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Exporting Working Patterns: Polish Conservation Workshops in the Global South during the Cold War

Alicja Gzowska

Résumés

En Pologne, la conservation du patrimoine culturel est principalement associée à la reconstruction spectaculaire (et controversée) de villes détruites dans l'après-guerre, labellisée « École polonaise de préservation et de conservation ». Ce titre accrocheur et répandu a contribué au succès international des spécialistes travaillant pour l'Atelier d'État polonais pour la conservation du patrimoine culturel (PKZ Pracownie konserwacji zabytków). Entre la fin des années 1960 et le début des années 1990, ils ont réalisé des centaines de projets de conservation du patrimoine de taille variable dans plus de 30 pays, dont plus de 20 sur des sites actuellement classés patrimoine mondial de l'UNESCO. L'objectif de cet article est de démontrer comment ce dispositif, unique pour les pays socialistes, a réussi à s'établir et à s'étendre sur les marchés post-coloniaux dans des pays comme l'Algérie, le Cambodge, l'Égypte, la Syrie, la Tunisie et le Vietnam. Il souligne également comment les experts polonais sont parvenus à adapter leur méthodologies, leurs méthodes de travail interdisciplinaires ainsi que leurs standards techniques et scientifiques aux circonstances locales.

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  • 1 The actual origin of the term is unclear, due to its common use. Depending on needs, different rest (...)
  • 2 They worked in Estonia, France, Spain, Yugoslavia, Cambodia, Lithuania, Latvia, Mongolia, Germany, (...)

1The conservation of cultural heritage in Poland is still mainly associated with spectacular (and controversial) post-war reconstruction of destroyed cities, particularly Warsaw. These restoration efforts attracted great worldwide interest due to their scale, aims and adopted methods, and were labelled, with little regard for accuracy, as a product of the “Polish school of preservation and conservation”.1 In fact, Polish conservators neither elaborated an original doctrine or methodology nor established a separate scientific community, but were, rather, distinguished by their practice. Nevertheless, this widespread catchy term helped Polish specialists achieve an international success. From the late 1960s to the beginning of the 1990s they completed hundreds of heritage conservation projects of various scales in over 30 countries.2 These were commercial commissions, preservation efforts accompanying archaeological research and conservation missions. Since almost all Polish conservators were employed by State Workshops for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage (Państwowe Pracownie Konserwacji Zabytków – PKZ), the aim of this article is to show how this enterprise, as the only one from socialist countries, managed to establish itself and grow on the global market. While working in post-colonial countries such as Algeria, Cambodia, Egypt, Syria, Tunisia and Vietnam, Polish experts managed to adjust their methodologies and techniques to local circumstances and at the same time maintain scientific standards they set for themselves and pursue interdisciplinary methods of teamwork.

The Origin and Structure of PKZ

  • 3 Józef Pilch, “Przedsiębiorstwo Państwowe Pracownie Konserwacji Zabytków – konserwatorzy czy koniunk (...)
  • 4 John H. Stubbs and Emily Gunzburger Makas, Architectural Conservation in Europe and the Americas, H (...)

2PKZ was established in 1945 by the Ministry of Culture for post-war reconstruction. Six years later it became an independent state enterprise and in time expanded into a network with 9,000 employees at 19 national and regional offices.3 Ultimately, its broad scope of activity extended to historical–archival research, technical feasibility studies and implementation of conservation works at various scales: from handicraft and individual works of art to architectural monuments and even entire urban complexes. The structure of the enterprise was a result of the socialist centralized economy favoring state-owned monopolist companies and seeking to include all possible aspects of a particular field in a single venture. Therefore PKZ was able to carry out the entire conservation process: from initial scientific research (including archaeological, technical and chemical) to effective project execution with its own employees and without any outsourcing. It is difficult to find a similar vast organization in either socialist or capitalist countries with permanent, highly qualified staff educated at technical universities and fine arts academies.4

  • 5 These methods were based on both historical research and in situ inventory drawings, with particula (...)
  • 6 Jan Gromnicki, “Konserwatorskie badania archeologiczne w PP Pracownie Konserwacji Zabytków,” Wiadom (...)

3This organizational model supported a strongly interdisciplinary approach resulting in an integrated and scientifically sound conservation process. In the case of Poland, it has developed since the interwar period, but the experience of post-war reconstruction was essential for its fruition. Basing their work on early methods of complex historical, architectural and archaeological research advanced by Oskar Sosnowski before World War II,5 PKZ conservators searched for optimal approaches and procedures to take on work on an unprecedented scale. An illustrative and well-known example of reconstruction that took place from 1945 to 1953 under PKZ supervision is Stare Miasto (the Old Town) in Warsaw. First, experts carefully examined historical and archival material (to some extent also archaeological), discussed the proposed scope of work and then prepared detailed executive designs. In the next stage, due to the large number of volunteers in construction work, they provided supervision and at the same time painstakingly reconstructed more demanding and difficult details. In later PKZ practice this procedure developed into a series of instructions describing the so-called “cycle of conservation”—an optimal procedure of monument preservation together with detailed ways of formulating and explaining the scope and means of the planned work. In the mid-1950s each step of this procedure was carried out by a separate professional team and followed by a final report. Since 1967, interdisciplinary teams with a stable staff of many professions and specializations have been appointed in order to conduct comprehensive and complementary research on particular objects.6 Although conservators during post-war reconstruction had already begun to think of architecture preservation as a coherent task rather than a sum of issues for individual conservation branches, this change allowed professionals in various specializations to fully understand the specifics of the subject. This also resulted in a specialization of PKZ regional offices in accordance with the academic interests of its employees.

  • 7 Małgorzata Popiołek, “Das Konzept des Wiederaufbaus Warschauer Denkmäler in der ersten Jahren nach (...)
  • 8 And also in international debates, while methods adopted in rebuilding Polish cities seemed controv (...)

4It is worth noting that the experience of post-war rebuilding also shaped PKZ practice in other ways. One of the most important ones is that Poles, while strongly committed to retaining historical accuracy, independently adjusted and created conservation methodologies according to circumstances. They took into account not only current conservation doctrines or personal convictions, but also public perception of their work, together with issues stemming from the adaptation of historic buildings to new functions (as in the case of Warsaw Old Town, where, due to political factors, the decoration and modelling from the nineteenth century was removed or not restored, and where flats with modern floor plans, offices or spaces adapted for museums are found behind restored facades).7 Since each preservation project was subject to mandatory consultation with external specialists (to maintain its high quality and scientific accuracy), PKZ conservators learned how to convincingly justify their decisions in discussion.8

  • 9 Andrzej Tomaszewski, “Polska konserwacja w środowisku międzynarodowym 1909–1989, in Jerzy Jasieńko(...)

5However, this approach and many years of rich experience in conservation and restoration were not the only factors influencing a popular saying among professionals: “Wyborowa vodka and conservators were the top export hits of the Polish People’s Republic.”9 In the 1960s, during the height of the Cold War, there was neither an adequate reason nor a favorable climate for Poles to enter foreign markets. It seems that a building of the international position and reputation of Polish conservators was, at least initially, a matter of prestige linked with personal ambitions. Financial aspects grew in importance over time, with the development of other branches of export. However, there were still more important issues, such as providing work for employees when the reconstruction of destroyed cities was by and large completed (in the 1970s) and especially during the economic crisis (in the 1980s).

International contacts

  • 10 A detailed and very interesting insight into the ICOMOS role in encouraging transnational cooperati (...)
  • 11 PKZ experts mainly consulted on works abroad, participated in rescue missions, but also helped in t (...)

