6-8 April 2016 a colloquium on the conservation of historical gardens, theory and practice, including a field trip, took place in Rome at the Sapienza University. It featured international speakers from France, Germany, Spain, Turkey apart of Italy, and also overseas such as China and Canada.
Maria Bostenaru, 2016 / CC BY
Formal garden parterre at villa Lante, Bagnaia
Since more decades, the restoration school in Rome has been teaching for the specialisation of ongoing architects how to deal with heritage, which is of particular concern in Italy given the share in world heritage it has. Garden heritage belongs to this.
The conference gave an international flair to this teaching, which is not foreign to Italian schools. The Italian speakers and the guests showed theory approaches such as the general situation after the Florence charter but also concrete examples of intervention including the palace of San Souci, the Schwetzingen castle garden in South Western Germany, the Alhambra gardens of the Medinah Al Zahra in Spain, the Zoo of Paris or the Sceaux gardens in France, the Borromeo islands and the works of Porcinai in Lucca, Italy and many others. The speakers work in universities, landscape offices, or administration of historical gardens. Archive studies were also included. One of the speakers (Michael Rohde from Potsdam) authored a book on a related topic which was on display.
A particular concern was given to contemporary topics such as climate change, with a network going to be launched in Potsdam or the practice of the Borromeo islands of saving a monument tree damaged by a storm.
A question discussed was the issue of heritage and autenticity connected to gardens, considering the disappearance and renewal of vegetation in time.
Another issue discussed was the funding of maintenance and conservation work in historical gardens.
The conference concluded in Bagnaia, with a visit to the historical garden of the villa Lante and a round table of stakeholders talking about the valorisation of landscape. An invitation was issued for the IFLA congress hold this year also in Italy, in Turin. The garden of villa Lante features both an urban forest, for which detailed concept was shown, and a formal garden with water works.
The original LE:NOTRE Projects were co-funded by the European Union's Socrates and Lifelong Learning Programmes.
The LE:NOTRE Institute has been established by ECLAS as foundation under Netherlands Law.