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Article
Publication date: 22 June 2021

William Logan

Despite being the intellectual foundation on which the notion of heritage is built and a critical element in all programmes aimed at heritage protection, interpretation as…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite being the intellectual foundation on which the notion of heritage is built and a critical element in all programmes aimed at heritage protection, interpretation as a concept and practice is not well understood or used.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper explores the reasons for and consequences of heritage interpretation as a concept and practice not being well understood using case studies within the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) heritage arena in East Asia.

Findings

The paper shows how heritage interpretation impacts both positively and negatively on nation-building within states and the shaping of international relations between states. It identifies heritage interpretation approaches that might help to achieve reconciliation between peoples recently engaged in international conflicts. These concerns are not confined to East Asia but apply across the world.

Originality/value

The discussion draws together the three principal forms of heritage in UNESCO's global project: heritage places, protected under the World Heritage Convention; living or embodied heritage, safeguarded under the Intangible Cultural Heritage Convention and documentary heritage preserved under the Memory of the World Program. Suggestions are made as to how the organizations and agencies charged with heritage protection should and could modify their interpretation policies and procedures to help remediate existing negative impacts and avoid creating new tensions in future.

Details

Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1266

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Article
Publication date: 27 May 2011

Christina Cameron and Mechtild Rössler

In partnership with UNESCO's Oral Archives Initiative, the authors have set out to capture the voices of those who have played a significant role in the creation and early…

Abstract

Purpose

In partnership with UNESCO's Oral Archives Initiative, the authors have set out to capture the voices of those who have played a significant role in the creation and early development of the World Heritage Convention. The recorded interviews with the men and women who were active participants in this early period are designed to supplement the existing literature and voluminous documentation from the statutory and expert meetings. The uniqueness of this World Heritage research project is the important role that the voices of the pioneers will play in illuminating the successes and failures, the struggles and triumphs of the early years. This paper aims to share some of the findings.

Design/methodology/approach

The selection of the first group of interviewees has been made on the basis of the importance of the person's involvement in World Heritage matters, age, diversity of interests and geographical distribution. The interviews are structured with specific questions to identify key issues and cases that have affected the development of the World Heritage system. Topics are explored and teased out, adapting to the experience of each interviewee.

Findings

To date, the authors have interviewed 31 participants from all geographical regions of UNESCO. The interviews have created a rich and diverse tapestry of information, concepts and opinions on the early days of the World Heritage Convention. Participants in the project have been generous with their time and passionately candid in their views. In this paper, the authors offer a glimpse into the results of this research by presenting some samples from three interviews.

Originality/value

The interviews provide a unique and original viewpoint on the creation and early implementation of the World Heritage Convention. Preliminary results point to a deeper understanding of the forces that led to the creation of the convention and the leadership role played by certain individuals in transforming these ideas for international cooperation into reality. At the completion of the project, this data set of interviews will be deposited in the UNESCO Archives for consultation by future generations of researchers.

Details

Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1266

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Article
Publication date: 24 January 2019

Anna Maria Colavitti and Alessia Usai

In last year, the innovations in shipbuilding and logistics have opened the walled towns of Mediterranean port cities to cruise tourism and other culture-led regeneration…

Abstract

Purpose

In last year, the innovations in shipbuilding and logistics have opened the walled towns of Mediterranean port cities to cruise tourism and other culture-led regeneration strategies. Thus, walled towns in Mediterranean port cities have a particular development potential which questions about the opportunities and risks connected to any comprehensive regeneration strategy with a cultural and tourist purpose, especially for fortified systems whose continuity has been undermined. The paper aims to provide some guidelines for policy-makers and planners in port cities which have decided or are deciding to develop a comprehensive strategy and a knowledge framework for the walled town similar to those already adopted for fortified sites in the World Heritage List.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper investigates on the opportunities and risks connected to any comprehensive regeneration strategy with a cultural and tourist purpose for the walled towns through a comparative analysis of four Mediterranean seaport cities, selected as case studies. Cities which have developed an integrated strategy to inscribe their walled towns to the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Findings

On the base of the case studies’ analysis, the paper proposes a critical reflection upon the management strategies for the UNESCO’s walled towns and supports a better understating of context factors as a way to strengthen the HUL approach when applied to Mediterranean seaport cities.

Originality/value

The paper sheds light on the application of the historic urban landscape approach to the walled towns of Mediterranean seaport cities. The paper is original because it provides: guidelines for policy-makers and planners in walled towns of Mediterranean seaport cities which have decided or are deciding to develop a comprehensive regeneration strategy for the city centre in line with those adopted in UNESCO’s fortified sites; a critical reflection upon the context factors which can strengthen the HUL approach when applied to Mediterranean seaport cities; criteria to update the HUL approach by UNESCO in analysing the conservation state, the managerial aspects, the participation and social aspects of walled towns.

