In this Issue
House Challenges Preservation
Report from Chairman Ann Webster Smith
Minutes of the Annual Meeting
Report from Australia
World Heritage Report
1996 Annual Report
Calendar, News, Call for Papers
CONGRESSIONAL CHALLENGE TO PRESERVATION
H.R. 901, a bill that could severely limit U.S. participation in the World Heritage Convention, was introduced in Congress on February 27th.
“The American Land Sovereignty Protection Act,” sponsored by Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska) is a new and stronger version of H.R. 3752, which failed to pass last year.
US/ICOMOS members who attended the Annual Meeting expressed serious reservations about the bill. Chairman Ann Webster Smith concluded their discussion by saying, “All preservation organizations need to be alerted and brought into action.”
What It Would Do to World Heritage Nominations
If passed, H.R. 901 would require an act of Congress to nominate U.S. public lands to the World Heritage List. It would also expand the reporting requirements on government-owned sites that are already listed. Additionally, H.R. 901 would create a 10-mile reverse buffer zone around any proposed World Heritage site, by requiring the Department of the Interior to produce an economic impact statement showing that the designation would have no negative effect on economic activity in the 10 mile area around the perimeter of the site.
In the case of the Statue of Liberty, a World Heritage site that was listed in 1984, the Department of the Interior would have had to prove to Congress that listing the statue would have no economic impact on any area of New York City, a virtually impossible task. In the case of Yellowstone Park, another World Heritage site, it would have allowed development right up to the borders of the park, creating the possibility for a ring of skyscrapers, tourist hotels or drilling sites at the perimeter of the park.
Young’s 1996 bill received a majority of votes in the House (246-178), but failed to pass because it was brought up in a parliamentary situation that required a two-thirds vote for passage. In addition, last year’s weaker version was under veto threat by the Clinton administration.
History of the Convention
In 1972 under President Nixon the United States proposed to the world and to UNESCO the founding of a World Heritage Convention to identify and list the most valuable sites and monuments of the world — sites so exceptional that the countries of the world would want to join together to protect them.
For many years since that time, the Convention has been praised for the international cooperation promoted by nations coming together to identify their shared concerns. This praise and funding support has continued in the U.S. through many administrations, even as the country withdrew from UNESCO under President Reagan.
The Sovereignty Argument
Young’s concern appears to be that U.S. sovereignty is infringed by World Heritage listing, as it gives an international organization a degree of control over U.S. land.
In fact, the Convention imposes no restrictions or international control on listed sites. Instead, the country that nominates a property to the list must provide proof of its own intentions to protect the site. Any restrictions that may apply to a site are therefore national, not international restrictions. (See Article vi of the Convention, reprinted on p.13).
Speaking at the Annual Meeting, Chairman Ann Webster Smith said,
“World Heritage listing is an honor that is coveted by most of the countries of the world.”
Young’s bill would transfer power to nominate U.S. sites from the Executive to the Legislative branch, arguing that Congress is the only branch of the government constitutionally permitted to manage U.S. public lands.
Representative Young fears loss of sovereignty not just for its political symbolism, but also for its economic impact. He believes that international designation will require concessions that harm U.S. economic interests.
Introducing his bill, Representative Young said:
“International Land Reserves . . . affect the use and market value of non-Federal lands adjacent to or intermixed with Federal lands . . . . The rights of non-Federal land-owners need to be protected. . . .”
To a large degree, H.R. 901 is related to the public misunderstanding of the World Heritage Committee’s 1995 decision to place Yellowstone National Park on the list of World Heritage in Danger. The publicity that resulted from the listing led to an increase in international attention to the activities of the New World Mine Company and curtailed interests in the company in the vicinity of the park.
The Mine, which was less than three miles from the northeast boundary of Yellowstone Park, was allegedly polluting the Yellowstone watershed, and the NPS had objected to it. When the Department of the Interior asked international heritage experts in to assess the potential damage to the site, some local people mistakenly believed that the international visitors had come to this country uninvited to assert their rights over our land.
Preservationists agree that there are two things that need to be said about Young’s argument. The first is that World Heritage is wholly unrelated to sovereignty and has no added legal effect on a site. In fact, the convention specifically asserts that nations signatory to the treaty are guaranteed the total control of sites within their borders. (See Article vi of the Convention, below).
The second is that designation is not threatening to the economy of the area around a World Heritage site. In fact, it is often beneficial.
It is this economic argument, that Executive Director Gustavo Araoz finds most pernicious:
“This attack seems to have a larger goal — to begin the dismantling of the preservation and conservation structure that the U.S. has built over the past 50 years,” he said.
“This would enshrine in law the principle that historic preservation proposals should be measured largely by their economic impact, a principle that insinuates that preservation is economically detrimental.”
At the Annual Meeting, Hugh Miller, Chair of the Committee on Cultural Tourism took on the same issue:
“This bill is part of the takings argument,” he said, “and we as preservationists need to address that attack directly. What is often not said about preservation and government is that they also give.”
In purely economic terms, the gifts of government to the people in a Federal Land Reserve area like Yellowstone Park are many. Often these gifts are taken for granted, as the government has always been there. For example, ranchers in the vicinity of federal lands graze their cattle on government land, lure visitors to their $300/day dude ranches, and lead hunting and fishing trips through the pristine wilderness, wilderness that they assume would still be there and every bit as well maintained without the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service.
Summing up the position of preservationists who are carefully reading the new bill, Executive Director Araoz said,
“This bill fails to recognize that it takes a great deal more than an Act of Congress to nominate a site to the World Heritage List. There is a great deal of professional and technical assessment required to correctly identify, evaluate and nominate sites to the list.”
Article vi of the World Heritage Convention:
Whilst fully respecting the sovereignty of the states on whose territory the cultural and natural heritage mentioned in articles i and ii is situated, and without prejudice to property right provided by national legislation, the states parties to this convention recognize that such heritage constitutes a world heritage for whose protection it is the duty of the international community as a whole to cooperate.
REPORT FROM CHAIRMAN ANN WEBSTER SMITH
Chairman Ann Webster Smith began the 1997 Annual Meeting with a report on the international ICOMOS General Assembly in Sofia, Bulgaria.
At Sofia, “The Wiser Use of Heritage” was adopted as the new theme for ICOMOS programs, she said, recommending Sherban Cantacuzino’s report on the symposium. Excerpts from the report — Symposium “The Heritage and Social Changes” — were published in the January 1997 issue of ICOMOS News.
Smith noted that 23 US/ICOMOS members attended the General Assembly in Sofia, taking part in the many discussions and debates held there. Four US/ICOMOS members — Stephen Dennis, Steed Craigo, Gunny Harboe, and William J. Murtagh — also delivered papers. Executive Director Gustavo Araoz was named to head the elections committee.
In the elections, Roland Silva of Sri Lanka and Jean-Louis Luxen of Belgium were elected President and Secretary General, respectively. Jan Jessurun of the Netherlands was elected Treasurer General, and five vice-presidents were named. These included Smith, Mamadou Berthe of Senegal, Joseph Phares of Lebanon, Esteban Prieto of the Dominican Republic, and Christiane Schmuckle-Mollard of France. The total attendance at the General Assembly included 600 participants from 90 countries.
The 12th ICOMOS General Assembly will be held in Mexico, and will include separate reunions for each of the international committees. The committees will meet in four locations: some in Mexico City, others in Guanajuato, Morelia, and Guadalajara. The assembly will be held October 11-17, 1999.
Smith attended the March meeting of the ICOMOS Bureau in Paris in her new capacity as vice-president charged with the coordination of international specialized committees. This year was the first time that members of the Executive Committee were included in evaluating World Heritage nominations. The efforts of World Heritage Coordinator Henry Cleere and his assistant Regina Durighello were particularly impressive, she said, especially their ability to coordinate and involve the many international experts into the evaluation process.
Smith reports that international ICOMOS, like US/ICOMOS and other national committees, is becoming more entrepreneurial and actively seeking more sponsorships and partnerships.
Thank You To Members and Friends!
