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    Celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Act on the protection and care of historical monuments

    On 3-4 July a jubilee conference was held to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Act on the protection and care of historical monuments. The event took place at the renowned Second World War Museum in Gdańsk and brought together a large number of experts, representatives of cultural institutions, local government officials and others involved in heritage protection. The conference was an excellent opportunity to summarise the achievements and accomplishments in the field of heritage protection and to set new goals for the future.


    The Deputy Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Dr Jarosław Sellin, expressed his appreciation for all those who have dedicated themselves to heritage conservation over the years. In his speech, he emphasised that the work done so far in this field is due to the efforts of many generations of conservators, conservation office staff, scientists, local government officials, cultural institutions and social guardians of monuments. Thanks to their dedication, it has been possible to restore the splendour and protect from total destruction a huge number of monuments that are living testimony to the country’s history.

    During the conference, the General Conservator of Monuments honoured persons of merit in the field of historic monument protection, awarding them with medals and badges of ‘Merit to Culture Gloria Artis’ and ‘Merit to Polish Culture’.

    Deputy Minister Sellin noted that the Act on the Protection and Care of Monuments introduced a number of significant changes in the approach to the protection of monuments. Since 2003, the protection of monuments is no longer only the domain of the government administration, but also of local government units at all levels. The Act provides for a wider range of forms of monument protection, such as the establishment of cultural parks and the inclusion of monuments under local spatial development plans. The changes introduced also broadened the scope of the register of monuments to include both listed and unlisted monuments.

    Another important point highlighted was the extension of the provisions concerning Monuments of History, which are a key heritage project in the area of promotion and ennoblement of the most important historic buildings and complexes in Poland. There was also an amendment to the Act in 2018, which regulated offences, offences against monuments and administrative torts with financial penalties. These changes helped to increase the efficiency of monument protection activities and paved the way for the creation of a special-purpose fund to support necessary actions to save endangered monuments.

    Deputy Minister Sellin also emphasised the increase in expenditure on the protection of monuments in Poland in recent years. As part of the Polish Order, the Government Programme for the Protection of Monuments was launched with a budget of PLN 3 billion. In addition, support for owners of historic properties was introduced in 2022 through the so-called PIT monument relief, allowing a part of the expenses for the renovation fund and conservation, restoration and construction works concerning historic buildings to be deducted from the tax base.

    The celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Act on the Protection and Care of Historical Monuments was an important event for the cultural heritage community in Poland. The Act has played a key role in integrating restoration and revitalisation activities across the country, contributing to the preservation of many important historical sites. The conference, which took place at the Second World War Museum in Gdansk, aimed to summarise the achievements of the Act’s twenty years in force and to set new goals in the field of historic preservation.

    Eight discussion panels were held during the conference, with representatives of cultural institutions, provincial historic preservation offices and non-governmental organisations taking part. Topics discussed included the system of monument protection, the role of conservation services in the Polish and international context, the preservation of the cultural landscape and the use of state-of-the-art technologies.

    The Act on the Protection and Care of Monuments introduced a number of significant changes in the approach to the protection of monuments. One of the most important changes was the extension of the competences for the protection of monuments to local government units at all levels. The current Act provides for a wider range of forms of protection, such as the establishment of a cultural park or the inclusion of a given monument under the protection of a local development plan. Moreover, the status of the register of monuments has been significantly changed, covering both the collection of listed and non-listed monuments.


    National Programme for the Protection and Care of Historic Monuments

    National Programme for the Protection and Care of Historic Monuments is developed every four years. The current programme for the years 2023-2026 aims to increase the resilience of the historic resource in Poland.

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