Details

Journal of Place Management and Development, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8335

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Article
Publication date: 27 May 2011

Jukka Jokilehto

The purpose of this paper is to examine the decision‐making process related to the inscription of properties on the World Heritage List.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the decision‐making process related to the inscription of properties on the World Heritage List.

Design/methodology/approach

Consideration is given to the general framework provided by the 1972 World Heritage Convention, and elaborated by the World Heritage Committee in the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the Convention.

Findings

The paper examines the tasks and responsibilities of each partner to the World Heritage process, from the State Party to UNESCO and the Advisory Bodies. There is a panorama offered from the changes and trends that have impacted the decisions, including a number of cases as examples. Finally, the paper proposes some improvements to the system, taking into account the role of each stakeholder.

Originality/value

This is the first paper examining the theme concerned.

Details

Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1266

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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2018

Barry Louis Stiefel

Having more than 1,000 sites on the World Heritage List raises questions regarding what world heritage means. The re-evaluation of heritage sites within the USA will be…

Abstract

Purpose

Having more than 1,000 sites on the World Heritage List raises questions regarding what world heritage means. The re-evaluation of heritage sites within the USA will be conducted as a case study, where similar issues of historical designation has taken place. Within recent decades there has emerged a policy of revisiting designations that occurred prior to 1990, when the nomination process was less rigorous. These re-evaluations do not necessarily remove the property from heritage designation, but the process has been valuable from a qualitative standpoint because a better understanding of significance has been achieved. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

Within recent decades there has emerged a policy of revisiting designations that occurred prior to 1990 in the USA, when the nomination process was less rigorous. Should a similar approach or policy be made to the properties placed on the World Heritage List during the first decades, since the expectations for demonstrating outstanding universal value have since increased? The result could be that we end up with a more robust World Heritage List that provides a better definition of what the common heritage of humanity is.

Findings

The way we approach and conceptualize World Heritage needs to evolve accordingly, considering how much it has evolved since the Convention in 1972. The experiences of re-evaluating historic places in the USA since the 1990s has much to offer.

Research limitations/implications

Only the perspective of the USA is given, as a case study. Contributions from practitioners in other countries experienced in heritage site re-evaluation best practices would be meaningful.

Practical implications

Re-evaluating World Heritage Sites is something to consider as a management prospect for places on or under consideration for the World Heritage List since it could bring a more comprehensive understanding of outstanding universal value. This type of re-evaluation may help in addressing the meaning of place(s), contextualization of multiple locations of common heritage, and the political elitism of the World Heritage List, where some countries are over represented due to sites listed through a less-experienced process from earlier decades.

Social implications

Revisiting the World Heritage List in respect to policy and the meaning of world heritage may be in order. For example, should every nation be entitled to list at least one property to the list regardless of its heritage value?

Originality/value

Since the 1970s, coinciding with the establishment of the World Heritage List through the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, the USA has dealt with dynamic and complex logistical problems regarding the recognition and interpretation of its cultural heritage.

Details

Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1266

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Article
Publication date: 22 October 2019

Heike Oevermann

The purpose of this paper is to identify criteria and examples of good practice in heritage management within the specific field of UNESCO industrial heritage sites. The…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify criteria and examples of good practice in heritage management within the specific field of UNESCO industrial heritage sites. The paper is part of a transfer-of-knowledge project between Humboldt Universität and the Zollverein Foundation (Stiftung Zollverein), responsible for the heritage management of the UNESCO Zollverein site.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employed document analysis, interviews, expert discussions and application to the field.

Findings

First, a systematization, termed the Good Practice Wheel, shows eight criteria that must be considered for good practice in heritage management. Second, indicators of good practice, discussed in the academic field, can be embedded in the suggested systematization and provide further details of how to evaluate good practice. Third, the Zollverein case shows that the systematization can be applied to practice.

Research limitations/implications

The study offers a systematization to identify and discuss good practice.

Practical implications

The practical implication is to understand better how to turn the demands of UNESCO into opportunities.

Social implications

The Good Practice Wheel includes social aspects, within community engagement and the criterion of sustainability.

Originality/value

To date, this represents the only such systematic approach to identify and implement good practice in heritage management, specifically relevant for UNESCO industrial heritage sites.

Details

Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1266

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Article
Publication date: 30 July 2021

Edward Boyle

This article examines the borders of memory inherent to a Japanese World Heritage site, and their significance for the 2020 opening of the Industrial Heritage Information…

Abstract

Purpose

This article examines the borders of memory inherent to a Japanese World Heritage site, and their significance for the 2020 opening of the Industrial Heritage Information Center in Tokyo. The Center was constructed to disseminate information regarding the widely dispersed “Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution”, which was recognized as a “serial site” by UNESCO in 2015. As with the original nomination, the opening of this Centre resulted in stringent protests from South Korea, who sought to have UNESCO consider revoking its original listing of these 23 Industrial Sites as collectively constituting the heritage of the world. This Center materializes a “border of memory” between Japan and South Korea that is the outcome of the displacement and re-siting of the heritage associated with Japan's Meiji Industrial Sites.