Concluding her report, Smith thanked the many people who have contributed to US/ICOMOS during the last year. She began with those who helped with the very successful strategic planning retreat at Colonial Williamsburg this March: Vice-Chairman Robert Wilburn, and his Colonial Williamsburg colleagues; Retreat Chairman, Sally Boasberg; and Retreat Facilitator Pat Williams, Vice President of the American Association of Museums.
Smith said board members who attended the retreat had targeted the next 18 months as a time frame for strategic planning objectives.
“The strategically planned, new US/ICOMOS will have a place where each member can participate,” she said. “We will be looking to each of you to tell us how your talents are best suited to the needs and hopes of US/ICOMOS.”
Smith thanked the Board and the membership for the “money, talent, concern, interest, enthusiasm and challenge that [they] have contributed to the organization in the last year.” For special thanks, she singled out staff members — Gustavo Araoz and Ellen Delage; volunteers — Svetlana Popovic, Lara Koczak, Moya King and the US/ICOMOS Executive Committee.
“To them and all of you,” she said, “appreciation and grateful thanks!”
MINUTES OF THE 1996 ANNUAL MEETING
The 1996 US/ICOMOS Annual Meeting was held on Saturday, April 12, 1997 at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Chairman Ann Webster Smith opened the meeting, recalling the accomplishments of the past year. She was followed by Secretary Roy Graham with the Minutes of the 1995 Meeting in San Antonio. Arlene Fleming presented the Treasurer’s Report, and Gustavo Araoz followed with the Annual Report. All reports were adopted without modification.
Chairman of the Nominating Committee James Kiernan finished the official business of the meeting with the report of the committee.
The 1997 Board Of Trustees
At The Annual Meeting, five new members were elected to the Board of Trustees. They were:
William Cecil, Jr., C.E.O., Biltmore Estates, Asheville, N.C.
Blaine Cliver, NPS, Chief, HABS/HAER
Pamela Hawkes, Vice-President, Ann Beha Associates, Boston.
Frank Matero, Chair, Department of Historic Preservation, The University of Pennsylvania
Stephen Kelley, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Chicago
Troy Thompson, Halstead, Thompson, and Kennedy Architecture, Indianapolis.
Trustees elected for additional terms were:
Spencer Leineweber, Spencer Mason, Architects, Hawaii
Richard Pieper, Jan Hird Pokorny, Architects and Planners, N.Y.C.
Peter Stott, World Heritage Centre, Paris.
Kiernan thanked trustees retiring from the Board: Sally Boasberg, Adele Chatfield-Taylor, Henry Hoffstot, Esq., Norman L. Koonce and Margaret G.H. Mac Lean.
Memories of Robert Garvey
The late Robert Garvey, former Chairman of US/ICOMOS and former Vice President of international ICOMOS, was formally honored at the Saturday meeting. John Fowler, immediate past Chairman, began the memories by reading an homage to him. Other members joined in afterwards, recalling his work to establish US/ICOMOS and his pivotal role in the passage of both the 1966 and 1980 Preservation Acts.
“None of us would be here today,” Fowler, said, “if it weren’t for the work of Robert Garvey.” Garvey was fondly remembered as the “quintessential Marlboro man”, the American preservationist who trotted the globe in cowboy boots and hat. Garvey died in December 1996.
Strategies for 1997
US/ICOMOS Secretary Roy Graham reported on the Trustees’ Strategic Planning Retreat, which was held at Williamsburg, Virginia, in March 1997. The retreat completed the internal review of management and organization that US/ICOMOS began in 1995.
Chairman Smith defined new strategic initiatives for US/ICOMOS in the next 18 months. These plans call for a focus on long-term financial stability and committee development. “We will be creating a more focussed and active board,” Smith said, “one that will be very involved in both our fundraising and committee work.”
World Heritage Convention
Kate Stevenson, Associate Director of the National Park Service; Blaine Cliver, Chief of HABS/HAER; and Jim Charleton, International Cooperation Specialist at theNational Park Service presented a report on U.S. participation in the World Heritage Committee Meeting at Merida, Mexico, in December 1996. Their comments inspired a lively discussion of issues surrounding World Heritage sites (see articles, p.1 and p.12).
Recipe for Success
Herb Stovel, President of ICOMOS Canada, spoke about issues that Canadians have found essential to the life of their committee. These included a tighter focus on mission, professional exchange and authenticity.
“We needed to embrace again the idea that we exist to do what we can do to change the world,” he said, “not to focus on ourselves and what we can do for one another.”
ICOMOS Canada has also tried to tie its national committee work to the international community by naming the head of each scientific committee to the corresponding international committee. “We have tried to ensure that our results are clearly linked to the larger ICOMOS agenda,” Stovel said. For example, they have found that task forces with specific time frames and objectives are more effective than committees.
Program Director Ellen Delage and Trustee Constance Ramirez reported on the progress of the 1997 International Summer Intern Program, which is now in its 14th year. The program celebrated a new level of success at the meeting — the election of a former intern to the US/ICOMOS Board of Trustees. The new trustee is Troy Thompson of Halstead, Thompson and Kennedy Architecture, Indianapolis. Thompson was a US/ICOMOS intern in Vilnius, Lithuania during the summer of 1992.
In the afternoon, William Chapman, Director of the Historic Preservation Program at the University of Hawaii, spoke about Hawaii’s summer field school program in the Cambodian city of Phnom Penh.
In keeping with the new focus on specialized committee work, an afternoon panel discussed ways to integrate international perspective into the work of the national committees. The session was moderated by Hugh Miller, Chair of the Cultural Tourism Committee.
AUSTRALIAN REPORT: THE MUSEUM OF SYDNEY — ON THE SITE OF FIRST GOVERNMENT HOUSE
The video screen springs to life — the immobile image of a young man begins to move, then to speak. Dressed in a black shirt and pants, the fellow is hip but professional, an artist, perhaps, or an architect.
“When are you going to get it through your thick skull that history is contested ground?” he asks. Then he squints his eyes. “This is contested ground.”
The ground he refers to is the site of First Government House, the 1788 building built by Arthur Phillip, first Governor of the colonial settlement of New South Wales. It is indeed contested ground. In fact, it is the most controversial archaeological site in Australia.
The controversy began in 1983, when the foundations of Australia’s first permanent building were found in downtown Sydney days before the construction of a 44-storey building was scheduled to begin. The discovery caused an uproar, as the public demanded more time for excavation and more information about the finds. Headlines read, “Excavation cloaked in secrecy,” and “What price history?” The site had been leased to a Hong Kong developer by the government. Protesters rallied around the site, carrying signs that read, “Aussie History not Hong Kong $” and “Wake Up Heritage Council.”
John Mulvaney, Emeritus Professor of Prehistory at The Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, spoke and wrote at length about the site’s potential to illustrate major trends in the early colony, including early gubernatorial policy on race relations and the exploration of lands.
Another Emeritus Professor who was a keen supporter of the site was Isabel McBryde, former chair of the ANU Dept of Prehistory. McBryde is currently a visiting fellow at both the ANU History Department and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies in Canberra. She is also the author of “Guests of the Governor”, a book about the Aboriginal people who resided at Government House during its early years.
In her view, the museum was a natural place to begin to discuss the history of Australian cross-cultural interaction. Other early activists were focussed on other issues — on the story of Australia’s first convict settlers, or on the house itself, which was greatly cherished and frequently painted in its day. Many saw a broad social purpose in the fight.
“I fought for the site because I believed that Australians needed and wanted a museum that de-mystified the early colonial history of their country,” said Meredith Walker, a prominent Australian heritage planner and ICOMOS member.
By the end of that year, the New South Wales government agreed. The site would be saved, and an interpretive museum built there. Many thought the controversy was over. The disagreement continues 13 years later, two years after the Museum of Sydney on the site of First Government House (The MOS) opened. The community that fought for the site is still fighting, describing the site as a “tragic loss”, and a “hijacked site.”
The problem: curators appointed to develop an interpretive museum on the site rejected a focus on the site and the early colonial history of Australia.
“That would have been a dud museum,” said Peter Watts, Director of the Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales.
“We said we didn’t think the site needed a museum, only a small interpretive site,” he said. “We were told we had to create one.”
