Why? • Objectives

The Year aims to promote debate, research and the exchange of good practices on the quality of conservation and of contemporary interventions on cultural heritage.

Interventions on cultural heritage are actions that impact, or have potential to impact structures, places or sites of heritage interest, therefore this could cause any physical change or alteration.

The EU supports cultural heritage through several programmes, including the structural funds. But investments can also put heritage in danger, especially when, in attempting to give heritage a ‘second life’, issues of reconstruction and authenticity are not properly addressed. Such actions can wipe off centuries of history and cultural value.

This initiative aims at finding the right balance between quality in conservation and safeguarding on the one hand, and dynamic approaches to restoration and maintenance, innovative reuse and enhancement of cultural heritage on the other.

For whom? • Target groups

Policy makers, cultural heritage professionals, heritage organisations and civil society.

What? • Content of the initiative

The initiative has two main components:



Builds on the 1964 ‘Venice Charter’, which remains one of the most influential documents on conservation, an expert group coordinated by ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) is working in close collaboration with the European Commission to produce an updated document on quality principles and guidelines for cultural heritage interventions in Europe. This aims to ensure that decisions relating to any major changes to the historical environment are based on a proper assessment of its value.

A workshop of between 40 and 50 participants will feed the work of the group with lessons from practical examples/cases of good and bad practices in interventions on heritage through EU funds.


• February-April 2018
Meetings of the expert group
• 29-30 May 2018
ICOMOS workshop in Paris



The Commission plans to consult a larger group of key stakeholders (including UNESCO, ICCROM, ICOM and Europa Nostra and other members of the EYCH Stakeholders Committee) to build broad consensus on key quality principles for interventions on cultural heritage.

The final document will guide future discussion on the use of EU funds for interventions on cultural heritage.
Links with other standards, including the work of the Technical Committee on European standards for cultural heritage CEN/TC346 of the European committee for standardisation, will be ensured.


• Summer 2018
Consultations and consensus building
• 20 June 2018
Discussion at the Workshop on adaptive reuse at the European Cultural Heritage Summit in Berlin, Germany
• 22-23 November 2018
The final document, with shared principles, will be discussed and validated in a Final conference in Venice, Italy


• Within the Commission, cross-sectoral collaboration is between services in charge of culture, youth, sport, regional development, urban policy, research and innovation
• ICOMOS, UNESCO, ICCROM, ICOM , Europa Nostra, EYCH Stakeholders Committee
• CEN (European Committee for Standardisation)
• European Heritage Heads Legal Forum

Find out more

Find out more