services
can be provided for scientific study and the enjoyment of the public,
appropriate to the purpose of each area, without deterioration of the
29. Each Member State should draw
up, as soon as possible, an inventory for the protection of its cultural
and natural heritage, including items which, without being of outstanding
importance, are inseparable from their environment and contribute to its
30. The information obtained by
such surveys of the cultural and natural heritage should be collected
in a suitable form and regularly brought up to date.
31. To ensure that the cultural
and natural heritage is effectively recognized at all levels of planning,
Member States should prepare maps and the fullest possible documentation
covering the cultural and natural property in question.
32. Member States should give thought
to finding suitable uses for groups of historic buildings no longer serving
their original purpose.
33. A plan should be prepared for
the protection, conservation, presentation and rehabilitation of groups
of buildings of historic and artistic interest. It should include peripheral
protection belts, lay down the conditions for land use, and specify the
buildings to be preserved and the conditions for their preservation. This
plan should be incorporated into the overall town and country planning
policy for the areas concerned.
34. Rehabilitation plans should
specify the uses to which historic buildings are to be put and the links
there are to be between the rehabilitation area and the surrounding urban
development. When the designation of a rehabilitation area is under consideration,
the local authorities and representatives of the residents of the area
should be consulted.
35. Any work that might result
in changing the existing state of the buildings in a protected area should
be subject to prior authorization by the town and country planning authorities,
on the advice of the specialized services responsible for the protection
of the cultural and natural heritage.
36. Internal alterations to groups
of buildings and the installation of modern conveniences should be allowed
if they are needed for the well-being of their occupants and provided
they do not drastically alter the real characteristic features of ancient
37. Member States should develop
short- and long-range plans, based on inventories of their natural heritage,
to achieve a system of conservation to meet the needs of their countries.
38. Member States should provide
an advisory service to guide non-governmental organizations and owners
of land on national conservation policies consistent with the productive
use of the land.
39. Member States should develop
policies and programmes for restoration of natural areas made derelict
by industry, or otherwise despoiled by man's activities.
40. Depending upon their importance,
the components of the cultural and natural heritage should be protected,
individually or collectively, by legislation or regulations in conformity
with the competence and the legal procedures of each country.
41. Measures for protection should
be supplemented to the extent necessary by new provisions to promote the
conservation of the cultural or natural heritage and to facilitate the
presentation of its components. To that end, enforcement of protective
measures should apply to individual owners and to public authorities when
they are the owners of components of the cultural and natural heritage.
42. No new building should be erected,
and no demolition, transformation, modification or deforestation carried
out, on any property situated on or in the vicinity of a protected site,
if it is likely to affect its appearance, without authorization by the
43. Planning legislation to permit
industrial development, or public and private works should take into account
existing legislation on conservation. The authorities responsible for
the protection of the cultural and natural heritage might take steps to
expedite the necessary conservation work, either by making financial assistance
available to the owner, or by acting in the owner's place and exercising
their powers to have the work done, with the possibility of their obtaining
reimbursement of that share of the costs which the owner would normally
44. Where required for the preservation
of the property, the public authorities might be empowered to expropriate
a protected building or natural site subject to the terms and conditions
of domestic legislation.
45. Member States should establish
regulations to control bill-posting, neon signs and other kinds of advertisement,
commercial signs, camping, the erection of poles, pylons and electricity
or telephone cables, the placing of television aerials, all types of vehicular
traffic and parking, the placing of indicator panels, street furniture,
etc., and, in general, everything connected with the equipment or occupation
of property forming part of the cultural and natural heritage.
46. The effects of the measures
taken to protect any element of the cultural or natural heritage should
continue regardless of changes of ownership. If a protected building or
natural site is sold, the purchaser should be informed that it is under
47. Penalties or administrative
sanctions should be applicable, in accordance with the laws and constitutional
competence of each State, to anyone who wilfully destroys, mutilates or
defaces a protected monument, group of buildings or site, or one which
is of archaeological, historical or artistic interest. In addition, equipment
used in illicit excavation might be subject to confiscation.
48. Penalties or administrative
sanctions should be imposed upon those responsible for any other action
detrimental to the protection, conservation or presentation of a protected
component of the cultural or natural heritage, and should include provision
for the restoration of an affected site to its original state in accordance
with established scientific and technical standards.
49. Central and local authorities
should, as far as possible, appropriate, in their budgets, a certain percentage
of funds, proportionate to the importance of the protected property forming
part of their cultural or natural heritage, for the purposes of maintaining,
conserving and presenting protected property of which they are the owners,
and of contributing financially to such work carried out on other protected
property by the owners, whether public bodies or private persons.
