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This section include the more important laws and regulations, nationals and internationals, who are related to Cultural Heritage and regulations of archaeological pratice in Ecuador. We will try to keep this section as update as possible throught the collaboration of BERMEO EGUIGUREN & RAMIREZ lawyers and the constant preoccupation of Dr. Eduardo Bermeo C. ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ). You can also follow debates in the forum, in our section Reglamentaciones

Charter for the Conservation of Historic Towns and Urban Areas PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gaëtan Juillard   
Wednesday, 30 May 2007 18:40
Adopted by ICOMOS General Assembly in Washington, DC, October 1987.

All urban communities, whether they have developed gradually over time or have been created deliberately, are an expression of the diversity of societies throughout history.

This charter concerns historic urban areas, large and small, including cities, towns and historic centres or quarters, together with their natural and man-made environments. Beyond their role as historical documents, these areas embody the values of traditional urban cultures. Today many such areas are being threatened, physically degraded, damaged or even destroyed, by the impact of the urban development that follows industrialisation in societies everywhere.

Faced with this dramatic situation, which often leads to irreversible cultural, social and even economic losses, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) deems it necessary to draw up an international charter for historic towns and urban areas that will complement the "International Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites," usually referred to as "The Venice Charter." This new text defines the principles, objectives, and methods necessary for the conservation of historic towns and urban areas. It also seeks to promote the harmony of both private and community life in these areas and to encourage the preservation of those cultural properties, however modest in scale, that constitute the memory of mankind.

As set out in the UNESCO "Recommendation Concerning the Safeguarding and Contemporary Role of Historic Areas" (Warsaw - Nairobi, 1976), and also in various other international instruments, "the conservation of historic towns and urban areas" is understood to mean those steps necessary for the protection, conservation and restoration of such towns and areas as well as their development and harmonious adaptation to contemporary life.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 18:42
Xi'An Declaration on the Conservation of Setting of Heritage Structures, Sites and Areas PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gaëtan Juillard   
Wednesday, 30 May 2007 18:23
Adopted in Xi’an, China by the 15th General Assembly of ICOMOS on 21 October 2005 (Final version - 22.10.2005)

Meeting in the ancient city of Xi’an (China) on 17-21st October 2005, at the invitation of ICOMOS China on the occasion of 15th General Assembly of ICOMOS and the celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of its longstanding endeavour to ensure the safeguard and conservation of the World’s cultural heritage as part of its sustainable and human development;

Benefiting from the broad range of cases and reflections shared during the General Assembly’s International Symposium on Monuments and Sites in their Settings – Conserving Cultural Heritage in Changing Townscapes and Landscapes and learning from a broad range of experiences from China and world-wide authorities, institutions and specialists in providing adequate care and management of heritage structures, sites and areas such as historic cities, landscapes, seascapes, cultural routes and archaeological sites in the context of accelerated change and development;

Taking note of the international and professional interest for the conservation of the settings of monuments and sites as expressed in the International Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites – the Venice Charter (1964) – and in the many texts it has inspired, particularly through ICOMOS National and International Committees, as well as the Nara Document on Authenticity (1994) and conclusions and recommendations of international meetings like the Hoi An Declaration on the Conservation of Historic Districts in Asia (2003), the Declaration on the Recovery of Bam’s Cultural Heritage (2004), and the Seoul Declaration on Tourism in Asia’s Historic Towns and Areas (2005);

Noting the references to the concept of setting in UNESCO conventions and recommendations like the Recommendation concerning the Safeguarding of Beauty and Character of Landscapes and Sites (1962), the Recommendation concerning the Preservation of Cultural Property Endangered by Public or Private Works (1968), the Recommendation concerning the Safeguarding and Contemporary Role of Historic Areas (1976), the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, (2003) and more specifically the World Heritage Convention (1972) and its Operational Guidelines, where setting is listed as an attribute of
authenticity and as needing protection through the establishment of buffer zones, and the ongoing opportunity this brings for international and interdisciplinary co-operation between ICOMOS, UNESCO and other partners and for developments on topics like authenticity or the conservation of historic urban landscapes expressed in the Vienna Memorandum (2005).