“Just how far can you go hanging a museum around the neck of a
building that doesn’t exist?” asked Peter Emmett, Senior Curator of the museum.
The curators turned to market research to solve their problem. They polled several tourist spots in downtown Sydney, finding that the public wanted a new and challenging museum. They took the whole history of Sydney as their focus, and built a museum designed to “[expand] the history of the past through the present.” The museum emphasizes aesthetics and high technology, rejecting labelling, clarity, and teaching.
The remains of First Government House were saved as part of an Au $ 85 million agreement that transferred the air rights over the site to the back of the block. A small, three-storey museum was integrated into the design of an office tower (the 2nd tallest building in Sydney), and Au $ 27 million were allocated for museum development.
Under a granite plaza at the front of the museum, the foundations of First Government House have been preserved in-situ. The 1843 house plan is outlined over them in white, and a section of the pavement has been lifted up to allow visitors to view the historic footings. Tables from the museum cafe spill out onto the plaza.
History of First Government House
First Government House was the home and office of the first nine governors of the colony, and the major seat of political power in the South Pacific from 1788-1845. It also has many historic associations: it was the place where Governor Bligh of Mutiny on the Bounty fame was captured hiding under his bed; the place where the first newspaper (The Sydney Gazette) was printed in the colony; and the site of Australia’s first bank. It also has significance for the Aboriginal community. It was the house where Arabanoo and other Aboriginal men were forced to live and eat with the governor. It was also the place where Pemulwoy, the Aboriginal patriot, met Governor Philip to negotiate the British presence on Aboriginal land. Political decisions, both good and bad were made there, and its supporters insist that these need to be remembered and interpreted if Australia is to come to terms with its colonial past.
In its first configuration, Government House was meant to be a wholly English model, a simple Georgian two-storey. But within a few months after their arrival, James Bloodworth and the other convict builders began adapting English building tradition to fit the Australian climate. They were unable to find lime for mortar, and laid their bricks with pipe clay, recording it in their journals. The clay remains in the foundations today.
Over time, Government House diverged further from its English plan, as verandas and covered walkways were needed around the complex. Later, in the early 19th century, plans to renovate the building in the new English high-style were also adapted. The original renovation plan was thwarted by mother England herself when she refused to finance such Australian pretensions. Governor Macquarie (1810-21) scrapped his plans, but managed to make a statement about the importance of the colony with a clever Australian addition that gave the complex an asymmetrical, Italianate appearance. His architect was Francis Greenway, a convict who was pardoned by the governor for his architectural skill. Greenway designed many buildings for the city, some of which still stand in downtown Sydney — Hyde Park Barracks, the former convict jail that is now a museum; the old Rum Hospital building, which was built with profits from the rum trade; and Saint James church.
First Government house was demolished in 1845. At that time, an Australian by the name of John Hood wrote about the powerful symbolism of the house, the “picturesque, irregular old mansion” that was being razed.
“The building is linked with all the earlier associations of the colony,” he wrote, “which some may possibly say it would be better to forget, but not so I; on the contrary I would value it, were it merely as being the scene of the wars of its earlier years, of its usurpations, of governor Bligh’s siege in his own castle in 1808.”(Hood 1843)
Nineteenth century Australians mistakenly believed that destroying the house would free them from the painful memories of the past. They built their new government house on a new site in the up-to-date Victorian style. Over one hundred years, the old site was left untouched, the location of a government office tin shed. Later, it was used as a parking lot. A historic marker noted the location of the early building.
When the foundations of the old house reappeared in 1983, they emerged as ghosts from the past, still imbued with the symbolic power and the painful memories of the colonial era. Perhaps it is to be expected that a government team assigned to interpret the site would want to shrink from the task.
The MOS has much in common with museums that were built in other parts of the world about 15 years ago: it rejects timelines, labelling, historical context, historical canons, silence and an ordered path through the museum. Multiple voices compete for the visitor’s attention. The walls are covered with quotations.
The museum is far from scattered visually, however. Housed in a gorgeously slick, stainless-steel shell, it is full of displays that could be called mixed media art — windows created with archaeological relics or early goods traded in Sydney.
MOS planners wanted to challenge the simple, boring tale of Australian history, and to open history up to unconventional sources. Inspired by a trip they took to the Expo at Seville, Spain, they planned a museum centered on provocative theatre and cutting-edge technology. In Curator Emmett’s words, the museum is designed to “suggest the plurality of directions across place and time by the dialogue of many criss-crossing voices, past and present.” The museum was also designed to be beautiful to look at, in keeping with its high-style architecture. Emmett says they worked hard to “[get] the design and the interpretive elements as one.”
The MOS Videos
A massive, 33-screen video stretches through the three storeys of the museum’s central staircase. On it, the precolonial bush setting has been recreated from thousands of still photos, and filled with the appropriate animal sounds.
On either side of the staircase, there are more videos, which are set off by electronic triggers. On some, people weep, scream, argue and joke without ever stopping to identify themselves or to place themselves in time. Caricatures and composite personalities engage in absurd and meaningless arguments, most of which cannot be heard over the noise from the central stair. Historical fiction is presented alongside dramatic readings of primary sources, and statements from nameless cultural theorists.
The daily life of the Aborigines is reenacted on another video. Aboriginal men run along the beach. Voices speak the local Eora language. A few artifacts from the colonial period are displayed there, labelled in the Eora language.
This Aboriginal exhibit has been hugely popular, especially with foreign visitors. For many visitors, MOS Aboriginal curator David Prosser has said, “it [has been] their first introduction to Aboriginal culture”.
A few artifacts from the excavation are presented under glass on the floor of the museum foyer. Near them a reconstructed fragment of the house facade hangs on the wall. This, too, is a popular exhibit.
Some visitors love it because they assume the fragment was unearthed during the dig. Others believe it was reassembled from bricks found at the site. In fact, it was built of bricks from another site, though opinions differ as to whether original bricks were incorporated in it.
Through the museum, gorgeous halogen-lit, stainless steel cabinets display artifacts. Their drawers slide open to reveal a game: three objects (one of which is always a written document or a map) are found in each drawer. The objects have some connection between them. Visitors linger over them, trying to figure out what it is. An example: in one drawer, a document reporting shark attacks, a few shark teeth and a blood red spandex bathing suit. The drawers slide closed by themselves.
Criticism of the MOS
Professor Mulvaney has a major problem with these archaeological exhibits. He says, “The reconstruction of the front of government house uses bricks from the site in conjunction with others gotten from other places. They aren’t separated out or labelled. This is in violation of the Venice and Burra charters.”
He continues. “In the “Sites” window, artifacts are taken from sites all over town, from anywhere at anytime in the 19th- century. They are not documented or distinguished. This verges on the criminal. The earliest evidence of European occupation has been dispersed.”
Mulvaney’s response is exactly the response that the MOS curators expected.
“Criticism of the museum is a mark of its success,” Peter Emmett has said. Watts agrees. He says, “We intentionally set out to get people to respond.”
In Mulvaney’s view, “All these things relate to the view that there is no value in evidence,” he said. “At the MOS, there is no list of governors, no chronology, no discussion of the history of the house and how the governors changed it. This is the equivalent of discussing American history, but refusing to name or list the presidents. The museum is a fossil of the post-modern approach to museology, and should be labelled as such.”
Professor McBryde says, “I was disappointed that the museum’s focus was taken away from the archaeological site, as we lost a perfect opportunity to discuss issues with Aboriginal historians. There are quite a number of perspectives on the history of cultural contact,” she said, “perspectives which could have been developed into exciting displays.”
In addition to ignoring the contributions that historians could have made to the museum’s interpretation, the curators also ignored archaeologists.
The site was a critical turning point for public archaeology, as it was only the second time that a major urban site had been excavated in Australia. With its interpretation, archaeologists had hoped to introduce the public to their method of looking at history, of questioning the evidence and showing how ideas about the past are constructed. This perspective was not included in the museum, nor any history of the dig or the fight to save the site.
Architect Anne Bickford was the Excavation director of First Government House site from 1983-1990, directing an investigation that was done under extreme time pressure and tremendous uncertainty as to the future of the site. It was also done in fits and starts, as the government gradually allowed more time and money for excavation. Initially, the investigation was limited to the exact locations of the pylons planned to support the building tower. She was very involved not only with the site, but also with the fight to save it.
