The Significance of World Heritage: Origins, Management, Consequences

The Significance of World Heritage: Origins, Management, Consequences
The Significance
of World Heritage:
Origins, Management,
The Future of the
World Heritage Convention
in a Nordic Perspective
Papers Presented at Two Conferences
in Falun (Sweden) 2010
and in Vasa (Finland) 2011
Edited by Bo G Jansson
This anthology contains papers presented at two international
conferences on World Heritage organized by WHILD (= The
World Heritages: Global Discourse and Local Implementations)
– a Scandinavian network for the development of knowledge in
the fields of research, education and tourism related to World
Heritage. The network is hosted by Dalarna University, Falun,
Sweden. The first of the two conferences – The Significance
of World Heritage: Origins, Management, Consequences – was
held in Falun December 8th-10th 2010 under the direction of
Professor Bo G Jansson and Dr Cecilia Mörner. The latter of
the two conferences, a follow up to the first one, was held in
Vasa, Finland December 13th-16th 2011 under the direction
of an organizing committee consisting of Professor Emeritus
Erland Eklund (Åbo Academy), Doctoral student Kristina Svels
(Åbo Academy), Dr Jan Turtinen (Swedish Heritage National
Board), and Senior Adviser Barbara Engels (Federal Agency
for Nature Conservation, Germany). The two conferences are,
taken together as a unit, the first of their kind in Scandinavia.
Published by WHILD (= The World Heritages: Global Discourse and
Local Implementations) – a Scandinavian network initialized in 2003
with funding from The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation for
the development of knowledge in the fields of research, education
and tourism related to World Heritage. The network is hosted by
Dalarna University.
Dalarna University
©The authors and Dalarna University
Graphic design Eva Kvarnström
Report nr 2013:1
ISSN 1403-6878
ISBN 978-91-85941-50-6
6 Bo G Jansson:
chapter 1
global strategies and policies
of world heritage in the future
Marie-Theres Albert:
The Global Strategy of World Heritage:
Challenges and Weaknesses of the 5 C’s
27 Liu Hongying:
The Policies of the World Heritage in the Future
chapter 2
cultural landscapes, cultural
commons, historic urban landscapes
Ken Taylor:
Cultural Landscapes:
Global Meanings and Values
with Some Thoughts on Asia
61 Aldo Buzio & Alessio Re:
Management of UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
From Cultural Districts to Commons
76 Maria Antónia Nobre Trindade Chagas:
Contextual Promixity Between “Cultural Landscape”
and “Historic Urban Landscape”
chapter 3
world heritage and public awareness
96 Barbara Engels:
Communicating World Heritage:
Challenges for Serial World Heritage Properties
106 Herdis Hølleland:
What does Skiing have to do with World Heritage!?:
Glimpses into Visitors Awareness of World Heritage
chapter 4
local and glocal perspectives
on world heritage
Marit Johansson:
Angra do Heroísmo – a World Heritage Site
and a Hometown: A Study of the Local Effects
of a World Heritage Status
138 Somi Chatterjee:
The Changing Definitions of Global and Local
in the World Heritage Properties and its Implications
163 Maj-Britt Andersson:
Breaking the Norms: A Study of a Norm System
within a World Heritage Nomination
chapter 5
world heritage archaeology
and craftmanship
Alicia Castillo Mena:
Archaeological Heritage Management
in the World Heritage:
A Preventive Archaeology Proposal
195 Jorun M. Stenøien & Marit Rismark:
The Construction of Craftmanship through Built Heritage Dialogues at World Heritage Sites
chapter 6
reaffirmation of
world heritage in serbia
214 Nevena Debljović Ristić:
Medieval Monasterial Complexes Integral Protection: Between the Cultural and Spiritual Heritage
224 Marina Nešković:
Stari Ras and Sopoćani: Identifying Problems
and Defining a Modern Protection Model
chapter 7
world heritage and
environmental sustainability
238 Maths Isacson:
Heritage of Risk
252 Allan Sande:
World Heritage in The Lofoten Islands
and The Barents Sea
chapter 8
world heritage
and tourism
274 Noel B. Salazar:
The Double Bind of World Heritage Tourism
292 Peter Björk:
Organising for Success: Exploring Factors
that Facilitate Tourism Cooperation and Branding
307 Kajsa G. Åberg:
Knowledge and Recruitment in Destination Development:
Starting Points of Study
chapter 9
the falun copper mine world heritage:
historical aspects
311 Urban Claesson:
The Copper Mining Town of Falun as a Challenge
for the Church 1687-1713: A Key for a New Mentality?
317 Iris Ridder:
Fortune Telling, Gambling and Decision-Making
at Stora Kopparberget in the Early 17th Century
333 Torsten Blomkvist:
The Mine Spirit in the Copper Mine of Falun:
Expressions of a Social Counter Strategy?
344 Juvas Marianne Liljas:
The Music Saloon in Falun during the 19th Century
This anthology contains papers presented at two international
conferences on World Heritage organized by WHILD (= The
World Heritages: Global Discourse and Local Implementations) –
a Scandinavian network for the development of knowledge in the
fields of research, education and tourism related to World Heritage. The network is hosted by Dalarna University, Falun, Sweden.
The first of the two conferences – The Significance of World Heritage: Origins, Management, Consequences – was held in Falun
December 8th-10th 2010 under the direction of Professor Bo G
Jansson and Dr Cecilia Mörner. The latter of the two conferences, a follow up to the first one, was held and in Vasa, Finland
December 13th-16th 2011 under the direction of an organizing
committee consisting of Professor Emeritus Erland Eklund (Åbo
Academy), Doctoral student Kristina Svels (Åbo Academy), Dr Jan
Turtinen (Swedish Heritage National Board), and Senior Adviser
Barbara Engels (Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Germany). The two conferences are, taken together as a unit, the first of
their kind in Scandinavia.
Time spent reading this book with care will be most worthwhile.
Some of the contributors to the book belong to the internationally
most prominent scholars in the field of World Heritage research
today, among them are Professor Marie-Theres Albert (Brandenburg University, Cottbus) and Professor Emeritus Ken Taylor (The
Australian National University, Canberra). All in all, the volume
gives a good picture of the current understanding in Scandinavia
of the phenomenon of World Heritage.
Falun in January 2013
Bo G Jansson
Professor of Comparative Literature
Head of the Culture, Identity and Representations
research profile at Dalarna University
Global Strategies
and Policies
of World Heritage
in the Future
The Global Strategy of World Heritage
– Challenges and Weaknesses
of the 5 C’s
Marie-Theres Albert
Professor Ph.D.
[email protected]
Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus
Since adopting the Budapest Declaration on World Heritage in
2002, the World Heritage Committee has been implementing
a new global strategy to recognize the universality of the 1972
Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and
Natural Heritage. As an instrument for sustainable development
of all societies the declaration clearly promotes heritage in all its
diversity by means of dialogue and mutual understanding. Even
though the Budapest Declaration included measures on how diversity, sustainable development or mutual understanding through
World Heritage nominations could be achieved, the implementation of this new strategy had not been successful. Consequently, at
the 31st Session of the WH Committee in New Zealand in 2007,
additional strategies were agreed upon. In confronting the global challenges facing World Heritage the Committee decided on
strengthening community involvement as a strategic objective for
the years to come. What follows is a critically reflective presentation and discussion of UNESCO’s Global Strategy.
chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 8
When, in November 1972, UNESCO’s General Conference adopted a convention for the protection and conservation of natural
and cultural assets of all kinds and from all eras, UNESCO itself
looked back on almost 30 years of experience. The living memory
of the Second World War and the repercussions of the holocaust
were so grave that not only individual countries, but the entire
world community committed itself to ensuring world peace and
the peaceful coexistence of nations. It followed that in November
1945 the world community felt encouraged to found the United
Nations Organization. Shortly thereafter England and France took
the initiative to establish UNESCO. The men and women who
founded UNESCO did so in reaction to Nazism. They wanted to
establish an organization that would respect the rights of all peoples in regards to their spiritual and intellectual progress, freedom of speech and development, as well as culture and education.
UNESCO was to be as a specialized agency of the UN--belonging
to one of the main bodies of the UN, The Economic and Social
Council. Since its founding, UNESCO has been the only organisation within the UN with a mandate on Culture. Its most important
aims include: equal access to education for all people, the right of
each individual person to seek objective truth, and to guarantee
the free exchange of thoughts and knowledge (Albert 2000, pp.
Policies for peace are based on recognizing the rights and duties
of individuals within the community of nations. This requires that
each individual be granted the right to search for and defend his or
her individual truth. Already at UNESCO’s beginning in 1945, the
community of nations recognized free speech and individual life
expressions as important factors for human development. Based
on this consensus, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights was adopted by the International Community. A humanistic understanding of culture was introduced into the collective
consciousness of the World Community. After the experiences of
World War II, the founders of UNESCO recognized that people
can only live in peace if the peoples of the world accept each other.
This necessitated acceptance (and appreciation) of the world’s diverse material (tangible) and the immaterial (intangible) heritage.
The first initiatives to protect the heritage of humanity date back
to the immediate post war years. They culminated in the Hague
Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event
chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 9
of Armed Conflict adopted in 1954. Although this convention did
not express the concept of heritage yet, it did put forward the perspective that material (tangible) objects of cultural value have an
influence on identity. A catalyst to the development of this perspective was the fact that nations who engaged in warfare did not
shy away from the destruction of cultural heritage. Cases in point
that are relevant to the World Heritage Convention are the cities
of Warsaw1 and Dresden2.
Another important initiative prior to the World Heritage Convention was the joint international effort to relocate Abu Simbel
because of the construction of Aswan High Dam. From 1964 to
1969, a campaign for the protection of this cultural heritage was
started--the first of its kind. The campaign remains unparalleled
until this day, not only for its engineering and financial achievements, but also for the concerted involvement of experts from
the international community. The temples of Abu-Simbel, Philae
(and others) were identified as cultural goods worthy of protection
for humanity. Abu-Simbel temple, for example, was carefully cut
apart into thousands of individual pieces, and then re-assembled
on higher ground almost one hundred meters above its original
The effort to rescue the temples was more than a mere engineering achievement. It was a milestone that measured solidarity
among the peoples of the world who were concerned about the
protection of the cultural heritage of humanity. The adoption of
the World Heritage Convention soon followed in 1972. Today it
is considered to be the most effective tool and instrument within
UNESCO’ s international strategy in protecting the material (tangible) and the immaterial (intangible) heritage of humanity (Al1
Albert 2006, p. 31 “Warsaw was destroyed at least twice by the Nazis. Already
during the attack on Poland at the end of 1939 and still at the beginning of
1940, many historic buildings, such as the palace, the Primas Hall, or the
great theatre, were burned down. After crushing the Warsaw uprising between
October 1944 and January 1945, the Nazis destroyed the city yet again to
about 80 %. An estimated number of 700 000 citizens lost their lives. The
rebuilding of Warsaw between 1945 and 1947 is noted as one of the greatest
cultural achievements in the post-war area and inspires Poland to this day with
a high degree of cultural identity. Since 1980 the old town centre of Warsaw is
inscribed on the World Heritage List.”
