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Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid

Preserving Cultural Heritage, an opportunity for Safety

In May of 2019, Kalam through the EKABA Foundation (the KALAM Space for Fine Arts) hosted an International Scientific Symposium on Safety in Heritage to start an international conversation regarding safety in cultural assets, paying special attention to visitors. In this way, specific challenges that go beyond the safety requirements in construction and public spaces were considered, as safety must be paired with the protection of the asset’s values, as well as accounting for the specific risks associated with the tourist and cultural use of the heritage such as the lack of familiarity with the setting on the part of visitors, the access to areas that are usually restricted, or the implementation of occasional or provisional uses with large-scale occupation as well as the asset’s maintenance.

2018 was declared the European Year of Cultural Heritage so it was a beautiful opportunity to host this Symposium, that:

Creates a space for interdisciplinary and international conversation and debate, by gathering academia, and the institutional, professional, and corporate worlds.

Provides a global forum in which to debate and agree on an International Statement, El Círculo Statement, to set the action criteria in cultural heritage guaranteeing the safety of people and minimizing risks for the heritage asset.

Raises awareness in society of the need to foster the safety of heritage that threatens and is threatened, and to disseminate the International Statement among professionals, national and international administrations and institutions, researchers and the public opinion.

El Círculo Statement: Intervention Criteria for Safety in Cultural Heritage

El Círculo Statement, named after the Círculo de Bellas Artes of Madrid as Symposium venue, aims to establish a series of criteria related to safety in cultural heritage that will serve as a foundation for the management and intervention in cultural goods as well as for the necessary adaptation and development of legislation.


The Scientific Committee, formed by international experts of renown prestige, agreed on the initial draft of the Statement, and it was subsequently debated by the participants of the Symposium. The final draft, which included the modifications agreed upon by consensus in the event, was approved and read in the closing ceremony.



Thematic Areas

The Symposium was structured around three main thematic areas, one per day, that defined the debate and provided a context for the presentations and papers presented each day.

Thematic Area 1: Recovering the value of the site by providing safety

Thematic day 1 centered on the definition of the concept of safety, its scope and its complexity when applying it to heritage, as well as the proposed criteria for intervention in heritage that stem from safety requirements.

President of the Table for Theme 1: Juan Miguel Hernández León.

Thematic Area 2: Rehabilitation techniques and processes to improve safety

Thematic day two analyzed the most frequent risks generated in cultural heritage and its causes, as well as innovative solutions, both in construction as well as relative to the management of the asset, to improve safety for heritage, its users, and visitors.

President of the Table for Theme 2: Fernando Espinosa de los Monteros.

Thematic Area 3: Safety management and regulation

Thematic day 3 looked at aspects relative to security management and action policies, including the current regulations, their shortcomings, proposals for improvement, new approaches and possibilities for development. The responsibility of public and private entities, owners and the involvement of the business world was considered, and there was room for reflection on an adequate global management of Heritage.

President of the Table for Theme 3: Alfonso Muñoz Cosme.


The speakers at the Symposium were prestigious architects and theorists in the field of heritage intervention such as Glenn BoornazianMichelle Cannatà y Fátima Fernandes, Bob Combs, Mohamed Es SemmarJose María Ezquiaga, Ángela García de Paredes e Ignacio Pedrosa, Gunny Harboe, Timothy Lynch, Eduardo Martínez Moya, Ward Miller, Jaime Navarro Casas, Gabriel Ruiz Cabrero, Pedro SalmerónAna Tostões Antoine Wilmering.

The Symposium had a length of three days, corresponding to three different themes, on which the twelve guest speakers presented as well as nine papers selected from the call for papers. The program was completed with three tables for debate and conclusions, which took place at the end of each day, in addition to the inaugural and closing conferences, as well as the approval and reading of El Círculo Statement, with which the Symposium ended.

Download the Symposium program!


Harboe Architects

Gunny Harboe

Paredes Pedrosa Architects

Ignacio Pedrosa

Agence pour l’Aménagement de la Vallée du Bouregreg

Mohamed Es-semmar

Conservator Architect of Seville Cathedral

Jaime Navarro Casas

New York’s Buildings Department

Tim Lynch

Architectural Professor and Dean of the Professional Architects’ Association of Madrid

José María Ezquiaga


Javier Alonso

Enrique Nuere

Enrique Nuere

Chairman of Madrid’s Círculo de Bellas Artes

Juan Miguel Hernández León

EMA Espinosa de los Monteros y Arquitectos Asociados

Fernando Espinosa de los Monteros

Director of Security for The J. Paul Getty Trust

Bob Combs

Polytechnic University of Madrid

Alfonso Muñoz Cosme

DOCOMOMO International

Ana Tostões

Doctor in Geography and History from the Complutense University of Madrid and University Professor in the Department of Art History at the University of Valencia

Cristina Vidal

University of Alcalá

Fernando da Casa Martín

ETS of Architecture of A Coruña Honorary Professor.