6Although Polish conservators had been active internationally at least since the adoption of the Athens Charter for the Restoration of Historic Monuments in 1931, only the widely discussed post-war reconstruction of Warsaw and other cities brought them recognition. Renowned museologists, archaeologists and conservators, such as Stanisław Lorentz, Kazimierz Michałowski, Bohdan Marconi and Jan Zachwatowicz, actively promoted Polish achievements at international conferences and symposia. To draw international attention they organized numerous lectures and exhibitions abroad on the “Polish school of conservation”. In the 1960s Polish conservators were highly advanced and considered internationally as experts in the areas of research, documentation and education. For example, the “white chart”—a standard monument description they invented—has become a model for inventory systems in many countries. It is also no coincidence that Polish experts were involved in the activities of numerous UNESCO organizations. They were co-founders of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS, 1964) and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM, 1959).10 Architect Jan Zachwatowicz was, for instance, a co-author of the Hague Convention (1954) and the Venice Charter (1964)—key documents in this field. Polish experts were also repeatedly appointed to work abroad, often as experts on behalf of UNESCO.11

  • 12 Miles Glendinning, Conservation Movement: A History of Architectural Preservation: Antiquity to Mod (...)
  • 13 Aleksandra Żarynowa, “Polski komitet Narodowy ICOMOS – współpraca z zagranicą,” in Andrzej Tomaszew (...)
  • 14 Its members were: Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Cuba, Vietnam, Mongolia and t (...)

7However, opportunities for international cooperation were strongly limited by the Polish government, which, due to its political dependence on the Soviet Union, strategically supported partnership only within the Eastern bloc. Exceptions to this rule occurred only when certain personal ambitions of scientists, researchers or artists met the fertile ground of similar ambitions of influential politicians.12 If the restoration of Warsaw and other cities was widely promoted in the world, often accompanied by commentary with strong overtones of political propaganda, the potential of the good reputation of Polish specialists remained untapped. They themselves generally tried to avoid political involvement by stressing seemingly neutral scientific issues such as expertise in and methodology of conservation. Therefore they had to struggle with numerous limitations imposed on international travel or on funds for international conferences. Moreover, the Polish ICOMOS committee was not allowed to cooperate with certain organizations such as Europa Nostra or the Council of Europe until the late 1980s.13 Instead, in 1978 the Poles initiated the Socialist Countries Working Group for Conservation of Historical and Cultural Monuments and Museum Objects—a platform of socialist cooperation for academics, museologists and conservation professionals that strengthened their contacts and encouraged exchange of experiences through regular organization of seminars.14

  • 15 Among others, with the Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies in York, the Getty Conservation (...)
  • 16 Miles Glendinning interprets the significant increase in consulting commissions in socialist states (...)
  • 17 Ibid.

8The activities discussed thus far helped to establish informal links between individuals, rather than between institutions. Nevertheless, the PKZ itself joined ICOMOS as an institutional member in 1984 and cooperated with foreign institutions.15 Despite previous attempts at negotiation and exchange of experts, effective export of conservation services to Western markets began only in 1970 when PKZ professionals were commissioned to conserve paintings on the Isartor Gate (Munich, Germany). They seized that opportunity and carried out a full process of conservation work (from research to final report) in a relatively short time of several months and in an exemplary manner. This success led to subsequent commercial contracts, mainly in East and West Germany, the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Algeria.16 Soon, PKZ became an international restoration empire rivaled in Europe only by its Czech counterpart, SURPMO.17

Archeology

  • 18 Ewa Laskowska-Kuszal (ed.), Seventy years of Polish archaeology in Egypt, Warsaw: Polish Centre of (...)
  • 19 Marek Barański, “Polskie misje badawczo-konserwatorskie za granicą,” in Andrzej Tomaszewski (ed.), (...)
  • 20 Marek Barański, “Kronika,” in Zsolt Kiss (ed.), 50 lat polskich wykopalisk w Egipcie i na Bliskim W (...)
  • 21 Anastylosis is a restoration technique using scientific evidence, whereby a ruined building or monu (...)

9Polish archaeology in the early 1960s provided a very favorable opportunity for conservators. Kazimierz Michałowski, a prominent Egyptologist and already an extremely dynamic scientist before World War II, organized joint Polish–French excavations in Edfu. After the war, despite the Polish government’s refusal to further subsidize archaeological work (which was then considered by communist authorities as bourgeois and not worth public expenditure), he managed to establish the Polish Station of Mediterranean Archeology in Cairo in 1959 (now coordinated by the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archeology at the University of Warsaw, PCMA). It soon expanded its area of activity to further countries, such as Cyprus, Iraq, Sudan and Syria.18 Michałowski was aware that, in order to gain funds for research, Polish archaeologists had to distinguish themselves among teams from countries with a long tradition of exploration (such as England or France). One method was to develop advanced specialization in research areas of less interest to international counterparts, such as Predysnastic, Greek or Coptic periods in Egypt. The second strategic concept, doing something that other teams did not, related to conservation and construction practice.19 Unlike other expeditions that carried out preservation work after excavation only to a very limited extent and focused mainly on research, Polish archaeologists worked widely with conservators who carried out extensive preservation work immediately after objects were exposed. Where deemed appropriate, they reconstructed or restored monuments.20 Conservators were incorporated into archaeological missions from the very start. In 1958, Michałowski, then a guest lecturer at the University of Alexandria, was offered an opportunity to research a site located in the center of the city called Kom El-Dikka (fig. 1). There, he discovered the ruins of a late Roman city whose representational buildings, such as an elliptical theater and baths, were exposed, preserved and partially reconstructed using the anastylosis method.21

Figure 1: Kom El-Dikka, Alexandria (Egypt).

Figure 1: Kom El-Dikka, Alexandria (Egypt).

Wojciech Kołątaj supervising the anastylosis of a granite column.

Source: W. Jerke from 70 years of Polish Archaeology.

  • 22 Leszek Dąbrowski, “Międzynarodowa akcja zabezpieczania zabytków w Abu Simbel,” Ochrona zabytków, vo (...)
  • 23 Patrycja Klimowicz and Arkadiusz Klimowicz, “The socio-political context of Polish archaeological d (...)
  • 24 Other motivations probably also counted: “The valuable participation of Polish experts in action to (...)

10It was a spectacular success because the restored monuments attracted tourists and stimulated the imagination much more than typical archaeological excavation sites. After such accomplishments it was much easier to gain permission from authorities for further research. When the Aswan Dam construction project began, Michałowski was appointed chairman of the UNESCO international board of experts. He then encouraged Polish specialists to propose three rescue projects for the Abu Simbel temples, which provided different means for preserving them in situ.22 He also organized archaeological expeditions along the Nile to protect Nubian monuments from flooding. The Polish team decided to start excavation in Faras, where it soon discovered a well-preserved cathedral complex decorated with magnificent frescoes dating back to the Early Christian period. It was such an important achievement in historical and artistic terms that international research authorities used to say that “the Poles hit the Nubian lottery jackpot”.23 On the basis of a Polish–Sudanese agreement, half of the recovered finds went to the National Museum in Warsaw.24 This internationally acclaimed success by the Polish rescue archaeology mission in Nubia changed the Polish government’s attitude towards archaeology—it has since been perceived as a matter of international assistance supported by UNESCO and officially approved by the Soviet Union (co-constructor of the Aswan Dam).

  • 25 Leszek Dąbrowski, “Rekonstrukcja świątyni Hatszepsut w Deir El-Bahari,” Ochrona zabytków, vol. 2, 1 (...)

11Even though political motives played a role, there is no doubt that it was mainly the achievements of Polish Egyptology that persuaded the authorities in the United Arab Republic to sign an official governmental cooperation agreement and grant concessions for excavations to Poland (the second country after France). Research included the Hatshepsut temple at Deir El-Bahari (figs. 2 and 3), where Polish professionals provided Egyptian Antiquities Organization staff advice and scientific supervision during the continuation of a research and reconstruction project that had begun before the war. Although that area had been explored for over 100 years,25 Polish specialists made several important discoveries there, which primarily included the temple of Tuthmosis III. It became clear, given the scale of the project, that the organizational system previously used by the Polish Research Center in Cairo of hiring individual specialists for work seasons was not the most effective solution. Such a vast architectural complex and long-term operation demanded a large and absolutely stable team of professionals. Here, the ambitions of both Kazimierz Michałowski and PKZ Chief Executive Tadeusz Polak converged. Based on a Polish–Egyptian governmental agreement on cultural and scientific cooperation, the first foreign conservation mission was appointed in 1968 to work at Deir El-Bahari.