Albert 2006, p. 31 “Dresden also developed historically into a social and
cultural centre, which showed since the seventeenth century a constant
development of industry, infrastructure and intellectual life. Dresden had a wide
range of splendid buildings. The town was bombed in February by allied forces.
25 % of the city area was destroyed and a great number of people killed, which
cannot be clearly specified to this day.”
chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 10
bert, 2006, pp. 34–35). Currently, 911 World Heritage Sites have
been inscribed in 151 states parties. Out of these, 704 Heritage
Sites are listed as cultural properties, 180 as natural and 27 as
mixed properties.
Retrospectively, it can be said that protecting the heritage of
mankind has become a concern of all peoples; in other words, and
that the globalisation of the fields of science and economics has
now successfully been implemented at a cultural level. How could
it be otherwise? The global processes underpinning science and
economics would not have been possible without the contribution
of the cultures of the world. Globalisation has internationalized
the Convention and at the same time has led to the protection of
our cultural and natural heritage. Heritage protection is considered not only an international task but also an interdisciplinary
field. However, the implementation of the World Heritage Convention is not just a success story; it is also an account of problematic developments. Issues, for example with the World Heritage
List, were identified at various levels. First of all, the international
community criticized the unequal distribution of sites around the
world: 50% of all sites inscribed on the list are in Europe. (UNESCO World Heritage Centre 2007, p.36)
Secondly, the state of conservation worldwide had been deemed
deficient. This inadequacy ran parallel to the needs of training and
education which in turn were crucial in building the capacities of
people involved in world heritage. Communication was therefore
envisioned as the basis from which these processes could evolve.
Acknowledging this fact, the World Heritage during its 26th session in Budapest 2002, entitled The Global Strategy of World,
agreed on the 4 C’s in what is otherwise known as the Budapest
Declaration (UNESCO World Heritage Centre 2005, pp. 5-6). The
four C’s entailed strengthening the credibility of the World Heritage List, ensuring the effective conservation of World Heritage
properties, promoting the development of effective capacity-building measures, and increasing public awareness, involvement and
support for World Heritage through communication. Later, at the
World Heritage Committee’s Session in New Zealand, 2007, a
fifth ‘C’ was added to the 2002 Budapest Declaration: the meaningful involvement of human communities. Since then, 5 ‘C’s form
the core of the global strategy of world heritage with the aim of
achieving a more balanced and representative heritage list (UNESCO World Heritage Centre 2007, pp. 25–63).
chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 11
2. Credibility
The initial strategic objective decided upon in 2002 aims to “strengthen the credibility of the World Heritage List, as a representative and geographically balanced testimony of cultural and natural properties of outstanding universal value” (UNESCO World
Heritage Centre 2005, p. 6). Essentially this strategic objective allows for a more balanced World Heritage list than the earlier one
by distributing the diverse categories of sites representively within
regions and nations worldwide. In practice this means reducing
the existing geographical and typological inequality of heritage sites on the list.
The unbalanced distribution of cultural and natural sites
around the world is mirrored by the unequal representation of
categories for Outstanding Universal Value. Out of the 704 cultural sites on the list, Monuments and Historic Buildings are proportionally overrepresented. These sites are mainly nominated under category IV. In 2005 there were almost 340 sites nominated
as Monuments and Historic Buildings. Out of these, nearly 200
properties were found in Europe and North America (UNESCO
World Heritage Centre 2007, p.103). Second most numerous were
the approximately 190 World Heritage Cities found worldwide
out of which 100 properties could be found in Europe and North
America (UNESCO World Heritage Centre 2007, p.93). Rock Art,
on the other hand, was represented by approximately 30 entries,
and Archaeological Sites were represented by approximately 170
locations (UNESCO World Heritage Centre 2007, p.87). These
geographical disparities, as in the case of cities and monuments,
often correlate to densely populated areas like Europe, whereas
rock art, archaeological sites or natural heritage sites are more representative of sparsely populated regions in Africa, the Americas,
and / or Australia.
Another aspect worth mentioning is that the World Heritage
List has become more and more contentious due to the misappropriation of value – there is a conflict between what is actually and
supposedly the “best.” Furthermore, “World Heritage Sites” have
been used to a certain degree for branding by the tourism industry.
Neither of these instances conforms to the original idea of the protection of cultural assets of outstanding value.
chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 12
Top 10 countries with World Heritage inscriptions in 2010
United Kingdom
Russian Federation
Total Top 5
Total Top 10
Source: Authors design, based on
When looking at the Top 10 list of countries with World Heritage
sites, one cannot help but notice that 5 out of the 187 States Parties to the Convention represent 195 inscribed sites alone, which
makes up for 21% of all inscribed sites. This table also clearly
depicts how unbalanced the distribution of sites is between the
cultural and natural categories. Out of the 195 sites indicated,
only 19 are inscribed as natural sites. It is difficult to understand
why Spain, Italy, Germany or China can justify similar nomination types using the so-called OUV (Outstanding Universal Values)
when other countries lack representation in the same values. It
is apparent that the concepts of authenticity and integrity which
are formally part of the nominations require further consideration. One also becomes attuned to the urgent need of developing
preventative strategies against the rise of widespread improprieties
associated with the prestige and importance of World Heritage.
chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 13
In order to establish the desired balance, the 30th Session of the
World Heritage Committee called to attention the 2003 Cairns
Decision and decided in Vilnius in 2006 that certain measures had
to be taken. These included among others:
• to have an annual limit for new inscriptions--not more than 25
• to encourage states parties to nominate natural sites,
• to nominate more cross-border cultural landscapes, such as
transnational routes, or parks, and not least
• to preferentially nominate heritage sites from underrepresented
types of heritage, e.g. modern heritage (UNESCO World Heritage Centre 2007)
In addition the Committee reconfirmed its 1999 appeal to the industrialized countries to refrain from nominating new sites to give
some advantage to developing countries. Despite these efforts, the
Western industrialized world still dominates the List. There are
many reasons for this. First and foremost the categories for nominating and protecting sites are Eurocentric. An example for this is
the complex nominating procedure. It requires human resources
that are not readily available in every part of the world, and makes ever so more relevant the strategic goal of “Capacity Building
“(UNESCO World Heritage Centre 2005 a). Another reason for
the unequal distribution of World Heritage Sites is the conservation guidelines which require a huge financial effort on the part
of developing countries if they are to follow through on the nomination procedures. It becomes apparent, then, that to balance
the Inscription List between developing and developed countries
requires more than a definition of goals. It emphatically – and urgently – requires the equalization of development policy.
Moreover, a geographically, typologically and equally balanced
distribution of cultural and natural assets on the World Heritage
List can only be attained by radical intervention. And although
such a measure is considered “politically incorrect” in the context
of the UN system, I advocate that the applications from countries
with already more than 20 heritage sites on the Inventory List not
be considered for a limited period of time. If this intervention were
realized, the predominance of similar types of heritage, such as
sacred buildings, monuments, or historical old towns, would decrease. Conversely the nominations of natural heritage sites would
increase and preferably so. The indirect restrictions on cultural
property nominations would automatically improve the ratio of
natural heritage sites over cultural heritage sites.
chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 14
3. Conservation
Another strategic ‘C’ goal adopted in Budapest is ‘Conservation.’
In the Budapest Declaration this goal is meant to “ensure the effective conservation of World Heritage properties” (UNESCO World
Heritage Centre 2005, p. 6). How one understands effectiveness
and its implementation isn’t made clear in the ‘C’ goal definition.
However, if one acknowledges past experiences, sustainability
must be specifically included. Conservation which aims at sustainability should use proven technologies, be application oriented,
and suited to the local conditions. It follows that sustainable conservation should be regarded as a key concept to all the strategies,
and yet be seen mainly as a tool for the management of a World
Heritage site (ICCROM 2005).
But how can this be done? Sustainable conservation can definitely not stand alone in regards to the communicative and participative processes of site management. A site should be managed
by incorporating authentic local know-how existent in every country. For example, I would like to call attention to the traditional knowledge of the Australian Aborigines in their use of fire to
manage land. Without their knowledge of fire regimen it would be
impossible to sustainably protect Kakadu National Park. Nevertheless, in view of global climate change we have to ask whether
this traditional practice can still be applied responsibly. Conservation may need to be adaptive in this instance which means joining
traditional and modern knowledge to develop and further the interests of the global community (Kakadu National Park Board of
Management 2006).
Apart from such positive developments in conservation strategies that adequately protect World Heritage, there are also less
encouraging ones. Please let me recall some current situations of
conflict. The first example typifies the situation for most historic
cities listed as World Heritage. I would like to present the World
Heritage city of Quedlinburg as a case in point. It is a small city
in the middle of Germany. Quedlinburg was inscribed in 1994 under Criterion (iv). In the master plan, a framework of measures
for conserving and protecting the site was elaborated. All of the
protection measures had to observe “Conservation” criteria important to the site’s World Heritage status. They proved to be expensive and unattractive to private investors.
The restored houses did not meet the expectations of private
investors who demanded better standards of living and not UN-
chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 15
ESCO standards. As a result, the number of residents in the city
centre has been decreasing and is expected to drop to 60,934 in
the year 2020 from a population of 76,812 in the year 2002. This
will have further consequences: the city not only have to initiate
development with less tax revenue, but will have to do so with
the additional loss of attractiveness to tourism. Further reflection
upon the topic of conservation is therefore needed (Landesportal
The same trend can be observed in many other cities nominated
as historic World Heritage. People move away from historic centres because the houses do not meet modern living requirements,
rendering them unacceptable to prospective inhabitants. Houses
renovated according to World Heritage conservation standards
are either unattractive or too expensive. Hence people leave and
the historic town centres lose their vital function. It is therefore not
surprising that many historical town centres have gone through a
change of function. Inhabited World Heritage cities have turned
into cities visited or rather invaded by tourists. The World Heritage status has turned the cultural asset of the city into a commodity exploited by tour operators. At bargain prices these cities are
enticing hundreds of thousands of visitors per year.
Countless examples further illustrate how the second ‘C,’ ‘Conservation,’ is still far from reaching its desired goal. In order to prevent negative reaction to this strategic goal, I would point out that
the conservation of World Heritage must consider the suitability
of cultural assets for conservation by weighing the compatibility of
museality on one hand with the compatibility of modernity on the
other. These considerations would provide a possibly new formulation to the strategic objective of ‘Conservation.’ Only then could
adequate strategies for World Heritage conservation emerge.
