Annual General Meeting 2013

Gardens, forests, cities.
European cemeteries as a cultural landscape

September 19th-21st | Amsterdam, Netherlands

Dear ASCE members, coleagues and friends,

it is a great pleasure to invite you to the Annual General Meeting 2013 of the Association of Segnificant Cemeteries in Europe - ASCE.

About the AGM 2013 title

In 1992 the World Heritage Convention recognized the cultural landscapes as a category of site to be included in the World Heritage List. As the UNESCO Committee wrote, “the cultural landscapes represented the combined works of nature and of man”. The term itself included many types “of the interaction between humankind and its natural environment”.

Cemeteries are, in a certain sense, cultural landscapes. And the main reason is not because of their own complexity, which requires to be well understood of different disciplines, including history, sociology, anthropology, theology, art history, architecture and design. They are landscapes too because of the importance of the relationship between nature and funerary architecture and planning from the Enlightenment to our days. The early projects of gardencemeteries designed in Europe, from France to England or Germany; the difficult balance between vegetation and architecture in the great necropolis of the XIXth century; the new models of landscape-cemeteries promoted by modernist architects, from Sweden to Holland. These are some of the most relevant expressions of our common funerary heritage. Even today, it’s almost impossible to conceive these sacred and emotional spaces without their ecological dimension.

The aim of this years workshop is the analysis of European cemeteries as a landscape in this double significance: the generic one, concerning to their heritage and cultural values, and the more specific of the past, present and future of these places in which nature has always played a so decisive role.

The AGM 2013 will be hosted by Begraafplaats & Crematorium Westerveld and will be held in Amsterdam.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Amsterdam! (more details in following weeks)