Figure 2: Temple of Hatshepsut (Egypt).

Figure 2: Temple of Hatshepsut (Egypt).

Upper Terrace. Beginning of work on the temple in the early 1960s.

Source: PCMA Archives.

Figure 3: Temple of Hatshepsut (Egypt).

Figure 3: Temple of Hatshepsut (Egypt).

Upper Terrace.View from the Northeast, after reconstruction.

Source: M. Jawornicki.

12It should be emphasized that the meticulous research, description and arrangement of scattered fragments of this building were at odds with prevailing popular puristic doctrines, radically limiting intervention in the fabric of an existing monument.

  • 26 Ibid., p. 45.
  • 27 Zygmunt Wysocki, “Świątynia królowej Hatszepsut – badania i prace ekipy Pracowni Konserwacji Zabytk (...)

13The temple complex of Deir El-Bahari, with the famous temple of Queen Hatshepsut (from the 15th century BC), is one of the most prominent monuments of ancient Egypt. After studying the literature on the subject and the history of its conservation, Polish conservators considered it appropriate to respect the monument’s integrity and preserve as many original elements as possible. However, their efforts focused on those parts of the temple where it was essential to restore the original proportions and proper facade shape. This meant, for instance, that certain elements already arranged in the first half of the century by French archaeologists had to be relocated.26 The second purpose was re-incorporation of as many original elements as possible into the structure (nearly 10,000 items had been collected in lapidaria for this purpose), in particular while restoring the decoration of the temple of Tuthmosis III (fig. 4).27

Figure 4: Wall blocks and fragments of blocks from the temple of Tuthmosis III in storage (Egypt).

Figure 4: Wall blocks and fragments of blocks from the temple of Tuthmosis III in storage (Egypt).

Source: J. Lipińska's archives.

14Since the archaeological season was relatively short (six months), the Egyptian Architecture Centre—a workplace for conservators and archaeologists—was established in the 1970s in Gdańsk. A specialist library and photolibrary were created there to facilitate the preparation of projects for the future. Moreover, the Centre published materials and reports on works already completed, and in foreign languages—mainly English. At the same time, PKZ arranged subsequent missions analogous to the first one in different locations.

Missions

  • 28 Belarus, Macedonia, Algeria, Egypt, Cambodia, Cuba, Mongolia and Vietnam. Also ad hoc short-term mi (...)
  • 29 Lech Krzyżanowski, “Misje Naukowo-konserwatorskie PP PKZ. Działalność interdyscyplinarna w skali gl (...)
  • 30 Documents of the Polish–Algerian mission, PKZ archives on deposit at the National Heritage Archives (...)

15Until the end of socialism in Poland, twelve similarly organized missions were established on the basis of bilateral agreements on cultural and scientific cooperation with socialist countries, or states temporarily in their area of influence.28 The basic premise was that PKZ experts should not merely supervise preservation work, but cooperate with local specialists in all phases of the conservation process. This approach focused on mutual training and sharing of experience, mainly imparting personal experience to local partners during work. PKZ also offered internships at its Polish workshops and laboratories, and helped in gaining stipends.29 Education included not only technical or practical issues, but also methods of work organization modelled on the solutions adopted by PKZ so that local partners could eventually work independently. For example, in the case of the Polish–Algerian mission, support for the creation of an Algerian company and training of its staff in view of expansion to third markets was explicitly declared.30

  • 31 Poles, for instance, preferred abandoned buildings, which eliminated the need for expensive and tim (...)

16Organization of a mission was always initiated by a PKZ regional branch. A partner country presented a list of monuments and sites, together with a work plan from which the Polish side chose several and then prepared detailed conservation programs for them. Programs were first accepted by the Director-in-Chief of PKZ and his advisory council, and then by proper authorities of the country in question. To win acclaim, PKZ selected monuments of the highest possible class, well exposed and in a relatively good state of preservation, so that visible results could be obtained as early as after the first season of work.31 Sometimes a monument was chosen for the purpose of acquiring knowledge and experience in the historic building techniques of an area, as in the case of the Emir Qurqumas sepulchral complex in Cairo, discussed below. The general rule was to restore monuments so that they would look as complete as possible with the largest possible amount of original substance. Polish conservators avoided ostensive use of modern materials and other radical controversial doctrines; this won them an impeccable reputation and a positive evaluation of their activities.

  • 32 Mirosław Olbryś, “Działalność zagraniczna PP PKZ: prace konserwatorskie, misje badawczo-konserwator (...)

17The extent of PKZ participation and mission funding was regulated by agreements between the company and its local counterparts (or relevant ministry). Although the enterprise led several commercial contracts in Europe and earned some money from cooperation with archaeologists, activities labeled as a “mission” were non-profit and based only on PKZ’s and the foreign host’s resources. The latter covered the essential part of costs on site, supplied bulk materials, workers (their number reached 100 in Deir El-Bahari), accommodation, medical care etc. Poland delegated experts as well as supplied the necessary (including heavy) equipment and professional materials. Due to their non-commercial nature, PKZ treated missions as a method of promoting its services and a way of recognizing potential new markets for them.32 It is not surprising, therefore, that most missions were established in the 1980s during the economic crisis when Poland was in need of foreign “hard” currencies.

  • 33 Józef Pilch, “Przedsiębiorstwo Państwowe Pracownie Konserwacji Zabytków – konserwatorzy czy koniunk (...)
  • 34 Lech Krzyżanowski, “Misje naukowo-konserwatorskie PP PKZ. Działalność interdyscyplinarna w skali gl (...)

18There were other motivations for a mission as well. In a period when Poles could not leave their homeland freely, the very opportunity to see new countries had a certain appeal. From the company’s standpoint it was also an occasion to bring home for conservation work some professional materials not available in Poland and—to a limited extent—to purchase machinery and equipment for specialist workshops.33 Staff benefited as well, as nearly 200 professionals took part in missions where they learned languages, established contacts, caught up with their foreign colleagues’ achievements and exchanged experiences. On the other hand, there were no major financial gains as delegates received only modest stipends abroad.34

19The company took care to make the missions adequately known to the domestic and international public. Conservators eagerly reported on their work; in addition to abundant writings in Polish, numerous publications in English, French, German and other languages were issued, including 20 volumes published in the PKZ Research and Conservation Mission Report series.

Restoration of Islamic Architecture

20Polish specialists were gaining the trust of their clients by proving their performance in various cultural and climatic conditions. For instance, thanks to positive assessment of their five-year work in Egypt, they were able to start another crucial mission. In 1972, the Polish–Egyptian Group for Restoration of Islamic Monuments was established in Cairo to carry out work at the Emir Qurqumas sepulchral complex in the Caliphs Necropolis in Cairo (figs. 5 and 6)—this was the first such initiative in Egypt dedicated to monuments of Islamic Art.

Figure 5: General view of the northern side of the Qurqumas complex, Cairo (Egypt).

Figure 5: General view of the northern side of the Qurqumas complex, Cairo (Egypt).

Source: M. G. Witkowski.

  • 35 Andrzej Misiorowski, “Zabytkowy zespół ‘Emir Kurkumas’ na Nekropolii Kalifów w Kairze”, Ochrona Zab (...)
  • 36 “Contemporary, completely Arabized Egyptian has a deep sentiment towards everything associated with (...)
  • 37 Ibid., p. 20.
  • 38 It is worth mentioning that they managed to persuade Egyptian collaborators and authorities to allo (...)
  • 39 Lech Krzyżanowski, “Polsko-Egipski Zespół Konserwacji Zabytków Islamu,” Ochrona zabytków, vol. 1, 1 (...)
  • 40 Stanisław Siarkiewicz, “Problemy konstrukcyjno-konserwatorskie w kompleksie ‘Emir Kurkumas’ w Kairz (...)

