“Polska ochrona zabytków” (The Protection of Historical Monuments in Poland) by Prof. Dr. hab. Bohdan Rymaszewski was issued in 2005 by the “Scholar” Scientific Publishers in Warsaw. Prof. Bohdan Rymaszewski is a renowned conservator of historical monuments, researcher, lecturer and outstanding expert on the theory and history of the conservation of historical monuments. The first part of the publication, which encompasses a period spanning from 1918 to the present day, discusses the origin of the protection of historical monuments in Poland, attaching considerable attention to the formation of patriotic stands and the interest shown by Polish society in history and monuments, with particular emphasis on the protection of the national heritage during the partition era. The author stressed the practical application of the theoretical principles of the conservation of monuments, formulated by eminent historians of art, philosophers and scientists of the early twentieth century. Emphasis has also been placed on the discussions and dissertations of the period, relating to themes of fundamental meaning for shaping the conservation doctrine, as well as basic conservation methodology and principles. Special attention is due to a fragment of the publication discussing the losses suffered at the time of the first world war. The elimination of those effects and subsequent reconstruction initiated during the interwar period were conducted with immense determination, and realised thanks to the outstanding financial support of the state. The interwar period made use of the great resources of invention featured by Polish society. This was a period of a lively activity of various environments not only in Poland but across a major part of Europe, a time for debates and controversies concerning the philosophy and praxis of conservation. The author recalled numerous outstanding figures who made a relevant contribution to the law, doctrine and structures of conservation. The part of the publication considering legal regulations is of particular merit from the viewpoint of current requirements. A large section of the book discusses systematically arranged problems relating to the protection of monuments of technology, sacral monuments, architecture and folk art as well as the protection and revalorisation of historical towns and Old Town districts together with historical cemeteries and park and garden complexes. Finally, the author delved into the post-war conservation theory and the reform and revalorisation of historical town complexes. He also shared his personal reflections and interesting observations about the future of the protection of historical monuments in Poland.
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