4. Capacity-building
An additional strategic objective is ‘Capacity-building.’ According
to the Budapest Declaration, ‘Capacity-building’ aims “to promote the development of effective capacity-building measures, including assistance for preparing the nomination of properties to the
World Heritage List, for the understanding and implementation of
the World Heritage Convention and related instruments” (Fejérdy
2003, p. 35). The United Nations Development Programme rec­
ognizes that ‘Capacity-building’ is process that continues over the
long-term in which all stakeholders participate (ministries, local
chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 16
authorities, non-governmental organizations, user groups, professional associations, academics and others) (Global Development
Research Center).
Together with ‘Communication’ the strategic goal of ‘Capacitybuild­ing’ not only aims to improve the World Heritage Convention, but to im­plement UNESCO’s objectives in general. UNESCO’s larger objectives include creating world peace. To this end
the World Heritage Convention is complemented by other legal
in­struments created by the international community, most recently the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Peace in the world is based on a
common agreement on the diversity of cultures and therefore on
raising aware­ness about diversity itself. The diversity of cultures
is further based on the recognition that the heritage of mankind
is a resource which creates identities. This is why it needs to be
safeguarded as a lasting resource open to as much of the world’s
population of as possible. In addition, it requires comprehensive
‘Capacity-building’ programmes, delivered within the contexts of
education and training.
To understand this strategic objective better, we need to recognize that ‘Capacity-building’ includes edu­cation on different levels
and for different target groups. Education itself needs to consider
torical, philosophical and political contexts. ‘Capacity-building’ is therefore quite a complex goal and this must be understood for it to be successfully implemented in the short term. At
the first level, education and capacity-building generally deal with
future-oriented approaches to World Heritage studies and specifically deal with heritage management and conservation strategies
(see list of authors in: Albert, Gauer-Lietz 2006 and in Albert et al.
2007). A shortage of local experts in these fields exists worldwide
and therefore an urgent need for training is required at institutions of higher education. The teaching staff dealing with heritage
manage­ment and conservation training at uni­versities around the
globe should cooperate with practitioners in the field in developing
heritage man­
agement training concepts (ibid.). These concepts
should include the development of management skills, standards
in both teaching and learning methods, as well as multi-disciplinary conservation concepts of heritage sites whose implementation
meet the demands of tourism development.
At the second level, education and capacity-building, in a practical sense, deal with a variety of target groups. Here the everyday
chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 17
manage­ment of a heritage site and its related problems is considered. As mentioned earlier the development of sites has many
socio-economic factors attached to it and this may lead to conflicts between protection and use. Heritage site stakeholders need
to learn how to involve different target groups and to explore the
possibilities and potential limitations (ibid.). The current economic downturn experienced by many countries in the world must
also be kept in mind, because this has led to a decrease in public
funding for education and professional training--including cultural programmes in the narrowest sense. For this reason, new ways
of participating, cooperating and finding fi­nancial support must
be thought of. Concepts like public pri­vate partnerships, corporate social responsibility and en­trepreneurship are important counter-measures to economic recession. Involving and training children and teenagers in the development of sustain­able concepts of
heritage use, and creating a sense of responsibility among them are
also needed (ibid.). Cooperation with the private sector is a further
means to this end. The implementation of these respective concepts has to be analysed and conveyed through academic research
and teaching. In so doing necessitous participation can be defined
and developed in a balanced and in a sustainable manner of ‘give
and take.’ The task for universities is to address these concepts
scientifically, technologically, knowledgeably and creatively.
At the third level, education and ‘Capacity-building’ takes a future-oriented approach for heritage education in schools. Teaching
staff and educational planners from na­tional and international
educational institutions need to be prepared for the implementation of heritage education in school curricula. Conceptually, this
has to be done with pupils and experts together within educational
studies and curriculum development. However, not only do the
teaching and learning concepts of heritage need to be developed,
they also need to be implemented. Furthermore, multidisciplinary
and sustainable heritage educa­tion strategies need to be expanded
in order to heighten the awareness and consciousness of future generations on this subject (ibid.; ICCROM 2000; UNESCO World
Heritage Center 2005).
chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 18
5. Communication
So far, I have covered the strategic goals of Credibility, Conservation, and Capacity-building and have referred to their strengths
and weaknesses. Now, we will look more closely at the fourth ‘C’
– ‘Communication.’ The Budapest Declaration identifies the importance to ‘in­crease public awareness, involvement and support
for World Heritage through ‘Communication’ (UNESCO World
Heritage Centre 2005, p. 6). In the World Heritage PACT (Partnerships Initiative), as­pects of ‘Communication’ and education are
also emphasized, in particular computer-based communication
strategies. Moreover, heritage communica­tion in museums has reinforced (not only by means of the production of photographs and
of their archiving in databases) the implementation of ‘Communication’ as a strategic goal. School endeavours such as the establishment of ‘heritage days’ should also not be overlooked for their
positive communication outcomes. The strategic goal of ‘Communication’ is essential to improving awareness, involvement and
support within communities and municipalities, and is key to the
overall presentation of heritage in different media.
Heritage (which is our mission to protect) can be understood
within the dual context of human know-how and its communication. It can be realized within the tangible and technological
application of this dual context. Understanding heritage relies on
complex communication and negotiation processes with different
stakeholders and interest groups who offer either support or resistance. Only by considering these various processes and interests,
can the protection of World Heritage turn into a living and ‘lived’
reality. Once more this reality presupposes there is ‘Communication’ of the processes around protection and use.
How can such processes be organized? I would like to refer here
to some new ideas which were developed by Britta Rudolff in her
outstanding doctoral work. Using the example of the Umayyad
Mosque in Damascus, she proves that the value of a heritage site
cannot be classified only on the basis of architectural quality, and /
or artistic, historical and technological significance. Nor can value
be simply an outstanding example or unique representation. Heritage always con­tains immaterial (intangible) values – meanings
or functions – which are ascribed to heritage in communicative
processes. Only through these processes does heritage become attractive to a local population. She writes: “Other themes approach
the Umayyad Mosque in the role of an assistant of religious duties
chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 19
or the search or proxim­ity to Allah … further roles are those of a
social platform, … with the character of a facilitator of social exchange, social encounters or social practices; and last but not least
it (the Mosque) constitutes a symbol, home, power, government
legitimation or religious identity” (Rudolff 2006, p.200).
How could we express this better that heritage always has a
personal dimension and that in the discovery of this di­mension
the actual and lasting goal of heritage protection becomes a reality? In order for the strategic goals of ‘Community involvement’
and ‘Communication’ to be realized, the population living near the
heritage site must participate actively. The local community must
ascribe its respective values or functions to the site. Only in doing
so will people accept and value their heritage sites (such as the
Umayyad Mosque). Only in doing so will lasting protection and
sustainable use become possible. The aforementioned strategic objectives are therefore, on the one hand, steps in the right direction.
On the other hand, they must be supported by and founded in subjective factors and experiences. Only if individuals are enabled to
under­stand, interpret and appropriate the heritage of mankind as
personal heritage and inheritance, can protection and use of heritage become sustainable. Only in doing so will individuals develop
a relationship with heritage and only then can they act responsibly. Feeling and be­having responsibly for any kind of heritage is
a challenge for future oriented developments and only possible if
the goal is accepted by both individuals and commu­nities. Individual and collective responsibility is therefore the precondition for
sustainable community development. This fundamental belief is
what led to the incorporation of the fifth ‘C’, the global strategy of
‘Community Involvement.’
6. Community Involvement
The realization of the four objectives of the Global Strategy was
evaluated at the 31st session of the World Heritage Commit­tee
in New Zealand in 2007 and it was also there that the fifth objective was added. Because of the global challenges confront­ing
World Heritage, representatives agreed to this strategic objective
of strengthening ‘Community Involvement’ in the coming years.
The New Zealand session thereby acknowledged that the identification, management and conservation of herit­age must succeed,
where possible, with the mean­ingful involvement of human communities, and, where neces­sary, the reconciliation of conflicting
chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 20
interests. This was not to be done against the interests, or with
the exclusion or omission of local communities (UNESCO World
Heritage Centre 2007).
In this understanding and interpretation of ‘Com­munity Involvement,’ a key concept for the future of World Heritage arose.
Together with the other four objectives, ‘Community In­volvement’
was to minimize the problem caused by different stakeholder interests and was to concurrently sup­port the development of communities. The five ‘C’s’ were also needed because in the nearly forty
years of implementing the World Heritage Convention, major conflicts always arose in the context of local, national or international
interests and in the duties of different stakehold­ers involved in the
whole process of World Heritage. The case of the Dresden Elbe
Valley in Germany, in which a bridge built over the Elbe river, a
protected landscape, is the most recent and striking exam­ple for
these kinds of conflicts. The World Heritage Committee was induced to delete the valley from the World Heritage List. This case revealed that the status of any heritage site with or without problems
is in general dependant on the coopera­tion of multiple groups.
Inevitably the protection and use of a site also involves many stakeholders. Different stakeholders pursue different interests, and
when differ­ent people or groups with different interests meet each
other, conflicts abound.
Within the context of World Heritage, conflicts usually arise
on different levels between all of the different stakeholders, i.e.
between local actors, consultants, the respective com­munities and
their respective governments. A case in point is when a local community is forced to initiate a nomination procedure in response to
a decision made by their government. This often arises because a
significant number of States Parties still hope that their international reputation might increase by regularly nominating World
Heritage sites. However, it is not always the national government
that is interest­ed in nominating a site, but the local community
because they hope to increase the number of tourists visiting their
site. One of the problems of the decision-making process is that
both interests are usually justified by expert surveys.
Independent of the special interests of a local or national group
intending to nominate a World Heritage site, the long lasting nomination procedure often be­gins with a specific political interest
and suf­ficient know-how at the local community level. The procedure ends successfully with a nomination by the World Herita-
chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 21
ge Committee. To meet this end the nomination process requires
com­munity involvement with a clearly defined concept right from
the beginning. It also requires a clear communica­tion strategy and
sufficient conservation knowledge. Also the community has to
provide sufficient technical and human resources for the whole
nomination procedure. It becomes apparent then that the second
strategic objective of ‘Conservation,’ the third strategic objective
of ‘Capacity-building’ and the fourth strategic objective of ‘Communication’ are constituent components of the fifth objective,
‘Community Involvement.’
‘Community Involvement’ is not only needed in the nomi­nation
process; it is also needed when conflicts arise due to the clash of
diverse interests between different stakehold­ers. The underlying
concept of stakeholders is a holistic one which includes individuals, institu­tions and organizations on different levels and from
differ­ent backgrounds. For example, stakeholders often reside in
a World Heritage site. They may feel that the spaces of their daily lives are being taken over or even stolen by the many visiting
tourists. However, stakeholders are also busi­
ness people, who
make their living from the tourists and who probably feel their
businesses restricted by protective conservation regulations. There
are countless examples of such conflicts which cannot be listed
here. In response, the World Heritage Committee advanced ‘Community Involvement,’ as a way of immediately recognizing and
resolving conflicts of interest.