21The complex, dating to the 15th century (a mosque, mausoleum, monastery as well as a residential building), was constructed in the so-called “Mamluk style”.35 According to one of the Polish conservators, most Egyptians, although they highly appreciated ancient monuments (associated with Christianity, Roman and Greek influences as well as ancient Egyptian beliefs), were strongly emotionally attached to Islamic monuments.36 That explained, in his opinion, their reluctance to allow foreign specialists to explore and preserve the heritage of Islamic culture. Therefore it is not surprising that he believed that “the invitation of Polish specialists to work here without the obligation to pay a concession proves the enormous trust that Poles enjoy in Egypt, both as professionals and tactful people, respectful of local customs and beliefs”.37 Polish experts were aware that decisions on the scope and methods of preserving Islamic architecture demanded a different approach due to particular practical and theoretical issues bound up with religious beliefs and traditions.38 Since the Egyptian Committee for the Conservation of the Monuments of Arab Art had been dissolved in 1961, and Polish experts had no previous contacts or experience with such monuments, experts from both countries jointly carried out meticulous architectural research.39 In order to prepare an optimal technical design for the conservation work, conservators, after briefly reviewing archives, focused primarily on a comprehensive analysis of construction materials and techniques, so that they could complete and reconstruct damaged elements of monuments such as wooden window screens using original historical methods.40 Since 1988, the mission program of restoration work has also included the adjacent tomb of Sultan Inal (1456) and, additionally, mission members were repeatedly invited to consult on work at other mosques.

Figure 6: General view from the Madrasa roof of Qurqumas, Cairo (Egypt).

Figure 6: General view from the Madrasa roof of Qurqumas, Cairo (Egypt).

General view from the Madrasa roof of Qurqumas onto the extensive funerary complex of Sultan Al-Ashraf Inal, adjacent to Qurqumas' enclosure and included in the same monumental zone.

Source: M. G. Witkowski.

  • 41 The most important works included: the palace of Ahmed Bey, the ruins of the mosque and fortificati (...)
  • 42 Arnold Bartetzky, “History Revised: National Style and National Heritage in Polish Architecture and (...)
  • 43 Wiesław Olszowicz, “Zestawienie form kamiennych charakterystycznych dla architektury Algierii XVI–X (...)

22Polish conservators treated each object individually, studying both construction methods and forms in each case. This solicitous and research-based attitude allowed them to get to know and understand the local tradition and thereby match familiar preservation methods to a monument. In some cases, Polish conservators had to expand and adjust their knowledge to new circumstances (e.g. different climatic and microbiological conditions demanding a series of laboratory tests on building materials endurance, physio-chemistry and resistance to fungi and insects). This approach suited the needs and expectations of their foreign partners. Numerous contracts in Algeria provide clear evidence here.41 After Algeria gained independence, Algerian authorities particularly focused on monuments from the period of Arab domination of these territories (from the 8th century to the mid-19th century), which they found fundamental from the standpoint of their national identity. It was highly undesirable to entrust preservation of such a heritage to professionals from former colonizing countries such as France or Great Britain. In contrast, PKZ was a contractor from a country without a colonial past, but rather a shared trajectory from liberation to independence. Polish experts, due to their direct involvement in post-war reconstruction of destroyed cities and the intense debate on this issue, perfectly understood the role of architectural heritage and its preservation in shaping national identity (historic buildings or regional architectural details are for many visible evidence of a nation’s past and culture).42 Taking this in account, Polish architect Wiesław Olszowicz, project manager during the inventory of the citadel in Algiers (in 1979–82), prepared a catalog of Algerian stone forms and profiles from the period 1518–1830. This was the time of development of the Algerian state when, as Olszowicz claimed, the distinctiveness of local architecture was determined.43

  • 44 Comité Permanent d’Étude et d’Organisation du Grand Alger (COMEDOR) was the state body in charge of (...)
  • 45 Information from personal files of Mieczysław Samborski and Mieczysław Olszowicz in the archives of (...)
  • 46 Poles were determined to win the tender for execution of these works, so they offered Algerians fav (...)

23Similar issues, related to national identity, occurred during planning renovation and adaptation of the Kasbah of Algiers to modern needs. This process was planned from the early 1970s to halt the rapid ongoing destruction and depopulation of the complex. Polish experts participated in design work carried out by COMEDOR44 as well as by its successor. However, in 1978 the Algerian Ministry of Information and Culture sent a special request to the Polish Ministry of Culture and Art to delegate to Algiers a team of PKZ architects, conservators and experts who had participated in rebuilding the Royal Castle in Warsaw. The Algerian authorities, who frequently visited the Polish capital, were impressed by this undertaking and wanted to hire Poles for preparatory work and elaboration of the Algiers citadel preservation program.45 By 1982, the Polish team had completed architectural and photogrammetric documentation of Dey’s Palace, two mosques and several other buildings surrounded by a fortified wall. From 1983, work on detailed executive projects began, as did the most urgent work, such as restoration of polychrome wooden ceilings in Bey’s Palace. The final phase of conservation work planned after 1987 was delayed due to the country’s complicated internal situation.46

Challenges

  • 47 It is not clearly stated in documents, but it seems that Algerians were focused on ensuring that th (...)

24In many cases, work conditions during missions and contracts were far from perfect. Climate and cultures that were unfamiliar to Poles meant unpleasant surprises, and at times work was dangerous. Confusion in organizational matters was the most difficult obstacle to overcome. For instance, the Algerian architects and conservators delegated to this project were very young and without experience in organizing such events. As a mission, they understood that a group of foreigners was directing the work, unlike the Poles, who expected to be working in partnership.47 Polish specialists in a number of fundamental issues such as building materials, supplies or salaries relied solely on the local partners and, when that failed, on their own ingenuity.

  • 48 Andrzej Misiorowski, “Restauracja ściany wieńczącej nad III Tarasem świątyni Hatszepsut w Deir El-B (...)
  • 49 Leszek Dąbrowski, “Rekonstrukcja świątyni Hatszepsut w Deir El-Bahari,” op. cit. (note 25), p. 39.

25Work was hampered by the fact that PKZ professionals in many cases learned the local specificity of conservation on site during project realization. They had to confront criteria for assessing the value of monuments that differed from those applied to European heritage, such as a different concept of authenticity. Also, work was a challenge from a technical standpoint. Field laboratories were often poorly equipped, and evaluation of materials or technological research was difficult to perform. Due to lack of proper equipment and building materials, the quantity and quality of many elements (often basic, such as mortar) were based almost entirely on intuition and the experience of conservators. For example, during the early stages of the Deir El-Bahari project, concrete—according to a report—with strength class “corresponding to 110” was used in the production of prefabricated artificial stone because it was not possible to use professional methods of quality control.48 Polish experts decided to risk mixing limestone aggregate with the concrete, although the chemical influence of cement on local limestone had not yet been laboratory tested. Constant difficulties and dilemmas prompted conservators to act unusually, for instance, to continuously supervise work in situ to an extent not known in any undertaking in Poland and to make operational decisions regarding the direction and type of work. They often had to abandon design documentation or executive drawing for direct explanations and oral instructions to contractors. Methods of work preparation, approval and implementation for technical projects, routinely used in Poland, often turned out to be simply ineffective. Conservators also eagerly took advantage of the assistance of other specialists such as miners or structural engineers and creatively adapted their professional methods and knowledge to local conditions.49 For example, methods of soil compaction and stabilization developed for mining were used at Deir El-Bahari in order to stop dangerous rock erosion and crushing.

  • 50 Documents of the Polish–Cambodian mission, PKZ archives, folder no. 119/13.

26Polish conservators aimed to achieve an optimal conservation effect by using relatively small amounts of money, materials and labor. They preferred local materials that were easily available and compatible with regional building tradition. They also learned how to substitute many basic materials and elements that they frequently lacked. For example, at some works aluminum foil successfully replaced lead dilatation inserts.50 Of course, some professional products and materials could be imported from Europe, although this seemed very difficult and unnecessary due to high costs, customs regulations, and long shipping time.

