Art history, Cultural heritage, Museum studies

Course date

6 July - 17 July, 1998
Application deadline
15 February, 1998
Course Director(s): 

József Laszlovszky

Cultural Heritage Studies Program/Department of Medieval Studies, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary / Vienna, Austria
Course Faculty: 

Tamas Sajo

Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Edit Szentesi

Institute of Art History, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary

"Documentation and Reconstruction of Endangered Cultural Heritage" is a follow-up to the 1997 Summer University course, "Cultural Heritage in Danger". The great interest in, and response to, this course shows that this is an issue which continues to remain the joint concern of the Central and Eastern European region. This course will contribute to solving the manifold problems encountered in the field of cultural heritage preservation. The course will be based on the responses to the Cultural Heritage Information Centre, a regional cooperative network created as part of the SUN '97 course. Emphasis will be laid on the presentation of institutions involved in, and projects designed for, the documentation of cultural heritage.

One of the key issues in this respect is the adequate documentation of the region's cultural heritage. A great deficiency in this field is the lack of a uniform documentation system. By presenting various approaches and philosophies of documentation, as well as the different documentation techniques, and by raising awareness of the need to document the endangered cultural heritage, both architectural and artistic, the course will contribute to the formulation of a uniform documentation strategy. The threats to the artistic cultural heritage are especially acute owing to the growing illegal export of cultural objects. The documentation, both textual and visual, of cultural objects is crucial to the protection of cultural objects and to the prevention of their illicit trade.

The need for the "complete and lasting documentation of sites, structures, cultural landscapes, objects and cultural systems" was one of the main issues discussed at the CSCE's Cracow Symposium. Recent military conflicts have also posed a serious threat to the cultural heritage, and the lack of an adequate documentation were heavily felt. The catalogue of losses is especially extensive in former Yugoslavia, and underlines the need for documenting what still remains of the cultural heritage.