The History of the Burra Charter

Theatre RoyalIn 1964, the second International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Historic Monuments meeting in Venice approved the text of what became known as the Venice Charter. This charter set out the principles guiding the preservation and restoration of ancient buildings that it was agreed should be laid down on an international basis, with each country responsible for applying the plan within the framework of its own culture and traditions.The Congress also proposed the creation of an international non-governmental organisation to coordinate international efforts for the preservation and appreciation of heritage sites, which resulted in the formation of the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).

In 1977 Australia ICOMOS reviewed the Venice Charter in relation to Australian practice and in 1979 the Charter for the Conservation of Places of Cultural Significance was adopted at a meeting in the historic mining town of Burra, South Australia. This is the document now commonly known as the ‘Burra Charter’.

The last revision of the Charter took place in 1999.

GPO Building

Photos: Top – Theatre Royal, Hay Street.   Below: GPO Building, Forrest Place