Restoration and Promotion of Architectural Monuments in Central and Eastern Europe in the 19th and First Half of the 20th Centuries

Venue: Room RZ F 21, IFW RZ Building, Clausiusstrasse 59, CH-8092, Zürich


7 July 9.00 – 16.15

9.00 – 9.20: Welcome and introduction

9.20 – 10.30: Ottoman Empire and the Turkish State

1. Belgin Turan Özkaya, Middle East Technical University

Hagia Sophia as “cosmopolitan heritage” in the nineteenth century

2. Ümit Firat Açikgöz, American University of Beirut

Predicaments of Heritage: Negotiating Architectural Preservation in Post-Ottoman/Early Republican Istanbul (1923-1949) 

10.30 – 10.50 Coffee Break

10.50 – 12.35: Habsburg Galicia

3. Magdalena Kunińska, Jagiellonian University, Cracow

The political and theoretical context for the activities of Paweł Popiel (1807‒1892) as the as the conservator in Galicia against the discourse of the multinational empire

4. Tomasz Torbus, Gdansk University

Reconstructions, Deconstructions, (Over)Interpretations – the case of the Royal Castle at Wawel in Cracow 1908-1945.

5. Olha Zarechnyuk, Center for Urban History of East Central Europe (Lviv, Ukraine)

History is More than Beauty: Reassessing Lviv’s Architectural Heritage in the Late Habsburg Period

12.35 – 13.35 Lunch

13.35 – 14.45: Habsburg Dalmatia

6. Jiayao Jiang, ICCROM (International Center for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property), Rome

Vicko Andrić and the restoration projects for Split: The Italian approach in the Dalmatian context

7. Jonathan Blower, Independent Researcher

The Episcopium Question

Imperialism and Irredentism in the Custodianship of Diocletian’s Palace, 1850–1924

14.45 – 15.05 Coffee Break

15.05 – 16.15: 20th Century Hungary

8. Deodáth Zuh, LERN, Institure of Philosophy, Budapest

Heritage destruction, heritage creation, and the lost art of classicism.

Reshaping early 19th-century Hungarian cityscapes before and after the First World War

9. Helka Dzsacsovszki, Technical University of Munich

Restoration of the Medieval Royal Palace of Esztergom, 1934-1938:

Methodological influences and ministerial patronage for the promotion of national identities

17.30 – 19.00 Optional Walking Tour of Zürich

19.00: Dinner

8 July: 9.00 – 12.45

9.00 – 10.45: The Balkans in the 19th and 20th Century

10. Katarina Jevtic-Novakovic, Academy of Technical and Art Applied Studies Belgrade, Gordana Fontana-Giusti, University of Kent, UK

The Restoration and Promotion of Architectural Monuments in Serbia and the Role

of Jovan Sterija Popovic and the National Museum

11. Cosmin Minea, ETH, Zürich

Restorations, the Politics of Heritage and Studies About Historical Monuments in Modern Romania (1860-1940)

12. Laura Demeter, Otto Friedrich University Bamberg

Heritage restoration and protection in Romania’s changing political context (1919-1948)

10.45 – 11.00 Coffee Break

11.00 – 12.45: The Russian Empire and the Russian State

13. Natia Natsvlishvili, George Chubinashvili National Research Centre for Georgian Art History and Heritage Preservation (Tbilisi, Georgia)

Imperialism and Architectural Restoration: The Case of Manglisi Cathedral

14. Igor Demchenko, University of Kassel

The Rise of “Scientific Restoration” in the First Soviet Decade

15. Katharina Schwinde PhD; Ettersberg Foundation, Weimar

Monument Protection and Promotion of Architectural Monuments in the Solovetsky Forced Labour Camp 1920–1939

12.45: Lunch followed by an optional trip nearby Zurich

Call for Papers: Restoration and Promotion of Architectural Monuments in Central and Eastern Europe in the 19th and First Half of the 20th Centuries

International workshop at the Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture, ETH, Zürich, 7-8 July, 2022

Since the early 19th century, on the Dalmatian Coast, in the Carpathian Mountains or on the Hungarian plains, old historical monuments were reconstructed, repainted, or consolidated as part of new collective identities. Artists, historians and writers promoted architectural monuments through restorations, ceremonies, exhibitions or writings. In the process of defining various identities based on notions of shared cultural heritage, restorations played a key role. They were opportunities to change the aspect of monuments, to consolidate or renew decaying buildings, to debate their meaning, write about and promote them, all according to specific purposes or beliefs. Moreover, restorations were also opportunities for international collaborations, for the creation of intellectual networks and of communication channels for ideas about artistic styles, practices and cultural identities. Nevertheless, in spite of their significance, restorations and processes of heritage creation have played a marginal role in histories of modern Central and Eastern Europe.

This international workshop aims to identify some of the methods, actors, ideas and principles behind restoration of architectural monuments and their promotion to a wider public on the territories of the former Russian, Habsburg and Ottoman Empires and their successor states. The focus of the workshop is both on the activity of restoration and on the various mediums for the promotion of architectural monuments, such as exhibitions, new urban layouts, ceremonies, commemorations, re-enactments, artificial lighting, entertainment venues, etc. Central and Eastern Europe is defined by its dual Imperial and national heritage, by many overlapping common histories and by similar social and cultural contexts. Therefore, comparisons, contrasts or parallels are in particular suitable and papers looking at more than one national context are especially welcomed.

Possible questions to consider are:

  • What was the significance and impact of various mediums of promoting architectural monuments in the 19th and First Half of the 20th Centuries?
  • What was the significance of particular restoration principles and what was their relation to ideas about national art and heritage?
  • What transnational artistic encounters and networks were created by the restoration and promotion of monuments?
  • How were local populations involved in restoration and promotion activities, and what was their influence?
  • What do restorations reveal about the idea of transnational heritage, and what are other ways of studying the creation of historical monuments beyond the national framework?

Proposals are welcomed from researchers of all levels of experience. The workshop aims to potentially form a network of scholars with similar interests and future publication opportunities will be explored. Please submit an abstract of maximum 300 words along with a brief CV to by the deadline of April 4, 2022. A decision on the participation will be made by April 18. Participants who do not have access to institutional funding can claim support for travel and accommodation expenses. Please specify when you send in the abstract. The workshop will be held in person (unless subject to unavoidable pandemic restrictions) and based on discussion of pre-submitted papers. Works in progress that invite reflections and feedback are also accepted. Future publication opportunities will be explored.

For any questions please contact Dr Cosmin Minea at