From tangible to intangible - Issues in the conservation of cultural heritage

    Project Details


    An analysis of the use and meanings of the concept "intangible cultural heritage" in international cultural law on the following assumptions:

    In the complex legislation pertaining to cultural heritage, certain concepts are particularly important when attempting to trace the increasing recognition of the significance and implications of protecting cultural heritage. Since the end of the Second World War this recognition has generated a constantly expanding system of legal instruments regulating the field of heritage preservation.

    The various types of normative texts pertaining to heritage preservation reflect the changing conceptions of what is meant by the term cultural heritage, the principles that define the theory and practice of the field, and the significance of cultural heritage and its preservation in social, political and economic contexts.

    The appearance of the expression "intangible cultural heritage" in the conceptual and theoretical framework of international legislation reflects the expanding notion of cultural heritage on the one hand and the growing consciousness of the importance in all aspects of social and political life of "memory", "history", "a story to be told" on the other.

    Together with a number of related and equally significant concepts (cultural diversity, cultural pluralism, universality, authenticity, common responsibility, sustainable development) it offers a key to understanding the current discussion about the purpose, principles and scope of legislation within the cultural heritage section, which frames the efforts to regulate and structure the practice in cultural heritage preservation.

    The museological and curatorial issues of the concept "intangible cultural heritage" have been discussed (ICOFOM 2000: ICOM International Committee for Museology: Museology and the Intangible Heritage, 26 November - 5 December 2000, and ICOM News, no. 2, 2006 (Theme on Intellectural Property), it remains to reflect on the implications of the concept in cultural heritage conservation. The chapter examines the use of the concept intangible cultural heritage against the background of the legal regulation of cultural heritage preservation.
    Effective start/end date01/01/200601/09/2011