Work in Asia

27Polish conservators also encountered great difficulties while working in more remote and unexpected locations, such as the post-colonial states of Southeast Asia. Obtaining commissions there was not easy—missions in Cambodia and Vietnam are particularly noteworthy in this respect. In the 1980s these countries were often visited by Polish Ministry of Culture and Art officials and the PKZ commercial agent. The delegates eagerly sought to take advantage of political and economic opportunities to obtain commissions for the company in emerging markets, but results in those two cases differed.

  • 51 Tadeusz Polak, “Międzynarodowa współpraca w zakresie ratowania zespołu Angkor w Kambodży,” Ochrona (...)
  • 52 Michael A. Di Giovine, The Heritage-scape: UNESCO, World Heritage and Tourism, Lanham, MD: Lexingto (...)
  • 53 Ibid., p. 218–9 and 230; Documents of Polish–Vietnamese mission, PKZ archives, folder no. 108/1.

28Neither Cambodia nor Vietnam was perceived by the Polish government as a potentially serious political or economic partner, probably due to geographical and cultural distance. However, when, after the overthrow of the Pol Pot regime in 1979, the government in Phnom Penh appealed for assistance in preserving and restoring the temples of Angkor, only India and Poland declared their willingness to help. These countries were among the few that maintained diplomatic relations with Cambodia and did not make their help dependent on the political situation there.51 The case of Vietnam was similar. Due to the embargo imposed by the United States and its allies, responses to a call from the Director-General of UNESCO in 1981 to rescue of the city of Hue were very limited. A few funds came from Japan, England and Thailand—mostly from private donors.52 A Polish–Vietnamese preservation mission was formed only after Hoang Dao Kinh, the Vietnamese architect and Director of the Department of Conservation at the Ministry of Culture and Information, had visited Poland for technical training. During his stay in Poland he met Kazimierz Kwiatkowski from the regional PKZ branch in Lublin, and secured his involvement.53

  • 54 Andrzej Misiorowski, “Historic complex in Hue,” in Lech Krzyżanowski (ed.), Polish conservators of (...)
  • 55 Kazimierz Kwiatkowski, “Prace Polsko-Wietnamskiej Misji Konserwacji Zabytków na terenie rezerwatu m (...)
  • 56 Kazimierz Kwiatkowski, “Specificity of conservation Cham monuments,” in Lech Krzyżanowski (ed.), Po (...)

29In 1981, “Kazik,” as Kwiatkowski was called by the Vietnamese, visited the temple ruins at My Son (fig. 7), together with his team, as well as a historical complex in Hue with a 19th century residential palace and several burial sites around it.54 In the same year Polish specialists had already prepared an action plan for saving and preserving the most important monuments, which had decayed after almost 30 years of war and aggressive vegetation. The focal point of the mission, however, was research and preparation of restoration programs for architectural monuments of the medieval kingdom of Cham (6th to 15th century) in central Vietnam.55 Scientific reports with descriptions, photographs, freehand drawings and photogrammetric representations for monuments in, among others, My Son, Chien Dang, Nha Trang, Qui Nhon and around Phan Rang were developed in cooperation with local experts. Simultaneously, basic archaeological research and emergency repairs were performed (figs. 8 and 9).56

Figure 7: Photogrammetric work on the Po Na Gar complex at Nha Trang (Vietnam), 1981.

Figure 7: Photogrammetric work on the Po Na Gar complex at Nha Trang (Vietnam), 1981.

Source: A. Maruszak.

  • 57 Andrzej Wawrzeńczak and Sławomir Skibiński “Przyczynek do badań technologii budowlanej świątyń wież (...)

30Although conditions were rough, the key difficulty was to obtain structural and technological expertise on a very enigmatic technique of tower temple construction. For this purpose, samples of bricks and “mortar” were sent to Polish laboratories for further investigation.57 Detailed chemical tests were conducted during the preservation process to repeat construction methods used centuries ago.

  • 58 Wiesław Domasłowski, “Restoration of the temple complex in My Son,” in Lech Krzyżanowski (ed.), Pol (...)

31The Cham sacral complex, which until 1939 was preserved by a French team under the direction of Henri Parmentier and later severely damaged during the Vietnam War (1955–75), was to be restored again. Work soon evolved from simple clearance (mines, vegetation and debris had to be removed) to the rebuilding of damaged structures.58

Figure 8: My Son (Vietnam), 1982.

Figure 8: My Son (Vietnam), 1982.

Reconstruction of towers B, C, D.

Source: K. Kwiatkowski.

Figure 9: My Son (Vietnam), 2014.

Figure 9: My Son (Vietnam), 2014.

Source: Krzysztof Świercz.

  • 59 Phuong Tran Ky, “Preservation and Management of the Monuments of Champa in Central Vietnam: the Exa (...)

32Just as during other missions, PKZ experts carefully searched for shattered original bricks, structural elements and decorative reliefs to reuse them—as far as was possible—in anastylosis and partial restoration.59 Although the entire complex was preserved as a permanent ruin, Polish experts managed to stabilize and restore the functional level of several structures and bring a sense of unity back to the site.

  • 60 Processes of inclusion in the national Vietnamese discourse of heritages of different peoples and r (...)
  • 61 Kazimierz Kwiatkowski, “Prace Polsko-Wietnamskiej Misji Konserwacji Zabytków na terenie rezerwatu m (...)

33It was much more difficult to gain the authorities’ acceptance to begin work at the monuments in Hue. While they readily took care of relicts of the bygone power of the Cham people, in part due to their similarity to the world-renowned Angkor temples, for a long time the communist government showed no interest in restoring the imperial palace.60 As part of an appreciation of “their own” heritage, they turned to Kwiatkowski to preserve the most important Vietcong guerrilla base where the 1975 Spring Offensive started.61. As it was made of clay and concrete, PKZ conservators attempted reconstruction solutions consistent with historical truth—for example, they interviewed former partisans. It is difficult from today’s perspective and with limited information to judge the extent to which the Poles’ acceptance of this commission stemmed from political obedience or conformity, and how much it was a mere tactical move—a necessary step leading to more interesting tasks.

  • 62 Patrizia Zolese, “The Archaeology of My Son: Inspiration for the Italian Cooperation,” in David Har (...)
  • 63 When the Polish government gave up funding the mission in 1990, Kwiatkowski decided to stay in Viet (...)

34There is no doubt that Kwiatkowski was genuinely keen on Vietnamese monuments and culture.62 He worked in this country hand in hand with Hoang Dao Kinh, despite changing conditions, for 17 years until his death in 1997 (figs. 10 and 11).63

Figure 10: Kazimierz Kwiatkowski in the eastern part of My Son complex (Vietnam).

Figure 10: Kazimierz Kwiatkowski in the eastern part of My Son complex (Vietnam).

Source: M. Warneńska.

  • 64 Patrizia Zolese, “The Archaeology of My Son: Inspiration for the Italian Cooperation,” op. cit. (no (...)

35On the other hand, some aspects of work by the Poles at this complex, for example the use of cement in My Son, were criticized in the 1990s.64 At present, the importance of Kwiatkowski’s research and conservation is very strongly emphasized.

  • 65 Several dozen Vietnamese in Poland took part in the reconstruction of the old town of Lublin alongs (...)

36He is regarded in the city as a providential man who saved the historic complex facing demolition. The entry of Hội An on the UNESCO World Heritage List is considered mainly as his achievement. Moreover, “Kazik” strongly influenced the formation of local conservation methods during on-site training in favor of scientific research-based anastylosis and restoration. It is perhaps in Vietnam where the principles of deepening cooperation and on-site training of local conservation staff supplemented by courses in Poland could be implemented in full measure.65

Figure 11: Kazimierz Kwiatkowski's memorial in Hoi An (Vietnam), 2014.