Stressing the need to address adequately the rapid or incremental transformation of cities, landscapes and heritage routes which result from changes in lifestyles, agriculture, development, tourism or large-scale disasters of natural or human origin, and to recognise, protect and sustain adequately the meaningful presence of heritage structures, sites and areas in their settings as a way to reduce the threat these transformation processes constitute against the cultural heritage in the full richness of its authenticity, meaning, values, integrity and diversity,

Participants of the 15th General Assembly of ICOMOS adopt the following Declaration of principles and recommendations, addressing it to intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, national and local authorities and all institutions and specialists able to contribute through legislation, policies, planning processes and management to better protect and conserve the world’s heritage structures, sites and areas in their settings.
Last Updated on Thursday, 31 May 2007 20:16
Recommendation on International Principles applicable to Archæological Exacavations (1956) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gaëtan Juillard   
Sunday, 27 May 2007 18:47

The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, meeting at New Delhi, from 5 November to 5 December 1956, at its ninth session,

Being of the opinion that the surest guarantee for the preservation of monuments and works of the past rests in the respect and affection felt for them by the peoples themselves, and persuaded that such feelings may be greatly strengthened by adequate measures inspired by the wish of Member States to develop science and international relations,

Convinced that the feelings aroused by the contemplation and study of works of the past do much to foster mutual understanding between nations, and that it is therefore highly desirable to secure international co-operation with regard to them and to further, in every possible way, the fulfilment of their social mission,

Considering that, while individual States are more directly concerned with the archaeological discoveries made on their territory, the international community as a whole is nevertheless the richer for such discoveries,

Considering that the history of man implies the knowledge of all different civilizations; and that it is therefore necessary, in the general interest, that all archaeological remains be studied and, where possible, preserved and taken into safe keeping,

Convinced that it is highly desirable that the national authorities responsible for the protection of the archaeological heritage should be guided by certain common principles which have been tested by experience and put into practice by national archaeological services,

Being of the opinion that, though the regulation of excavations is first and foremost for the domestic jurisdiction of each State, this principle should be brought into harmony with that of a liberally understood and freely accepted international cooperation,

Having before it proposals concerning international principles applicable to archaeological excavations, which constitute item 9.4.3 on the agenda of the session,

Having decided, at its eighth session, that these proposals should be regulated at the international level by way of a recommendation to Member States.

Adopts, this fifth day of December 1956, the following Recommendation :
The Athens charter for the Restauration of Historical Monuments PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gaëtan Juillard   
Tuesday, 22 May 2007 13:13
Adopted at the First International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Historic Monuments, Athens 1931

At the Congress in Athens the following seven main resolutions were made and called "Carta del Restauro":
  1. International organizations for Restoration on operational and advisory levels are to be established.
  2. Proposed Restoration projects are to be subjected to knowledgeable criticism to prevent mistakes which will cause loss of character and historical values to the structures.
  3. Problems of preservation of historic sites are to be solved by legislation at national level for all countries.
  4. Excavated sites which are not subject to immediate restoration should be reburied for protection.
  5. Modern techniques and materials may be used in restoration work.
  6. Historical sites are to be given strict custodial protection.
  7. Attention should be given to the protection of areas surrounding historic sites.
The Norms of Quito PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gaëtan Juillard   
Tuesday, 22 May 2007 12:52
Final Report of the Meeting on the Preservation and Utilization of Monuments and Sites of Artistic and historical Value held in Quito, Ecuador, from November 29 to December 2, 1967

The fact that the essential preservation and utilization of the monumental heritage has been included in the multi-national effort that the American governments pledge to carry out is encouraging from a twofold standpoint: first, because thereby the chiefs of state have expressly recognized the existence of an urgent situation, demanding inter-American cooperation; and second, because since the fundamental reason for the meeting at Punta del Este [Uruguay] was the common aim of giving new impetus to the development of the hemisphere, there is implicit recognition that those cultural heritage resources are an economic asset and can be made into instruments of progress. The rapid rate of impoverishment of most of the American countries as a result of the neglect and lack of protection of their monumental and artistic wealth requires both national and international emergency measures. But in the last analysis, the practical efficacy of these measures will depend upon the value of the cultural heritage in the cause of economic and social development. The recommendations of this report are made with that aim in mind and are directed specifically to the adequate preservation and utilization of monuments and sites of archaeological, historic, and artistic value, in accordance with the provisions of Chapter V, paragraph d, Multinational Efforts, of the Declaration of the Presidents of America. Notwithstanding, in view of the close relationship between architectural and artistic wealth, it is essential to recognize that other valuable resources and objects of the cultural heritage must be properly protected to prevent their continuing deterioration and unrestricted demolition. It is also essential that these resources be suitably exhibited, in accordance with modern museographic techniques, so that the aims sought through them may be achieved.
Principles for the Preservation of Historic Timber Structures PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gaëtan Juillard   
Tuesday, 22 May 2007 02:18
Adopted by ICOMOS at the 12th General Assembly in Mexico, October 1999.

