INTACH Charter

Charter for the Conservation of Unprotected Architectural Heritage and Sites in India
Drawing upon the experience of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage
(INTACH) in conserving the unprotected architectural heritage and sites of India within an institutional framework for two decades;
Respecting the invaluable contributions of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and State Departments of Archaeology (SDA) in preserving the finest monuments of India;
Valuing ASI's pioneering role in promoting scientific methods of practice and establishing highest standards of professionalism in preserving monuments;
Acknowledging the importance and relevance of principles enunciated in the various International Charters adopted by UNESCO, ICOMOS, et al;
Conscious, however, that a majority of architectural heritage properties and sites in India still remains unidentified, unclassified, and unprotected, thereby subject to attrition on account of neglect, vandalism and insensitive development;
Recognizing the unique resource of the ‘living’ heritage of Master Builders / Sthapatis / Sompuras / Raj Mistris who continue to build and care for buildings following traditions of their ancestors;
Recognizing, too, the concept of jeernodharanam, the symbiotic relationship binding the tangible and intangible architectural heritage of India as one of the traditional philosophies underpinning conservation practice;
Noting the growing role of a trained cadre of conservation architects in India who are re-defining the meaning and boundaries of contemporary conservation practices;
Convinced that it is necessary to value and conserve the unprotected architectural heritage and sites in India by formulating appropriate guidelines sympathetic to the contexts in which they are found;
We, members of INTACH, gathered here in New Delhi on the 4th day of November 2004, adopt the following Charter for Conservation of Unprotected Architectural Heritage and Sites in India.