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From the K. u. k. Central-Commission to the European Heritage Label

Monuments Board of the Slovak Republic
Institute of History, Slovak Academy of Sciences

International scientific conference
From the K. u k. Central-Commission to the European Heritage Label
165th Anniversary of Establishment of the Royal and Imperial Central Commission
for Preservation and Research of Artistic Heritage (1853 – 2018)
The international scientific conference seeks to commemorate the beginnings of institutional monument protection in Central Europe.

On 10 January 1853, the Imperial and Royal Central Commission for Preservation and Research of Artistic Heritage started to operate. Thus began the actual practice of modern monument protection in the Habsburg Monarchy, and its continuity lasts to this day. The Central Commission intervened in all the Crownlands and left traces of its conservation and research work in each of them.
Already during the existence of the monarchy, an “autonomous” administration for monument protection in Hungary (for that time including also Slovakia) was established with competences determined by a special legal act (1881). At the same time, the initiatives of private scholars and learned societies have developed.
The fall of the monarchy in the years 1918–19 means an end of the primary stage of the institutional protection of monuments in Central Europe. But the “Viennese” legacy becomes a basis for heritage administration in various successor states: Austria, Czecho-Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and Italy. Advancing from the common grounds the practice of monument protection in these states set out to their own specific (national) ways.
The post-war idea of integration within Europe, originally in the spheres of industry and economics (1951), has gradually, and particularly after the political changes in 1989, developed into deeper cooperation also in the sphere of culture. The well-known historiographic fact of “common history” connecting Europe is successfully documented especially by the example of cultural heritage. The existence of mutually close cultural, architectonic and artistic phenomena in various countries has already led to a number of multilateral projects and ultimately also to the European Union’s initiative entitled the European Heritage Label (2011).

Conference themes:

  • Beginnings of the monument protection on the common basis of the “Danubian” Monarchy (notions, personalities, methods, results),
  • Modifications in various successor states after 1918,
  • Bridges to the current concept of the European Heritage.

All themes are drafted as general, with special attention to the older periods of the monument protection, and may include the variety of aspects: conservation and renovation of monuments, personalities, institutions, and also related topics: museums, collections of artistic heritage, antiquities market, visual art / sacred art and cultural heritage.

The conference held within the European Year of Cultural heritage 2018.
Conference languages: Slovak, English, German.
The papers presented in the conference will be published as conference proceeding.
To submit your application or for more information about the conference, please, contact

  • Monuments Board of the Slovak Republic (Tomáš Kowalski, M.A., Martin Švec, M.A.),
  • Institute of History, Slovak Academy of Sciences (Dr Peter Šoltés)


Scheduled date of the conference: Bratislava, 21 – 22 November 2018
Deadline for applications: 30 June 2018
Notifications of acceptance will be sent by 31 July 2018.