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Intangible "v" Tangible Heritage

Author Solivagant
#1 | Posted: 21 Jun 2011 08:10 | Edited by: Solivagant 
I have noted under the post for the 2011 WHC, a company called "Think Heritage!" located in Bahrain which is present in Paris and is reporting on events there.

I was stimulated to research "who" exactly the company "is" and discovered that its "prime mover" is a Dr Britta Rudolff ( LinkedIn profile )

Her "contribution" to World Heritage thinking includes a PhD study which presumably led to her original appointment in Bahrain.

The Thesis is titled "'Intangible' and 'tangible' heritage - A topology of culture in contexts of faith". It is available at .

It includes some very "academic" discussions but, anyone interested in "Heritage" who is prepared to wade through sentances like "In approaching the subject from a constructivist paradigm, I assume a relativist ontology the existence of constructed multiple realities as well as a subjective epistemology which considers the observer of cultural processes as the constructor and recipient of understanding" (!!!!! Well that's clear then), will find a lot of interesting ideas and very useful history of the origins and development of the "World Heritage" concept.

As the title indicates, it particularly addresses the categorisation of "Heritage" into "intangible" and "tangible" - a split which is inherent in the way in which UNESCO has come to look at "Heritage" but which also creates significant logical and cultural problems, many of which we will recognise. Doesn't the mere identification of an object as "Tangible Heritage" involve the introduction of intangible cultural concepts (even for "Natural" objects) - and doesn't the identification of "Intangible" cultural items require at least something "Tangible" for them to to be linked to? The Debate around Criterion vi is an example of the tension between UNESCO's 2 "Lists". The introduction of a category of heritage sites called "Associative Cultural Landscapes" seems to involve significant "Intangible" concepts. Even the concepts of "Heritage" and "OUV" possess a significant "Intangible" dimension!

Not an easy read, but worth at least a reasonably thorough "skim" I think for any true "World Heritage" aficionado!!

Author jonathanfr
#2 | Posted: 9 Dec 2015 16:53 
Do you think the number of intangible properties should be aligned with the number of tangible properties? Otherwise, half or twice? Should Outstanding Universal Value be applied to intangible property? Because it's only a representative list, a "pot pourri" "fourre tout"...

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 Intangible "v" Tangible Heritage

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