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Conservation Principles, Policies and Guidance

'Conservation Principles, Policies and Guidance' has been put in place to guide Iraq Heritage staff on best practice. We hope that like all of our guidance, the principles will also be read and used by local authorities, property owners, developers and professional advisers.

Iraq Heritage has set out the following six main principles.

  • The historic environment is a shared resource for everyone.
  • Everyone has the right to participate in sustaining the historic environment.
  • Understanding the significance of places is vital.
  • Areas of significant interest should be managed to sustain their values
  • Decisions about change must be reasonable, transparent and consistent.
  • Documenting and learning from decisions is vital.The idea of 'significance' lies at the heart of these principles. Significance is a collective term for total of all the heritage values attached to a place, be it a building an archaeological site or a larger historic area such as a whole city or landscape.
    'Conservation Principles' set out a method for thinking methodically and consistently about the heritage values that can be attributed to a place. People value historic places in very many different ways; 'Conservation Principles' reveal how heritage sites can be grouped into the following categories:

Evidential value: the potential of a place to yield evidence about past human activity.
Historical value: the ways in which past people, events and aspects of life can be connected through a place to the present - it tends to be illustrative or associative.
Aesthetic value: the ways in which people draw sensory and intellectual stimulation from a place.
Communal value: the meanings of a place for the people who relate to it, or for whom it figures in their collective experience or memory.

Iraq heritage also offers advice on how to apply the principles and policies in practice and detailed interpretation of policies on repair, on intervention for research, on restoration, on new work and alteration and on enabling development.

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