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Methodological Convergence: Documentary Heritage and the International Framework for Cultural Heritage Protection

  • Richard A. Engelhardt
  • Pernille AskerudEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Heritage Studies book series (HEST)

Abstract

The article demonstrates 1) how the corpus of international law related to cultural heritage – much of it facilitated by UNESCO – establishes a conceptual framework for cultural heritage as an expression of international consensus within this field, and 2) how the 2015 Recommendation on Documentary Heritage is an inherent component of this framework. Each convention/recommendation has its own focus, but ultimately, they are concerned with the same overall concept, namely, the safeguarding of heritage and diversity through a three-step methodological process consisting of identification, protection, and transmission. From this epistemological basis a common methodological framework for culture heritage management arises, encompassing also documentary heritage. The article discusses the evolution of this paradigm and how the concepts of “authenticity,” “continuity,” and “credibility” may assist in the determination of cultural manifestations’ “value” – including the value of documentary heritage. Finally, the article argues that within the common methodological framework for safeguarding heritage, documentary heritage may be identified as phenomenological sources of credible information upon which judgments of heritage value may be based, and conservation priorities set. The article discusses the 2015 Recommendation in the context of international law related to cultural heritage. As introduction to the authoritative texts of international legislation, specialized terminology, and related interpretative texts, the article emphasizes the depth of reflection gone into their formulation and the authority they have as a result of this process. The article’s technical character, however, is not internal to UNESCO but derived from international discourse on international law and heritage management, the only authoritative context for a discussion of the 2015 Recommendation and its methodology.

Keywords

International law UNESCO normative instruments Heritage management Methodology 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National College of ArtLahorePakistan
  2. 2.Nordic Institute for Asia Studies, University of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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