However involving stakeholders, as it was formulated by the
Committee in New Zealand in 2007, is nothing new. The concept
goes back to the 1980s, when participative ap­proaches with a focus on regional development emerged. Since the 1980’s stakeholder involvement has been de­clared as the most effective strategy
to ensure balanced socio-economic and political-cultural development for structurally weak regions (Harrison, 1980). Furthermore, the concept of community involvement had already been used
in (earlier) development policies. For proof we only have to go
back to the approaches and theories of Dependencia, devel­oped
in Latin America (Frank, 1969). The Latin American concept of
Dependencia was defined as ‘an approach dealing with ideas for
solving the problem of underdevelopment.’ The main strategy of
this approach was to sever the link to the eco­nomic dominance
of the world market so as to allow local populations to initiate
local development. Today this approach has been transformed on
chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 22
different levels into the strategies of education and these generally
facilitate the implemention of the UNESCO strategic goal of ‘Capacity-building’ (Schimpf-Herken and Jung 2002). And currently
we are also using a ‘Community involvement’ planning approach
based on de­velopments in the 1980’s and 1990’s. These are exemplified by the strategies of objectives-oriented project planning,
project cycle management and logical framework analyses.
These (ideas, processes, global strategies) are discussed in the
UNESCO report, Our Creative Diversity edited by Pérez de Cuellar from the UNESCO World Commission on Culture and Development (1996). The report argues that the nomination and implementation of World Heritage sites should be contextualized within
social, cultural, political and economic devel­
which involve a variety of stake­holders. It logically follows that
these become an integral part of the new Global Strategy of the
World Heritage Committee.
The current challenges we face in heritage occur for a variety of
reasons not only for the lack of local ‘Community Involvement in
proc­esses of nomination and protection. They occur because of a
disparity between cul­tural and economic development interests,
even when stakeholders have been involved. They can also occur
because the official UNESCO criteria of outstanding universal
value, including the authenticity and integrity of a World Heritage
site, are far from what people at a local level identi­fy with in terms
of their own heritage. Local communities and their experts, such
as administrators, private benefactors, business people, or consultants, frequently do not know what the World Heritage criteria
mean. And if they do know, the criteria are deconstructed so as to
appease their own perceptions of heritage. Naturally, the process
should be commu­nicated, but it rarely is.
Heritage, by definition, requires that tangible and intangible
goods be transmitted and disseminated from one generation to the
next. ‘Community Involvement’ is thereby understood as a constituent component of these processes. Heritage both presents and
represents humanity’s historical, contemporary and future-oriented dimensions. As such it is constructed by (dominant) stakeholder interests, which may be in conflict. These interests need to be
moderated and communicated between stakeholders with the aim
of finding prob­lem- solving strategies. In order to prevent conflicts two things must be done at the same time. Firstly, all stakeholders representing different interests have to be responsibly and
chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 23
adequately informed and in­volved in the nomination process right
from the start. This includes communicating the other strategic
objectives to them. In the end the success of the Global Strategy
depends on the implementation of the five C’s, coordinated as a
policy between professionals and (local) communities. This goal
has not yet been achieved.
chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 24
Albert, M.-T. (2000). Globalisierung und kulturelle Entwicklung – Das Erbe der
Menschheit und seine zeitgemäße Interpretation, In: Albert, M.T., Herter, J.
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Frankfurt, Germany, IKO.
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Albert, M.-T., Bernecker, R., Gutierrez Perez, D., Thakur, N. and Nairen, Z.
(eds.) (2007). Training Strategies for World Heritage Management. Bonn,
Deutsche UNESCO Kommission.
Deleplancque, R. (2007). Val de Loire – World Heritage and Educational
Action. Albert, M.-T. et al., op.cit., pp. 100–110.
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World Heritage Centre. World Heritage 2002 – shared legacy, common
responsibility. Paris. pp. 34–35.
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between theoretical claims and practical frustrations. In: Albert, M.-T. and
Gauer-Lietz, S., op.cit., pp. 211 – 217.
ICCROM (2005). Traditional Conservation Practices in Africa. Joffroy, T. (ed.).
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ICCROM (2000). Youth and the Safeguard of Heritage. Rome. International
Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural
ICOMOS (2005). The World Heritage List: Filling the Gaps – An Action Plan
for the Future. Paris. URL: http.//
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City & Time 2 (2): 1. [online] URL:, S. 3 und 10.
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Draft Management Plan. Australien Government and Director of National
Parks. Darwin, Australia, Parks Australia North.
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2020-Planungsgrundlage [Demographic Development Saxony-Anhalt until
2020 – planning basis] URL:
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contexts of faith. Ph.D. thesis, University of Mainz, Germany.
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Estrategias para incorporar los problemas sociales de la comunidad en el
curriculo escolar. Santiago de Chile, Editorial LOM.
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Creative Diversity. Paris.
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chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 26
The Policies of
the World Heritage
In the Future
Liu Hongying
Professor Ph.D.
[email protected]
World Heritage Law Research Center
China University of Political Science and Law, China
The World Heritage Convention has implemented for 40 years and
has many remarkable achievements. We stress that giving special
emphasis on the typical characteristic of World Heritage because
of irreplaceable ‘outstanding universal value’. The rate of increase
for the World Heritage List should slow down. Analyze outstanding cases and bad cases, in order to helping for the optimal policy. We can combine the World Heritage Convention and the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage
and promote the theme of peace, human rights and environment.
keywords: outstanding universal value; legal policy; future of
Convention; sustainability
chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 27
1. Introduction
The World Heritage Convention has run for 40 years and there are
remarkable achievements, e.g. 936 World Heritage properties, 189
States Parties, 153 States have their properties. That’s reflecting
‘outstanding universal value’ of the spiritual essence of the World
Heritage. The theme to include peace, human rights and environment has been promoted.
Meanwhile, the process of implementation of the Convention
also entrained some problems, even led to local conflicts along
the border. Which direction will the future of the Convention go
towards? How to establish better mechanisms in the legal policy? How to ensure sustainability development of the Convention?
Thus, we need to consider seriously and answer to them. It’s so
important and imperative that establishing better mechanisms in
the legal policy.
2. Give Special Emphasis on the Typical Characteristic of World Heritage
Firstly we stress that giving special emphasis on the typical characteristic of World Heritage because of irreplaceable ‘outstanding
universal value’. Based on the ‘global strategy’ of UNESCO, the
future policy of World Heritage must enhance special requirements about the typical characteristic which is a true reflection of
the spirit of World Heritage. It’s essential for irreplaceable values
of World Heritage.
Here is an example of China.
In China, the archaeological type of World Heritage is an important part of all of its World Heritage (41 properties). The properties have more advantage than other types of World Heritage
on describing prehistoric civilization and the context of the ancient history. Their characteristics, classification, meaning, but
also have high value for study. For example, Peking Man Site at
Zhoukoudian[Date of Inscription 1987], Yin Xu[2006], Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor[1987], Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area[1996], Dazu Rock Carvings[1999], Longmen Grottoes[2000], Yungang Grottoes[2001], Imperial Tombs of the Ming
and Qing Dynasties[2000,2003,2004], Capital Cities and Tombs
of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom[2004], It simply is a ‘red line’ of
the Chinese ancient culture.
This is a kind of the World Heritage, about where we came
chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 28
from, about how to be for human in different places, different
historical stages----this is archaeological type of World Heritage.
The archaeological type of World Heritage with the content of
ancient tradition and rich variety of methods makes dialogue and
exchange to the world of today. So, the development of human
civilization has a long and clear context. The World Heritage Convention of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization gives just normal forms and rules on the international law. Meanwhile, the Convention promotes and protects the
dialogue and exchange.
The archaeological type of World Heritage is mature World
Heritage systematization with prominent features and functions
during the Convention’s practice for nearly 40 years. Those properties can call and show come out disappeared culture or civilization
memories. They also have meticulous description and expounded
on the values and the significance of the World Heritage. Thus,
what kind of archaeological site can become the World Heritage?
How the archaeological type of World Heritage came about ‘outstanding universal value’? It’s necessary that we establish a more
detailed legal standard, basic principles and protection rules.
Therefore protecting all World Heritage sites by the angle of
view and method of World Heritage is similar to protecting archaeology sites. The typical characteristic must be accentuated.
3. Control Total Number of the World Heritage List
The total number of the World Heritage List is growing year after year. Controlling it means responsibility. As continue to implement the ‘5C’ strategy, the rate of increase for the list should slow
down. World Heritage properties are going to break the four-digit
numbers, and the value of World Heritage will be greatly reduced.
Do not encourage that States Parties which have enough properties nominate new heritage project------that’s a good choice. For
example, China has 41 World Heritage sites, there is no need to
increase. Their main focus should be placed on the protection of
existing properties carefully.
In this regard, different levels on the protection of natural heritage would be paid more attention. There are excellent natural heritage like Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas [2003],
Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuary-Wolong,Mt.Siguniang,and Jiajin
Mountains [2006], Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area
[1992], Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area [1992], Jiuz-
chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 29
haigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area[1992] in China. At
the same time flawed and controversial South China Karst [2007]
and China Danxia [2010] appeared. It tends to complicate.
The problem of cultural heritage may be more trouble. Few people know Historic Monuments of Dengfeng, in the ‘Centre of
Heaven and Earth’ [2010]. Ancient Building Complex in the Wudang Mountains[1994] was in case of fire in 2003 and a temple
As China, Italy, Spain and Germany should not continue to
grow their numbers. They are the big World Heritage nations.
(Hongying, 2006, p.233)
4. Analyze Outstanding Cases and Bad Cases in order to Helping
for the Optimal Policy
There have been some typical cases during implementation of the
Convention. It’s necessary analyzing outstanding cases and bad
cases in order to helping for the optimal policy.
The Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley [2003] and Minaret and Archaeological Remains of
Jam [2002] in Afghanistan give expression to religious conflict in
the past and hope of peace in the future.
Democratic Republic of the Congo have Garamba National
Park [1996], Kahuzi Biega National Park[1997], Okapi Wildlife
Reserve [1997], Salonga National Park [1999] and Virunga National Park [1994]. All the sits are in the List of World Heritage in
Danger. The reasons are local war and illegal poaching.
Preah Vihear Temple [2008], the Temple, composed on series
of sanctuaries with carved stone ornamentation, dates back to the
11th century AD. It’s inscription in to the World Heritage List
caused by local war between Cambodia and Thailand. Why? Why
are there some distance to the aim of the Convention? The better
policy must defuse them.
A recent example is Marshall Islands Bikini Atoll Nuclear Test
Site [2010]. The violence exerted on the natural, geophysical and
living elements by nuclear weapons illustrates the relationship
which can develop between man and the environment. This is reflected in the ecosystems and the terrestrial, marine and underwater
landscapes of Bikini Atoll. The nuclear tests changed the history of
Bikini Atoll and the Marshall Islands, through the displacement of
inhabitants, and the human irradiation and contamination caused
by radionuclides produced by the tests. The Bikini Atoll tests, and
chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 30
tests carried out in general during the Cold War, gave rise to a series of images and symbols of the nuclear era. They also led to the
development of widespread international movements advocating
disarmament. (WHC, 2011) Its theme is closely related with the
current international affairs. That is to reduce nuclear.
