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Posts Tagged ‘Intangible values’

Revising the Burra Charter: Australia ICOMOS updates its guidelines for conservation practice

This paper outlines the revisions made in 1999 to the Burra Charter, the core doctrine for heritage conservation in Australia that was first adopted by Australia ICOMOS in 1979. It examines the reasons why changes were needed, including broadened perceptions of heritage, new understandings of heritage significance, and recognition of the need for community input into conservation decisions about its heritage. The review process, which took five years, changed its procedures halfway through after members of Australia ICOMOS roundly rejected a draft, while agreeing that a revision should still take place. Following a thorough consultative process with members, the text of the 1999 revision of the Charter was resoundingly endorsed (the text is included here as an Appendix). The paper describes how the revised Charter differs from the previous text. The changes lie primarily in the recognition that heritage value, or significance, may be embodied in the uses, associations and meanings of a place, in addition to its physical fabric. Other key changes include incorporation of a flowchart explaining the conservation planning process; the seeking of community input; and the recognition that interpretation is an integral part of good heritage management practice.
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Protecting intangible heritage values through the World Heritage Convention?

The world is scattered with jewels from our collective pasts. From the glittering Mogul mausoleum of the Taj Mahal in the heart of northern India, to the Neolithic stone huts on the remote, windswept island of Orkney in the Outer Hebrides. Material remnants remind us of extinct civilizations, forgotten people and lost worlds. What then of the things for which there are no material remains? What of the memories, ideas, beliefs and events that shaped the lives of these civilizations and of our own? What of this intangible heritage? We can record, preserve and protect for posterity the material leavings; can we do the same for the shadows that form the intangible associations with these places?
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Managing intangible cultural heritage: Competing global and local values

The competition between global and local values is one that is faced on a daily basis by many of us working in heritage management. It is commonly manifest in the potential conflict between professionally ascribed heritage values – based as they are on internationally accepted standards and guidelines – and the values that arise out of community ascriptions that are grounded in local voices, knowledge and uses. This paper considers intangible heritage in the context of such ongoing uses and narratives and the way in which community values are addressed in places that have been formally ‘caught up’ in the World Heritage system. This is addressed in the first instance through the way in which the environment, community and practice remain an important part of the Port Arthur Historic Site in Australia, followed by a discussion of community attachments at Avebury in England.
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Intangible Heritage

This volume examines the implications and consequences of the idea of ‘intangible heritage’ to current international academic and policy debates about the meaning and nature of cultural heritage and the management processes developed to protect it. It provides an accessible account of the different ways in which intangible cultural heritage has been defined and managed in both national and international contexts, and aims to facilitate international debate about the meaning, nature and value of not only intangible cultural heritage, but heritage more generally.

Intangible Heritage fills a significant gap in the heritage literature available and represents a significant cross section of ideas and practices associated with intangible cultural heritage. The authors brought together for this volume represent some of the key academics and practitioners working in the area, and discuss research and practices from a range of countries, including: Zimbabwe, Morocco, South Africa, Japan, Australia, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, USA, Brazil and Indonesia, and bring together a range of areas of expertise which include anthropology, law, heritage studies, archaeology, museum studies, folklore, architecture, Indigenous studies and history.
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Drawing a line around a shadow? Preserving intangible cultural heritage values through the World Heritage convention

If we draw a line around a shadow, does this mean that the shadow will not move from where it is initially cast? If we include a place on the World Heritage List for its intangible cultural heritage values, will this prevent those values from diminishing or changing? Intangible cultural heritage value is not an ‘intrinsic quality’ or an ‘inherent meaning’ of a place; it is an ascribed value (Tainter et al. 1983). If the physical fabric of a place is preserved, it will not necessarily preserve the intangible values ascribed to it. Conversely, if a place is destroyed, the intangible heritage values associated with that place may still remain.
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Drawing a line around a shadow? Including associative, intangible cultural heritage values on the World Heritage List

As we move through the first decade of the 21st century, it is noticeable that intangible cultural heritage values are very much in vogue in today’s discourse on cultural heritage, its preservation and management. In this thesis, I illustrate that intangible cultural heritage values are not a new phenomenon to the heritage arena, and I demonstrate how they have been recognised through UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention – The Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage- since its inception in 1972. My thesis explores key issues in relation to associative, intangible cultural heritage values and their inclusion on the World Heritage List. Intangible heritage value is, by definition, non-material and mutable. In order to illustrate the changing nature of perceptions of what intangible heritage value is, how it has been utilised, and how it performs through location in place, this thesis explores the history of policy and process in relation to the recognition and protection of associative, intangible cultural heritage values through the World Heritage Convention, its List and its criteria. The Convention and its instruments have been chosen for analysis because they are the highest form of international recognition for places that are deemed to hold exceptional or outstanding universal values. All places are imbued with associations, memories and meanings, both by individuals and collectively by society. It is these that form the intangible connection of people to place. The connection may be one of a memory of an event, an inspiration or a spiritual belief. Although many places have been included on the World Heritage List for their intangible cultural heritage values, very little study of the history of the mechanisms that allow such inclusion has been undertaken. As part of the development of this history, my thesis focuses on those places that have been included on the List exclusively for their associative, intangible cultural heritage values. It focuses on those places that mark key policy changes or debates in the history of the application IX of the Convention to those values. These places include the Island of Goree, Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and Robben Island. They are what Nora (Nora 1989) calls lieux de memoire, places of memory, or what could be called lieux d ‘expiation, places of atonement. In examining how the World Heritage Convention has accommodated intangible heritage values on the List, my thesis examines the political influences that were in play when these key places were considered for inscription on it. It also looks at how these influences shaped the ideas and policies relating to the inclusion of intangible heritage values on the List then, and in the future. My thesis argues that intangible cultural heritage value is mutable and subject to social preference and construction. Intangible heritage values alter over time, and each generation or society will construct the place, and its values, in a way that serves its current ends. In utilising these intangible values, I argue that State Parties to the Convention have employed the World Heritage List, and nominations to it, as part of a wider process of nation building, constructing national identities and collective memories. My thesis questions whether, in spite of a compulsion to locate such values in place, as a ‘materialized discourse’ (Schein I 997), intangible values can be circumscribed and conserved purely by protecting their locus.It also questions whether such values can be effectively included on a heritage register as static and immutable. My thesis draws on key texts of memory and heritage, which are examined through application to World Heritage places.
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Contexts for change: Paving the way to the 1999 Burra Charter

In this paper, I examine the context in which the proposed amendments to the Burra Charter took place and how in fact they reflected trends in heritage practice as it stood when the Burra Charter review started in 1994/95. In doing so, I will outline work within Indigenous heritage to involve community values and its influence on explorations into ‘social value’ for non-Indigenous heritage undertaken by the Australian Heritage Commission (AHC), and parallel initiatives by Australia ICOMOS. I suggest that in fact many threads came together, particularly in the AHC2 over a decade from late 1984.
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