Eastern Europe

As a result of the division of Europe after the Second World War, the eastern part formed the so-called socialist block. Although the historic bases in relation to safeguarding cultural heritage were the same as in the rest of the continent, the new political situation imposed particular conditions on the countries of this region, giving an impact on their policies. Nevertheless, there remained differences amongst them, and the people's cultures continued to be felt even through the new system. Immediately after the war, the general policy was certainly that of reconstruction and economic development, and this was based principally on industrial production. Traditional technology was a low priority although tolerated to some degree especially in rural areas and in the repair of historic monuments.

Of the socialist countries, Poland took a particular pride in safeguarding its cultural heritage, finding expression in the immediate initiative to reconstruct and restore destroyed historic town centres, e.g., Warsaw, Gdansk. It is worth noting that this national effort was rightly acknowledged by including Warsaw on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1980 for its universal value as an expression of the national identity of the Polish people. Polish experts were active internationally, including Stanislav Lorentz, one of the founders of ICOMOS; Poland was also the country where ICOMOS was founded in 1965. With these activities, Poland established an expertise in restoration technology that came to be utilized as an export item to other socialist countries, and even to other continents. The national management structure was based on centralized organization according to a model that was applied also elsewhere in the region. Generally, such care focused mainly on listed monuments, such as churches, palaces and castles. An essential part of the policy of

Figure 9-11 Naumburg Cathedral was seriously damaged in the Second World War, and the vaults were rebuilt under the direction of the cathedral architect, E. Schubert. The colour scheme was chosen in tonalities of grey ('Schubert grey')

protection was to find a socially suitable use for the historic buildings; as a consequence churches were transformed into concert halls or museums, and castles were rehabilitated as holiday resorts for workers and employees. At the same time, ordinary residences suffered from the lack of maintenance and repair partly due to limited financial resources, partly due to the priority given to industrial production and the lack of traditional types of materials.

At the end of the Second World War, all Germany faced the problem of rebuilding its cities (Beyme et al., 1992). The German Democratic Republic was more than a problem of rebuilding; it was conceived as a 'pilot project' for the establishment of an 'ideal society'. A part of this scheme was to attempt to cut the roots with the past; one of the results was the demolition of politically significant historic areas, such as the Royal Castle of Berlin and the centre of Leipzig. Nevertheless, there was also a spontaneous reaction from the people to care for historic buildings; such was the priority given to a respectful repair of Naumburg Cathedral under the direction of cathedral architect Ernst Schubert, while houses were still in ruins. Similar was the struggle of Hans Nadler, the Denkmalpfleger of the region of Saxony, to safeguard some essential features of the heavily bombed historic centre of Dresden at the end of the war. This included 'freezing' the remains of the

Figure 9.12 The Semper Opera of Dresden was rebuilt in the 1980s. The foyer area is an example of reconstruction with full colour scheme based of careful archival and field research, as was the case in several restoration projects in the former German Democratic Republic
Figure 9.13 The restoration of war-damaged Kreuzkirche in the centre of Dresden is an example of minimum intervention; instead of reconstruction, rough cement was applied on damaged surfaces — providing also good acoustics

Frauenkirche at the former Old Market, leaving it to wait for its reconstruction - initiated 50 years hence. Later, the initial ban on historic structures was not enforced, and, under the direction of Ludwig Deiters, the relatively small Institut für Denkmalpflege took the responsibility for the important monumental heritage of the country.

Russia stretches out from Europe across to Asia, and forms a combination of Eastern and Western influences. Its culture has always been characterized by a deep spirituality mixed with popular traditions and myths, extending even to modern times. Veneration of relics has been part of such traditions, and has often led to building new sanctuaries over sacred sites. A similar interest was shown in 1820, when the first attempts were made to carry out archaeological excavations on the site of Dime, the first cathedral of Kiev. A special effort was now made not only to respect the tenth-century church symbolically, but also in its form. Such historic buildings were interpreted for their values as archival documents of important spiritual or ideological memories - rather than for their architectural or historical values (Chtekov, 1992). An Imperial Archaeological Commission was constituted in 1859; together with the Imperial Academy of the Fine Arts, this commission was in charge of historic monuments (Brown, 1905:200ff).