Bickford says, “There is a fallacy of multivocality at the museum, as the views of archaeologists are not included in its interpretation. There is nothing there about the site. Nothing. People need to know about the process — how the dig was done. They need to know about the remains that still exist there.”
Bickford says, “Material from the dig is available for research but there is no guidance at the museum, no data base. There is no money to write about First Government house. There is no curator of archaeology. They aren’t interested.”
In a telephone interview Watts explained:
“Archaeologists have difficulty with display and extracting meaning,” he said. “Their expertise diminishes after the less sexy part of archaeology — the dig — is finished.”
Watts says creating displays is an extremely difficult task that few people are able to do succesfully. “Historians put books on the wall,” he said, “which is extremely boring. The job of a curator is to put materials together in an interesting way that conveys meaning.”
Archaeologists violently disagree with Watts’ views, according to Professor McBryde:
“Most archaeologists see the interpretation of finds as the culmination of an excavation, and display as a part of the process of disseminating the results. It is almost an ethical obligation.”
After the completion of the dig, MOS directors did not fund the final report on the project. This has jeopardized future research on the site. Archaeologists say this decision relegated them to the role of technicians, valued only for their ability to dig artifacts out of the ground.
At the beginning of the MOS Sites Symposium in April of 1995, Watts explained that decision, saying, “The archaeology profession is very good at demanding that collections in museums be made available for research. To my knowledge, the collections that this Trust owns. . . have never been consulted by an archaeologist.”
Goals of the Museum
Emmett has explained the goals of the museum many times.
“The museum’s focus is not on objects. The focus is on the ideas that the colony was grappling with — the nature of government, nationalism, land ownership, which relate to today’s themes — republicanism, Native Title, the connection to Britain and the awareness of Asia.” Watts has said,
“I don’t really think of it as a museum, it is more a cultural center.”
In a sense, everyone is right. Mulvaney is correct that the museum ignores the site. McBryde is correct that it ignores early colonial history. Emmett is correct that it does not and should not focus on material culture or put forth the “imperial plan”. Therein lays the problem : the museum is best defined by what it does not do.
The focus of the Museum of Sydney is the criticism of traditional history museums and the ways that Australian history has been told. Unfortunately, this presupposes an understanding of the basic facts of Australian history, and this is not available at the museum. MOS curators wanted to avoid didacticism and the presentation of a history told only from the position of power. But rather than negotiating this tricky issue, they chose to step back, to “throw up a bunch of material,” and let each visitor go it alone. The unfortunate result is that this fabulously hip and beautiful museum denies the visitor the opportunity to decipher any version of history. The MOS remains at the level of criticism, caricature and ridicule, rather than moving on to do something new or better. For those who get it, the MOS is a marvelous in-joke, for others, it is gorgeously innovative and entertaining. For most visitors, however, there is no message whatsoever.
A Museum Review
Soon after the opening of the MOS, Leigh Raymond, a reviewer for the Sydney Star Observer wrote a column that disparaged the museum in a way that has proved prophetic. At that time, he wrote that the decision to abandon an overarching story had undercut the MOS exhibits, leaving them unconnected, related to one another by their design and proximity only.
“In the context of the museum,” she said, ” history . . . has been subsumed by design, the cool chic smart design of the big end of town. She ended her column with advice for the consumer.
“It’s a great place for a cocktail party for the corporate world, it’s a great place to go and have coffee. . . . But history? A sense of people’s history and life? Forget it.”
Two years later, Raymond’s analysis of the museum as a great place for corporate partners seems to be verified by financial data collected by the museum staff.
According to Watts, his in-house review of the museum will show that the museum’s cafe, venue hire (renting out the museum for parties) and bookstore income has far exceeded expectations. The International visitor attendance has also exceeded expectations — about 75 percent of the museum’s visitors are non-Australian. What has fallen short of forecasts is the number of Australian visitors to the museum. That is only about 20 percent.
This data challenges the view that the MOS is a cultural center, or a museum that speaks to Australia’s big issues. It seems an appropriate time for the different factions to begin talking to one another again.
Currently, the MOS is analyzing the data and planning to make some changes. Watts elaborated.
“The product has problems. The principal problem is that the museum has deliberately set out to allow the visitors to respond, and offers little didactic and factual material. Our labels are quotes,” he said, “and we have found that people are having trouble decoding them.”
Change at the MOS
Watts is not considering major change. “The museum works exceptionally well for some people,” he said, “so we will keep the basic design. For more traditional markets, though, they need a hook, and we will provide it. We’re thinking about an introduction to Sydney in the theatrette. We’re also thinking about some foreign language signs for our international visitors.”
The MOS is also planning to address the noise factor. Watts said, “another problem is that the acoustics are difficult. The second floor videos are too close to the stair. It’s an awkward viewing environment. We need to make it more comfortable.”
These changes will doubtless make the museum’s videos easier to hear and to understand, but will not help to reconnect with the Australian community.
There is hope in one idea, however. Watts is planning to expanding the very popular Aboriginal section. With this project, MOS curators have an opportunity to re-focus the museum on the site and to introduce history and archaeology in a clear and straightforward fashion.
Professor McBryde has said, “Museums are a dynamic entity. We can expect new exhibits and new styles. The museum will doubtless respond to the criticisms that have been made.”
Patricia Bovers Ball is the editor of the US/ICOMOS Newsletter.
US/ICOMOS ANNUAL REPORT, 1996
1996 was a hectic and exhilarating year for US/ICOMOS, and one where the fruits of change began to appear. The activities listed below were successful in spite of diminishing financial support from the traditional funding sources of US/ICOMOS. As we enter another year of change, US/ICOMOS continues its commitment to greater involvement of the United States preservation community in global heritage concerns.
INTER-AMERICAN SYMPOSIUM ON AUTHENTICITY IN THE CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF THE CULTURAL HERITAGE
Under the co-sponsorship of US/ICOMOS, the Getty Conservation Institute and the San Antonio Conservation Society, the Symposium was held in March in San Antonio, Texas. Nearly 200 preservation professionals, representing every country in the Americas with an ICOMOS National Committee, attended the Symposium, which featured five major international speakers and ten case studies to stimulate discussion. The recommendations from the three discussion groups were summarized in the Declaration of San Antonio, which was published in the US/ICOMOS Newsletter (No.3, 1996). The proceedings for the Conference will soon be published by the Getty Conservation Institute.
INTERNATIONAL SUMMER INTERN PROGRAM
During its successful 13th season, the 1996 US/ICOMOS International Summer Intern Exchange Program benefited 20 young professional participants from 12 ICOMOS countries. Under bilateral exchange agreements, out-bound US interns went to the ICOMOS Documentation Center in Paris and to Ghana, India, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Turkey and the United Kingdom. There were in-bound interns from each of the following countries: Australia, Croatia, Denmark, Ghana, Hungary, Lithuania, People’s Republic of China, Poland, Slovakia, Turkey and the United Kingdom. For the second year, the participation of regional and local US nonprofit organizations greatly enhanced the range of experiences offered to foreign interns. Colonial Williamsburg and the Henry Ford Estate in Dearborn, Michigan, joined the Historic Charleston Foundation which hosted an intern for a second consecutive year.
INTERNATIONAL COURSE ON GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEMS & CULTURAL HERITAGE MANAGEMENT
With support from the Office of International Affairs and the Heritage Preservation Services Division of the National Park Service, US/ICOMOS sponsored an international course on the application of Geographic Information Systems/Global Positioning System (GIS/GPS) to the management of World Heritage Sites. The course was held at the World Heritage Site of the University of Virginia, with field work conducted at Monticello, taught by a team of specialists under the direction of Dr. John Knoerl of the National Park Service. Attendants included representatives from Mexico, Canada, ICOMOS Paris, the World Heritage Center, the World Monuments Fund, the Getty Conservation Institute and two members of US/ICOMOS.
JORDAN CULTURAL SITE MANAGEMENT STUDY
After two intensive site visits, the US/ICOMOS Jordan Site Management Team completed the first task under this contract, which resulted in Site Management recommendations for the World Heritage Site of Petra. Included in the recommendations were mechanisms to establish and monitoring ideal site carrying capacity.
