Convention for the Protection of the Architectural Heritage of Europe

Convention for the Protection of the Architectural Heritage of Europe


Definition Of The Architectural Heritage

Article 1

For the purposes of this Convention, the expression “architectural
heritage”shall be considered to comprise the following permanent

1. Monuments: all buildings and structures of conspicuous historical,
archaeological, artistic, scientific, social or technical interest,
including their fixtures and fittings;

2. Groups of buildings: homogeneous groups of urban or rural buildings
conspicuous for their historical, archaeological, artistic,
scientific, social or technical interest which are sufficiently
coherent to form topographically definable units;
3. Sites: the combined works of man and nature, being areas which are
partially built upon and sufficiently distinctive and homogeneous
to be topographically definable and are of conspicuous historical,
archaeological, artistic, scientific, social or technical interest.

Identification Of Properties To Be Protected

Article 2

For the purpose of precise identification of the monuments, groups of
buildings and sites to be protected, each Party undertakes to maintain
inventories and in the event of threats to the properties concerned, to
prepare appropriate documentation at the earliest opportunity.

Statutory Protection Procedures

Article 3

Each Party undertakes:

1. to take statutory measures to protect the architectural heritage;

2. within the framework of such measures and by means specific to each
State or region, to make provision for the protection of monuments,
groups of buildings and sites.

Article 4

Each Party undertakes:

1. to implement appropriate supervision and authorization procedures as
required by the legal protection of the properties in question;

2. to prevent the disfigurement, dilapidation or demolition of protected
properties. To this end, each Party undertakes to introduce, if it has
not already done so, legislation which:

a. requires the submission to a competent authority of any scheme
for the demolition or alteration of monuments which are already
protected, or in respect of which protection proceedings have been
instituted, as well as any scheme affecting their surroundings;

b. requires the submission to a competent authority of any scheme
affecting a group of buildings or a part thereof or a site which

–demolition of buildings
–the erection of new buildings
–substantial alterations which impair the character of the
buildings or the site;

c. permits public authorities to require the owner of a protected
property to carry out work or to carry out such work itself if the
owner fails to do so;

d. allows compulsory purchase of a protected property.

Article 5

Each Party undertakes to prohibit the removal, in whole or in part, of
any protected monument, except where the material safeguarding of such
monuments makes removal imperative. In these Circumstances the competent
authority shall take the necessary precautions for its dismantling,
transfer and reinstatement at a suitable location.

Ancillary Measures

Article 6

Each Party undertakes:

1. to provide financial support by the public authorities for maintaining
and restoring the architectural heritage on its territory, in accordance
with the national, regional and local competence and within the
limitations of the budgets available;

2. to resort, if necessary, to fiscal measures to facilitate the
conservation of this heritage;

3. to encourage private initiatives for maintaining and restoring the
architectural heritage.

Article 7

In the surroundings of monuments, within groups of buildings and within
sites, each Party undertakes to promote measures for the general
enhancement of the environment.

Article 8

With a view to limiting the risks of the physical deterioration of the
architectural heritage, each Party undertakes:

1. to support scientific research for identifying and analyzing the
harmful effects of pollution and for defining ways and means to reduce or
eradicate these effects;

2. to take into consideration the special problems of conservation of the
architectural heritage in anti-pollution policies.


Article 9

Each Party undertakes to ensure within the power available to it that
infringements of the law protecting the architectural heritage are met
with a relevant and adequate response by the competent authority. This
response may in appropriate circumstances entail an obligation on the
offender to demolish a newly erected building which fails to comply with
the requirements or to restore a protected property to its former

Conservation Policies

Article 10

Each Party undertakes to adopt integrated conservation policies which:

1. include the protection of the architectural heritage as an essential
town and country planning objective and ensure that this requirement is
taken into account at all stages both in the drawing up of development
plans and in the procedures for authorizing work;

2. promote programmes for the restoration and maintenance of the
architectural heritage;

3. make the conservation, promotion and enhancement of the architectural
heritage a major feature of cultural, environmental and planning

4. facilitate whenever possible in the town and country planning process
the conservation and use of certain buildings whose intrinsic importance
would not warrant protection within the meaning of Article 3, paragraph
1, of this Convention but which are of interest from the point of view of
their setting in the urban or rural environment and of the quality of

5. foster, as being essential to the future of the architectural
heritage, the application and development of traditional skills and

Article 11

Due regard being had to the architectural and historical character of the
heritage, each Party undertakes to foster:

–the use of protected properties in the light of the needs of
contemporary life;

–the adaptation when appropriate of old buildings for new uses.

Article 12

While recognizing the value of permitting public access to protected
properties, each Party undertakes to take such action as may be necessary
to ensure that the consequences of permitting this access, especially any
structural development, do not adversely affect the architectural and
historical character of such properties and their surroundings.

Article 13

In order to facilitate the implementation of these policies, each Party
undertakes to foster, within its own political and administrative
structure, effective co-operation at all levels between conservation,
cultural, environmental and planning activities.

Participation And Associations

Article 14

With a view to widening the impact of public authority measures for the
identification, protection, restoration, maintenance, management and
promotion of the architectural heritage, each Party undertakes:

1. to establish in the various stages of the decision-making process,
appropriate machinery for the supply of information, consultation and
co-operation between the State, the regional and local authorities,
cultural institutions and associations, and the public;

2. to foster the development of sponsorship and of non-profit-making
associations working in this field.



See Also

References and Further Reading

About the Author/s and Reviewer/s

Author: international

Mentioned in these Entries

Convention for the Protection of the Architectural Heritage of Europe 2, Conventions: Chronological Index 1971-1990, Cultural Protection conventions, Education and culture international conventions, International law: Culture protection, country.



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