Figure 11: Kazimierz Kwiatkowski's memorial in Hoi An (Vietnam), 2014.

Source: Krzysztof Świercz.

  • 66 Michael A. Di Giovine, The Heritage-scape: UNESCO, World Heritage and Tourism, op. cit. (note 52), (...)

37There is another noteworthy aspect of the work of Polish conservators: “The presence of Kazik and his teams should also not be discounted, as they were not only responsible for helping to materially preserve the sites, but also for raising awareness of the destination to other Soviet-bloc experts advising the Vietnamese government on a range of infrastructural and military affairs. These were the first tourists and while they treated Ha Noi—and to a lesser degree Saigon—as working cities, they frequently holidayed in Hue and Da Nang. Tourist revenue increased.”66 Development of tourist traffic significantly contributed to the preservation of Vietnamese monuments.

  • 67 Tadeusz Polak, “Międzynarodowa współpraca w zakresie ratowania zespołu Angkor w Kambodży”, op. cit. (...)
  • 68 Documents of the Polish–Cambodian mission, PKZ Archives, folder no. 119/5.

38It would seem that the experience gained in Vietnam should help Polish conservators acquire similar projects in Cambodia. Political and economic circumstances were also favorable. When in 1979 the Phnom Penh government tried to resume conservation work abandoned by French specialists a decade earlier, it could not gather enough national experts.67 Despite the high ambitions of the Polish delegation after a visit by PKZ representatives to Cambodia in 1981, a mission to conserve Angkor was nevertheless not set up. In spite of repeated attempts to demilitarize the area, the Khmer Rouge guerrilla army still operated around the temples and Cambodia could not ensure the Poles’ safety.68

Conclusions

39The privatization of PKZ after 1989 did not prove beneficial for the enterprise. Divided into smaller units, PKZ lost its ability to take an interdisciplinary and comprehensive approach. But the company legacy has not been completely lost and some Polish conservators are still successfully active in Egypt, Algeria, Vietnam and other countries.

  • 69 Patrycja Klimowicz and Arkadiusz Klimowicz, “The socio-political context of Polish archaeological d (...)
  • 70 Marek Barański, “Polskie misje badawczo-konserwatorskie za granicą”, op. cit. (note 19), p. 279.

40PKZ foreign missions and other activities have made an important contribution to protecting world cultural heritage. Among the monuments of the highest value it has preserved abroad, more than 20 are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The activities of Polish conservators provide an interesting case of the globalization of professional and practice-oriented knowledge, not at the scale of institutions or schools, but rather at the scale of personal contacts during shared tasks. Nevertheless, the impact of this work and teaching on local conservation practices requires further study. For instance, although many inspectors employed in the Egyptian and Sudan Antiquities Service today still identify themselves with Polish scholarship, it must be taken into account that post-colonial countries became a place of divergent influences from many research centers.69 This is particularly difficult to evaluate, as Polish specialists did not implement a particular methodology or doctrine, but rather a procedure and approach. What also distinguished Poles from other conservators is that all of their projects were led by small groups of specialists and with relatively limited means, while their effects are noticeable and of high quality. As noted by Marek Barański, Polish experts gained their advantage “not with money, big names, technical capabilities, but with great determination and ability to get along in sometimes extreme organizational conditions”.70

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Notes

1 The actual origin of the term is unclear, due to its common use. Depending on needs, different restoration goals and scopes of reconstruction were decided at distinct sites, which consequently resulted in a wide range of execution methods. Wojciech Kalinowski, Zabytki urbanistyki i architektury w Polsce: odbudowa i konserwacja. 1- miasta historyczne, Warsaw: Arkady, 1986.

2 They worked in Estonia, France, Spain, Yugoslavia, Cambodia, Lithuania, Latvia, Mongolia, Germany, Russia, Sweden, United Kingdom and Vietnam. Mirosław Olbryś, “Działalność zagraniczna PP PKZ: prace konserwatorskie, misje badawczo-konserwatorskie oraz współpraca międzynarodowa”, Wiadomości konserwatorskie, vol. 31, 2012, p. 140; Józef Pilch, Pracownie Konserwacji Zabytków 1951–1986, Warsaw: Wydawnictwa PKZ, 1986, p. 55.

3 Józef Pilch, “Przedsiębiorstwo Państwowe Pracownie Konserwacji Zabytków – konserwatorzy czy koniunkturaliści?”, Wiadomości konserwatorskie, vol. 31, 2012, p. 126–8.

4 John H. Stubbs and Emily Gunzburger Makas, Architectural Conservation in Europe and the Americas, Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons, 2011, p. 259–65.

5 These methods were based on both historical research and in situ inventory drawings, with particular attention to typology and regional architectural detail. Maria Bykowska, “Badania zabytków architektury: teoria i praktyka, organizacja (1945–1989),” in Andrzej Tomaszewski (ed.), Ochrona i konserwacja dóbr kultury w Polsce 1944–1989. Uwarunkowania polityczne i społeczne, Warsaw: Stowarzyszenie Konserwatorów Zabytków, 1996, p. 150–66.

6 Jan Gromnicki, “Konserwatorskie badania archeologiczne w PP Pracownie Konserwacji Zabytków,” Wiadomości Konserwatorskie, vol. 31, 2012, p. 135–9.

7 Małgorzata Popiołek, “Das Konzept des Wiederaufbaus Warschauer Denkmäler in der ersten Jahren nach dem zweiten Weltkrieg,” Bulletin der Polnischen Historischen Mission, vol. 7, 2012, p. 77–81.

8 And also in international debates, while methods adopted in rebuilding Polish cities seemed controversial for many specialists strongly attached to the concept of monument authenticity. John H. Stubbs and Emily Gunzburger Makas, op. cit. (note 4), p. 262–3.

9 Andrzej Tomaszewski, “Polska konserwacja w środowisku międzynarodowym 1909–1989, in Jerzy Jasieńko (ed.), Polskie konserwacje poza granicami Rzeczypospolitej, Warsaw: Stowarzyszenie Konserwatorów Zabytków, 2006, p. 211.

10 A detailed and very interesting insight into the ICOMOS role in encouraging transnational cooperation was provided by Aurélie Élisa Gfeller in her presentation “Preserving Cultural Heritage across the Iron Curtain: The International Council on Monuments and Sites from Venice to Moscow, 1964–1978” at the “Geteilt-Vereint! Denkmalpflege in Mitteleuropa” conference, Hildesheim, 25–28 September 2013.

11 PKZ experts mainly consulted on works abroad, participated in rescue missions, but also helped in the drafting of laws. Polish national archives have extensive lists dating from the mid-1970s of conservators willing to work as UNESCO experts. Archives of the Związek Polskich Artystów Plastyków in Central Achives of Modern Records in Warsaw, file no. 11/31.

12 Miles Glendinning, Conservation Movement: A History of Architectural Preservation: Antiquity to Modernity, London; New York, NY: Routledge, 2003, p. 359–89.

13 Aleksandra Żarynowa, “Polski komitet Narodowy ICOMOS – współpraca z zagranicą,” in Andrzej Tomaszewski (ed.), Ochrona i konserwacja dóbr kultury w Polsce 1944–1989. Uwarunkowania polityczne i społeczne, op. cit. (note 5), p. 262–9.

14 Its members were: Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Cuba, Vietnam, Mongolia and the USSR. Jan Gromnicki, “Grupa Robocza Krajów Socjalistycznych ds. Konserwacji Zabytków Historii, Kultury i Muzealiów,” in Andrzej Tomaszewski (ed.), Ochrona i konserwacja dóbr kultury w Polsce 1944–1989. Uwarunkowania polityczne i społeczne, op. cit. (note 5), p. 270–74.

15 Among others, with the Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies in York, the Getty Conservation Institute and English Heritage.

16 Miles Glendinning interprets the significant increase in consulting commissions in socialist states as a “reward” for Polish participation in the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. However, this hypothesis does not explain a similar increase in commissions in capitalist countries. Miles Glendinning, Conservation Movement: A History of Architectural Preservation: Antiquity to Modernity, op. cit. (note 12), p. 382.