The participation of US/ICOMOS in this US/AID-funded project was in the role of preservation advisor to Chemonics, the private entity contracted to orchestrate a much broader cultural tourism initiative.
Differences of opinion between US/AID and the Jordanian Government caused the early termination of the project in November 1996. Those differences were not related to project performance.
AMERICAN EXPRESS PRESERVATION AWARDS FOR THE CARIBBEAN
US/ICOMOS administered the fifth Preservation Awards Program for the Caribbean sponsored by the American Express Company. American Express announced the winners of its 1996 Historic Preservation Awards Program for the Caribbean at The Caribbean Tourism Conference (CTC 20) in Bridgetown, Barbados, on September 27, 1996. These awards, first presented by American Express in conjunction with the Caribbean Tourism Organization in 1990, were created to recognize excellence in the protection and enhancement of the Caribbean’s architectural and cultural heritage. Initiated with a three-year grant from the American Express Foundation in New York, the success of the awards led the Latin America and Caribbean division to continue the program in the region. US/ICOMOS administers the program for American Express and convenes the professional jury of experts to review the nominations, of which there were 19 this year from 12 nations. Three completed projects were selected for recognition: Heywoods Archaeological Recovery Program, St. Peters, Barbados; Casa Ramón Power, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico; Soufriere Estate Factory, Soufriere, St. Lucia, West Indies; and the winner in the category of project under development, and recipient of the $10,000 cash award: Grants Program for Falmouth Historic District, Jamaica.
ICOMOS GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM
Held every three years, the ICOMOS General Assembly was hosted in 1996 by the Bulgarian National Committee. More than 600 members from 75 countries were attended, including a US/ICOMOS delegation of 18 members. The International Symposium portion of the General Assembly addressed the topic of Heritage and Social Change, and included presentations by four US/ICOMOS members. The Assembly adopted the theme of “The Wise Use of Heritage” for the current triennium, which will culminate in a roving 1999 General Assembly in Mexico.
ERNEST ALLEN CONNALLY AWARDED THE GAZZOLA PRIZE
The highest international award given by ICOMOS once every three years was given to Ernest Allen Connally, former Chairman of US/ICOMOS and Secretary General of ICOMOS between 1975 and 1981. Dr Connally had an active role in formulating the roles for ICOMOS, ICCROM and IUCN within the context of the World Heritage Convention and in developing the criteria and procedures for the implementation of the Convention. Dr Connally is a Fellow of US/ICOMOS and Honorary Member of ICOMOS.
US AND THE LEADERSHIP OF ICOMOS
From 1990 to 1996, Elliott Carroll, FAIA, was elected by the General Assembly to be an international Vice President of ICOMOS. In addition to administrative tasks, the duties involved in this office include review of nominations to the World Heritage List. Another of Mr. Carroll’s responsibilities was coordinator of ICOMOS activities on the African continent. Mr. Carroll’s diplomatic skills and professional capabilities made him a popular figure in all his international missions. US/ICOMOS extends a vote of gratitude to Mr. Carroll for his excellent work in representing the United States in many fora during the past six years.
At the General Assembly in Bulgaria, US/ICOMOS Chair Ann Webster Smith was elected Vice President, and her specific charge through 1999 will be coordination of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committees.
ICOMOS INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE ON CULTURAL TOURISM
Since the 1987 ICOMOS General Assembly, US/ICOMOS member Robertson E. Collins has served as Chair of the ICOMOS International Committee on Cultural Tourism. US/ICOMOS provides the secretariat for the committee. US/ICOMOS has assumed this task as a long-term commitment to ICOMOS and offered to continue to provide this support to the committee for the next triennium. At the ICOMOS General Assembly in Sofia, Bulgaria, in October 1996, US/ICOMOS member Hisashi B. Sugaya was elected the new chair of the committee. Mr. Sugaya is a preservation planner with extensive experience in cultural tourism and cultural resource planning in the U.S. and in Asia. He is Executive Director of the PATA Foundation.
PARTICIPATION IN THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION
Following a tradition of many years, the US/ICOMOS Breakfast at the Annual Meeting in Chicago provided an informal forum during which several US/ICOMOS members were able to present their international work to a sold-out audience. The Chicago Breakfast featured Jeffrey Chusid, Spencer Leineweber, Bill Chapman and Stephen Kelley. In addition to the Breakfast, Ronald Lee Fleming, Co-Chair of the US/ICOMOS Committee on Historic Towns, conducted an educational session dealing with current threats and trends in historic towns worldwide. The panelists at the session included Ron Fleming, Raul Garcia and John Stubbs.
PLANNING FOR AN EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS WORKSHOP IN MACEDONIA
Planning for a Regional Workshop for Eastern and Central European Nations on Integrating Cultural Heritage into National Disaster Planning, Mitigation and Relief began in 1996 under the leadership of US/ICOMOS member Arlene Fleming and Sultan Barakat of the University of York in England. Sponsored by US/ICOMOS under a generous grant from the Getty Grant Program, the Workshop will bring together key staff from the disaster management agencies in the entire region. The Workshop is scheduled for the early Fall of 1997 in Skopje, Macedonia.
RESTORATION OF THE ARNERI PALACE IN CROATIA
After years of work, Phase I of the Arneri Palace Project was concluded. The restoration was made possible by a grant from the Brown Foundation in Texas. Located on the Island of Korcula off the Dalmatian Coast, work at the Arneri Palace Complex consisted in the adaptive use of the ruins of several buildings in the center of the town. The intended new use is that of cultural center and museum and will provide a much needed focal point to the walled medieval town. Over the years, work had to be stopped several times because of the war in the Balkans.
The US/ICOMOS publication, The American Mosaic: Preserving A Nation’s Heritage, although in need of updating, remains the most widely used university text on the U.S. preservation system. Previously distributed by The Preservation Press, US/ICOMOS took back the title when the National Trust sold their imprint to John Wiley & Sons. A new agreement for printing and distributing the work is being drafted with The Wayne State University Press. Stock is nearly depleted, and Wayne State is expected to reprint in spring 1997.
With funding from the American Express Philanthropic Program, collaboration continued with the World Monuments Fund for the publication of Trails to South America, a book that will focus on heritage sites and conservation efforts of the region. The authorship is a joint effort of many ICOMOS National Committees in South America.
US/ICOMOS SPECIALIZED COMMITTEES
In 1996 three new specialized committees were approved (Preservation Legislation; Brick Masonry and Ceramics; and Inventories, Surveys and Documentation), bringing to eleven the number of Specialized Committees. The leadership of three committees passed to new chairs: Earthen Architecture from Mike Taylor to Maribel Beas; Vernacular Architecture from Carter Hudgins to Bill Chapman; and Roy Graham assumed the vacant Chair of the Training Committee.
With a few exceptions, the Committees have not approached their potential to become the driving force behind US/ICOMOS programs and to involve the US preservation community in collaborative international initiatives. To help promote action, the US/ICOMOS Secretariat developed, distributed and tallied a questionnaire among all committee members so that each of the chairs would have a clear idea of the interest and level of commitment of his/her group.
Also in 1996 every Committee Chair was officially named Voting member to the corresponding International Committee, and every US/ICOMOS specialized committee member was named Corresponding Member. In addition, Voting and Corresponding Members were named to International Committees without a parallel US/ICOMOS Committee: Stone, Architectural Photogrammetry and Architectural Structures. Committees that still have no designated members are Stained Glass, Rock Art, Conservation Economics, Mural Paintings and Underwater Cultural Heritage. US/ICOMOS members with these specializations are still being sought to be designated as voting and corresponding members.
Finally, each of the eleven Specialized Committee was urged to assume responsibility for one issue of US/ICOMOS Newsletter on a biannual basis. Only one, Cultural Tourism, responded, and the November-December issue was dedicated to the topic. Committees that have not made use of this tool in the past are Brick Masonry and Ceramics; Historic Towns; Vernacular Architecture; Inventories et al.; Preservation Legislation; and Training. The Committees on Archaeological Heritage Management, Wood and Earthen Architecture will prepare material for publication in 1997.