The general development of conservation interests in Russia followed similar lines with the rest of Europe, from Romanticism to Historicism. The restorations of the House of the Boyars Romanov (1858, by F. Richter) and the monastery of the Nativity in Vladimir were early examples of the use of scientific principles. The restoration and reconstruction of stylistic unity became dominant in the second half of the nineteenth century, when the theory of Viollet-le-Duc was well known in the country.4 Towards the end of the century, there was a decisive shift towards a conservation movement, already expressed in the first

Figure 9.14 Dresden Frauenkirche was destroyed as a result of bombardments in 1945, and the site was kept as a memorial for the war for half a century. The reconstruction of the church started in 1994, gaining thus a new significance
Figure 9.15 The House of the Boyars Romanov, Moscow. Example of early restoration in Russia to the design by F. Richter in 1858. (Natalia Dushkina)

Congress of Russian architects, in 1892, and well exemplified in the restoration of the church of the Saviour on Nereditsa in Novgorod, by P. Pokryshkin in 1902-1908 (Dushkina, 1995:88).

The years following the Bolshevik Revolution (1917) were marked by persecution of the church, but early on the opportunity was taken to carry out archaeological studies in old churches and monasteries. The situation changed in the 1930s, when the state decided to wipe out all cultural traditions, including religion. Thousands of religious buildings were destroyed, traditional villages were transformed, ateliers were closed, and restorers were included in the lists of persecution (Podiiapolsky, 1992). It is difficult to assess the entire loss of cultural properties in this period, and it has been said that 'no other European country has treated its cultural heritage with such barbarism as USSR' (Miltchik, 1992:105). The political utopia of a new world and the modern movement in architecture completed the picture (Dushkina, 1995:91).

After the Second World War, there were signs of new trends, but there were hardly any restorers of the old generation left. The Venice Charter was recognized as an official document in the USSR, but this did not prevent a variety of different approaches. To some degree, the works were based on careful, scientific research, but the aim was mostly a full reconstruction or stylistic restoration of the principal historic palaces and monuments, such as the palaces of Leningrad or Moscow. An important criterion in their reconstruction was the introduction of contemporary use; this could be a museum function, tourism, or other public use. An example was the transformation of Souzdal from a historic town into a tourist complex. This involved restoring important churches (Nativity) as a museum, adapting the old monastery as a tourist hotel, and building wooden houses in traditional style to provide accommodation for visitors (Raninsky, 1992). The destruction and modern reconstruction of historic cities, such as Moscow itself, has continued through the following decades to reach the turn of the millennium (Dushkina, 1995:95).

Romania, the ancient Dacia, was formed into a modern state through the unification of two principalities in the mid-nineteenth century (1859), and its independence was recognized under a Hohenzollern monarch in 1878. The period was marked by a strong nationalistic movement and the revival of the old Romanian language. In the second half of the century, efforts started for an inventory of historic monuments, which was published from 1894 to 1909. The first law for the conservation and restoration of historic buildings dated from

Figure 9.17 The Gates of the Resurrection in Red Square, Moscow, were reconstructed to the design by O. Zhurin in 1992-5. (Natalia Dushkina)

1892, inspired by the French example. At the same time, a consultative commission for the protection of historic monuments was established within the Ministry of Cults and Education. The monarchy survived until 1947, when the USSR demanded a complete takeover.

The difficult times of occupation following the Second World War (1944-58) did not prevent continuation of the inventory, and, in 1955, the norms concerning the protection and utilization of cultural monuments were revised. The years from the mid 1960s to early 1970s showed a positive development: Romania joined ICCROM in 1969, and formed a National ICOMOS Committee in 1971, followed by an active period of international collaboration, research and training under the directorship of Vasile Dracut. The programmes focused on the richly painted, fifteenth-century churches in Moldavia, the fortified monasteries and historic town centres in Transylvania, the valuable wooden buildings and villages in rural areas. The 1970s saw an important increase in the number of museums and cultural institutions, and, in 1974, a new law was established for the protection of cultural heritage (Paléologue, 1990).