17 Ibid.

18 Ewa Laskowska-Kuszal (ed.), Seventy years of Polish archaeology in Egypt, Warsaw: Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw, 2007.

19 Marek Barański, “Polskie misje badawczo-konserwatorskie za granicą,” in Andrzej Tomaszewski (ed.), Ochrona i konserwacja dóbr kultury w Polsce 1944–1989. Uwarunkowania polityczne i społeczne, op. cit. (note 5), p. 275.

20 Marek Barański, “Kronika,” in Zsolt Kiss (ed.), 50 lat polskich wykopalisk w Egipcie i na Bliskim Wschodzie, Warsaw: Uniwersytet Warszawski, Stacja Archeologii Śródziemnomorskiej, 1986, p. 219.

21 Anastylosis is a restoration technique using scientific evidence, whereby a ruined building or monument is reconstructed using original architectural elements to the greatest degree possible.

22 Leszek Dąbrowski, “Międzynarodowa akcja zabezpieczania zabytków w Abu Simbel,” Ochrona zabytków, vol. 1, 1965, p. 3–27.

23 Patrycja Klimowicz and Arkadiusz Klimowicz, “The socio-political context of Polish archaeological discoveries in Faras, Sudan,” in Sjoerd van der Linde and Monique H. van den Dries, European Archaeology Abroad. Global Settings, Comparative Perspectives, Leiden: Sidestone Press, 2012, p. 297.

24 Other motivations probably also counted: “The valuable participation of Polish experts in action to protect the monuments of Nubia (...) has been fully recognized by the government of the United Arab Republic. This participation was considered equivalent to cash contributions in the international fund-raising, which in turn saved our country expenditure of over half a million dollars”. Leszek Dąbrowski, “Międzynarodowa akcja zabezpieczania zabytków w Abu Simbel,” op. cit. (note 22), p. 26. Cf. Patrycja Klimowicz and Arkadiusz Klimowicz, “The socio-political context of Polish archaeological discoveries in Faras, Sudan,” op. cit. (note 23), p. 287–306.

25 Leszek Dąbrowski, “Rekonstrukcja świątyni Hatszepsut w Deir El-Bahari,” Ochrona zabytków, vol. 2, 1964, p. 39–49.

26 Ibid., p. 45.

27 Zygmunt Wysocki, “Świątynia królowej Hatszepsut – badania i prace ekipy Pracowni Konserwacji Zabytków”, Ochrona Zabytków, vol. 1–2, 1983, p. 69–81.

28 Belarus, Macedonia, Algeria, Egypt, Cambodia, Cuba, Mongolia and Vietnam. Also ad hoc short-term missions were set up: in 1972 to research and prepare a conservation program for the tomb of Queen Nefertari, or in 1979 in Montenegro. Several other projects did not get beyond the preparatory stage. Mirosław Olbryś, “Działalność zagraniczna PP PKZ: prace konserwatorskie, misje badawczo-konserwatorskie oraz współpraca międzynarodowa”, op. cit. (note 2), p. 141.

29 Lech Krzyżanowski, “Misje Naukowo-konserwatorskie PP PKZ. Działalność interdyscyplinarna w skali globalnej,” in Andrzej Żaboklicki (ed.), Conservatio aeterna creatio est: seminarium z okazji 50-leci pracy w ochronie i konserwacji zabytków profesora Tadeusza Polaka, Kielce: Wydawnictwa Politechniki Świętokrzyskiej, 1998, p. 23. The achievements of Polish conservation projects in saving the heritage of ancient civilizations led to the organization of restoration courses for foreign students. Also, thousands of Arab students took the opportunity to complete free university studies in Poland. Patrycja Klimowicz and Arkadiusz Klimowicz, “The socio-political context of Polish archaeological discoveries in Faras, Sudan,” op. cit. (note 23), p. 303.

30 Documents of the Polish–Algerian mission, PKZ archives on deposit at the National Heritage Archives in Grodzisk Mazowiecki (henceforth: PKZ archives), folder no. 108/14.

31 Poles, for instance, preferred abandoned buildings, which eliminated the need for expensive and time-consuming evictions that “would negatively influence the prestige and sympathy that Polish specialists enjoy among common people in Egypt,” Andrzej Misiorowski, “Zabytkowy zespół ‘Emir Kurkumas’ na Nekropolii Kalifów w Kairze,” Ochrona Zabytków, vol. 1, 1974, p. 3–20.

32 Mirosław Olbryś, “Działalność zagraniczna PP PKZ: prace konserwatorskie, misje badawczo-konserwatorskie oraz współpraca międzynarodowa,” Wiadomości konserwatorskie, op cit. (note 2), p. 141.

33 Józef Pilch, “Przedsiębiorstwo Państwowe Pracownie Konserwacji Zabytków – konserwatorzy czy koniunkturaliści?,” op. cit. (note 3), p. 127.

34 Lech Krzyżanowski, “Misje naukowo-konserwatorskie PP PKZ. Działalność interdyscyplinarna w skali globalnej,” op. cit. (note 29), p. 23.

35 Andrzej Misiorowski, “Zabytkowy zespół ‘Emir Kurkumas’ na Nekropolii Kalifów w Kairze”, Ochrona Zabytków, vol. 1, 1974, p. 17.

36 “Contemporary, completely Arabized Egyptian has a deep sentiment towards everything associated with the Arab rule and Muslim beliefs”, Ibid. (note 35), p. 4.

37 Ibid., p. 20.

38 It is worth mentioning that they managed to persuade Egyptian collaborators and authorities to allow them to conduct archaeological and anthropological exploration of burials in the mausoleum of the emir Qurqumas, thereby creating a precedent in the history of research on Islamic heritage. Lech Krzyżanowski, “Misje naukowo-konserwatorskie PP PKZ. Działalność interdyscyplinarna w skali globalnej,” op. cit. (note 29), p. 24.

39 Lech Krzyżanowski, “Polsko-Egipski Zespół Konserwacji Zabytków Islamu,” Ochrona zabytków, vol. 1, 1973, p. 69.

40 Stanisław Siarkiewicz, “Problemy konstrukcyjno-konserwatorskie w kompleksie ‘Emir Kurkumas’ w Kairze,” Ochrona zabytków, vol. 2, 1974, p. 103–15.

41 The most important works included: the palace of Ahmed Bey, the ruins of the mosque and fortifications in Mansourach, a reconstructed decoration at the Sidi Boumediene madrasa near Tlemcen, documentation for Islamic monuments in Honain and ruins of an ancient bath excavated by archaeologists in Agadir.

42 Arnold Bartetzky, “History Revised: National Style and National Heritage in Polish Architecture and Monument Protection – Before and After World War II,” in Matthew Rampley (ed.), Heritage, Ideology, and Identity in Central and Eastern Europe. Contested Pasts, Contested Presents, Woodbridge; Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 2012 (Heritage matters series, 6), p. 93–114.

43 Wiesław Olszowicz, “Zestawienie form kamiennych charakterystycznych dla architektury Algierii XVI–XIX wieku,” unpublished typescript, PKZ archives.

44 Comité Permanent d’Étude et d’Organisation du Grand Alger (COMEDOR) was the state body in charge of urban planning of the agglomeration of Algiers from 1968 to 1979.

45 Information from personal files of Mieczysław Samborski and Mieczysław Olszowicz in the archives of Stowarzyszenie Architektów Polskich (henceforth: SARP archives).

46 Poles were determined to win the tender for execution of these works, so they offered Algerians favorable terms of payment (credit or compensation in goods), PKZ archives, folder no. 108/11.

47 It is not clearly stated in documents, but it seems that Algerians were focused on ensuring that the Poles themselves would achieve the mission goal and not on joint work and education. Documents of Polish–Algerian mission, PKZ archives, folder no. 108/14.

