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Imagining Conservation: the next twenty years

A two-day international conference organised by
Centre for Conservation Studies and
York Conservation Studies Alumni Association
6 - 7 July 2012, The King’s Manor, York, UK

York 40th anniversary conference 2012 - King's Manor


The past four decades have seen a significant change in the conservation of cultural heritage. Since 1931, when the Athens Charter for the Restoration of Historic Monuments was formulated up until 2005 when UNESCO drafted the Recommendations for Historic Urban Landscapes, a myriad of charters, guidelines, conventions and recommendations have been provided by an equally wide range of national and international organizations working in the fields of cultural heritage conservation and management.

However, it is recognized that the application and interpretation of these various documents in diverse cultural contexts has been problematic. In spite of this the conservation sector has always recognized the need for clear guidelines to address the requirement for specific cultural and technical expertise in conservation practice in different communities and regions. In 1993, at its 10th AGM in Colombo, Sri Lanka, ICOMOS adopted the 'Guidelines for education and training in the conservation of monuments, ensembles and sites'.  This document is particularly important from the point of view that it was authored by the late Sir Bernard Feilden and Jukka Jokilehto, both of whom have been closely associated with the postgraduate course offered at the Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies (IoAAS), now Centre for Conservation Studies in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York.

Over these past forty years, the course has not only provided direction to conservation discipline and practice by way of training a vast body of participants who travelled to York for higher studies and specialised training, but also adapted its own structure and content in response to contemporary thinking and ground realities.

In its fortieth anniversary year - 2012, it is timely and relevant to reflect on the successes and failures of the course, evaluate its current role and define a clear vision for the future. With these objectives, an international conference will be at York to discuss various issues, challenges and potentials related to three key themes of education, training and practice in the conservation of cultural heritage.

The content of deliberations and presentations at the conference is structured to address the following themes:

  • Reflections on the past forty years of conservation practice
  • Assessing current trends and approaches to conservation training
  • Perspectives on the future of conservation education
  • Re-defining the framework for conservation education and training


Conference programme

The conference programme with our distinguished speakers and registration details in now available at the following link:

York conservation 40th anniversary conference 2012_programme and booking details (PDF , 465kb)


Conference visits

The following visits will be conducted on 7 July between 1 - 3pm:

Holgate windmill

Holgate Windmill is the last surviving windmill in York. Built in 1770, it was grinding corn until about 1933 when it ceased operation due to its unsafe condition. It is Grade II listed and is a very rare type of windmill, having five sails, a fantail and is also double shuttered. The windmill has recently been restored to full working order by the initiative of the Holgate Windmill Preservation Society, with the help of funding from several funding bodies, including the National Lottery.

Acomb Bunker

The following is quoted from English Heritage’s webpage: 
‘The most modern and spine-chilling of English Heritage’s properties, the York Cold War Bunker uncovers the secret history of Britain’s Cold War. Enter the blast-proof doors and investigate the more unusual side of York’s heritage.’

City of York Council: new West Offices

The city of York Council’s new West Offices will be housed in the shortly to be completed adaptive reuse of York’s original railway station and offices. It lies within the city walls and was built in 1841 by GT Andrews. The site has Roman origins but came to prominence in the Medieval period when it was the site of the King’s House and the Royal Free Chapel of St Mary Magdalene. The station continued as York’s main railway station until the new station was built in 1877,outside the city walls, after which time it was used as railway offices, but more recently the threat of demolition has been ever-present.


More information and registration details for these visits will be available at the venue when you register for the conference.


The Conference will include four keynote speeches by:

Dr Jukka Jokilehto (Italy), Special Advisor to Director-General ICCROM and Honorary President of ICOMOS International Training Committee

James Simpson  (UK), Simpson & Brown Architects, Edinburgh

Susan MacDonald (USA), Getty Conservation Institute

Dr Gill Chitty (UK), Head of Conservation, Council for British Archaeology


The other distinguished speakers at the conference include:

Jon Avent, Chair ICE/IStructE/EI CARE Panel, UK

Dr Peter Burman, Arts and Heritage Consultant in Germany & the UK

Jigna Desai, Centre for Conservation Studies, CEPT University, Ahmadabad, India

Harriet Devlin, Course Director, Ironbridge Institute, UK

Dr Keith Emerick, Inspector of Ancient Monuments, English Heritage

Goran Niksic, Head of the Service for the Old City Core, City of Split, Croatia

Dr Aylin Orbasli, ICOMOS-UK Education & Training Committee, UK

Henry Russell and Philip Leverton, The College of Estate Management, Reading, UK

Dr Priyaleen Singh, Professor, Department of Architectural Conservation, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, India

Laura Tapini (Italy) and Lucia Gomez (Spain), Workshop coordinators, Diadrasis

Tina Wik, Professor in Architectural Conservation, Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm, Sweden


Accommodation options


Bed & Breakfasts / Guest Houses

Please note that this is a list of local accommodation options and does not represent an endorsement by either The University of York or YCAA. Correct at time of printing. For more accommodation options, please see:



Registration for the conference is now open.

Conference fees

Please note there is a small extra charge for the dinner on Friday 6th July.

£140   Non members of YCAA

£90     York Conservation Course Alumni

£60     Students

£35     Conference dinner (6th July)

Free    University of York students*


To book a place, please complete the booking form on the following link:

York conservation 40th anniversary conference 2012_programme and booking details (PDF , 465kb)

*We had limited free places for UoY students which are now all booked, sorry!


Conference is supported by

ICCROM logo York 40th anniversary conference 2012

ICOMOS pegasus logo York 40th anniversary conference 2012

ICOMOS logo York 40th anniversary conference 2012

International Training Committee

YCAA logo York 40th anniversary conference 2012

York 40th anniversary conference 2012 YCCC logo