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National Heritage Registration systems

 
 
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Author Solivagant
Partaker
#1 | Posted: 29 Oct 2011 10:48 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Durian's comment that Japan hadn't even registered on its own "National Heritage List" the Le Corbusier building it was being asked to nominate has set me thinking that it might be interesting to explore and pull together the various "National Heritage" registration systems in use in different countries (and the relationship between these and their WHS list)

I always remember being slightly "amused" in S Korea by the little plaques giving every building of importance a reference number within some great list of National Treasures - but, on reflection, we in UK have something similar, albeit without the Numbering system!!!

For "Buildings" UK has a system of "Listing" - and, once a building is "listed", there are considerable restrictions on what can be done. Some "owners" find their houses so described (it can even be done in "an emergency" almost instantaneously) and face enormous (and some might think excessive) restrictions.
There are 3 categories of Listing (the system is described in outline here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Listed_building )
Grade I: buildings of exceptional interest
Grade II*: particularly important buildings of more than special interest.
Grade II: buildings that are of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them

I have been checking through the list in Category I (of which there are over 6000 entries) against the UK's World Heritage List. Some structures aren't on the list because there is an earlier list for "Scheduled Ancient Monuments" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scheduled_Ancient_Monument ) by which sites such as Stonehenge are protected. I have found all the other major buildings on UK's inscribed list which I have searched for e.g Pontcycyllte Aqueduct, Blenheim Palace, Tower of London etc etc. I couldn't imagine that UK would nominate any site which was not , or whose major buildings were not, "Grade I Listed" or "Scheduled National monuments". indeed within a city like Bath there will in addition be hundreds of Grade II* and Grade II buildings as well.

Herewith the UK Grade I list by category
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Grade_I_listed_buildings_by_function

Since we reached this subject via a consideration of "Modern" sites which might become WHS I have researched which modern buildings in England (I haven't yet found the Scottish etc lists) have already been given Grade I status. Here is the list (unfortunately without construction dates)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grade_I_listed_modern_buildings_in_England
A few to point out
a. Severn Bridge (1966)
b. Jodrell Bank Telescopes (50s/60s) - were considered for new UK T List
c. Willis Faber building (Foster Assocs 1970-5)

So, perhaps still a bit "lacking" in really modern structures - but the system normally only operates for buildings over 30 years old (so UK considers that, in general, one can't decide on the merits of a building in less than this time) However special arrangements CAN be made for buildings over 10 years old and the Lloyds Building is under consideration on this basis!!
http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2011/jul/12/lloyd-s-building-grade-i-status

What approaches do other countries follow and are there web sites where we could look at the buildings concerned?

Author elsslots
Admin
#2 | Posted: 29 Oct 2011 12:20 
In The Netherlands there is also a similar system to the Listed Buildings described above. They are called "Rijksmonumenten" and there are about 62,000 of them. All are considered of national importance.

There is also a list of the Top 100 of these 62,000. This is published on the Dutch Wikipedia, and was compiled in 1997 or so by the responsible government body. These sites don't seem to have any special status. However, they are interesting to browse:
http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_100_der_Nederlandse_UNESCO-monumenten

The youngest monument on that list is the Van Nelle Fabriek (1931), also on the Dutch Tentative List. The National Monuments have to be at least 50 years old to be considered

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#3 | Posted: 29 Oct 2011 13:05 
I am pretty sure that the UK listing requires buildings to be 30 years old, or that is the general rule anyway.
The South Korean one was pretty interesting as they have National Treasures, Folk Treasures and a couple of other varieties as well.
China has a similar thing as well with tourist attractions being given ratings, I remember the Peking Man site proudly displaying its rank as an AAAA rated site

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#4 | Posted: 29 Oct 2011 13:20 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Els - why are the "Top 100" called "UNESCO Monumenten" when most of them aren't (or even T List)?? The automatic translation from Dutch wasn't very informative on this matter!!



meltwaterfalls:
I am pretty sure that the UK listing requires buildings to be 30 years old, or that is the general rule anyway.

Lost in the middle of my note was a statement that the offical period is 30 years but that this can be reduced to 10 years if thought necessary - hence consideration of the Lloyds building

I have also discovered the full Heritage Register for England with a search facility - including by period under "Advanced"
http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#5 | Posted: 29 Oct 2011 14:49 | Edited by: winterkjm 
South Korea's National Treasure List: Includes tangible treasures, artifacts, sites, and buildings which are recognized by South Korea as having exceptional artistic, cultural and historical value. Total entries: 307 distinct entries

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Treasures_of_South_Korea

North Korea's National Treasure List: Includes tangible artifacts, sites, and buildings deemed to have significant historical or artistic value. Total entries: 193

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_treasures_of_North_Korea

These are the most exceptional treasures in Korea and highlight the major achievements and unique culture of Korea.