5. Reciprocal Symbiosis: Tangible and Intangible Heritage
5.1 A Pair of Conventions
When the World Heritage Convention is more than 40 years old
and the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage is nearly 10 years old, many new challenges appear
during practical operation. The conventions need to combine.
There are practical experience and academic resources which
need comparative study in concept, character, criterion. The relation between tangible heritage and intangible heritage becomes an
outstanding issue. In other words, the relationship between tangible heritage and intangible heritage, which is an important part
of the challenges, require synchronous theory and further studies.
5.2 The Concept on Public Law: Common Heritage of Mankind
With the development of international law, a legal concept on public law which is beyond property concept on private law, has
quietly grown up: the common heritage of mankind. For the nontraditional terms, the world needs to set a big goal of collective
concern. (Hongying, 2008, p.45)
The concept ‘common heritage of mankind’ has been established by public law is a product of modern values, and hold a target
relating to the collective fate of humanity and the future development of the Earth.
The ‘common heritage of mankind’ is recognized by international law, related to the common interests of mankind as a whole,
forward to the purpose of peace and development.
World Heritage and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
belong to the heritage of public law. So being in Institutional framework of the United Nations, public law values are consistent
with international law and national law each country, from the
top down, together, constitute statutory recognition system.
Text of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage underscores: Considering the deep-seated interdependence between the intangible cultural heritage and the tangible
chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 31
cultural and natural heritage, Considering the importance of the
intangible cultural heritage as a mainspring of cultural diversity
and a guarantee of sustainable development. (UNESCO, 2003)
5.3 The Heritage Pair Patterns
One side, according to the rules of the conventions, legal system
include international law and national law that offers policies and
strategies had to be established .
Another side, the cases from different parts of the world had
been described into the lists, are physical evidences like Rice Terraces of Philippine Cordilleras [1995] and Hudhud Chants of the
Ifugao [2001] in Philippines, Medina of Marrakesh [1985] and
The Cultural Space of Djamaa el-Fna Square [2001] in Morocco,
Old City of Dubrovnik [1979, 1994] and The Festivity of Saint
Blaise, the Patron of Dubrovnik [2009] in Croatia, also are patterns. We can style them ‘a couple of heritages’. It’s a symbol there
is the heritage pair at a heritage area.
Rice Terraces of Philippine Cordilleras, (iii)(iv)(v), 1995
Hudhud Chants of the Ifugao, 2001
For 2,000 years, the high rice fields of the Ifugao have followed the
contours of the mountains. The fruit of knowledge handed down
from one generation to the next, and the expression of sacred traditions and a delicate social balance, they have helped to create
a landscape of great beauty that expresses the harmony between
humankind and the environment.
The Ifugao Rice Terraces epitomize the absolute blending of the
physical, socio-cultural, economic, religious, and political environment. Indeed, it is a living cultural landscape of unparalleled beauty. (WHC, 2011)
The Hudhud consists of narrative chants traditionally performed by the Ifugao community, which is well known for its rice
terraces extending over the highlands of the northern island of the
Philippine archipelago. It is practised during the rice sowing season, at harvest time and at funeral wakes and rituals. Thought to
have originated before the seventh century, the Hudhud comprises
more than 200 chants, each divided into 40 episodes. A complete
recitation may last several days.
Since the Ifugao’s culture is matrilineal, the wife generally takes
the main part in the chants, and her brother occupies a higher
position than her husband. The language of the stories abounds
chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 32
in figurative expressions and repetitions and employs metonymy,
metaphor and onomatopoeia, rendering transcription very difficult. Thus, there are very few written expressions of this tradition.
The chant tells about ancestral heroes, customary law, religious
beliefs and traditional practices, and reflects the importance of rice
cultivation. The narrators, mainly elderly women, hold a key position in the community, both as historians and preachers. The Hudhud epic is chanted alternately by the first narrator and a choir,
employing a single melody for all the verses.
The conversion of the Ifugao to Catholicism has weakened their
traditional culture. Furthermore, the Hudhud is linked to the manual harvesting of rice, which is now mechanized. Although the
rice terraces are listed as a World Heritage Site, the number of
growers has been in constant decline. The few remaining narrators, who are already very old, need to be supported in their efforts
to transmit their knowledge and to raise awareness among young
people. (UNESCO, 2011)
Rice Terraces provide the basic symbols for the chants which
images the rich harvest of life; the chants recited the Intangible
forms of expression, is growing with the terrace farming. They are
the part of Ifugao overall culture. These two heritages are interdependent and mutually interpretation.
Medina of Marrakesh, (i)(ii)(iv)(v), 1985
The Cultural Space of Djamaa el-Fna Square—Morocco, 2001
Founded in 1070–72 by the Almoravids, Marrakesh remained a
political, economic and cultural centre for a long period. Its influence was felt throughout the western Muslim world, from North
Africa to Andalusia. It has several impressive monuments dating
from that period: the Koutoubiya Mosque, the Kasbah, the battlements, monumental doors, gardens, etc. Later architectural jewels
include the Bandiâ Palace, the Ben Youssef Madrasa, the Saadian
Tombs, several great residences and Place Jamaâ El Fna, a veritable open-air theatre. (WHC, 2011)
The Jemaa el-Fna Square is one of the main cultural spaces in
Marrakesh and has become one of the symbols of the city since its foundation in the eleventh century. It represents a unique
concentration of popular Moroccan cultural traditions performed
through musical, religious and artistic expressions.
Located at the entrance of the Medina, this triangular square,
which is surrounded by restaurants, stands and public buildings,
chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 33
provides everyday commercial activities and various forms of entertainment. It is a meeting point for both the local population
and people from elsewhere. All through the day, and well into the
night, a variety of services are offered, such as dental care, traditional medicine, fortune-telling, preaching, and henna tattooing;
water-carrying, fruit and traditional food may be bought. In addition, one can enjoy many performances by storytellers, poets,
snake-charmers, Berber musicians (mazighen), Gnaoua dancers
and senthir (hajouj) players. The oral expressions would be continually renewed by bards (imayazen), who used to travel through
Berber territories. They continue to combine speech and gesture
to teach, entertain and charm the audience. Adapting their art to
contemporary contexts, they now improvise on an outline of an
ancient text, making their recital accessible to a wider audience.
(UNESCO, 2011)
Can be said that because of the city being, a square being. The
same time, the city’s cultural vitality was able to continue with
the popularity of the square every day. This complementary are a
perfect match.
Old City of Dubrovnik, (i)(iii)(iv), 1979, 1994
Croatia – The festivity of Saint Blaise,
the patron of Dubrovnik,2009
The ’Pearl of the Adriatic’, situated on the Dalmatian coast, became an important Mediterranean sea power from the 13th century
onwards. Although severely damaged by an earthquake in 1667,
Dubrovnik managed to preserve its beautiful Gothic, Renaissance
and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains.
The evening before the festivity of Saint Blaise in Dubrovnik,
Croatia, as all the church bells in the city ring and white doves
are released as symbols of peace, worshippers gather for a ritual
healing of the throat to preserve them against illness. On the third
of February, the official day of both saint and city, parish banner
bearers flow into the city in folk costume for the centrepiece of
the festival, a procession attended by bishops, ambassadors, civic
leaders, visiting notables and the people of Dubrovnik. The festivity embodies many aspects of human creativity, from rituals to
folk songs, from performance to traditional crafts (including the
making of the historical weapons fired in celebration). The ritual
dates back in some form to at least 1190 and has reinforced a close
identification of Dubrovnik’s residents with the city’s patron, Saint
chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 34
Blaise. Over time, the festivity has evolved as Dubrovnik and the
world have changed. Each generation adapts it slightly, inspired
by its own ideas and needs to make the ritual its own. On Saint
Blaise’s day, Dubrovnik gathers not only its residents, but all those
who pay respect to tradition and the right to one’s freedom and
peace. (WHC, 2011)
The tangible qualities of the ancient city and the intangible qualities of festivals have been blending in one place. The ancient city
is the carrier of history and culture, and with the same festivals in
the ancient city.
As wonderful examples, they highlight the orientation of the
evaluation criteria to property. They have made sense of reality
that we can review, that two entries from the same land of cultural heritage correspond to each other by two categories. They use
the core values of indigenous culture, from two different heritage
angles, show out the inherent spirit of the world heritage and intangible cultural heritage.
The examples of ‘a couple of heritages’ have already come from
the World Heritage List and the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Currently, as the most representative, added heritage groups from other countries appear
and are convincing.
5.4 The Significance of Reciprocal Symbiosis
These interactions arise from, and cause, cultural values for development and peace. Managing these values, with tangible and
intangible heritages, so that they remain of outstanding universal
value, is a particular mission for us.
Although the difference in time 31 years between the World Heritage Convention and the Convention for the Safeguarding of the
Intangible Cultural Heritage, they are inseparable affinity laws in
the terms of content or the terms of significance.
These two classes identified by the conventions on tangible
World Heritage and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity are
dependency to each other. They form full integrity of the heritage
concept, and have strong support and statutory rules for global
legal philosophy of heritage protection.
‘A couple of heritages’ show three-dimensional display that as
particular local cultural heritage resources, emphasizing the unity of elements of cultural humanities and natural environment,
which reflects the significance of the cause of tangible world heri-
chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 35
tage and intangible cultural heritage, can express outstanding universal value of heritages.
It is a clear direction that the lists of heritage at all levels may
describe more and more ‘a couple of heritages’. Especially, the lists
carried by the two conventions focus on the composition ‘a couple
of heritage’, has become a trend forward.
Future World Heritage law and rules will have continuous renewal. According to the Database of National Cultural Heritage Laws, this free and user-friendly online database contains over
2,000 laws from over 170 countries in 42 languages. It aims to
protect cultural heritage by sharing knowledge and best practice.
(UNESCO, 2010, p.9) On this basis international law can be continuous optimization and presentation of creative programme and
new policy framework for cultural and natural heritage followed
by a practical order.
Hongying, L.(2006) The Spirit of World Heritage, Huaxia Press, Beijing.
Hongying, L.(2008) World Heritage Law, Peking University Press, Beijing.
UNESCO (2010) Database of National Cultural Heritage Laws, 65 Ways
UNESCO Benefits Countries all over the World, UNESCO Publishing, Paris.
UNESCO (2009) The World’s Heritage: A Complete Guide to the Most
Extraordinary Places, UNESCO Publishing, Paris.
UNESCO (2003) Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural
Heritage, Paris. UNESCO (2011) Intangible Heritage Lists, Retrieved from http://www.unesco.
WHC (2011) The World Heritage List, Retrieved from
chapter 1 global strategies and policies of world heritage in the future 36
Cultural Landscapes,
Cultural Commons,
Historic Urban
Cultural Landscapes:
Global Meanings and Values
with some Thoughts on Asia1
Ken Taylor
Professor Emeritus M.A.
