Cultural Heritage and Human Rights
Heritage is a concept to which most people would assign a positive value. The preservation of material culture – objects of art and of daily use, architecture, landscape form – and intangible culture – performances of dance, music, theater, and ritual, as well as language and human memory – are generally regarded as a shared common good by which everyone benefits. Both personal and community identities are formed through such tangible objects and intangible cultural performances, and a formation of a strong identity would seem to be a fundamentally good thing. But heritage is also intertwined with identity and territory, where individuals and communities are often in competition or outright conflict. Conflicts may occur over issues of indigenous land and cultural property rights, or between ethnic minorities and dominant majorities disputing the right to define and manage the cultural heritage of the minority. At stake is the question of who defines cultural heritage and who should control stewardship and the benefits of cultural heritage.
KeywordsCultural Heritage United Nations Cultural Property Universal Declaration American Anthropologist
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Cultural Heritage Instruments
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