Knowledge of the history of the maintenance, conservation and preservation of movable and immovable artistic heritage from the 18th to the 21st century, as distinct actions from the punctual restoration intervention on the individual artistic object, with reference to both territorial contexts and confined environments (e.g. museums or private collections); knowledge of the relevant laws, both historical and current; basic methodological skills for the elaboration of research and valorisation projects on cultural heritage and landscape, with reference to the history of maintenance and conservation, within the current legal framework.
teacher profile | teaching materials


Beginning with the debate that has become more heated since the beginning of the 21st century, and in recent years, on the need to rethink the system of conservation and management of cultural heritage, the course starts from considerations that arise from knowledge of the history of restoration (see characterising course History and theories of conservation and restoration). It therefore traces in a diachronic manner cultural passages that, from the 18th century to the present day, have determined the history of the conservation and maintenance of 'cultural heritage', which means the history of a methodological approach centred on distinct actions with respect to the punctual restoration intervention on the individual object.
Through the analysis of historical sources, the first part of the course aims to clarify, from the mid-eighteenth century to the present day, the transitions from the culture of ordinary maintenance - both at the territorial level and in the care of movable works in public or private collections - up to 'planned conservation' and the more recent reflections and discussions on its actualisation.
Moving from the theoretical level to the results of applied research, the second part of the course delves into the problems and perspectives that characterise the experiences of conservation, planned conservation and maintenance in the 20th and 21st centuries, up to considering the prospects and effects of the application of Law 133/2020 (ratification in Italy of the Faro Convention).
Meetings with professionals and experts, together with participation in a study 'site', in which basic research is linked to applied research, complete the training course.

Core Documentation

• B. Zanardi, Introduzione. Le attività di tutela dopo il 1963, in Bruno Zanardi, Conservazione, restauro e tutela. 24 dialoghi, Skira, Milano 1999, pp. 9-52.
• G. Urbani, Il restauro e la storia dell’arte; Problemi di conservazione; Dal restauro alla manutenzione, in Intorno al restauro, a cura di Bruno Zanardi, Skira, Milano 2000, pp. 15-18, 25-29, 31-35.
• S. Cecchini, Trasmettere al futuro. Tutela, manutenzione, conservazione programmata, Gengemi, Roma 2012.
• Luciano Giacché, Per una storia sociale del Piano pilota: dalla proposta all’oblio (1973-1983), in Giovanni Urbani e la conservazione programmata dei beni culturali, a cura di Letizia Abbondanza e Denise La Monica, tomo II, 2019, pp. 228-270.

In-depth bibliography will be indicated during the lectures.
Handouts will be provided in PDF format on the course channels Moodle or Teams .

Type of delivery of the course

Lectures, student-led seminars, museum visits, field studies.


highly recommended frequency.

Type of evaluation

In order to sit the exam, knowledge of the slides illustrated in the lectures and of the supplementary materials inserted during the lecture period in the 'teaching materials' section on the Moodle or Teams channels of the course is required.