48 Andrzej Misiorowski, “Restauracja ściany wieńczącej nad III Tarasem świątyni Hatszepsut w Deir El-Bahari,” Ochrona Zabytków, vol. 4, 1971, p. 185.

49 Leszek Dąbrowski, “Rekonstrukcja świątyni Hatszepsut w Deir El-Bahari,” op. cit. (note 25), p. 39.

50 Documents of the Polish–Cambodian mission, PKZ archives, folder no. 119/13.

51 Tadeusz Polak, “Międzynarodowa współpraca w zakresie ratowania zespołu Angkor w Kambodży,” Ochrona zabytków, vol. 4, 1990, p. 217–21.

52 Michael A. Di Giovine, The Heritage-scape: UNESCO, World Heritage and Tourism, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2009, p. 219.

53 Ibid., p. 218–9 and 230; Documents of Polish–Vietnamese mission, PKZ archives, folder no. 108/1.

54 Andrzej Misiorowski, “Historic complex in Hue,” in Lech Krzyżanowski (ed.), Polish conservators of monuments in Asia, Warsaw: Wydawnictwa PKZ, 1994, p. 25–6.

55 Kazimierz Kwiatkowski, “Prace Polsko-Wietnamskiej Misji Konserwacji Zabytków na terenie rezerwatu muzealnego w Ben Dinh,” Rocznik Przedsiębiorstwa Państwowego Pracownie Konserwacji Zabytków, vol. 2, 1984, p. 73–7; Sławomir Skibiński, “Badania technologii budowlanej świątyń wieżowych Czamów,” Ochrona Zabytków, vol. 4, 1986, p. 254–66.

56 Kazimierz Kwiatkowski, “Specificity of conservation Cham monuments,” in Lech Krzyżanowski (ed.), Polish conservators of monuments in Asia, op. cit. (note 54), p. 15.

57 Andrzej Wawrzeńczak and Sławomir Skibiński “Przyczynek do badań technologii budowlanej świątyń wieżowych Czamów (Wietnam),” Ochrona zabytków, vol. 3–4, 1982, p. 202; Wiesław Domasłowski and E. Derkowska, “Investigation on consolidation and stabilization of waterlogged argillaceuseous ground by means of electro-kinetic effect,” in Actes du Ve congrès international sur l'altération et la conservation de la pierre / Proceedings of Vth international congress on deterioration and conservation of stone, Proceedings of the symposium (Lausanne, 25–27 september 1985), Lausanne: Presses polytechniques romandes, 1985, p. 719–26.

58 Wiesław Domasłowski, “Restoration of the temple complex in My Son,” in Lech Krzyżanowski (ed.), Polish conservators of monuments in Asia, op. cit. (note 54), p. 21.

59 Phuong Tran Ky, “Preservation and Management of the Monuments of Champa in Central Vietnam: the Example of My Son Sanctuary, a World Cultural Heritage Site,” in John N. Miksic, Geok Yian Goh and Sue O’Connor, Rethinking Cultural Resource Management in Southeast Asia: Preservation, Development, and Neglect, London; New York, NY: Anthem Press, 2011 (Anthem Southeast Asian studies), p. 246.

60 Processes of inclusion in the national Vietnamese discourse of heritages of different peoples and rulers are described in Michael A. Di Giovine, The Heritage-scape: UNESCO, World Heritage and Tourism, op. cit. (note 52), p. 217.

61 Kazimierz Kwiatkowski, “Prace Polsko-Wietnamskiej Misji Konserwacji Zabytków na terenie rezerwatu muzealnego w Ben Dinh”, op. cit. (note 55), p. 73–7.

62 Patrizia Zolese, “The Archaeology of My Son: Inspiration for the Italian Cooperation,” in David Hardy, Mauro Cucarzi and Patrizia Zolese, Champa and the Archaeology of My Son (Vietnam), Singapore: NUS Press, 2009, p. 33–42.

63 When the Polish government gave up funding the mission in 1990, Kwiatkowski decided to stay in Vietnam to work as a volunteer. In 1992, he managed to start cooperation with the Society of Friends of Cham Culture in Stuttgart, which for two years supported the Polish–Vietnamese mission and funded conservation and adaptation of two restored medieval buildings in My Son for the purposes of a museum.

64 Patrizia Zolese, “The Archaeology of My Son: Inspiration for the Italian Cooperation,” op. cit. (note 62), p. 36.

65 Several dozen Vietnamese in Poland took part in the reconstruction of the old town of Lublin alongside the usual conservation training. Lech Krzyżanowski, “Misje naukowo-konserwatorskie PP PKZ. Działalność interdyscyplinarna w skali globalnej,” op. cit. (note 29), p. 23.

66 Michael A. Di Giovine, The Heritage-scape: UNESCO, World Heritage and Tourism, op. cit. (note 52), p. 220.

67 Tadeusz Polak, “Międzynarodowa współpraca w zakresie ratowania zespołu Angkor w Kambodży”, op. cit. (note 51), p. 217–21.

68 Documents of the Polish–Cambodian mission, PKZ Archives, folder no. 119/5.

69 Patrycja Klimowicz and Arkadiusz Klimowicz, “The socio-political context of Polish archaeological discoveries in Faras, Sudan”, op. cit. (note 23), p. 303.

70 Marek Barański, “Polskie misje badawczo-konserwatorskie za granicą”, op. cit. (note 19), p. 279.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1: Kom El-Dikka, Alexandria (Egypt).
Légende Wojciech Kołątaj supervising the anastylosis of a granite column.
Crédits Source: W. Jerke from 70 years of Polish Archaeology.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/1268/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 40k
Titre Figure 2: Temple of Hatshepsut (Egypt).
Légende Upper Terrace. Beginning of work on the temple in the early 1960s.
Crédits Source: PCMA Archives.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/1268/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 32k
Titre Figure 3: Temple of Hatshepsut (Egypt).
Légende Upper Terrace.View from the Northeast, after reconstruction.
Crédits Source: M. Jawornicki.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/1268/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 32k
Titre Figure 4: Wall blocks and fragments of blocks from the temple of Tuthmosis III in storage (Egypt).
Crédits Source: J. Lipińska's archives.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/1268/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 24k
Titre Figure 5: General view of the northern side of the Qurqumas complex, Cairo (Egypt).
Crédits Source: M. G. Witkowski.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/1268/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 36k
Titre Figure 6: General view from the Madrasa roof of Qurqumas, Cairo (Egypt).
Légende General view from the Madrasa roof of Qurqumas onto the extensive funerary complex of Sultan Al-Ashraf Inal, adjacent to Qurqumas' enclosure and included in the same monumental zone.
Crédits Source: M. G. Witkowski.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/1268/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 52k
Titre Figure 7: Photogrammetric work on the Po Na Gar complex at Nha Trang (Vietnam), 1981.
Crédits Source: A. Maruszak.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/1268/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 28k
Titre Figure 8: My Son (Vietnam), 1982.
Légende Reconstruction of towers B, C, D.
Crédits Source: K. Kwiatkowski.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/1268/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 28k
Titre Figure 9: My Son (Vietnam), 2014.
Crédits Source: Krzysztof Świercz.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/1268/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 24k
Titre Figure 10: Kazimierz Kwiatkowski in the eastern part of My Son complex (Vietnam).
Crédits Source: M. Warneńska.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/1268/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 32k
Titre Figure 11: Kazimierz Kwiatkowski's memorial in Hoi An (Vietnam), 2014.
Crédits Source: Krzysztof Świercz.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/1268/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 36k
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Référence électronique

Alicja Gzowska, « Exporting Working Patterns: Polish Conservation Workshops in the Global South during the Cold War », ABE Journal [En ligne], 6 | 2014, mis en ligne le 30 janvier 2015, consulté le 23 août 2017. URL : http://abe.revues.org/1268 ; DOI : 10.4000/abe.1268

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Auteur

Alicja Gzowska

PhD Candidate, University of Warsaw, Poland

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Licence Creative Commons
La revue ABE Journal est mise à disposition selon les termes de la Licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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