50. The expenditure incurred in
protecting, conserving and presenting items of the privately-owned cultural
and natural heritage should, so far as possible, be borne by their owners
51. Tax concessions on such expenditures,
or grants or loans on favourable terms, could be granted to private owners
of protected properties, on condition that they carry out work for the
protection, conservation, presentation and rehabilitation of their properties
in accordance with approved standards.
52. Consideration should be given
to indemnifying, if necessary, owners of protected cultural and natural
areas for losses they might suffer as a consequence of protective programmes.
53. The financial advantages accorded
to private owners should, where appropriate, be dependent on their observance
of certain conditions laid down for the benefit of the public, such as
their allowing access to parks, gardens and sites, tours through all or
parts of natural sites, monuments or groups of buildings, the taking of
54. Special funds should be set
aside in the budgets of public authorities for the protection of the cultural
and natural heritage endangered by large-scale public or private works.
55. To increase the financial resources
available to them, Member States may set up one or more "Cultural
and Natural Heritage Funds", as legally established public agencies,
entitled to receive private gifts, donations and bequests, particularly
from industrial and commercial firms.
56. Tax concessions could also
be granted to those making gifts, donations or bequests for the acquisition,
restoration or maintenance of specific components of the cultural and
57. In order to facilitate operations
for the rehabilitation of the natural and cultural heritage, Member States
might make special arrangements, particularly by way of loans for renovation
and restoration work, and might also make the necessary regulations to
avoid price rises caused by real-estate speculation in the areas under
58. To avoid hardship to the poorer
inhabitants consequent on their having to move from rehabilitated buildings
or groups of buildings, compensation for rises in rent might be contemplated
so as to enable them to keep their accommodation. Such compensation should
be temporary and determined on the basis of the income of the parties
concerned, so as to enable them to meet the increased costs occasioned
by the work carried out.
59. Member States might facilitate
the financing of work of any description for the benefit of the cultural
and natural heritage, by instituting "Loan Funds", supported
by public institutions and private credit establishments, which would
be responsible for granting loans to owners at low interest rates and
with repayment spread out over a long period.
VI. EDUCATIONAL AND CULTURAL
60. Universities, educational establishments
at all levels and life-long education establishments should organize regular
courses, lectures, seminars, etc., on the history of art, architecture,
the environment and town planning.
61. Member States should undertake
educational campaigns to arouse widespread public interest in, and respect
for, the cultural and natural heritage. Continuing efforts should be made
to inform the public about what is being and can be done to protect the
cultural or natural heritage and to inculcate appreciation and respect
for the values it enshrines. For this purpose, all media of information
should be employed as required.
62. Without overlooking the great
economic and social value of the cultural and natural heritage, measures
should be taken to promote and reinforce the eminent cultural and educational
value of that heritage, furnishing as it does the fundamental motive for
protecting, conserving and presenting it.
63. All efforts on behalf of components
of the cultural and natural heritage should take account of the cultural
and educational value inherent in them as representative of an environment,
a form of architecture or urban design commensurate with man and on his
64. Voluntary organizations should
be set up to encourage national and local authorities to make full use
of their powers with regard to protection, to afford them support and,
if necessary, to obtain funds for them; these bodies should keep in touch
with local historical societies, amenity improvement societies, local
development committees and agencies concerned with tourism, etc., and
might also organize visits to, and guided tours of, different items of
the cultural and natural heritage for their members.
65. Information centres, museums
or exhibitions might be set up to explain the work being carried out on
components of the cultural and natural heritage scheduled for rehabilitation.
VII. INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION
66. Member States should co-operate
with regard to the protection, conservation and presentation of the cultural
and natural heritage, seeking aid, if it seems desirable, from international
organizations, both intergovernmental and non-governmental. Such multilateral
or bilateral cooperation should be carefully co-ordinated and should take
the form of measures such as the following:
(a) exchange of information and
of scientific and technical publications;
(b) organization of seminars
and working parties on particular subjects;
(c) provision of study and travel
fellowships, and of scientific, technical and administrative staff,
(d) provision of facilities for
scientific and technical training abroad, by allowing young research
workers and technicians to take part in architectural projects, archaeological
excavations and the conservation of natural sites;
(e) co-ordination, within a group
of Member States, of large-scale projects involving conservation, excavations,
restoration and rehabilitation work, with the object of making the experience
gained generally available.
[Reproduced from UNESCO Document
17 C/107 of November 15, 1972.]
[The Recommendation was unanimously adopted by the Seventeenth Session
of the UNESCO General Conference (October 17-November 18, 1972).]