Why and how we restore organs by Robert Helder

by Robert Helder | Het ORGEL | Year 114 | (2018) | Issue 4

This article discusses the goals with which monumental organs are restored and the relevant criteria. Already in 1931 an international congress of architects and engineers established the Charter of Athens. This document requested attention for the importance of cultural heritage and made a plea for international monument care. This congress was followed in 1957 in Paris and in 1964 in Venice. Here the Charter of Venice was formulated, which is still seen as the international standard for restorations of monuments.
Several supplements to the Charter of Venice have appeared, for specific categories of monuments. For example, in 2003 the Charter of Barcelona was formulated for the preservation of historical ships. The contents are for the greater part congruent with the Charter of Venice. A few specific clauses are also interesting for the restoration of organs, since in the restoration of ships there is a certain tension between the demands of modern-day use and the historical state of the ship in question. This same tension is familiar in the world of organ restorations.