[email protected]
The Australian National University
Canberra, Australia
‘Our human landscape is our unwitting biography,
reflecting our tastes, our values, our aspirations,
and even our fears in tangible visible form.’ (Lewis 1979:12)
The UNESCO World Heritage (WH) Convention of 1972 firmly
placed cultural heritage (and natural heritage) conservation on the
world stage. Early inscriptions on the WH List focused on famous
monuments and sites. As the management of cultural heritage
resources developed professionally and philosophically a challenge
emerged in the late 1980s/early1990s to the focus on monuments
and archaeological locations, famous architectural ensembles,
or historic sites with connections to the rich and famous. Here
was the inception of an enlarged value system embracing such
issues as cultural landscapes and settings, living history and
heritage, intangible values, vernacular heritage, and community
involvement. The idea that the everyday, the ordinary, became a
lively area of interest.The cultural landscape construct proposes
that heritage places are not isolated islands and that there is an interdependence between people, social structures and the landscape.
Inextricably linked to this cultural concept of landscape is that one
of our deepest needs is for a sense of identity and belonging and
a common denominator in this is human attachment to landscape
and how we find identity in landscape and place. This paper
This paper formed basis for Taylor K “Landscape and meaning: context for a
global discourse on cultural landscape values” pp 21-44 in Taylor K & Lennon
J, eds, 2012 Managing Cultural Landscapes, London & New York: Routledge.
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 38
reviews emerging trends in the non-monumental cultural landscape
approach; reflects on how the innovative ideas of cultural geographers and anthropologists from the late nineteenth/early twentieth
century through the twentieth century shifted intellectual discussion on landscape from physical determinant to cultural construct
creating a context for a global cultural landscape discourse; and
reflects on cultural landscape opportunities in Asia.
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 39
Product or process: post 1970
Over the last thirty years or so there has emerged the idea of historic cultural landscapes being worthy of heritage conservation
action. It is reasonable to ask why this has occurred? Where does
the philosophical basis lie for the current interest in cultural landscapes, particularly in the interpretation of their meanings and their
associative/intangible values. Here I propose to look critically at
two periods in reverse chronological order. Inquiry on landscape in cultural (human) geography and related disciplines such as
anthropology since the late 1970s has progressively delved into
landscape not simply or predominantly as history or a physical
cultural product, but also – and more significantly – as cultural
process reflecting human action over time with associated pluralistic meanings and human values.
From a cultural geography perspective landscape as process has
connections with the aim of visual theorist, WJT Mitchell (1994:1)
‘to change “landscape” from a noun to a verb … [so] that we
think of landscape not as object to be seen or a text to be read,
but as a process by which identities are formed’ Landscape therefore infers cultural context, human action and activity and also
change over time. It is what Olwig (2007) calls ‘an active scene of
practice.’ Mitchell sees his approach as absorbing two approaches
to landscape. The first he calls contemplative, founded in art historical paradigms of reading landscape history. The second is interpretative, with efforts to decode landscape as a body of signs.
Landscape and Power aims to absorb these approaches into a more comprehensive model that would ask not just what landscape “is” or “means”,
but what it does, how it works as cultural practice. Landscape, we suggest,
doesn’t merely signify or symbolise power relations; it is an instrument of
cultural power, perhaps even an agent of power ... independent of human
Mitchell (1994:1/2)
Robertson and Richardson (2003:7) recognise that, whilst there
has been within cultural geography ‘a shift from textual interpretation … to an interpretation of these texts in popular cultural
practice’, it is also within the field of anthropology that the notion
of landscape as cultural process finds consistent expression. The
definition of landscape as cultural process is the stance taken by
Hirsch (1995:3) when he acknowledges the existence of cultural
meaning in landscape but that this must be viewed in the context
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 40
of ‘the concrete actuality of everyday social life (‘the way we now
are’).’ Like Mitchell, Hirsch proposes two landscapes: the one ‘we
initially see and a second landscape produced through local practice and which we recognise and understand through fieldwork
and through ethnographic description and interpretation.’ (ibid:2)
The landscape as process thesis can be seen to have connections
with the etymological derivation of the word in English from its
Germanic roots (Jackson J.B.1984, Olwig 1993 and 2002). This
dates back to 500 AD in Europe when the words – landskipe or
landscaef – and the notions implied were taken to Britain by Anglo-Saxon settlers. The meaning was a clearing in the forest with
animals, huts, fields, fences. It was essentially a peasant landscape
carved out of the original forest or weald, that is, out of the wilderness with interconnections to patterns of occupation and associated customs and ways of doing things. Jackson further indicates
the equivalent word in Latin languages – with its antecedent like
Germanic and other languages harking back to the Indo-European idiom – derives from the Latin pagus, meaning a defined rural
district. He notes that this gives the French words pays and paysage, but that there are other French words for landscape including
campagne deriving from champagne meaning a countryside of
fields; the English equivalent once being ‘champion’.
‘Landscape’ from its beginnings therefore has meant a human-made artefact with associated cultural process values. It is an
holistic view of landscape with its morphology resulting from the
interplay between cultural values, customs and land-use practices
critically explored by Wylie (2007).
The conjunction of the word ‘cultural’ with landscape also infers an inhabited, active being. Olwig (1993) links this to its Latin
origin colere (culture), with various meanings including inhabit,
cultivate as in tillage, protect, honour. Additionally ‘culture’ like
the German kultur (and therefore ‘cultural’) is about development
of human intellectual achievement, care (Oxford English Dictionary): hence the German term ‘kulturlandschaft’ (see below). French
usage gives us paysage culturel, the term used in the World Heritage List inscription (2000) for The Loire Valley which notably
includes urban settlements as well as rural land. The assumption
that is often made that ‘cultural landscape’ is only to do with agricultural settings is misplaced: it is concerned with all human places
and the process of making them and inhabiting them.
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 41
Landscape as idea in the Western genre also has had since the
sixteenth century art historical connections with painterly renditions of landscapes, whether they be the history painting genre
of the Italianate School (Poussin, Lorrain et al) or the realism of
the ordinary everyday landscapes of the Dutch School. This is the
landscape as scenery interpretation. Wylie calls it ‘representational, symbolic and iconic meanings’, aestheticized pictures of the
natural world and culture-nature relations, or a landowning elite
way of seeing. It was the focus of critical commentary by cultural
geographers in the 1990s. Olwig (1996), for example, proposes
the need to understand and return to the substantive nature of
landscape: a landscape that is real, not artistic, real in a legal sense,
real rather than apparent. This standpoint meshes in a sense with
his argument that landscape originally means a political community of people (polity) and associated customary, administrative
local laws: ‘a nexus of law and cultural identity’ (Olwig 2002:19).
He points to the diverse local polities, ie landscapes or in German,
ländschaft, a term still used (Jackson J.B.1984) for a territory or
administrative unit.
We may ask whether this attitude to landscape and art, which
it must be noted is not universal, is representative of a wider view
system that sees landscape art representation with its symbolism
somewhat suspiciously. Is it predominantly a western view? How
does it sit with Eastern views? Western landscape art since the
Renaissance has focused substantially on portraying landscape reality even when the landscape portrayed is symbolic. In contrast,
Eastern landscape art has often focused more on imaginary landscapes as in Chinese landscape art (and literature) where, over one
thousand years ago at the end of the Tang Dynasty (618–907 CE),
a deconstruction of material nature was taking place. This genre
was accompanied by a representation of nature which ‘began to
express its more spiritual side. Appearances became less important
and spiritual reality emerged as the main focus . . . paintings became more and more abstract and symbolic.’(Feng Han 2006:79/80;
Gong 2001:228 in Feng Han). In this way, Chinese depictions of
nature – cultivated landscapes – were expressions of the mind and
heart of the individual artist rather than of the real world, reflections of human beliefs and emotions (Metropolitan Museum of
Art 2000). Even so, the often seemingly fantastic renditions in these landscapes do reflect the hauntingly beautiful shapes seen in
Chinese landscapes. Nevertheless both forms, Eastern and Wes-
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 42
tern, represent subjective notions of an ideal, perhaps illusive, nature. If this is a way of seeing landscape should it be eschewed? I
think not: it is for me integral with the idea of landscape as process
even if it is the process of making imaginary landscapes.
To this end modern cultural geography as Denis Cosgrove
(1993) suggested delves into how intellectual forces and spiritual
sensibilities are as important as economic, social and environmental constraints in understanding how people transform and view
their surrounds. He points out that landscape interpretation involves a dialogue between changing social and economic structures
and human visions of a harmonious life within the natural order.
As a result ‘no longer is the geographical landscape confined to
visible and material features on the earth’s surface’ (ibid: xiv).
Pre-1970s: environmental product or cultural process?
In the early nineteenth century the primacy of the natural order
and creationist views in determining environmental form were
clear. Whilst Darwin rocked the theological boat, he did little to
shake the conviction that natural forces shaped us and our world.
Alternative evolutionary theories as in the Neo-Lamarckian model
of adaptive modification of organisms passing on qualities they
acquired entrenched the scientific view that environment was the
shaper of people, their landscape and even their values. Such views
were attractive to the increasingly vocal discipline of geography
which craved to be accepted into the scholarly world as a science
in the latter half of the nineteenth century. A scientifically deterministic view of environment firmly established itself in the geographical mindset. But this was challenged by an emergent German
human geography tradition, thereby laying the foundations for
how we have come to understand the cultural landscape construct.
Nevertheless the early foundations still inferred natural factors
as the determining agent. Alfred Hettner (1859–1941) emphasised
the concept and practice of Länderkunde (regional study). Here
distinctive regional landscapes are established as a reflection of the
relationship between people and their environment where natural
factors determine regional landscape patterns. It was a continuation
of the early nineteenth century geographic tradition of Alexander
von Humboldt (1769–1859). Humboldt, one of the founders of
modern geography, emphasised measurement and mapping based
on the inter-connectedness between life forms and environment.
The earth for Humboldt consisted of distinctive natural regions
each with its own particular life forms.
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 43
This view was supported by the English geographer Halford
Mackinder. In 1887 in his address to the Royal Geographical
Society Mackinder maintained that geography’s task was to
reintegrate society and environment and to build a bridge over
the gap between the natural sciences and the study of humanity.
The growing union between the natural sciences, particularly
biological sciences, and geography was a significant aspect of
the developing nineteenth century scholarly base of geography.
Livingstone (1992:190/192) in his history of the foundations
of geography calls Mackinder’s approach ‘the geographical
experiment – an experiment to keep nature and culture under one
conceptual umbrella’ and proposes that whilst this was centred
on the relationship between nature and culture with Mackinder
seeing man as the initiator, nevertheless ‘nature in large measure
controls.’ In these evolving constructs we may, I suggest, see early
stirrings of the current view of cultural landscapes being at what
Rössler (2006) calls ‘the interface between nature and culture,
tangible and intangible heritage, biological and cultural diversity.’
