Assessing possible futures for cultural heritage: national, global, public, private, commercial?

John Carman

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

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    Across the world, the way we think about and treat cultural heritage is changing. The state – as guardian of the national heritage – is increasingly challenged from within by community and commercial interests; it is challenged from without by the rise of trans-national forces and the authority of international agencies. Ideas about what constitutes heritage are no longer the province of experts alone: and the manner in which heritage should be managed – and who should do the managing – are increasingly open to dispute. Everywhere, the question is posed: if heritage is for everyone, why are only a few allowed to determine how it is defined and how it should be treated? The answers vary depending on context and past history.
    Taking an international perspective does not necessarily provide simple guidance for those seeking new ways to manage the past in particular circumstances. Approaches designed in one country do not easily transfer to another and the consequences of their adoption are not easily assessed. Heritage is not a free resource and its appropriation for private benefit is to be resisted. Where there is a tradition of voluntary activism, an increased role for official agencies may be resisted as government interference; where there is a weakening of total state control over heritage, there may be resistance from entrepreneurs at having to pay for their use of heritage assets. In considering the future of heritage, there is always a need to think about possible consequences. Drawing upon the international experience of a changing world for heritage, this paper will outline some of the key factors that may affect its future.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCulture & Perspective at Times of Crisis
    Subtitle of host publicationState structures, private initiative & the public character of heritage
    EditorsSophia Antoniadou, Giorgos Vavouranakis, Ioannis Poulios, Pavlina Raouzaiou
    Place of PublicationOxford
    PublisherOxbow Books
    ISBN (Print) 9781785708596
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • Heritage
    • management
    • private
    • public
    • development
    • community


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