Treatments > Reconstruction


Reconstruction means returning a place to a known earlier state and is distinguished from restoration by the introduction of new material into the fabric.

Australia ICOMOS Burra Charter, 1999, Australia ICOMOS

"While physical remnants may be best protected by simply guarding them against natural and human interference (i.e., the natural ravages of time), this does little to explain or to present those remnants within a cultural or historical context. In other words, how can the sometimes competing demands of conservation and presentation be weighted given limited resources? Amongst myriad methods of interpretation, reconstruction has been, and remains, one of the most popular, especially in the view of the general public for whose benefit heritage professionals are charged with the protection and presentation of cultural remnants."

"Rather than dismissal as flawed creations akin to Dr. Frankenstein's monster, then, reconstructions deserve recognition as valid expressions of their own time and as historic documents in their own right. Given their demonstrated intrinsic value, reconstructions become candidates for preservation in much the same way that other 'historic' structures do, and we must be aware of our custodial responsibility to them."

Ricketts, Shannon. "Raising the Dead: Reconstruction Within The Canadian Parks Service," CRM, Volume 15, No. 5, p.13. [Download PDF format file.]

"Reconstruction: All actions taken to re-create, in whole or in part, a cultural property, based upon historical, literary, graphic, pictorial, archaeological and scientific evidence. Reconstruction is aimed at promoting an understanding of a cultural property, and is based on little or no original material but clear evidence of a former state."

D. Glossary, Code of Ethics, Canadian Association for Conservation of Cultural Property
and of the Canadian Association of Professional Conservators

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