After more than twenty years since the beginning of its publication – the first issue of Arkos dates back to 1988 – the problems of the field of restoration, particularly of architectural restoration are still the same, as can be seen if one were to reread the first editorials of the magazine.
It must be recognized that in recent years the NorMaL Commission of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and the National Research Council, and in the last few years, UNI as well, continue to elaborate a considerable amount of “regulations”. Even more recently, the process of standardization on a European scale has started, which is driven by our leading experts in the field. Despite all this, innovation on a concrete level is scarce.
Diagnostics, which everyone recognizes as an indispensable preliminary tool for a proper restoration project continues to be a matter of debate in the various annual conferences year after year, but in fact, for a number of well-known reasons, this practice is absent or reduced to a minimum that is often clearly insufficient on construction sites. The innovation in the field of intervention techniques, and especially of the products and the knowledge of the behavior of these products depending on the materials and their degradation, is almost non-existent, the selection of techniques that form the basis of an intervention project continue to be inspired more by reasons of habit or personal experiences, which are often valid, but do not always live up to real life situations.
We should reverse this trend: the world of restoration should be able to define methodologies and products that not only belong to the field of conservation and restoration but can also affect other areas, thus earning a place in the market economy.
In contrast, restoration, intended as a discipline, in a globalized world, where the only recognized fuel is money, will have to remain confined in university classrooms and in few other enclaves, with no real opportunities in the market, as it is increasingly oriented towards new goals that certainly do not concern the preservation of our cultural heritage.
Arkos, in addition to the sections where it is now historically articulated, will include new topics and develop new initiatives as well as host the chronicles of restoration, and also represent the privileged vehicle for the diffusion of norms, conventions, historic discoveries and report on the various ongoing studies; it will also be a source of stimulus to new prospects of research and development, to propose new simplified forms of regulation and law.
The dedication of Arkos to Cultural Heritage has not changed, the goal of the journal is to valorize, protect (let’s not forget that one of the meanings of the word “arkos” in ancient Greek is precisely “protection”), preserve, restore, promote and encourage all actions which may serve to safeguard cultural heritage.
The general index of the collection of the journal is available for download at the bottom of this page in pdf format, so that readers know which issue to refer to for insights and research, and so that it is possible to see the quality of the work done over the years.