An International Scientific Committee of
ICOMOS

Posts Tagged ‘Authenticity’

Rethinking the global heritage discourse – overcoming ‘East’ and ‘West’?

This article illustrates how Japan’s involvement in international heritage discourse, in particular since the Nara Conference in 1994, played an important role in the development of a global understanding of heritage and what it constitutes. It explores the way the Ise Shrine came to be represented as an iconic example of an ‘Eastern approach’ to heritage to become central in the paradigm shift within global heritage discourse towards acknowledging cultural diversity. In this article, however, I argue that the presentation and understanding of the Ise Shrine has perpetuated a number of misconceptions about an Eastern approach to heritage conservation. In particular, its presentation and interpretation as a cultural site devoid of its distinct religious and political significance, limits what can be learned from it. This article argues that without full recognition of the religious beliefs intimately embedded in the traditional social structures, practices and attitudes related to heritage sites, recognition of cultural diversity would remain limited.
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Historic Urban Landscape: Interpretation and presentation of the image of the city

The new developments in historic urban areas in a country frequently make the cities look similar instead of keeping the unique image of the place. Historical image of the city is usually re-created and used to attract tourists from different cultural backgrounds. In some historic urban areas, reproduction works are introduced to re-establish the historical images which have been wiped out due to the previous developments. This paper aims to construct the basic guideline for interpretation and presentation of historic urban areas based on the notion of historic urban landscape and the ICOMOS Ename Charter for the Interpretation and Presentation of Cultural Heritage Sites. Three major issues are identified, which are; 1) the deficiency interpretation and presentation of the intangible value, 2) excessive focus on tourism business purpose, and 3) reproduction work and authenticity in historic urban landscape. This paper proposes two key points, based on the concept of historic urban landscape, which are; 1) interpretation and presentation of historic urban areas should focus on the image of the city in both tangible and intangible aspects  and 2) the tangible and intangible elements of image of the city for interpretation and presentation.
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Authenticity, Value and Community Involvement in Heritage Management under the World Heritage and Intangible Heritage Conventions

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage and Intangible Heritage Conventions illustrate a broader trend towards greater appreciation of the role of communities concerned in identifying, managing and protecting their heritage today. This paper will discuss requirements for greater community involvement in heritage identification and management under the two Conventions, with special attention to the determination of heritage value and the question of authenticity. The Nara Document on Authenticity of 1994, incorporated into the Operational Guidelines of the World Heritage Convention in 2005 (: Annex 4), encouraged a broader definition of authenticity that is sensitive to cultural context. Nevertheless, the determination of heritage value and authenticity remains in the hands of experts rather than communities associated with World Heritage properties. Although there is no reference to authenticity in the Intangible Heritage Convention, States Parties are specifically requested to ensure that it is communities, groups or individuals concerned who identify the value of their own intangible heritage. Yet because of a lack of oversight mechanisms under the Convention, it is difficult to ensure that this is done, especially since there is no permanent mechanism for community representation to the Organs of either Convention.
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