Design/methodology/approach

Research material is derived from nomination documents, site visits, and newspaper reports in order to contextualize and analyse the disputes associated with this particular World Heritage nomination.

Findings

The paper points to how the borders of memory present at heritage sites may shift through contestation. Efforts to fix the meaning of heritage find themselves subverted by connections across such borders of memory.

Originality/value

The paper traces the process by which the geographically-dispersed “Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution” have been collectivized through UNESCO's recognition into a single “border of memory” between Japan and Korea, one which the Information Center subsequently succeeded in materializing and reproducing within Japan's national capital.

Details

Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1266

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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2015

Judith Herrmann and Christina Cameron

This paper is based on a presentation given at the international World Heritage expert meeting on criterion (vi) held in Warsaw, Poland, in March 2012. Results were…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper is based on a presentation given at the international World Heritage expert meeting on criterion (vi) held in Warsaw, Poland, in March 2012. Results were updated and adapted to scientific standards. The purpose of this paper is to understand the associative dimension in World Heritage by looking at the evolution and application of criterion (vi).

Design/methodology/approach

For this paper, historical and qualitative approaches were combined. An understanding of the evolution of the criterion (vi) wording was gained through historical analysis and the consultation of relevant World Heritage statutory documents. A selected number of criterion (vi) statements were analyzed in qualitative terms. Results were then discussed in relation to the evolution of criterion (vi) wording and the understanding of pertinent World Heritage concepts.

Findings

Criterion (vi) holds a special position. It addresses an associative dimension of cultural World Heritage sites. Due to its special character, its wording was subject to several changes. While its wording became ever more flexible, this development has not fostered the inscription of exceptional cases or the equal use of cultural associations. An inconsistent interpretation has also weakened the concept of Outstanding Universal Value.

Research limitations/implications

Only inscriptions were taken into consideration. They usually have a World Heritage Committee approved criterion (vi) statement. Limitations to this research result from this restriction.

Originality/value

The paper represents a comprehensive study of the application and interpretation of criterion (vi) that combines the understanding of the evolution of the criterion’s wording with the analysis of a large number of World Heritage inscriptions. It is of interest to the World Heritage community and contributes to the World Heritage discourse.

Details

Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1266

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Article
Publication date: 24 May 2011

Tao Wang and Luca Zan

The purpose of this paper is to discuss some of the main UNESCO sites in China. The cases under study offer some insight into the complexity of the management of Chinese…

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1652

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss some of the main UNESCO sites in China. The cases under study offer some insight into the complexity of the management of Chinese cultural organizations, as well as the problem of the presentation of China's heritage in a new global context.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on field research in 2008/2009 on the Chinese sites on UNESCO's World Heritage List (WHL). While details of the research will be provided in a later stage, some interesting findings and patterns are emerging.

Findings

Building on the evidence of several case studies, a preliminary evaluation of the costs, the benefits and the negative outcomes of the listing process is presented in the second section. In a nutshell, the process appears to be increasingly expensive for local government and, despite the expectations for successful inscription onto the WHL, results in terms of increased tourism income are not always guaranteed. On the one hand, being listed raises the awareness of heritage protection among the general public but, on the other, there are also risks connected to tourism overexploitation.

Originality/value

From a methodological point of view the study points out the scarce quality of basic data regarding visitors and financial issues among Chinese World Heritage sites. This is particularly critical for sustainable development if it is considered that a World Heritage site should be accountable to the international audience. In the final section of the paper some open questions concerning sites' management models are presented.

Details

Facilities, vol. 29 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article
Publication date: 27 May 2011

Bernd von Droste

The purpose of this paper is to describe the emergence of the concept of outstanding universal value and its application from the ancient to modern times culminating with…

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3074

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the emergence of the concept of outstanding universal value and its application from the ancient to modern times culminating with its codification under the auspices of UNESCO in 1972.

Design/methodology/approach

The nearly four decades‐long application of UNESCO's World Heritage Convention offers a solid basis for a critical reflection regarding past achievements and future challenges. An entire review of this being beyond the scope of a single paper, it focuses on only a few salient issues which illustrate how this unique international legal instrument evolved in the past 39 years.

Findings

The paper singles out for each of the four stages at least one emblematic and most threatened World Heritage property, in order to illustrate major legal issues and how these were addressed by the parties.

Originality/value

As Secretary of the World Heritage Committee as well as Founder Director of the World Heritage Centre viewpoints the author presents that constitute a direct and continuous observation of World Heritage related matters over the last four decades.

Details

Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1266

Keywords

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