In a reaction to Hettner’s physical basis for regional geography
– Länderkunde – there was a move towards emphasising human
activity – culture – in shaping landscape patterns. Thus started
the German geographical tradition of the late nineteenth and early
twentieth centuries in landscape studies. Its recognition of the
significance of Kulturlandschaft, as for example in the work of Otto
Schlüter (1872–1959), is seminal to our present understanding of
cultural landscapes.
The emergent German school of cultural geography questioned
the entrenched deterministic view of geographers which
concentrated on the thesis that regional landscape form was deter­
mined by natural factors. It was Otto Schlüter who ‘came to
champion the view that the essential object of geographical inquiry
was landscape morphology as a cultural product’ and he ‘emerged
as a major exponent of the significance of the cultural landscape
(Kulturlandschaft) in contrast to the natural landscape (Naturla
ndschaft).’(Livingstone:264). Principles of Landschaftkunde were
seen to offer a more holistic view of the relationship between
people and land: the landscape. Nevertheless the German cultural
geographers first concentrated on the material aspects of culture
visible in the landscape rather than including aspects of custom,
values or traditions. Interest in non-material aspects of landscape
making came later. Neither did Schlüter abandon the notion of the
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 44
influence of natural environment on regional human landscapes. It
was left to subsequent geography scholars to trace the influence of
non-material culture on regional landscape morphology.
The perceptive and innovative thinking and practice of Franz
Boas’ (1858–1942), anthropologist and geographer, extended the
new human geography to embrace the idea that different cultures
adjusted to similar environments and taught the historicist mode
of conceptualising environment (ibid). It was a philosophy that
emphasizes culture as a context (»surroundings«), and the importance of history: a Boasian anthropological approach referred
to as historical particularism. Boas argued that it was important
to understand the cultural traits of societies – their behaviours,
beliefs, and symbols – and the necessity for examining them in
their local context. He established the contextualist approach to
culture known as cultural relativism. He also understood that as
people migrate, and as the cultural context changes over time,
the elements of a culture, and their meanings, will change. This
led him to emphasise the importance of studying local histories
to aid the analysis of cultures.2 His teachings and ideas in social
anthropology and geography remain central to present-day interest
in the cultural landscape idea where landscape, as Lewis (1979)
opines, is a clue to culture.
Coincidental with the work of the German human geographers
was that of the French geographer Paul Vidal de La Blache who
pioneered a French school of géographie humaine. Aitchison
(1995) draws attention to the way in which Vidal inquired into
how ‘homme, milieu et genre de vie determine la physionomie des
paysages’ (people, environment, life-style determine the face of
the country). Vidal’s approach acknowledged the way in which
people changed their natural surrounds and that different regions
have their own characteristics as a result of human intervention.
But, like Schlüter, Vidal was unable to make the step of seeing
geography as a social, as opposed to a natural science, and always
elucidated that natural factors influenced ‘the history, anthropology,
and physiology of the human species.’ (Livingstone1992:267)
Nevertheless in his work, like that of Schlüter, can be seen the
beginnings of connections between regional landscapes and sense
of place.
Franz Boas:
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 45
Geographical scholarly endeavour was continued in the
twentieth century through the work and writings of influential
thinkers. Nevertheless there have been, and remain, tensions in
various schools of cultural geography landscape studies. It is
a tension that Wylie posits is ‘between proximity and distance,
body and mind, sensuous immersion and detached observation. Is
landscape the world we are living in, or a scene we are looking at,
from afar ... a set of visual strategies and devices for distancing and
observing?’ (Wylie:1/2). Here is the tension between our lived-in
world concept and landscape as an artistic and historical genre.
Landscape as lived-in process has built on the work of scholars
such as Carl Sauer, Fred Kniffen, Wilbur Zilensky, David Lowen­
thal; Peirce Lewis, Marwyn Samuels, Donald Meinig, Tuan, Denis
Cosgrove, Duncan and Duncan, historians such as W.G. Hoskins.
It was Hoskins as a landscape historian in the 1950s in England
who saw the advantages of being out in the landscape rather than
just studying in the archives. In this mode his work had similarities
to that of Carl Sauer. It is a body of work that I contend acted
as a necessary precursor to the establishment in the 1990s of the
construct of landscape as process discussed above.
Sauer established the Berkeley School of cultural geography in
the 1920s. He continued the kulturlandschaft tradition and elaborated an empirical cultural and historical geography tradition
by championing the idea of reading the landscape based on clear observation and recording in the field. Sauer’s view that ‘The
cultural landscape is fashioned out of the natural landscape by a
culture group. Culture is the agent, the natural area is the medium,
the cultural landscape is the result’ (Sauer 1925:46) is still quoted,
and all too often uncritically in relation to cultural landscape and
heritage conservation concerns for it remains a too positivist view
of landscape as product rather than as process. Sauer’s approach
to landscape morphology narrowly kept within the bounds of scientific method and he concentrated on material aspects of cultural diversity in what Robertson and Richards (2003:2) regard as
‘unnecessarily deterministic.’ He did not emphasise the visual and
affective aspects of landscapes or what Peter Jackson (1989:19
quoted in Wylie) refers to as its ‘social dimensions.’ Jackson proposes more consideration be given to the non-material or symbolic qualities of culture that cannot be ‘read off’ directly from the
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 46
In this vein an enduring contribution has been the writings and
understanding by J.B. Jackson of the American vernacular landscape, the landscape people inhabit and make through everyday activities. He suggests, for example, that ‘we are not spectators: the
human landscape is not a work of art. It is the temporary product
of sweat, hardship and earnest thought’ (Jackson J.B. 1997:343)3.
His interest essentially was in patterns in the landscape and the
processes that shaped these, rather than individual buildings. Jackson’s writings in Landscape, the journal he started are still worth
reading. Notably also he gave attention to the contemporary urban landscape rather than the rural. Current interest in the idea
of Historic Urban Landscapes (HULs) at World Heritage level has
antecedents here.
During the late 1980s and 1990s humanistic approaches to understanding landscape as a cultural construct used the metaphor
of landscape as text. Duncan and Duncan (1988) claim texts ‘are
transformations of ideologies into a concrete form.’ They argue
cogently that landscapes can be seen as transformations of social
and political ideologies. They base their claim on insights from
literary theory applied to the analysis of landscapes and reading
them as texts. Duncan and Duncan were dismissive of the then
contemporary work of cultural geographers as naive (a word they
use twice in their opening paragraph) in that it views landscape
as a kind of cultural spoor, indicating the presence of a cultural
group. In my view their argument of landscape as text is better
seen as adding further to the insights on symbolism in landscapes.
Central to these has been the connection between present landscapes and the way in which they reflect vital links, tangible and
intangible, with history. As a result we respond affectively to them,
to the symbolism of the memories, ideas, and associations inherent
in their very existence, as well as to the tangible material patterns
and structures which represent how the landscape has been, and is
continually actively used, shaped, and changed.
A coherent aspect of an accumulation of approaches is, therefore, that landscape is a cultural, or social, construct that demands
examination. It is not simply what is seen as an assembly of physical components and natural elements, but rather, as Cosgrove
proposes (1984:1), it is
This quote is from Jackson’s article ‘Goodbye to Evolution’, Landscape 13:2;
1–2. It is included p.343 in J B Jackson , (1997), Landscape in Sight. Looking at
America, edited by Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz.
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 47
a way of seeing that has its own history, but a history that can be understood
only as part of a wider history of economy and society; that has its own
assumptions and consequences, but assumptions and consequences whose
origins and implications extend well beyond the use and perception of land;
that has its own techniques of expression, but techniques which it shares
with other areas of cultural practice.
Cosgrove further argues that landscape is an ideological concept
and this theme resonates through his writings (Cosgrove 1984 and
1990). Cultural landscape form, past and present, is therefore profoundly and systematically influenced by political, religious, economic, and social values and forces. More recently new forces such
as tourism and its ideological baggage mould cultural landscapes.
They add new layers to an already rich assemblage. The growth in
cultural tourism, for example, has enormous potential to influence
cultural landscape morphology and, coincidentally, our view of
the past through interpretations and presentations of history. A
series of essays in a volume edited by Ringer (1998/2005) delves
into these considerations through viewing cultural landscapes of
tourist destinations as socially constructed places, the extent to
which tourism both establishes and falsifies local reality and effects on local cultures not least through manipulations of history
and culture.
The cultural geography, anthropological and historical discourses on constructs of landscape cumulatively may be seen to
have created a context for a global cultural landscapes discourse
on a World Heritage scale that developed in the 1980s/1990s. As
the management of cultural heritage resources developed professionally and philosophically a challenge emerged in the late 1980s/
early1990s to the 1960s and 1970s concept of heritage focusing on
monuments and archaeological locations, famous architectural ensembles, or historic sites with connections to the rich and famous.
Here was the inception of an enlarged value system embracing
such issues as cultural landscapes and settings, living history and
heritage, intangible values, vernacular heritage, and community
involvement. It was the beginning of the shift from concentrating
wholly on what Engelhardt (2007) pithily designates the three ‘Ps’
of Princes, Priests, and Politicians to include PEOPLE.
The rise of cultural landscapes
The 1990s expansion of interest in, and enlarging understanding
of, cultural landscapes is what Jacques (1995) nicely calls ‘the rise
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 48
of cultural landscapes.’ Cultural landscape study at this time was
also coincidental with a widening interest in the public history
movement and everyday landscapes. It underpinned the notion
that landscapes reflecting everyday ways of life, the ideologies that
compel people to create places, and the sequence or rhythm of life
over time in Olwig’s (2007 op. cit.) active scene of practice are
significant. They tell the story of people, events and places through
time, offering a sense of continuity: a sense of the stream of time.
They also offer the context for concepts and understandings of
cultural heritage.
The concept of cultural context is critical to an appreciation of
the rich layering inherent in the cultural landscape idea. The theme
of the 2005 International ICOMOS conference held in Xi’an, China stressed the importance of context within the parameters of the
concept of setting in the practice of conserving cultural heritage in
changing townscapes and landscapes:
setting is not just about physical protection; it may have cultural or social
dimension. Tools need to acknowledge both the tangible and intangible
aspects of setting. They also need to reflect the complexity of ownership,
legal structures, economic and social pressures that impinge on the physical
and cultural settings of immoveable heritage assets (ICOMOS 2005a).
The term ‘cultural landscape’ is now widely used internationally.
In 1992 cultural landscapes arrived on the world heritage scene
with the declaration of three categories of cultural landscapes of
outstanding universal value for World Heritage purposes.
• Clearly defined landscapes designed and intentionally created by
man: eg Aranjuez Cultural Landscape, Spain (2001); no Asian
inscriptions exist notwithstanding places like Suzhou, China or
Kyoto temples with their gardens being WH listed cultural properties.
• Organically evolved landscapes in two categories:
(i) A relict or fossil landscape in which an evolutionary process
has come to an end but where its distinguishing features are still
visible, eg Gusuku Sites, Ryuku, Japan.
