Rules and Regulations - The Golden Codes
Monuments Categorization Rules
Categories of Monuments Preservation
Related Laws for Monuments Restoration
Foreign Countries’ Monuments Preservation Laws
International Monuments’ Regulations
Monuments Categorization Rules
According to the Taiwan Cultural Heritage Preservation Act in 1982, all monuments within the Taiwanese territory shall be classified into national, municipal, or county (city) monuments, and shall be reviewed, designated, and publicized by the authority of jurisdiction.
Category of monuments:
According to the functions, monuments can be categorized into thirteen major categories, including baileys, forts, offices, academies, gardens, temples, churches, residences, memorial archways, steles, mausoleums, bridges,and others buildings.
In 1999, the Taiwanese government published the category of monuments for the first time. In the beginning, monuments were categorized into grade 1, grade 2, and grade 3 monuments. Their respective definitions and criteria are shown below:
Grade 1 monuments: the monument symbolizes national significance and value.
Grade 2 monuments: the monument is significant for history, but might not be national.
Grade 3 monuments: the monument symbolizes local significance and historic value.
Nonetheless, as a result of legislative reforms, monuments are now classified in national, municipal, or county (city) monuments. Some others that could not be classified are called historical constructions, which are those that have not reach to the factor of monuments, but are still being preserved. The category of monuments depends on their significance and it can be adjusted through different time periods. Since the conservation of monuments is in vogue, the definition of monument categories is also evolving constantly. Some of the more recent monuments might have more historic significance than the others that have a hundred more years of history.
Grade 1 monuments: the monument symbolizes national significance and value.
Grade 2 monuments: the monument is significant for history, but the significant might not be national.
Grade 3 monuments: the monuments symbolizes local significance and historic value.
According to the “Convention of World Cultural Heritage” developed by the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) , the preservation of monuments can be ordered, from the least important to the most important, into six categories: decay protection, preservation, reinforcement, restoration, duplication, and reconstruction. However, for the preservation of the original appearance of the monuments, any recovering activities should adopt the least intervening method to avoid mutual interference between different level of monuments and to persist the spirit of monument restoration. Therefore, monument restoration should aim to preserve the original structural appearance by using contemporary construction materials.
(1) Decay protection
The purpose of decay protection is to preserve monuments through changing manipulative construction environment and contructing methods. Briefly, decay protection avoids and reduces the factors that inflict destruction upon monuments, such as natural disasters and intentional sabotages. In industrial areas, it is the job of the civilians and the governments to prevent air pollution and traffic vibration; Around the monuments, civilians and governments to be alert and ready to report any sign of intentional sabotage; In the remote regions, iron nails are planted onto the surfaces of the monuments to prevent birds from residing and defecating on the sites. Furthermore, most of the monuments are completed or added with fireproof, earthquake-proof, and lightning-proof protecting implementations.
(During the restoration of the Women's Federation building, the restorer is conducting fire-proof construction, an example of decay protection.)
The purpose of preservation works is to maintain the original appearance of mounments. When destructions occur, the related departments should immediately take actions to stop further damages and restore the monument to its latest preservation status. In western countries, preservation is used widely on monuments. It’s intent is to avoid changes on the monuments’ original appearance due to non-necessary actions of restoration. Some of the countries conduct predictive restoration, which is restoration based on surmises on the original appearances of the monuments. Usually, this type of restoration is not able to return the monuments to their original appearances and would most likely result in irreversible damages to to the monuments.
Reinforcement is the type of restoration project in which additive and other sticky materials are injected into the structures of the monuments to physically sustain and support their original appearance. When the building materials cannot handle the strength anymore, the monuments repairing team should restore the monument accordingly to its original appearances and may not alter the original structures nor intentionally modify any other parts of the monuments. When reinforcement is being conducted, restorers should keep in mind the whole structure of the architecture to avoid deformation of the overall structure and the intense dangers that would follow. Strengthening the original structure without changing the form of the monument is one of the most important principles of reinforcement projects.
Restoration means that under the premise of respecting the original materials and archeology evidences, preserve and make the cultural heritage’s overall aesthetics reappear. In a sense, the cleaning of the constructions can be considered as a part of restoration since it eliminates the dirty parts and present the uncontaminated appearance of the buildings.
(The monument restorer is recoloring on the faded paintings, which is an example of restoration)
The goal for duplication is to rebuild the lost or damaged parts of the monuments to ensure the overall integrity of the restoration project. When a valuable cultural heritage confronts a problem that cannot be remedied due to damage or environment menace, the monuments should be move to better conditions in order to for it to be restored and preserved. This kind of preservational pattern has been widely used in Europe.
Reconstruction aims to rebuild a monument or historical building that is already been destroyed by fire, earthquake, warfare, or other serious issues. However, if the rebuilt monument is consisted mostly of new materials, the architecture would lost its original status of being a historical monument. As a result, world nations do not consider reconstruction as an encouraged method. It is the last resort.
(The Arg-e Bam in Iran was destroyed in a major earthquake in 2003, it is now being reconstructed.)
In the 1960s there were experts indicating “preserve and change are not relative, because changing without reservations is considered as destroying, and the preservation that doesn’t allow any changes is stubborn.” Therefore, how to appropriately update the monuments under the premise of not affecting or destroying the original characteristics of the cultural heritages, is one of the issues that monument restoration have faced. People should have the goal of keeping both the newer and the older ones, creating the milestone that is compatible of past, present, and future.
