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300 experts gather together for a debate on restoration

19/11/2002 The 2nd Monument Restoration Biennial analyses the recovery of the most important historical buildings in Spain.

19/11/2002 What is happening? This is the starting point for the conference that will bring together leading experts in the field of restoration from 21 to 24 November in Vitoria-Gasteiz (Europa Conference Centre). Within its extensive programme, the 2nd Monument Restoration Biennial, convoked by the Partal Academy (Free Association of Monument Restoration Professionals) and organised by the Santa María Cathedral Foundation, will explore the various aspects and situations facing professionals charged with the task of recovering the country´s Architectural Heritage.

This 2nd Biennial, in which over 50 papers will be given to a group of around 300 expert delegates, is a response to the need to increase methodological debate between restoration professionals, in relation to their increasingly ´specialist´ work. The debate will also focus on how their work is perceived and assimilated by the society which charges them with the conservation of its Cultural Heritage, and which is increasingly more interested in and aware of the work at hand.

In this sense, in addition to debating and discussing the factors which determine the development of their professional activity, speakers will also analyse a number of questions relating to specific projects, in particular those carried out in a number of key components of Spain´s Cultural Heritage: the Alhambra in Granada, the Cathedral-Mosque in Cordoba, los Baños del Almirante and Santa Catalina Tower in Valencia, Sigena Monastery in Huesca, the Sagunto Roman Theatre and various monuments in Galicia, among others. Delegates will also have the opportunity of learning about a number of architectural restoration projects in Italy and Morocco.

A special section will also be dedicated to Cultural Heritage recovery in Alava, with special attention being paid to the restoration of the Santa María Cathedral, the conversion of the old Las Nieves residence into a central library for the Alava University campus and the initial steps taken towards the conservation of the Valle Salado de Salinas de Añana.

The 2nd Biennial will focus on monument restoration from two very different, but nevertheless complementary, perspectives: ´Factors which currently affect monument restoration´ and ´Current theory and praxis in monument restoration´.

Partal Academy

The Partal Academy (Free Association of Monument Restoration Professionals), the organisation responsible for convoking the conference, comprises a group of active and highly esteemed specialists (archaeologists, architects, historians, engineers, restorers and builders, etc.) who have spent years debating and exchanging experiences regarding monument restoration and methodology. The Academy is named after one of the restoration projects considered to be the most emblematic of its time, i.e. that carried out by the architect Leopoldo Torres-Balbás in the Partal Palace in La Alhambra in Granada.

The Academy has met periodically since the year 2000, when the first Monument Restoration Biennial was held in Hospitalet del Llobregat. These meetings aim to serve as forums for the exchange and dissemination of opinions and experiences. This year, the conference will be held in the Europa Conference Centre from 21 to 24 November.

To complement the sessions in the Europa Conference Centre, delegates will be treated to guided tours of both the Santa María Cathedral (Thursday 21, 19.00h) and the Artium (Friday 22, 20.00h), directed by the architects responsible for the work. To mark the end of the second Biennial, delegates will have the opportunity of enjoying a guided tour around Valle Salado de Salinas de Añana (Sunday 24, 09.30h), where they will learn about the different activities carried out as part of this project.