23800 - Theories and History of Restoration

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Marco Pretelli

  • Learning modules Marco Pretelli (Modulo 1)
    Elena Pozzi (Modulo 2)

  • Credits 4

  • SSD ICAR/19

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures (Modulo 1)
    Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)

  • Language Italian

Academic Year 2018/2019

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 the restoration.

Course contents

Restoration, intended as an activity aimed at counteracting the phenomena of degradation - natural but also anthropic - which inevitably lead to the loss of a certain cultural asset - in this case, an architectonic asset - has an ancient history. We talk of a modern way to restore monuments since a couple of centuries, when various 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. The course will provide useful information to reconnect various phenomena to the emerging of the discipline and will introduce, through case studies and personalities that have made a significant contribution to it, to its study.


For ERASMUS students (one semester):


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

J. Jokilehto, History of Architectural Conservation, Butterworth, 2001;

Jokilehto, Jukka. 1985. Authenticity in restoration principles and practice. APT Bulletin 17, no. 3 and 4, 5ff.

E. E. Viollet Le Duc, On restoration, Sampson, London, 1875;

J. Ruskin, The Seven Lamps of Architecture, London 1849, (paragraph about the lamp of the truth and the memory);


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

 Carta del restauro italiana (1883)

Recommendations of the Athens Conference (1931)

Carta del restauro italiana (1931)

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

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

Australian ICOMOS Charter for the Conservation of Places of Cultural Significance (The Burra Charter, 1979)

The Florence Charter (1982)

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

Nara Document on Authenticity (1994)


Teaching methods

Lections; discussions

Assessment methods

The Course (C.12 CFU) consists of two integrated and coordinated modules: History of Architecture (8 CFU), and Theory and History of Architectural Restoration (4 CFU).
The examination of the History and Restoration Course includes the assessment of the contents of the two modules in a single examination test.

The end-of-course exam aims to evaluate the achievement of the didactic goals:
- Knowing the evolution of the concept of "monument";
- Understanding the main theoretical and attitude-related approaches to the restoration of architecture;
- Learning at least the work of the main theorists dealt with during the course.
The final grade of the course is defined by an oral test consisting of at least three specific questions on topics related to the main objectives of the Course; and by evaluating a written tutorial, which is developed in conjunction with the other modules of the course during the academic year.

Teaching tools

PowerPoint slides; pdf files. The PowerPoint tutorial files will be made available to students in a synthetic format compared to the one presented in lessons (attendance at the course is strongly recommended); the files relating to out-of-print publications will be provided on request (among those listed in the lessons for integration of the general bibliography).

Office hours

See the website of Marco Pretelli

See the website of Elena Pozzi