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Posts Tagged ‘Public interpretation’

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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Reconsidering the interpretation of WWII shared-heritage in Thailand

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to find a different perspective of interpreting a Second World War shared-heritage based on the case in Thailand. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative study was conducted at the Second World War sites in Thailand. The paper employed observation and interview of the local residents and other stakeholders at the site. Findings – Conventional interpretation of the Second World War sites in Thailand predominantly focusses on two approaches with a little involvement of the local residents. One emphasizes cruelty, loss, torture, or inhumanity with strong influence of the Australian approach. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, such interpretation could point out the culprit and gives audiences enmity against the loser of the war. Another politically underscores a strong connection between Thailand and Japan by presenting romanticized stories of wartime. The paper suggests that the way to bring Second World War shared-heritage site to life is to put an emphasis on the voice of the local residents rather than focussing on political agenda. Practical implications – The argument and recommendation raised in this paper will be particularly useful for the local residents and those who are involved in heritage management field. It would contribute to the better understanding and respect among people with different cultural backgrounds. Originality/value – The paper is the first study of a different view of the interpretation of Second World War shared-heritage. The argument raised in the paper would lead to a wider discussion among heritage professionals.
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Intangible Heritage in Conservation Management Planning: the case of Robben Island

Robben Island Museum officially commemorates ‘the triumph of the human spirit over adversity’, relating especially to the period of political imprisonment between 1961 and 1991 when Robben Island was most notorious as a political prison for the leaders of the anti‐apartheid struggle. Robben Island became a World Heritage Site in December 1999 because of its universal symbolic significance—its intangible heritage. This paper explores the implications for conservation management planning of interpreting and managing the intangible heritage associated with such sites. Examples will be drawn from the conservation planning exercise undertaken by the Robben Island Museum between 2000 and 2002. The paper will look specifically at how Robben Island’s symbolic significance has been defined and how competing interpretations should be included in the management plan. It then discusses the challenges around managing historic fabric whose significance is defined as primarily symbolic, and ways of safeguarding the intangible heritage associated with it.
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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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