Protecția monumentelor istorice în România. Partea I-a -legislația și aplicarea ei anterior anului 1989

Cercetări Arheologice 12, 2003, 431-446

Protecția monumentelor istorice în România. Partea I-a -legislația și aplicarea ei anterior anului 1989

Authors: Adina Boroneanț, Mihai Vasile

Keywords: -


The protection of the historical and archeological monuments in Romania can be traced back to the end of the XVII century. Although focused at first on the retrieval of hoards and triggered by mercantile reasons, it became during the XVIII century (especially in Transylvania) a constant preoccupation, more and more backed up by official legislation. The authors aimed to stress the difference that an adequate legislation can make in the protection and conservation of historical and archeological monuments. Structured in three main parts, the paper starts by presenting the general causes leading to the degradation and destruction of such monuments and continues with a review of the main laws, amendments and regulations issued from the late XVII century and prior to 1989. As a major change occurred after December 1989, the period 1989/present days will be dealt with in a separate article. The paper also gives a short account (from the point of view of the archeologist) of the main architectural trends regarding the conservation of a historical monument. I. The article identifies four main groups of factors responsible for the degradation and destruction of a monument: 1- natural factors (climate, geographical location, natural disasters), 2 – historical factors (fires, reconstructions), 3 – urbanization (new streets, introduction of draining pipes, etc) and (4) – last but not least – the trade with antiques (especially prior the XX century). II. II.1-2 Muntenia and Moldova, prior to 1918. First references to hoards, precious stones and metals buried in the ground are to be found starting with the end of XVII century. The aim of the legislation in retrieving such treasures was not their historical value but their financial one. With the first decades of XIX century things changed: a museum of antiques was established in Bucharest, the Criminal Code in 1865 set penalties for whoever damaged historical monuments and was followed in 1874 by regulations for “explorations and the trade with antique objects”. Also in 1874 a Commission for Public Monuments was created, to be replaced in 1913 by the Commission of Historical Monuments. Two lists of historical (and public monuments) were also made public at the end of the XIX century. II.3 Transylvania, Banat, Bucovina prior to 1918. Part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, more serious legislation was enforced here starting with the end of XVIII century. In 1850 a Commission for the study and protection of historical monuments was set up in Vienna (thus dealing also with monuments in Transylvania) and another one was established in Banat in 1854. The Commission for Historical monuments was introduced late, in 1921, after the unification with Romania. II.4 1918-1945 throughout Romania – In 1919 the first law for the conservation and the restoration of historical monuments was passed. The new Criminal Code stipulated penalties for those damaging the monuments. With the changing of the political regime after the WWII, a period of constant changes followed. The Commission of Historical Monuments was dissolved in 1948, to be replaced in 1951 by its communist pendant – the Council of Historical Monuments. Of great importance were the Law for the Protection of the National Heritage (1974) and the Law for Urban and Rural Systematization (1975), the first one aiming to protect the monuments and the second one to pull them down. A list of 10262 monuments was made public in 1977, out of which 1274 were listed as archeological ones.

III The third part deals – as shown above- with some of the major ideas employed in the restoration of historical monuments, seen more through their efficiency in time than in terms of historical and archeological truth.

Download: PDF

How to cite: Adina Boroneanț, Mihai Vasile, Protecția monumentelor istorice în România. Partea I-a -legislația și aplicarea ei anterior anului 1989, Cercetări Arheologice, Vol. 12, pag. 431-446, 2003, doi:

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License