ICOMOS, the International Council on Monuments and Sites, is an international non-governmental organisation of heritage professionals engaged in the conservation of places of cultural heritage value and dedicated to the conservation of the world’s historic monuments and sites.
The organisation was founded in 1965 following the adoption of the International Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites (the Venice Charter) the previous year.
It has its Secretariat in Paris and has National Committees in over 107 countries. The New Zealand National Committee (ICOMOS New Zealand /Te Mana O Nga Pouwhenua O Te Ao) was incorporated in 1987.
ICOMOS is UNESCO’s principal advisor in matters concerning the conservation and protection of historic monuments and sites. It also advises the World Heritage Committee on the administration of the World Heritage Convention to which New Zealand is a signatory.
ICOMOS has established international specialist committees that are responsible for developing conservation theory and techniques in specific disciplines. Each specialist committee brings together experts of international reputation.
The specialist committees are Archaeological Heritage Management, Cultural Tourism, Earth Structures, Economics of Conservation, Historic Gardens and Sites, Historic Towns, Inventories, Photogrammetry, Rock Art, Stained Glass, Stone, Training, Vernacular Architecture and Wood.