A public debate on the quality of restoration was organised alongside the kick-off conference of Innocastle. The debate was organised in the context of the European Year of Heritage 2018, approaching the 6th initiative of the year: “Cherishing heritage”. 

Quality in restoration is a topic of particular relevance to the Romanian heritage sector, alarmed lately by numerous cases of "destruction through restoration" (see also the example in Bulgaria). The presentations at the debate on the 2nd of October aimed to identify and hierarchize problems in Romania, to show international examples of good practice, to question the theory on restoration and to identify possible solutions. 

The debate was moderated by Ștefan Bâlici, director of the National Institute of Heritage in Romania. The key speakers were Emma Thompson (National Trust, UK), Adrian Crăciunescu (ICOMOS Romania) and Eurgen Vaida (Asociația Monumentum). 

The debate brought together specialists from different professional segments involved in ensuring the quality of restoration interventions - architects, historians, archeologists, art historians, ethnologists, engineers – from both the public and the private sector in Romania. 

Several ideas and solutions were discussed. An interesting initiative from the Netherlands and Belgium is Monumentenwacht - an organization that works together with regional governments to make inspections at heritage sites, do small-scale restoration work on the spot and give advice to owners and administrators. 

The debate fed into the document currently being developed at European level, „European Quality Principles for Cultural Heritage Interventions”. The first draft of the document can be found here