Does charters and principles warranty the preservation of cultural heritage? How the conservation theories, principles and criteria are applied in conservation practices in historic settings around the world? And how success they are? Is there any need for new criteria at all?
During last century, different countries held many conferences focusing on different aspects of cultural heritage preservation, which caused several general charters and, many more specific detailed or even local principles. But the practical results are not the same in every place. Although many developed countries were successful in applying the preservation charters in conservation practices but on the other side the results are not the same in developing countries or the countries that are experiencing major problems caused by war or political and economic challenges. Indeed, I can say that there is a major historical problem in latter countries.
Despite all the efforts done during past century, by scholars, to make all essential protective features in cultural heritage preservation more respective and acceptable by the public, unfortunately there is still many considerable problems which are dramatically increasing among the third world countries, the places known as the settlements of ancient civilizations.
What is interesting here is that all these problems are caused, not only due to the political and economical, or etc. problems, but also due to the weak combination between these criteria with the vernacular architecture and material characteristics of these areas.
Regarding to all the major threats for cultural heritage in these countries, such as the war, religious prejudices, political issue, economical problems and so on, the risk of a great loss of an important moment of human civilization history is ringing all the bells. It seems that we are standing at a very particular moment of preservation science history, which asks for all international attention and efforts for this particular subject in cultural heritage preservation.
A conservationist in a conservation practice, always start with the recognition of most risky parts and make them stable before doing any other preservation activity. We never fix a roof before making sure that its supporting structure is stable, and a doctor always do a first aid action to survive the patient before starting the main treatment process. Today, the world cultural heritage is suffering from major problems, specially in the middle east countries, and it needs all our attention and consideration and action to survive it. If we are still worry about our common heritage, this is the time that asks us for more supportive action and to make criteria and principles that are more effective and reliable in such serious conditions.