For further heritage classification in Korea: (click on heritage info and then heritage classification)
http://english.cha.go.kr/

State-Designated Heritage
National Treasures
Treasures
Historic Sites
Scenic Sites
Natural Monuments
Important Intangible Cultural Heritages
Important Folklore Materials

*There are also some regional designations

Author elsslots
Admin
#6 | Posted: 29 Oct 2011 15:42 | Edited by: elsslots 
Solivagant:
Els - why are the "Top 100" called "UNESCO Monumenten" when most of them aren't (or even T List)??

The origins of this list are pretty vague. It seems to have been put together in 1997 for some official purpose. There has been a discussion about it on the Dutch Wikipedia too.
It says "it is a selection of 100 out of 4000 / 5000 that were selected by Unesco out of the full list of 60,000 Dutch national monuments".

Those 4000/5000 might apply to the internationally recognized Dutch monuments, which are allowed to display a white/blue shield at their entrance. They are protected by that during war time! See http://www.icomos.org/hague/hague.convention.html (UNESCO is now responsible for guarding these principles, see http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haager_Konvention_zum_Schutz_von_Kulturgut_bei_bewaffnet en_Konflikten)

And: http://www.ancbs.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=41&Itemid=19
( The Blue Shield is the cultural equivalent of the Red Cross....)

Author Durian
Partaker
#7 | Posted: 29 Oct 2011 19:58 | Edited by: Durian 
From my study, the Japanese System of national heritage protection is quite complicate but understandable, I found a link to explain the whole system http://www.bunka.go.jp/english/pdf/h21_chapter_06.pdf

The most unique I think is an individual person such as national artist can be considered as "important cultural properties"!

The highest recognition is "National Treasure", I quite surprised to find out that the famous Kinkakuji Golden Pavillion is not in the list, but be listed as place of scenic beauty and special histroic site. Anyway all Japanese WHS are listed in some kind of categories.

Author Durian
Partaker
#8 | Posted: 29 Oct 2011 20:24 
meltwaterfalls:
China has a similar thing as well with tourist attractions being given ratings, I remember the Peking Man site proudly displaying its rank as an AAAA rated site


It's a rating system by Chinese National Tourism Administration (CNTA), it is not related to cultural protection at all, but its the rating for tourist facilities, and uniquesee of cultural feature, guarantee that tourist will be satisfied. The system is based on Chinese tourists idea so some places got AAAA or even AAAAA may not guarantee that foreign tourist will agree with.

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#9 | Posted: 30 Oct 2011 03:00 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Thanks for the Japanese System Durian, I noticed a couple of points

a. It refers to the need and intention to preserve "architecture and other structures of Japan's modern era (roughly after 1868) (which) form a significant cultural heritage born out of this country's modernization process. Based on the results of investigations, a growing number of modern buildings and structures are being designated as Important Cultural Properties.". And then proudly proclaims "In FY 2009, the former Togu Palace (Akasaka State Guest House), which was built in 1909, was the first modern building to be designated a national treasure".
This would seem to contrast with UK's 30 year rule with 10 years in special occasions and NLs 50 year rule. Has Japan really got nothing since 1909 which should be protected as a "National Treaure"?

b. The splitting of Heritage, both Tangible and Intangible, into "Cultural Properties" and "Folk Cultural Properties". This split seems particularly "Japanese" in relation to "Intangible" properties so that "Intangible Cultural Properties consist of human "technical artistry" which is embodied by individuals or groups of individuals who represent the highest mastery of the techniques concerned". Whereas "intangible folk cultural properties (are merely!! those) that people of Japan have created and passed down in the course of daily life, such as manners and customs; folk performing arts...".
Thus both categories include types of "Performing arts" but the former include the "courtly" ones such as Noh, Kabuki and Bunraku whilst the others are just "Folk performing arts"!! A strange (and "Eastern"??) way of looking at things? And the "National Living Treasures" to whom you refer are of course those individuals or groups who have achieved mastery in the former - further emphasising their "higher" status!