Celestino García Braña

Cannatà & Fernandes Architects

Fátima Fernandes & Michele Cannatà

Conservator Architect

Gabriel Ruiz Cabrero

Getty Foundation

Antoine Wilmering

Preservation Chicago

Ward Miller

President of Hispania Nostra

Araceli Pereda

Doctor in Architecture and University Professor of the Department of Architectural Composition of the Technical University of Valencia

Gaspar Muñoz

University of Alcalá

Juan Manuel Vega

Spanish National Anthropology Museum

María Pérez

Paredes Pedrosa Architects

Ángela García de Paredes


Glenn Boornazian

Director of Edartec Consultores (EC)

Eduardo Martínez Moya

Pedro Salmerón Estudio

Pedro Salmerón

Member of the commission for the National Plan for Emergencies and Risk Management in Cultural Heritage monitoring

Concha Cirujano

Partner Director of PROARPA - Protection of Assets and Cultural Heritage, Spain

Ricardo Sanz Marcos

Director of the Urban Reconstruction and Resiliency Studio at SBU

Zoheir Mottaki

CASTRO/DANILO arquitectas

Mireya Danilo


Registration period is closed,

we look forward to seeing you at the Symposium!

Attendance to the Symposium is free of charge

Paper presentation and selection

A scientific paper is the chosen format for papers, and texts are to be written in the official Symposium languages: Spanish or English.

The selection will be conducted based on an abstract with a maximum of 2.000 characters, including spaces, in Spanish or English, including three keywords. The summary is to be sent as a Word file, including in the name of the file the thematic field, the name and surname of the first author, and the title of the paper, with the following structure: T1-Surname-Name-Title. It is to be sent to before the 15th of January 2019. A confirmation will be sent after the reception of the abstract.

Acceptance will be notified to authors by the 15th of February 2019, indicating the format chosen for the presentation of the final paper.

The full text of the selected papers will have a maximum of 3.000 words and is to be sent to before the 15th of April 2019.

The Scientific Committee will select a maximum of twenty papers to be published in the Minute Book, from which nine will also be presented by the authors at the Symposium.

Call for papers information.


Proceedings book is being edited and will include the conclusions of the Symposium, as well as the twenty selected papers, in addition to the guest lectures, conclusions of the debates and El Círculo Statement.


The Symposium is organized by KALAM, through its EKABA Foundation (KALAM Space for Fine Arts.)



Ramón Mayo Fernández


Víctor Carnero Vega

Fernando Vela Cossío


Carolina Castañeda López

Llanos Gómez González



Fernando Espinosa de los Monteros

Architect / President of AEPPAS20 / Member ISC20C-ICOMOS                                       .


María Josefa Cassinello Plaza

Architect / ETSAM – UPM / Director of the Eduardo Torroja Foundation

Alejandro García Hermida

Architect / INTBAU Foundation, International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism

Camilla Mileto

Architect / UPV

Alfonso, Muñoz Cosme

Architect / ETSAM – UPM

Pedro Ponce de León

Architect / ICOMOS Spain / Europa Nostra

Javier Rivera Blanco

General Subdirector of the Spanish Cultural Heritage Institute, IPCE

Ana Tostões

Architect / President of DOCOMOMO International

Fernando Vela Cossío

Archeologist / ETSAM – UPM

Antoine M. Wilmering 

Senior Program Officer – Getty Foundation



Víctor Carnero Vega

Engineer/ Responsible for Risk Prevention and Procedures at KALAM


Key Dates


Call for papers open

15/10/2018 - 15/01/2019


Call for Papers Deadline

15/01/2019 -


Registration open

15/01/2019 - 30/04/2019

Registration form will be open on this website


Papers notification of acceptance/rejection

15/02/2019 -


Final Paper Submission Deadline

15/04/2019 -


Registration Deadline

01/05/2019 -


Symposium dates

7/05/2019 - 9/05/2019

Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid


The Symposium will be held entirely at the Teatro Fernando de Rojas  in Círculo de Bellas Artes, located at nº 42, calle Alcalá, Madrid.


Carolina Castañeda López – Llanos Gómez González

Kalam – 6, Antonio Casero – 28007 Madrid – España

e-mail –