The aim of this document is to define basic and universally applicable principles and practices for the protection and preservation of historic timber structures with due respect to their cultural significance. Historic timber structures refer here to all types of buildings or constructions wholly or partially in timber that have cultural significance or that are parts of a historic area.

For the purpose of the preservation of such structures, the Principles:
  • recognise the importance of timber structures from all periods as part of the cultural heritage of the world;
  • take into account the great diversity of historic timber structures;
  • take into account the various species and qualities of wood used to build them;
  • recognise the vulnerability of structures wholly or partially in timber due to material decay and degradation in varying environmental and climatic conditions, caused by humidity fluctuations, light, fungal and insect attacks, wear and tear, fire and other disasters;
  • recognise the increasing scarcity of historic timber structures due to vulnerability, misuse and the loss of skills and knowledge of traditional design and construction technology;
  • take into account the great variety of actions and treatments required for the preservation and conservation of these heritage resources;
  • note the Venice Charter, the Burra Charter and related UNESCO and ICOMOS doctrine, and seek to apply these general principles to the protection and preservation of historic timber structures;
And make the following recommendations:
Last Updated on Saturday, 26 May 2007 04:06
Principles for the Preservation, Conservation and Restauration of Wall-paintings PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gaëtan Juillard   
Tuesday, 22 May 2007 02:06
Wall paintings have been cultural expressions of human creation throughout history, from the earliest beginnings, such as rock art, extending up to present day murals. Their deterioration, accidental or intentional destruction constitutes a loss affecting a significant part of the world’s cultural heritage. The Venice Charter (1964) has provided general principles for the conservation-restoration of cultural heritage. The Amsterdam Declaration (1975) introducing the concept of integrated conservation, and the Nara Document on Authenticity (1994) dealing with cultural diversity, have expanded these principles. Taking into account these and additional relevant contributions, such as the ICOM-CC Code of Ethics (1984), Document of Pavia (1997), and E.C.C.O. Professional Guidelines (1997), the aim of this document is to provide more specific principles for the protection, preservation and the conservation-restoration of wall paintings. This document, therefore, reflects basic and universally applicable principles and practices, and does not take into account particular problems of regions or countries, which can be supplemented at regional and national level by providing further recommendations where necessary.

The richness of wall paintings is founded on the variety of cultural expressions, aesthetic achievements, and the diversity of materials and techniques used from ancient until present times. The following articles refer to paintings created on inorganic supports, such as plaster, brick, clay and stone, and do not include paintings executed on organic supports, such as wood, paper and canvas. Composite materials in many historic buildings need special consideration outside the scope of this document. Architectural surfaces and their finishing layers, with their historical, aesthetic and technical values have to be considered as equally important components of historic monuments.

Wall paintings are an integral part of monuments and sites and should be preserved in situ. Many of the problems affecting wall paintings are linked to the poor condition of the building or structure, its improper use, lack of maintenance, frequent repairs and alterations. Also frequent restorations, unnecessary uncovering, and use of inappropriate methods and materials can result in irreparable damage. Substandard and inadequate practices and professional qualifications have led to unfortunate results. It is for this reason that an appropriate document covering the principles of proper conservation-restoration of wall paintings is necessary.
International Charter on the Protection and Management of Underwater Cultural Heritage PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gaëtan Juillard   
Tuesday, 22 May 2007 01:45
Ratified by the 11th ICOMOS General Assembly in Sofia, Bulgaria, October 1996.

