23800 - Theories and History of Restoration

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Cesena
  • Corso: Single cycle degree programme (LMCU) in Architecture (cod. 0881)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student has to know the evolution of the concept of "monument" and has to know the theories about restoration and principles that have influenced the activity of preserving monuments from the 14th to the 20th century. In particular, the student is able to: - analyze, recognize and put in a historic view previous work on the object being studied; - to define the historical-methodological problems and/or trends related to one or more phases of the history of restoration.

Course contents

The History and Restoration course (I.C. 12 CFU) consists of two integrated and coordinated modules: History of Architecture 3 (8 CFU) and Theories and History of Restoration (4 CFU).

The course addresses the relationship between history, project and restoration and is structured in common thematic modules in order to observe from different disciplinary perspectives the role of history and time within the architectural project.

The Theories and History of Restoration module focuses on the interventions on the built heritage. Restoration, intended as an activity aimed at counteracting the phenomena of natural and anthropic degradation, which inevitably lead to the loss of a certain cultural asset – in this case, an architectural asset –, has an ancient history; nevertheless, we talk of a modern way to restore monuments since a couple of centuries. As a matter of fact, cultural, social and economic events have introduced us to what is the actual meaning of the term, resulting in the emergence of a discipline with its own characteristics.

Through case studies and protagonists who have made a significant contribution to the development of the methodologies aimed at protecting the historical-architectural heritage, the module connects theoretical inputs to operational practices. It is a didactic path from the birth of the discipline to the current orientations of method to provide the student with an essential cultural background to identify and critically evaluate the interventions on the built heritage.


For ERASMUS students:


D.P. DOORDAN, Building modern Italy: Italian architecture 1914-1936, Princeton Architectural Press, New York 1988.

J. JOKILEHTO, A History of Architectural Conservation, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford 1999.

J. JOKILEHTO, Authenticity in restoration principles and practice, in "APT Bulletin", 17, no. 3 and 4, 5 ff., 1985.

J. RUSKIN, The Seven Lamps of Architecture, London 1849 (paragraphs about "The lamp of the truth" and "The lamp of the memory").

E.E. VIOLLET-LE-DUC, On restoration, Sampson, London 1875.

Charters and Documents Relating to the Conservation and Management of Cultural Sites and Tourism

Voto conclusivo della I Sezione del IV Congresso degli Ingegneri ed Architetti Italiani (Roma, 1883).

Athens Charter for the Restoration of Historic Monuments (1931).

Carta Italiana del Restauro (1932).

International Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites (Venice Charter, 1964).

Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972).

Australia ICOMOS Charter for Places of Cultural Significance (Burra Charter, 1979).

Florence Charter (1981).

Charter for the Conservation of Historic Towns and Urban Areas (Washington Charter, 1987).

Nara Document on Authenticity (1994).

Teaching methods

The lessons of the History and Restoration integrated course are divided into two fundamental moments: the ex cathedra lessons and the reading of a part of a recommended (transdisciplinary) text with subsequent debate in classroom on the theoretical issues that emerged from the lecture.

Individual exercises

In order to have a knowledge base to better understand the contents of the lessons, the student is asked to read a short text indicated by the professors before the start of each thematic module. A summary of this text followed by a critical analysis (maximum 1.000 characters) must be uploaded no later than the day before the start of the thematic module on the platform "Virtuale". To be admitted to the exam, the student must have uploaded, by the established dates, at least 5 "summaries" of the 10 required, divided between the parts of History of Architecture 3 (at least 3) and Theories and History of Restoration (at least 2).

Group presentations

During the course, students, in groups of three or four, are asked to present in classroom – according to a pre-established calendar and format – a theme chosen from those indicated by the professors. The presentation must have a duration of 20 minutes and must be accompanied by a projection of images.

Assessment methods

The exam of History and Restoration consists in the learning assessment of the contents of the two modules which compose the integrated course.

In particular, the exam of Theories and History of Restoration aims to evaluate the achievement of the following didactic goals:

- knowing the evolution of the concept of "monument";

- understanding the main theoretical-operational nodes related to the evolution of the discipline of Restoration, up to the current orientations;

- learning the main work of the theorists dealt with in classroom.

The exam of History and Restoration is divided between the two modules of the course (History of Architecture 3 and Theories and History of Restoration) and the final assessment is the weighted average of the results of the two examinations, weighted on the CFU of each module. Both the oral discussions require the student to illustrate a favourite topic and consist of at least three specific questions on topics related to the main goals of the course.

In order to be admitted to the exam, the student must have uploaded on "Virtuale" the minimum number of the individual exercises, as well as have done the group presentation required by the course.

Specifically, the final exam of the Theories and History of Restoration module is assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

1. Learning the contents of the module (up to a maximum of 10 points)

2. Ability to critically analyse the issues discussed (up to a maximum of 10 points)

3. Ability to contextualise the issues discussed (up to a maximum of 10 points)

Teaching tools

Slides, videos, pdf documents and educational trips.

The lecture notes related to the lessons (which will be progressively deposited in the course page on the platform "Virtuale") collect mainly images; the attendance at the course and the support of the notes are therefore strongly recommended.

Office hours

See the website of Giulia Favaretto


Quality education Sustainable cities Responsible consumption and production Climate Action

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.