US/ICOMOS PARTICIPATION IN INTERNATIONAL PRESERVATION INITIATIVES
1996 marked the beginning of what we hope will be an ever-increasing participation for US/ICOMOS members in international preservation. Through the generous support of the Kress Foundation, US/ICOMOS members were able to present papers in several international events sponsored by ICOMOS and diverse preservation institutions. Other supporters included the Graham Foundation and private donors. Beneficiaries of the grants included:
Arlene Fleming of Virginia attended the World Monuments Fund Symposium on Remote Sensing in Gainesville, Florida.
Hugh Miller attended the World Tourism Organization Symposium on Cultural Tourism in Amman, Jordan.
Susan Calafate Boyle attended the ICOMOS Mexico International Symposium on Cultural Corridors in Veracruz.
Jeffrey Chusid of California and Thomas Jester of Maryland attended the Experts Symposium on the Conservation of 20th Century Heritage in Mexico City.
Steade Craigo of Sacramento, Stephen N. Dennis of Washington DC, T Gunny Harboe of Chicago and William Murtagh of Virginia attended the ICOMOS International Symposium in Sofia, Bulgaria.
J Myrick Howard of North Carolina lectured at the Academia Istropolitana in Bratislava, Slovakia
Michael Frenette participated in the International Course on Wood Conservation in Norway
In addition, US/ICOMOS Executive Director Gustavo Araoz received two grants from the United States Information Agency to assist the Government of El Salvador in the process of inventory and registration of cultural resources, and to attend the National Preservation Congress of Peru.
Mark Hulbert, Héctor Santiago-Cazull and Erma Duran received Kress Foundation grants to participate in ICCROM courses in Italy.
MEETINGS WITH PRESERVATION REPRESENTATIVES FROM ABROAD
Mounir Bouchenaki, Director, Division of Cultural Heritage UNESCO. Herb Stovel and Dinu Bumbaru of ICOMOS Canada. Marina Istomina, Adrienne Nassau and Ephim Shluger of the St. Petersburg, Russia, Housing Project of the World Bank. Pierre and Patricia Bikail of the American Center for Oriental Research in Jordan. Fabio Grementieri of ICOMOS Argentina. Sabah Ferdi of the Museum at the World Heritage Site of Tipaza, Algeria. David Hague of the James Cook University in Australia. Evangeline Clare and Marguerite Curtin of the Hanover Historic Society and Museum in Jamaica. Oscar D’Empaire of the Centro de Bellas Artes of Maracaibo, Venezuela. Rosemary Purdie of the Australian Heritage Commission. Jaime Cama of the Churubusco preservation training center in Mexico. Alex Cross, from the Vernacular Forum, Canada.
SUPPORTERS OF US/ICOMOS GENERAL SUPPORT FOR OPERATIONS AND PROGRAMS
US Department of the Interior, National Park Service; US Department of State through the National Research Council; the estate of Randolph Kidder; Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; the Fleming Family Trust; The Bermuda Maritime Museum; the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen.
California: Steade Craigo, Hillary E. Gitelman, Randolph Langenbach, Paul E. Nesbitt, Hisashi B. Sugaya, Jacqueline Zak.
Colorado: Kathryn Barth, Paul Cloyd, Estella Shafer Cole, Robert Heyder.
District of Columbia: Sally Boasberg, Hiroshi Daifuku, John Fowler, Jack Joyce, James P. Kiernan, Darwina Neal, Loretta Neumann, John Poppeliers, Larry Reger, Ann Webster Smith, Barbara C. Timken, Perry Carpenter Wheelock, Joachim Wolschke-Bulmahn.
Florida: Paul Perrot, George Sheffer.
Georgia: James K. Reap.
Hawaii: Elmer Botsai, William Chapman, Spencer Leineweber.
Louisiana: Saidee W. Newell.
Illinois: Lachlan F. Blair, T. Gunny Harboe, Stephen J. Kelley, Eric Mack.
Maryland: Gustavo Araoz, Eric Hertfelder, Stephen E. Nordlinger, Alberto Roldán, Sally and Sam Stokes, A. Elizabeth Watson, Margaret Thomas Will.
Massachusetts: Jean-Paul Carlhian, Robert Carlhian, Ricardo Elia, Ronald Lee Fleming, Pamela Hawkes, Nora J. Mitchell, Eduard Sekler, Peter Stott.
Michigan: William Colburn, Majorie Colburn.
Missouri: Joan Kent Dillon.
New Mexico: Edward Crocker.
New York: Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian, W. Lewis Barlow IV, John Belle FAIA, Adele Chatfield-Taylor, Mary Dierickx, Richard Pieper, Theodore Prudon, John Rahmes, Mark Rosenzweig, Shelley Sass, Walter Sedovic, Anthony Max Tung, George Segan Wheeler.
North Carolina: David Bergstone.
North Dakota: Robert Mitchell.
Oregon: Robert Z. Melnick, Renate Wiedenhoeft.
Pennsylvania: Kathryn L. Gleason, Richard I. Ortega.
Rhode Island: James A. Wermuth.
Texas: Ana T. Mod, Dennis L. Gerow, Marylinda Govaars, Martin A. Notzon.
Vermont: Tordis Ilg Isselhardt, Chester Liebs, Patricia M. O’Donnell, Liz Pritchett.
Virginia: Nathan Altshuller, Ernest Allen Connally, Antoinette J. Lee, William J. Murtagh, Elizabeth Barthold O’Brien, Sarah G. Oldham, Diane and Robert Rafuse, Constance Werner Ramírez, Carol Shull, Robert Wilburn.
West Virginia: Stephen Thayer.
Wisconsin: Thomas M. Jeffris
INTERNATIONAL SUMMER INTERN PROGRAM SUPPORTERS
Institutional Donors: Marpat Foundation, Samuel H. Kress Foundation, L.J. Skaggs and Mary C. Skaggs Foundation, National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NPS), Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Henry Ford Estate, Historic Charleston Foundation, American Friends of English Heritage, Royal Oak Foundation, Keepers Preservation Education Fund. National Park Service: National Capital Area System Support Office, Pecos National Historical Park, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record
Individual Donors: Erica C. Avrami, Elliott & Dori Carroll, Hiroshi Daifuku, Russell V. Keune, James P. Kiernan, Antoinette J. Lee, William J. Murtagh, Phyllis Myers, Saidee Watson Newell, Kate Ottavino, Richard Pieper, John Poppeliers, Alberto Roldan, Eduard F. Sekler, Carol Shull, Ann Webster Smith, Robert E. Stipe, Samuel N. Stokes, George Segan Wheeler, Peter Wollenberg, John M. Woodbridge
INTER-AMERICAN SYMPOSIUM SUPPORTERS
The National Park Service through the Office of International Affairs, Heritage Preservation Services Division and the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training; Samuel H. Kress Foundation, Lampadia Foundation, Organization of American States, Continental Airlines, UNESCO Regional Office for Latin American and the Caribbean, US Department of State through the National Research Council, Parks Canada, Texas Historical Commission through the Caminos del Río Project, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Catto Foundation, HEB Food Stores of San Antonio
WORLD HERITAGE REPORT
At the 1996 World Heritage Committee meeting in Merida, Mexico, in December, international delegates inscribed the politically sensitive Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome) on the list of World Heritage properties, calling it “a stark and powerful symbol of the achievement of world peace for more than half a century.” The memorial preserves the building closest to ground zero that survived the atomic blast.
There was no formal roll call taken, so representatives were not required to dissent formally, but the United States and China chose to formally express their reservations about the lack of historical perspective presented in the nomination.
The Chinese statement specifically mentioned the fear that the monument would be used by those who wanted to forget the tremendous human toll paid by others in World War II.
The U.S. statement faulted the inscription for its lack of historical perspective, specifically the absence of information about the events that led up to the tragedy at Hiroshima in 1945.
The official statements of China and the United States follow:
“During the Second World War, it was the other Asian countries and peoples who suffered the greatest loss in life and property. But today there are still a few people trying to deny this fact of history. As such being the case, if the Hiroshima nomination is approved to be included on the World Heritage List, even though on an exceptional basis, it may be utilized for harmful purpose by these few people. This will of course not be conducive to the safeguarding of world peace and security. For this reason, China has reservations on the approval of this nomination.”