As part of its economic programmes, Romania undertook an ambitious programme to renew its agricultural structure; this caused

Figure 9.18 The Moldavian church of Humor is an example of a series of monasteries with external mural paintings in eastern Romania. Subject to international restoration campaigns in the 1970s, the churches have been included on the World Heritage List since 1993
Figure 9.19 The centre of Bucharest after demolition of the historic town centre, and the construction of the area with the aim of political representativity

the systematic destruction of historic villages and town centres, especially in Moldavia. In March 1977, Bucharest was hit by an earthquake, leaving 1500 dead and destroying and damaging a large number of historic buildings. In the same year, the General Direction of Historic Monuments was abolished by the government, in full contradiction with the existing legislation. Some conservation activities were maintained with the educational authorities and the Romanian Academy. Starting in 1984, under the personal control of President Ceausescu, there started the construction of a massive new political and administrative centre. To provide the necessary space, a vast area was demolished in the historic centre of Bucharest, including many important historic buildings, leaving some isolated monuments and old residential areas inside the new quarters. The project was only partly accomplished at the fall of the old regime in 1989.

In the 1990s, the country is facing new and manifold problems of general economic development and privatization of properties and institutions. Within this context, Romania has re-established an authority and legislation for the protection of cultural heritage, reviving its interest in international cooperation, and the development of training programmes for specialists. The problems related to the maintenance and upkeep of historic buildings have been aggravated by the emigration of people of Germanic origin, the consequent abandonment of historic churches, and the occupation by nomads of the houses left empty.

In Hungary, the interest in the protection of its rich heritage dates from 1846, when the Academy of Sciences, under the influence of Imre Henszlmann, an eminent cultural personality, launched an appeal for the protection of ancient monuments. In 1872, the government established a provisional committee for the protection of cultural heritage with Henszelmann as rapporteur, the first legal authority in the country. The first law was passed in 1881 (Horler, 1996:10ff). Following the 1956 revolution, the National Office for the Protection of Historic Monuments was created in 1957, and one of the major restoration sites of the following years was the Buda castle with its surrounding urban area in Budapest, an area of great national significance. The site had suffered badly in the Second World War, and in the following reconstruction particular attention was given to careful display of all original fragments as a document and testimony of the past. This restoration has become one of the best-known examples of Hungarian policies, and was presented to the ICOMOS General Assembly held in Budapest in 1972.

Figure 9.20 Old Buda in Budapest was rebuilt after damage in the Second World War. The policy was to display original fragments in the reconstructed buildings as a testimony of the past

Figure 9-21 The relatively large modern complex of the Hilton hotel was integrated within historic structures in the Old Buda

In 1990, following the 1989 revolution, the protection of historic buildings was placed under the administration of the Ministry for the Protection of Environment and Management of Territory, and the criteria for protection were defined in a new law of 1991. While about 60 per cent (c. 6000) of the 10 500 protected monuments had previously been state owned, the figure is expected to be nearer to 2 per cent (200 to 250) in the new situation, where major attention is given to privatization. This means that the role of the state in the care of historic sites is going through a radical change. While the interventions were taken care of directly by the state in the past, its role is now more in guiding the process of rehabilitation and appropriate utilization. This process has introduced the notion of 'good proprietor', which is a key concept in relation to the modified status of protected monuments. Some of the principal problems relate to the lack of finances, allowing only a limited number of works to be undertaken, and forcing priority to be given to emergency repairs and water-proofing. One of the possible financial sources is seen in tourism; sites such as Godollo, an ancient village close to Budapest and also on the World Heritage List, and the many beautiful castles of the country form an important potential in this regard. The director of the National Office, Tamâs Fejérdy, has emphasized that financial resources may also be diversified if the challenges of the new status of historic sites and their protection, maintenance and appropriate use are faced in an appropriate manner. Particular attention should be given to the potential of foreign tourism, and the possibilities of international collaboration (Fejérdy, 1995).

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