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Local Identity on the Global Stage: The challenges of representing diversity

Author: Rudolff, Britta
Date: 0

Rudolff, B. 2010. Local Identity on the Global Stage: The challenges of representing diversity. In D. Offenhäußer, W. Zimmerli and M. Albert (eds.). World Heritage and Cultural Diversity. German Commission for UNESCO, 2010. pp. 104-111.

Emphasizing intangible and tangible expressions of heritage in a publication on World Heritage and Cultural Diversity presents the opportunity to discuss a variety of current and potential future challenges. These can be either epistemological concepts that promise potential for scientific investigation and reconstruction, professional challenges in the application of models and guidelines, or educational needs for the heritage community, and its academic development in the early twenty-first century. The difficult and often contested role of intangible heritage expressions in the context of World Heritage Sites is one of the aspects triggering ongoing discussion. Equally, the section heading invites an exploration of the interrelation of the two relevant UNESCO instruments, the 1972 Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention)(UNESCO, 1972) and the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (Intangible Heritage Convention)(UNESCO, 2003). Such explorations could be aimed at evaluating their early attempts at cooperation and their potentials for mutual enforcement. However, these aspects seem to have been discussed previously at a number of international university seminars, such as the University of Montreal round table–“Tangible and intangible heritage: two UNESCO Conventions”(Cameron and Boucher, 2007), or the Cambridge Heritage Seminar–“Tangible-intangible cultural heritage: a sustainable dichotomy?”(Baillie and Chippindale, 2007). Yet another focus could be on cultural diversity and the processes which link the representation of intangible and tangible heritage expressions to the promotion of cultural diversity under the auspices of UNESCO. It is this aspect which this …

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