“The United States is dissociating itself from today’s decision to inscribe the Genbaku Dome as a World Heritage Site. The United States and Japan are close friends and allies. We cooperate on security, diplomatic, international and economic affairs around the world. Our two countries are tied by deep personal friendships between many Americans and Japanese. Even so, the United States cannot support its friend in this inscription.
The United States is concerned about the lack of historical perspective in the nomination of Genbaku Dome. The events antecedent to the United States’ use of atomic weapons to end World War II are key to understanding the tragedy of Hiroshima. Any examination of the period leading up to 1945 should be placed in the appropriate context.
The United States believes the inscription of war sites to be outside the scope of the Convention. We urge the committee to address the question of the suitability of war sites for the World Heritage List.”
Criterion vi Amended
After the inscription, the Committee amended Criterion vi of the World Heritage Convention (the criterion under which
both the Genbaku Dome and Poland’s Auschwitz Concentration Camp were listed). It now reads:[A cultural site may be added to the World Heritage List when it meets one of the following criteria and its design, materials, workmanship and setting are authentic]:
“is directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic or literary works of outstanding universal significance (the Committee considers that this criterion should justify inclusion in the list only in exceptional circumstances or in conjunction with other criteria cultural or natural).
NEWS OF MEMBERS AND FRIENDS
Fred C. Gjessing, restoration architect and former employee of the National Park Service at the U.S. Virgin Islands Park, died February 15, 1997. Gjessing was the founder of both the St. Thomas Historic Trust and the Virgin Islands Archaeological Society. In December, he was honored the by the Virgin Islands Chapter of the A.I.A. He was also awarded the 1997 Virgin Islands Humanities Council “Humanist of the Year” award, recognizing his “lifelong dedication to the preservation of Virgin Islands Architectural Heritage.”
US/ICOMOS Board member Roy Graham helped to evaluate the 1996 World Heritage nomination of the town of Lunenbourg, Canada. He has been retained by UNESCO for a follow-up contract on the site.
Ann Webster Smith, Chair of the US/ICOMOS Board of Trustees, recently visited Costa Rica to meet with members of ICOMOS Costa Rica to discuss areas of common concern.
Ed Crocker, Technical Director of Cornerstones Community Partnerships, Santa Fe, New Mexico, recently visited ICOMOS Panama. He also led a delegation of Zunis to Washington, D.C. They stopped in at the US/ICOMOS office.
In March, the National Land Agency of Japan invited James Murray Howard, curator and architect for the academical village at the University of Virginia, to speak about World Heritage Sites at the International Symposium on the World Heritage, held in Tokyo March 23-24.
Quinn Evans, Architects, were honored with four awards and citations in 1996. They include:
. a 1996 American Wood Council’s award for the reconstruction of the Mount Vernon Treading Barn;
. a citation from the 1996 GSA Design Awards program for their work on the old Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C.;
. a 1996 “M” award for excellence in masonry design from the Masonry Institute of Michigan’s Awards Program for their work on the Livonia, Michigan, branch of the Dearborn Federal Credit Union; and
. the 1996 Michigan Interior Design Award for their renovation of classrooms at The University of Michigan Law School at Ann Arbor.
The firm of Ford, Farewell, Mills and Gatsch, Architects, of Princeton, N. J., was honored with an Excellence in Downtown Development Award for their Civic Square Building for Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N. J.
The Society for American Archaeology has awarded $12,500 grants to the Montana Historical Society and the Anthropology Department of Hamline University in Minnesota to coordinate archaeology education programs and materials at the state level.
The US/ICOMOS Training Committee, chaired by Roy Eugene Graham, held a meeting at the National Building Museum on Friday, April 11, 1997. The featured speaker was Dr. Amira Dzirlo, a Bosnian architect who is establishing a technical school in Sarajevo, and has been visiting the U.S. to gather information about conservation training. Dzirlo’s presentation focussed on the post-war condition of Sarajevo monuments. The meeting was attended by students from Howard University, Florida A. and M., The University of Maryland, Virginia Polytechnic, Miami University of Ohio, The Catholic University of America, and others.
The first issue of “Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites,” a new journal published in the U.K., has recently been completed. To subscribe, contact James and James, Ltd. of London at Tel 44 171 284 3833 or Fax 44 171 284 3737 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Regular features include a book review section, conference reports, recent publications of interest and details of forthcoming conferences and courses.
CHANGES AT THE NEWSLETTER
Patricia Bovers Ball is the new editor of the US/ICOMOS Newsletter. A graduate of Smith College, she holds Master’s Degrees in Journalism and Historic Preservation, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Pennsylvania, respectively.
The Newsletter will continue to encourage its readers to submit articles, letters, press releases and announcements.
From July 13-20, 1997, The University of South Bohemia will be holding a Summer Seminar for heritage professionals in Cesky Krumlov, the historic city of the Czech Republic. For more information, contact Eva Stephanova, Director, European Information Center at The University of South Bohemia. Tel. and Fax: 420-337-61460, E-mail: email@example.com,. or John Merritt, Tel.: (510) 527-7807, e-mail: 102666.2147@CompuServe.com
“World Heritage Cities and Social Rehabilitation,” the Second Mediterranean Regional Conference of the Organization of World Heritage Cities (O.W.H.C.), to be held June 9-10, in Tunis, Tunisia. For information, Fax: +126 1 560 965.
“Tourism and World Heritage Cities — Challenges and Opportunities” is the title of the Fourth Annual Symposium and Third General Assembly of the O.W.H.C. It will be held September 17-20 in Evora, Portugal.
CALL FOR PAPERS
“The Gardens of Time”, a symposium to be held in the fall of 1997, seeks papers in archaeology, art and literature, on both living and relict gardens and landscapes. The symposium is being organized by the Sri Lankan National Committee of ICOMOS, the International Scientific Committee on Gardens and Sites, and the International Committee on Archaeological Heritage Management. It will be held in Sri Lanka, at a location yet to be decided, probably in Sigiriya.
If you are interested in obtaining a list of possible topics or in presenting a paper, contact Hiroshi Ratnaweera, ICOMOS CCF, P.O. Box 1531, Colombo 7, Sri Lanka. Fax: 94-1-500731; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (attention Hiroshi).
The American Institute for Conservation is seeking papers for a conference entitled, “Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery”, to be held at their Annual Meeting in Arlington Virginia, June 2 -7, 1998. Abstracts should be sent to: Program Committee, American Institute for Conservation, 1717 “K” St. N.W., Suite 301, Washington, D.C., 20006. For information, contact Catharine Hawks at tel.: (703) 876-9272 or e-mail: email@example.com.
Organizers of the “Fourth International Congress on the Restoration of Buildings and Architectural Heritage”, to be held in La Habana, Cuba, from July 13-17, 1998, are seeking abstracts. Submit to: Prof. Miguel Angel Fernandez Matran, Casa de los Capitanes Generales; C/ Carrera, 5; 38201 La Laguna (Tenerife); The Canary Island-Spain. Tel. and Fax: 34-22601167, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. the deadline for papers is January 30, 1998.
The National Preservation Institute is currently holding one- and two-day seminars at locations across the U.S. Topics include Integrating Cultural Resource and Environmental Compliance; Contracting for Cultural Resources Tasks; and others. Contact Jere Gibber, P.O. Box 1702, Alexandria, Va, 22313. Tel: (202) 393-0038 e-mail email@example.com
The Preservation Institute of Windsor, Vermont is currently offering Workshops in New England, Louisiana, and Oregon. They will continue through November. The workshops range from two-day to two-week sessions, and cover topics such as Structural Evaluation, Wood Preservation, Oil and Water Gilding and others. Tel: (802) 674-6752, Fax: (802) 674-6179.
