General Principles and Theory of Conservation

Course Code:

Π1 2030


2nd Semester

Specialization Category:

Required ( ΜΕ )

Course Hours:




Course Tutors

Vassiliki Kokla

Course Description

Course Theory

The course focuses on the basic concepts of conservation and restoration. It presents the idea of preserving the material remains to determine the scope of conservation. Analysis of  the basic conservation procedures: remedial and preventive conservation, preservation, restoration, documentation, examination, analysis, design, diagnosis, consolidation, cleaning, aesthetic restoration, risk assessment. The activities, education and profession of the conservator are presented during the course. Based on the historical development of conservation and the development of modern philosophy and ethics of conservation, the basic principles of restoration are presented. Referance is made  to international organizations, their role in protecting cultural heritage (IIC, ICOM, ICOMOS, ICCROM, UNESCO, TICCIH, etc.) and international charters for the protection of cultural heritage (Athens, Venice, Rome, Granada etc.). Finally, conservation in Greece: structure of services, agencies and organizations, legislation.

Course Practicals



The Scope of the Course and Objectives

The Scope of the Course

It is the familiarization of students with the concept, scope and basic procedures followed in conservation. Also, the presentation of the historical development of theory and practice of conservation and the ability to approach and understanding of contemporary theories and ethics of conservation.

Course objectives

It is the training of students.

Assessment Language is Greek

Students’ assessment (100%): Written exams

Cesare Brandi, Theoria tis Syntirisis, (Teoria del restauro, 1977) trans. Η. Gavriilidis, Editions Ellinika Grammata, Athens, 2001 (in Greek)
Arijs, H. 2014. “Values and Collections/Collections and Values: Towards an Online Tool for Collection Value Assessment.” Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage.
Ashley-Smith, Jonathan. 2018. “The Ethics of Doing Nothing.” Journal of the Institute of Conservation 41 (1): 6–15.
Avrami, Erica C., Randall Mason, and Marta De la Torre. 2000. Values and Heritage Conservation: Research Report. Los Angeles, CA: Getty Conservation Institute.
Appelbaum, Barbara. 2007. Conservation Treatment Methodology. Oxford, UK: Butterworth Heinemann.
Giebeler et al. 2018. “The Decision-Making Model for Contemporary Art Conservation and Presentation.” Cologne: Cologne Institute of Conservation Sciences.
Glenn. 2008. “Dynamics of Participatory Conservation: The Kamehameha I Sculpture Project.” Journal of the American Institute for Conservation 47(3): 159-173.
Jan Paris 2000, Conservation and the Politics of Use and Value in Research Libraries, Book & Paper Group Session, AIC 28th Annual Meeting, June 8-13, 2000, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Wharton, Henderson, Jane. 2011. “Reflections on Decision Making in Conservation.” In ICOM Committee for Conservation preprints. 16th Triennial Meeting, Lisbon. Paris: ICOM.
Hélia Marçal (2022) Becoming Difference: On the Ethics of Conserving the InBetween, Studies in Conservation, 67:1-2, 30-37, DOI: 10.1080/00393630.2021.1947074
Muñoz Viñas, Salvador. 2004. Contemporary Theory of Conservation. Butterworth-Heinemann.
Mansfield, John R. 2008. “The Ethics of Conservation: Some Dilemmas in Cultural Built Heritage Projects in England.” Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management 15(3): 270–81.
Simon Lambert, “The Early History of Preventive Conservation in Great Britain and the United States (1850–1950)”, CeROArt
Price, N.S. 1996. Historical and Philosophical Issues in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage. L.A.: The Getty Conservation Institute
Van Saaze, Vivian. 2013. “Key Concepts and Developments in Conservation Theory and Practice.” In Installation Art and the Museum: Presentation and Conservation of Changing Artworks. 35-60. Amsterdam University Press.

– Related scientific journals:
Journal of Cultural heritage
Studies in Conservation