This Charter is intended to encourage the protection and management of underwater cultural heritage in inland and inshore waters, in shallow seas and in the deep oceans. It focuses on the specific attributes and circumstances of cultural heritage under water and should be understood as a supplement to the ICOMOS Charter for the Protection and Management of Archaeological Heritage, 1990. The 1990 Charter defines the "archaeological heritage" as that part of the material heritage in respect of which archaeological methods provide primary information, comprising all vestiges of human existence and consisting of places relating to all manifestations of human activity, abandoned structures, and remains of all kinds, together with all the portable cultural material associated with them. For the purposes of this Charter underwater cultural heritage is understood to mean the archaeological heritage which is in, or has been removed from, an underwater environment.

It includes submerged sites and structures, wreck-sites and wreckage and their archaeological and natural context.

By its very character the underwater cultural heritage is an international resource. A large part of the underwater cultural heritage is located in an international setting and derives from international trade and communication in which ships and their contents are lost at a distance from their origin or destination.

Archaeology is concerned with environmental conservation; in the language of resource management, underwater cultural heritage is both finite and non-renewable. If underwater cultural heritage is to contribute to our appreciation of the environment in the future, then we have to take individual and collective responsibility in the present for ensuring its continued survival.

Archaeology is a public activity; everybody is entitled to draw upon the past in informing their own lives, and every effort to curtail knowledge of the past is an infringement of personal autonomy. Underwater cultural heritage contributes to the formation of identity and can be important to people's sense of community. If managed sensitively, underwater cultural heritage can play a positive role in the promotion of recreation and tourism.

Archaeology is driven by research, it adds to knowledge of the diversity of human culture through the ages and it provides new and challenging ideas about life in the past. Such knowledge and ideas contribute to understanding life today and, thereby, to anticipating future challenges.

Many marine activities, which are themselves beneficial and desirable, can have unfortunate consequences for underwater cultural heritage if their effects are not foreseen.

Underwater cultural heritage may be threatened by construction work that alters the shore and seabed or alters the flow of current, sediment and pollutants. Underwater cultural heritage may also be threatened by insensitive exploitation of living and non-living resources. Furthermore, inappropriate forms of access and the incremental impact of removing "souvenirs" can have a deleterious effect.

Many of these threats can be removed or substantially reduced by early consultation with archaeologists and by implementing mitigatory projects. This Charter is intended to assist in bringing a high standard of archaeological expertise to bear on such threats to underwater cultural heritage in a prompt and efficient manner.

Underwater cultural heritage is also threatened by activities that are wholly undesirable because they are intended to profit few at the expense of many. Commercial exploitation of underwater cultural heritage for trade or speculation is fundamentally incompatible with the protection and management of the heritage. This Charter is intended to ensure that all investigations are explicit in their aims, methodology and anticipated results so that the intention of each project is transparent to all.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 May 2007 17:58
International Charter for the Protection and Management of the Archælogical Heritage PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gaëtan Juillard   
Tuesday, 22 May 2007 01:21
Prepared by the International Committee for the Management of Archaeological Heritage (ICAHM) an approved by the 9th General Assembly in Lausanne in 1990.

It is widely recognised that a knowledge and understanding of the origins and development of human societies is of fundamental importance to humanity in identifying its cultural and social roots.

The archaeological heritage constitutes the basic record of past human activities. Its protection and proper management is therefore essential to enable archaeologists and other scholars to study and interpret it on behalf of and for the benefit of present and future generations.

The protection of this heritage cannot be based upon the application of archaeological techniques alone. It requires a wider basis of professional and scientific knowledge and skills. Some elements of the archaeological heritage are components of architectural
structures and in such cases must be protected in accordance with the criteria for the protection of such structures laid down in the Venice Charter on the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites. Other elements of the archaeological heritage
constitute part of the living traditions of indigenous peoples, and for such sites and monuments the participation of local cultural groups is essential for their protection and preservation.

For these and other reasons the protection of the archaeological heritage must be based upon effective collaboration between professionals from many disciplines. It also requires the co-operation of government authorities, academic researchers, private or public enterprise, and the general public. This charter therefore lays down principles relating to the different aspects of archaeological heritage management. These include the responsibilities of public authorities and legislators, principles relating to the professional performance of the processes of inventorisation, survey, excavation, documentation, research, maintenance, conservation, preservation, reconstruction, information, presentation, public access and use of the heritage, and the qualification of professionals involved in the protection of the archaeological heritage.