The International Training Course on the Significance of Vernacular Architecture and the Problems of its Conservation will be held in Tbilisi, Georgia, (the capitol), and in Signagi, a historical town in East Georgia, from August 16 – 29, 1997. Topics include a wide range of documentation and conservation issues and discussions of maintenance and adaptive re-use. Field trips are planned to the City Museum-reserve of Mtskheta, a World Heritage Site, and many other vernacular buildings. The
cost for the course is $630, which includes room, 3 meals a day,
all lectures and excursions. Applications should be sent to The Main Board for Protection and Utilisation of Monuments of History and Culture of Georgia. Tel/fax: (995 32) 99 72 58 or ICOMOS Georgia , Ms. Nato Tsintsabadze, e-mail : icomosge@ iberiapac.ge before May 30th.
ICCROM announces the Sixth Annual Course on Japanese Paper Conservation, which will be held in Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan from November 20 to December 13, 1997. The course is organized in conjunction with the Tokyo National Research Institute of Cultural Properties, The Agency for International Affairs, Japan, and the Kyoto National Museum. For more information, contact ICCROM at 13, Via San Michele, I-00153 ROME, ITALY. Tel. (+39-6) 585-531, Fax: (+39-6) 5855-3349, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications were due by 30 April 1997.
TRIP TO CUBA FOR US/ICOMOS MEMBERS
US/ICOMOS, with the assistance of ICOMOS Cuba, is organizing a research trip to Cuba for January or February 1998. Costs and exact dates for the trip are not yet fixed, but preliminary plans call for two options: an 8-day or an extended 15-day stay. The goal is to keep the cost as low as possible, under $2,000 for the 8-day option and $3,500 for the 15-day option, and to include air fare, hotels, in-island transportation and at least one meal. There may be a range of hotel options to keep costs even lower.
Travel to Cuba is restricted by the US Treasury Department. US/ICOMOS will apply for a license to conduct research on the conservation of tangible heritage resources. Treasury Department criteria for granting licenses to travel to Cuba are as follows:
The Office of Foreign Assets Control [Treasury Department] will consider on a case-by-case basis, the issuance of specific licenses to permit travel by US persons to Cuba to conduct research in their professional areas. The provisions for professional research require that it be generally of a non-commercial, academic nature, that it be specifically related to Cuba, that it constitute a full work schedule in Cuba and that there be a substantial likelihood of dissemination of the product.
US/ICOMOS will present a consolidated application to Treasury, but each trip participant will need to submit all required documents, including a curriculum vitae. US/ICOMOS will prepare the required description of the research to be done and an institutional means for public dissemination of our findings. This should be supplemented by each individual’s proposed methods for his/her own dissemination.
Tentatively, the trip will include Havana, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, Sancti Spiritus, Camagüey and Santiago de Cuba, places where US/ICOMOS members will meet with conservation professionals in preservation institutions. The purpose of the trip is to observe Cuban management approaches and conservation treatments in heritage sites. This will include urban, rural, industrial, and archaeological sites (land and underwater). In addition to meetings and conferences, the trip will include visits to specific heritage sites to examine in-situ stewardship, state of conservation and deterioration controls.
The trip will be limited to US Nationals who are US/ICOMOS members in good standing as of 1 May 1997. In order to maintain the focus of the group, the number of participants will be limited to approximately 25. Selection of qualified participants (i.e., those who meet U.S. Treasury Department criteria for undertaking professional research) will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Note: Cuban-born US Nationals may be subject to special restrictions by the Cuban Government.
US/ICOMOS is grateful for the invaluable contributions of several dedicated volunteers: Moya B. King, Svetlana Popovic and Jody Cabezas
US/ICOMOS BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Officers: Ann Webster Smith, Chair; Robert Wilburn, Vice Chair; Roy E. Graham, FAIA, Secretary; Arlene Fleming, Treasurer. Members: Sarah S. Boasberg, Adele Chatfield-Taylor, William S. Colburn, Henry Hoffstot, John T. Joyce, James P. Kiernan, Norman L. Koonce, FAIA, R. Randolph Langenbach, Spencer Leineweber, AIA, Margaret G.H. Mac Lean, Richard Pieper, Constance W. Ramirez, Peter H. Stott, Thomas Schmidt, Michael R. Taylor
Ex officio: Robert P. Bergman, American Association of Museums; David Roccosalva, American Institute of Architects; Darwina L. Neal, American Society of Landscape Architects; Mark Meister, Archaeological Institute of America; John C. Poppeliers, National Park Service; Peter Brink, National Trust for Historic Preservation; Francine C. Berkowitz, Smithsonian Institution; Tobi Brimsek, Society for American Archaeology; Maria P. Kouroupas, USIA; Pauline Saliga, Society of Architectural Historians; Elliott Carroll, past ICOMOS Vice President; John M. Fowler, immediate past Chairman
Ann Webster Smith, ICOMOS Vice President; Hisashi B. Sugaya, Chair, ICOMOS International Committee on Cultural Tourism
US/ICOMOS SPECIALIZED COMMITTEE CHAIRS
Hester A. Davis, Archaeological Heritage Management; A. Elena Charola and Blaine Cliver, Brick Masonry and Ceramics; Hugh C. Miller, FAIA, Cultural Tourism; Maribel Beas, Earthen Architecture; Ronald Lee Fleming and Raul Garcia, Historic Towns; Charles Birnbaum and Robert Page, Historic Landscapes; Stephen N. Dennis, Legislation; Roy Eugene Graham, Training; William Chapman, Vernacular Architecture; Hiroshi Daifuku, Wood.
Gustavo F. Araoz, AIA, Executive Director; Ellen M. Delage, Program Director;
Accounting: Nonprofit Management Services
1983: Ernest A. Connally, Hiroshi Daifuku, Robert R. Garvey, Jr. †, Richard H. Howland, Robert Thayer †.
1984: J. O. Brew †, Carl Feiss, FAIA, James Marston Fitch, Frederick Gutheim †.
1985: Eduard F. Sekler.
1986: Barclay Gibbs Jones, Robert E. Stipe.
1987: William J. Murtagh, Paul N. Perrot, Ann Webster Smith.
1988: Charles E. Peterson, FAIA.
1989: Russell V. Keune, AIA, Terry B. Morton, Hon.AIA, W. Brown Morton III, Hon.AIA, John Poppeliers.
1991: Robertson E. Collins, George Scheffer.
1994: Elliott Carroll, FAIA, Hugh C. Miller, FAIA.
1996 :Marvin Breckenridge Patterson, Mr. and Mrs. J. Bennett Johnston.
CERTIFICATES OF SERVICE
1991: Barbara Bowen, Randolph Kidder, Erin Muths.
1992: Dorothy Carroll, M. Burton McVernon, Thomas Richards, Hiroshi Daifuku
1993: Barbara Timken.
ICOMOS INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEES: Archaeological Heritage Management* Photogtammetry Cultural Tourism* Rock Art Economics of Conservation Stained Glass Earthen Structures* Stone Historic Gardens and Sites* Structures Historic Towns* Training* Inventories* Underwater Cultural Heritage Legislation* Vernacular Architecture* Wood*
* Corresponding US/ICOMOS National Specialized Committees
ICOMOS NATIONAL COMMITTEES
Czech Republic Denmark
Dominican Rep. Ecuador
US/ICOMOS MISSION STATEMENT
US/ICOMOS fosters heritage conservation and historic preservation at the national and international levels through education and training, international exchange of people and information, technical assistance, documentation, advocacy and other activities consistent with the goals of ICOMOS and through collaboration with other organizations.
US/ICOMOS membership includes professionals, practitioners, supporters and organizations committed to the protection, preservation and conservation of the world’s cultural heritage. US/ICOMOS is the U.S. National Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), the international nongovernmental organization dedicated to the preservation and conservation of the world’s heritage.
The US/ICOMOS Newsletter is published by US/ICOMOS six times a year. Members are encouraged to submit articles, illustrations and editorial items for inclusion in the Newsletter. Contributors are solely responsible for the facts and opinions stated herein, and publication in this Newsletter does not constitute an official endorsement by US/ICOMOS.
Please send submissions and any inquiries to the Editor, US/ICOMOS Newsletter, 401 F Street, NW, Room 331, Washington, DC 20001-2728.
This newsletter has been financed in part with Federal funds from the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. However, the contents and opinions do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of the Interior.