(1) The Law of Monument Restoration and Measures of Reusing (2005–now)
”The Law of Monument Restoration and Measures of Reusing” was announced by the Executive Yuan Council for Cultural Affairs, which aims to increase the popularity of monument retoration, list concrete laws and precautions, and ensure that cultural heritages could be completely protected. This law has been active since 2005 in the form of nineteen major clauses and numerous subclauses. From the approved materials to safety considerations, the regulation clarifies all aspects regarding monument restoration. The regulation, as a matter of fact, was passed under seriously discussions within the national committees in order to find the most suitable solution of restoration. Numerical data in this law are also clear and understandable. For example, regarding the contravening of the regulation, this law code provides various fines according to the different levels of severity. Besides of regulating construction companies and superintendents, the law code also restrains civilians for conducting crimes regarding the preservation of monuments.
(2) Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (2006~Now)
In 2006, the Ministry of Culture published the Cultiral Heritage Preservation Act which included one hundred and thrithreen clauses. The Cultural Heritage Preservation Act regulation provides clear explanations on the definition of monuments. For the promotion of monuments, research, and restoration, the code also lists out millions of safety precautions and protection implementations. For the restoration of monuments, the code guarantees that the Taiwanese government provides funds annually. However, the funds for construction vary in amount, and it depends on the categories and situations of different monuments. Therefore, the Cultural heritage Preservation Act helps construction companies to have a great understanding on the rules that they must obey when they are restoring monuments. The different restoring methods listed out in the code maximizes the efficiency and result of monument restoration. Most importantly, the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act discusses the educational and academic value of the monuments. This enables the restored monuments to become the best teaching materials for citizens and allows both the history and spirit of the past to last forever.
Law of the People’s Republic of China on Protection of Cultural Relics (1982~Now)
In 1982, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee published the law of the People's Republic of China on Protection of Cultural Relics. Through a total of eight chapters and eighty clauses, the law helps people to understand the laws regarding the restoration and preservation of monuments within the Chinese boundaries. Regarding ancient artifacts in China, the law code also list our different categories. For example, the Chinese Communist Party does not reconstruct any monument that is completely destroyed. Instead, it focuses on the preservation of the destroyed monument as a archaeological site. Furthermore, civil bodies can implement preservation work under the approval of the government, but should draft a report to inform the government on the preservation progress.
Code du Patrimoine (2004–present)
The Code du Patrimoine, or the Heritage Code, was announced by the French government in 2004 and can be separated into seven books. The first and the seventh are called the transverse books, which concludes the general regulations regarding the preservation and restoration of French historical monuments. The second to the sixth are thematic books that provides specified information on the categories, methods, and maintenance of historical monuments. The contents of this code cover a huge multitude of aspects. As a result, when the code was announced, it not only replaced the antecedent French laws that are related to cultural heritages but also remedied previous omissions.
(3) United States
Archaeological Resources Protection Act (1979~Now)
In 1979, the United States Congress published the Archeological Resources Protection Act, a federal law that encompasses all aspects of monument preservation and restoration within the US boundaries. The law code provides the legal protections and related instructions for monuments in the United States and the sites for archeology. Also, it provides the complete explanation for the reusing of antiques and the procedure of restoring. Archeological Resources Protection Act can be divided into fourteen major clauses in which contents exceed and therefore replaces the Antiquities Act previously published by the United States Congress in 1906. The most special thing is that each part of the law code provide information of the restoration of Native Americans sites. It is dedicated to promote the vanishing culture of the Native Americans and to compensate for the irreversible damages on the Native Americans made by early white settlers . Therefore, this law code shows how monument restoration is significant on both a cultural and and political value.
National Historic Preservation Act (1966–now)
Different from the Archaeological Resources Protection Act, the U.S. Congress announced the National Historic Preservation Act in the year of 1966. It protects all of the monuments and cultural heritages in the states and lists the penalty system for damaging or not maintaining the historical relics. The National Historic Preservation Act can be divided into the chapter 3001 to chapter 3071, which is a part of the National Code of the United States. “The process of the examination of section 106,” explains the process in which the United States government approves monument restoration projects in order to enable the government to spend their funds on the most important points.
(4) United Kingdom
Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act (1979~ Now)
The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act was announced by the United Kingdom in 1979. This act is divided into five agendas, ordered from the least to the largest, and each have 9, 20, 10, 16 and 1 points respectively. The law code protects the monuments and archeological sites in the United Kingdom and lists out the methods of reusing and preserving the antiquities as a reference for both the government and private academies. Through this law code, the United Kingdom government is able to ensure the efficiency of monument restoration in the most effective manner possible.
On Objects Of Cultural Heritage (Monuments Of History And Culture) Of The Peoples Of The Russian Federation
In 2002, the Russian government published the law code titled, “On Objects Of Cultural Heritage (Monuments Of History And Culture) Of The Peoples Of The Russian Federation”. The preservation of cultural relics and measures of reusing are well explained through its 66 chapters. They were made to ensure that the culture and historical monuments are able to successfully and effectively be reconstructed and preserved under the control of the government.
Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage
In 1972, the United Nations adopted the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, which is used to ensure that all nations can understand the importance of monuments and repect the protection mechanism. The convention is drafted in eight different languages, including Chinese, Arabic, and Hebrew, etc. This action not only urged governments of several countries to establish laws regarding the measures of monument reusing but also condemned the vile actions of destroying historical monuments sustained by the governments in some countries. The United Nations provides funds to the countries which need to be helped with preserving the monuments, and it also gives the categories of monuments clear definitions and criteria. The convention enables the world to know more about monument restoration. United Nations believes that monument restoration is an immense contribution to fields such as world science, culture, and history. Monument restoration also provides countries with a mutual topic to discuss on, thereby building diplomatic relations between these nations. Therefore, protecting history and restore monuments should be the basic responsibility of every country.