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Preservation of workmanship or workmanship for preservation

K. Van Balen & R. Hendrickx

K.U. Leuven, Civil Engineering dept., Leuven, Belgium

ABSTRACT: The chain of preservation should be integrated into the authenticity debate of conservation. A particular role can be given to workmanship. A study on repair of ancient masonry structures of a fortress and its execution show that beside analysis, the exchange with craftsmen is essential in the final decision on the materials used for repair. Ongoing laboratory investigation revealed that when masons working from various geographic locations are requested to assess workability of mortar, they seem to agree better than standardized tests would indicate. This finding together and the previously explained experience indicate that workmanship is to be considered into the preservation process, as many other interdisciplinary issues. Evaluating the heritage values of an architectural fabric, craftsmanship embedded in it should be considered, but also the continuation of practice has heritage values and is part of the preservation process.

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