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#10 | Posted: 30 Oct 2011 12:34 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Herewith the list of China's AAAAA rated "Scenic areas" as per Meltwaterfalls and Durian's comments above. There are a fair number of WHS among them
http://en.cnta.gov.cn/html/2008-11/2008-11-16-10-27-72978.html
it would be nice to find the lower ranking ones too!!
The Guilin "Merryland Resort" sounds unmissable!!
I also notice that my old favourite Huaqing Hot Spring Xian is mentioned. This is the "picnic spot" where the "Chinese tours" from Xian to the Terracotta Warriors would spend hours, having rushed people through the Warriors themselves! Its sole claim to fame as far as I was concerned was as the location of the Xian incident in Dec 1936 when Chiang Kai Shek was arrested

Author elsslots
Admin
#11 | Posted: 30 Oct 2011 13:46 
At least they have included a TV studio! (see discussion Too modern, or not old enough?): CCTV Wuxi Film/TV Studio used for the shooting of The Three Kingdoms and Water Margins

Author Durian
Partaker
#12 | Posted: 31 Oct 2011 03:17 | Edited by: Durian 
Solivagant:
There are a fair number of WHS among them


Yes, I think 23 from 41 WHS are AAAAA Scenic Area. And also many tentative sites. (last update seem to be 2008)

Solivagant:
Its sole claim to fame as far as I was concerned was as the location of the Xian incident in Dec 1936 when Chiang Kai Shek was arrested


This is quite surprised I have been to Huaqing Hot Spring and my guide only mentioned the story of Yang Guifei, I never heard any story of Chiang Kai Shek at all!!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yang_Guifei

Author Durian
Partaker
#13 | Posted: 31 Oct 2011 04:16 | Edited by: Durian 
For Chinese system I found that the protection is under the State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH), their English website is not available
http://www.sach.gov.cn/

but google translation help a lot. It has long lists of of National Cultural Heritage. provided in six pages
http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=zh-CN&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sach.go v.cn%2F

The first listed national heritage is a revolutionary site called Sanyuanli Anti-British Invasion Museum in Guangzhou ?!? a site related to British Opium War! Solivagant this may be your cup of tea to do further research :)
http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=zh-CN&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layo ut=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.china.com.cn%2Faboutchina%2Fdata%2Fwwbhdw%2Ftxt%2F2006 -11%2F30%2Fcontent_7429673.htm

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#14 | Posted: 31 Oct 2011 04:49 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Durian:
This is quite surprised I have been to Huaqing Hot Spring and my guide only mentioned the story of Yang Guifei, I never heard any story of Chiang Kai Shek at all!!


They do (or did) mention it. This link shows a picture of the window with a bullet hole from the "Incident"!
http://www.chinatownology.com/hua_qing_hot_spring.html

Yang Guifei also got a mention at our first visit there back in 1978 but the bigger emphasis was on the Emperor's concubine - Yang Yuhaun, one of the "Four Beauties of Ancient China" http://history.cultural-china.com/en/48History512.html . Our group of 8 were the ONLY tourists there - Chinese or Western (The Chinese were still in blue Mao suits in those days working in the factories and communes!). We were invited to take a bath in the springs but, unfortunately the 2 ladies amongst us were allocated the main Imperial bath!!!
In looking up the links for this post I noted that Huaquing is one of China's "One Hundred Famous gardens" -the Chinese do love their numeric lists!!

Durian:
long lists of of National Cultural Heritage. provided in six pages

Great Find!! I have indeed looked up more about the anti-British museum in Guangzhou -and note yet more "Anti-British sites" in Tibet at Gyangze -presumably for the Younghusband expedition. Interesting the pre-eminence China is giving in its National list to the "Revolutionary Sites" - a category on their own AND the first category.

Author Euloroo
Partaker
#15 | Posted: 31 Oct 2011 05:12 | Edited by: Euloroo 
Australia has National, State and Local heritage listings managed by the three tiers of Government and reflecting the value of the heritage respectively. Since the National Heritage List was only established in 2004, existing World Heritage Sites were retrospectively listed en masse in 2007.

Interestingly they also have three sites on a List of Overseas Places of Historic Significance to Australia. This was established in Australian Federal Law in 2007 but not sure how the law would be enacted! The overseas sites are Anzac Cove, Turkey (not surprisingly), Kokoda Track, Papua New Guinea (for which the Governments of Papua New Guinea and Australia signed a joint understanding which may result in a World Heritage nomination) and Howard Florey's Laboratory, Oxford, UK.

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