Post-War Public Art

Protection, Care and Conservation

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Public art can be enjoyed by us all. Everyone can play a part in valuing and caring for it. This guidance is aimed at anyone who manages or has responsibility for post-war public art, including local authorities, charitable bodies, community groups, heritage professionals and custodians. Public art is defined here as fixed artworks which members of the public are able to access and enjoy, in public, semi-public or privately owned public space, whether outdoors or indoors.

This document outlines good practice on the care and management of post-war public art, including regular maintenance and planned conservation work. It sets out the different ways that the best of our public art can be identified and protected and the statutory duties that relate to its ownership and care. Key principles include a clear understanding of ownership and lines of responsibility; inclusive and transparent decision making; regular condition checks to detect potential sources of harm; and engaging the public in valuing and caring for public art.

This guidance document is part of Historic England’s range of practical guidance which helps people care for their historic places. It complements Historic England’s Introduction to Heritage Assets, Public Art 1945–95.


  • Introduction
  • Definitions
  • First principles
  • Historical summary
  • Vulnerabilities
  • Care and conservation
  • Indentification and designation
  • Relocation
  • Interpretation and engagement
  • Bibliography
  • Appendix
  • Where to get advice
  • Acknowledgements

Additional Information

  • Series: Guidance
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 40
  • Product Code: HEAG126


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