The charter has been inspired by the success of the Venice Charter as guidelines and source of ideas for policies and practice of governments as well as scholars and professionals.

The charter has to reflect very basic principles and guidelines with global validity. For this reason it cannot take into account the specific problems and possibilities of regions or countries. The charter should therefore be supplemented at regional and national levels by further principles and guidelines for these needs.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 May 2007 01:22
Principles for the Analysis, Conservation and Structural Restauration of Architectural Heritage PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gaëtan Juillard   
Tuesday, 22 May 2007 01:08
Ratified by the ICOMOS 14th General Assembly in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, in 2003


Structures of architectural heritage, by their very nature and history (material and assembly), present a number of challenges in diagnosis and restoration that limit the application of modern legal codes and building standards. Recommendations are desirable and necessary to both ensure rational methods of analysis and repair methods appropriate to the cultural context.

These Recommendations are intended to be useful to all those involved in conservation and restoration problems, but cannot in anyway replace specific knowledge acquired from cultural and scientific texts.

The Recommendations presented in the complete document are in two sections: Principles, where the basic concepts of conservation are presented; Guidelines, where the rules and methodology that a designer should follow are discussed. Only the Principles have the status of an approved/ratified ICOMOS document.

The guidelines are available in English in a separate document.
The Venice Charter PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gaëtan Juillard   
Wednesday, 09 May 2007 00:39
IInd International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Historic Monuments, Venice, 1964.

Imbued with a message from the past, the historic monuments of generations of people remain to the present day as living witnesses of their age-old traditions. People are becoming more and more conscious of the unity of human values and regard ancient monuments as a common heritage. The common responsibility to safeguard them for future generations is recognized. It is our duty to hand them on in the full richness of their authenticity.

It is essential that the principles guiding the preservation and restoration of ancient buildings should be agreed and be laid down on an international basis, with each country being responsible for applying the plan within the framework of its own culture and traditions.

By defining these basic principles for the first time, the Athens Charter of 1931 contributed towards the development of an extensive international movement which has assumed concrete form in national documents, in the work of ICOM and UNESCO and in the establishment by the latter of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and the Restoration of Cultural Property. Increasing awareness and critical study have been brought to bear on problems which have continually become more complex and varied; now the time has come to examine the Charter afresh in order to make a thorough study of the principles involved and to enlarge its scope in a new document.

Accordingly, the IInd International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Historic Monuments, which met in Venice from May 25th to 31st 1964, approved the following text:
Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 May 2007 00:29
Marco legal de las investigaciones arqueológicas en Ecuador PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gaëtan Juillard   
Wednesday, 09 May 2007 00:09
There are no translations available at this moment. Thanks for your comprehension.

Con la ayuda de documentos de la ESPOL, propongo una síntesis de las normas legales referentes a los trabajos que se realicen en el país sobre los recursos culturales arqueológicos.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 September 2009 06:49
Nombramiento del Ministro de Coordinación de Patrimonio PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gaëtan Juillard   
Tuesday, 08 May 2007 01:00
There are no translations available at this moment. Thanks for your comprehension.

Decreto Ejecutivo n°306

Rafael Correa Delgado
Presidente Constitucional de la República

Que lnediante Decreto Ejecutivo número 117-A del 15 de febrero de 2007, se crean varios Ministerios de Coordinación para una mayor eficiencia en el manejo de la información, en la toma de decisiones y en la acción conjunta de las diferentes Carteras
del Estado; y

En uso de las atribuciones conferidas por el Artículo 171 numeral 10 de la Constitución Política del Estado;

Art. 1.- Nómbrase Ministro de Coordinación de Patrimonio Natural y Cultural al señor antropólogo Juan Antonio Martínez Yánez

Art. 2.- El presente Decreto Ejecutivo entrará en vigencia en la presente fecha SIn perjuicio de su publicación en el Registro Oficial.

Dado en el Palacio Nacional, en Quito a 8 de mayo de 2007

Rafael Correa Delgado
Last Updated on Thursday, 17 July 2008 14:41
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