(ii) Continuing landscape which retains an active social role in
contemporary society associated with a traditional way of life
and in which the evolutionary process is still in progress and
where it exhibits significant material evidence of its evolution
over time. Cultural landscapes inscribed on the WH list in the
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 49
Asia-Pacific region include for example: Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (1995); Champasak cultural landscape including the Vat Phou temple complex, Lao PDR (inscribed 2001)
in recognition of its presentation as a remarkably well preserved
planned landscape more than 1000 years old, shaped to express
the Hindu relationship between nature and culture from the 5th
to 15th centuries; Orkhon valley cultural landscape, Mongolia
(2004) reflecting the symbiotic relationship between nomadic,
pastoral societies and their administrative and religious centres
and the importance of the area in the history of central Asia.
• Associative cultural landscapes: the inclusion of such landscapes is justifiable by virtue of the powerful religious, artistic, or
cultural associations of the natural element rather than the material cultural evidence. Tongariro New Zealand (1993), Uluru/
Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia (1994) are two Asia/Pacific
example. UNESCO (2007:115) suggests that:
The category of associative cultural landscape has been particularly crucial
in the recognition of intangible values and the heritage of local communities
and indigenous people. In 1992 their cultural heritage received worldwide
recognition for the first time under an international legal instrument.
This symbolizes the acceptance and integration of communities and their
relationship to the environment, even if such landscapes are linked to power­
ful religious, artistic or cultural associations of the natural elements rather
than material cultural evidence.
The declaration stands as a timely initiative and precursor to the
1994 Global Strategy for a Balanced, Representative and Credible
World Heritage List. The strategy acknowledged lack of balance in
the World Heritage List in the type and geographical distribution
of properties represented, with the lionisation of the List by developed countries, notably Europe. Cultural landscapes are regarded
as being ‘at the interface between nature and culture, tangible and
intangible heritage, biological and cultural diversity – they represent a closely woven net of relationships, the essence of culture
and people’s identity … they are a symbol of the growing recognition of the fundamental links between local communities and
their heritage, humankind and its natural environment’ (Rössler
2006). Enlarging on this the current Operational Guidelines for
the World Heritage Convention propose that ‘Cultural landscapes often reflect specific techniques of sustainable land-use, considering the characteristics and limits of the natural environment
they are established in, and a specific spiritual relation to nature.
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 50
Protection of cultural landscapes can contribute to modern techniques of sustainable land-use and can maintain or enhance natural values in the landscape. The continued existence of traditional
forms of land-use supports biological diversity in many regions of
the world. The protection of traditional cultural landscapes is therefore helpful in maintaining biological diversity’ (UNESCO 2011:
Annex 3, para 9, p. 88).
By mid-2010 sixty-six cultural landscapes had been inscribed on
the World Heritage List.4 Bandarin (2009) reflects most of these
are living cultural landscapes and that over time cultural landscape
categories (including relict and associative) provide an opening
of the World Heritage Convention for cultures not [represented]
or under-represented prior to 1992. He quotes as examples the
inscription of the Kaya Forest Systems in Kenya or the Chief Roi
Mata’s Domain in Vanuatu, the Kuk Early Agricultural site in
Papua New Guinea or the Tobacco production of Vinales Valley in
Cuba, reflecting that none of these sites would have had a chance
prior to 1992 of being recognized as cultural heritage on a global
scale. Herein lies the major importance of the inclusion of the
cultural landscape category in the operations of the Convention.
Of the sixty-six inscriptions only twelve are located in the
Asia-Pacific region, plus two in the Eurasian region In contrast
many inscribed properties in the region listed as natural sites or
mixed natural/cultural are in fact cultural landscapes and offer
considerable scope for renomination and re-inscription as happened in 1992 with Tongariro (New Zealand) and 1994 with Ulura-Kata Tjuta National Park (Australia). Mount Lushan in China
is an interesting example inscribed in 1996 as a mixed site but with
ICOMOS assessors commenting that it ought also be recognised
as a cultural landscape. The cultural landscape values of Lushan
are now being re-investigated in China. The general question of renomination of landscapes was addressed by Fowler (2003) in his
ten year review of the cultural landscape categories and by Taylor
and Altenburg (2006) for the Asia-Pacific.
0When the term ‘cultural landscape’ is used in SE and E Asia there
is often confusion as to what it really means. There is, therefore,
a need to address this uncertainty through a global consensus on
what the term signifies in order to reconcile international and SE
and E Asian regional values, because the region has so much to
NB Dresden Elbe Valley, Germany, was delisted by the World Heritage Committee in July 2009.
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 51
offer the world in the cultural landscape arena. Indeed it is my view
that some of the world’s greatest cultural landscapes of potential
outstanding universal value exist here. These landscapes represent
a particular way of living and provide examples of a continuous
living history. They are therefore representative treasures, not
only of living regional landscape culture, but of world culture and
deserve to be recognised and celebrated as such. (Taylor 2009).
They are a vivid embodiment of landscape as cultural process as
opposed to being an objective cultural product.
The culture-nature dilemma: eastern and western views
A cogent example of divergent western and eastern views relative to cultural landscape concerns is that of the concept of nature (Taylor 2009). Until the late 1980s there was some tension
between cultural and natural heritage conservation. Culture and
nature were uneasy, sometimes suspicious, companions. Reflective
of this, cultural and natural criteria for assessment of properties
of OUV for World Heritage nomination and listing were separate
when they were sensibly combined into one set of ten criteria in
UNESCO 2005 Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of
the World Heritage Convention (para. 77). The separation was
originally based on a hegemony of Western values where cultural
heritage resided mainly in great monuments and sites and natural
heritage in scientific ideas of nature and wilderness as something
separate from people. The latter was an ideal espoused particularly in the USA reflective of Roderick Nash’s (1967) critical analysis
of the American concept of wilderness. Nash posits its adoption
was grounded in the idea of something distinctively American and
superior to anything in the Old World: the sublime versus the antique. He refers to the wilderness idea as critical to a unique American white identity (my bold).
Examination of the World Heritage List for natural heritage
and mixed properties in Asian countries shows some properties
included where local community associations with these places are
omitted, or worse, obliterated. In contrast to this approach ought
to be recognition of the value systems that traditional communities
associate deeply with so-called natural areas as part of their
cultural beliefs. Added to this is the fact that many traditional
communities live in or visit these places as part of their life systems
and have done so for millennia, for example Nanda Devi and
Valley of Flowers National Parks (India) or Sagamartha National
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 52
Park, Nepal. These are listed only under natural criteria for World
Heritage inscription although at least the nomination of the latter
does refer to presence of Sherpas, with their unique culture that
adds further interest to this site. A 1999 state of conservation report
adds ‘The significant culture of the Sherpas is an integral part of
the nature-culture continuum.’ Of note in this culture-nature and
tangible-intangible relationships is the mounting appreciation of
links between cultural and biological diversity and traditional
sustainable land-use. It begs the questions of whether renomination
as cultural landscapes ought to be seriously contemplated and what
do we mean by nature? Is it the 1960s American model enshrined
in the Wilderness Act with its connections to Protestant Christian,
colonial, and post-colonial cultural associations from the English
speaking Western world? Or ought it to be the concept of nature
and culture not as opposites, but where nature is part of the
human condition? In this connection is J.B. Jackson’s (1984:156)
view that landscape ‘is never simply a natural space, a feature of
the natural environment . . . every landscape is the place where we
establish our own human organization of space and time.’
Jackson’s aphorism has particular import in Asia where links
between culture and nature are traditional. People are part of nature
within a humanistic philosophy of the world. Here is an holistic
approach to the human-nature relationship as opposed to the idea
of human detachment from nature. Lennon (2007) referring to
Barrow and Pathak (2005) importantly notes that whilst there is
an increasing number of World Heritage cultural landscapes, there
are hundreds of community-based cultural landscapes across the
Asia–Pacific region, officially unprotected areas but protected by
communities for their own livelihoods. Not all cultural landscapes
have universal values but they have national and regional values
and form the basis of sustainable landscapes worthy of conservation.
A landmark UNESCO-IUCN international symposium in
2005 on sacred natural sites and cultural landscapes (UNESCO
IUCN 2006) explored the culture/nature diversity links. In an
eloquent paper Lhakpa N Sherpa (2006) enlarges on how beyul,
the cultural phenomenon of sacred hidden valleys in the Nepalese
Himalaya, traditionally support biodiversity conservation. Lhakpa
(2006) shows how western influenced initiatives are targeting
beyul for establishing protected areas without proper recognition
of the symbiotic relationship between local communities and
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 53
environmental conservation: the message is modern development,
education, globalisation, and tourism are not supporting traditional
stewardship. Lhakpa suggests that beyul and other sacred natural
sites can be an asset for ecosystem conservation and lead to
conservation of significant intangible cultural values. He proposes
a series of actions involving strengthening involvement of local
people with greater recognition of indigenous knowledge; physical
surveys; collection of oral and written evidence; documentation
and publication of material; dissemination of information to local
schools and communities to rekindle the spirit and pride in beyul.
Notably this theme of the important conservation network value
of recognizing the inextricable links between nature and culture
and linked protection of biological and cultural diversity at sacred
natural sites is continued by Verschuuren et al (eds 2010). The
theme of cultural landscapes as a bridge between culture and
nature is similarly explored by Taylor and Lennon (2011).
In contrast to purely nature conservation in some Asian national parks is the Thai example of Doi Suthep-Pui National Park,
Chiang Mai, where culture and nature coexist in terms of traditional Hmong communities allowed to remain living in the park and
where interpretative presentation acknowledges the immutable relationship between people and nature. This is seen also in the value
placed on the temples in the park, as with the venerable Pra That
Doi Suthep Temple (Nantawan Muangyai and Vital Lieorungruang 2006)
Despite all the stunning natural beauty, the main reason many visitors come
... is to visit Phra That Doi Suthep Temple. For Thais, this site is a must for
the visit, as it is a sacred place to pay homage to the Lord Buddha’s relic,
...[it is] one of the most holy Buddhist sites in Thailand.
The Doi Suthep landscape is representative of the deeply felt
associative values between local communities and indigenous
people in Asia and their cultural landscapes. It underscores
the need for intercultural dialogue and for initiation of local
community and indigenous participation in cultural landscape
conservation and management so that the links between physical
and spiritual aspects of landscape are respected. This view is
grounded in the fact that it is the cognitive and spiritual values of
cultural landscapes in the Asia-Pacific region that are their most
salient features (Engelhardt 2001). Recognition of a cultural place
as a World Heritage site can intentionally or unintentionally mar-
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 54
ginalise certain groups, the unrecognised ‘others’ with a long and
verifiable association with the place. The World Heritage site and
archaeological park at places like Borobudur, Indonesia, and Angkor, Cambodia, are cases in point where the surrounding cultural
landscape and its meanings are seemingly divorced from the archaeological monuments. At Angkor, for example, is an extensive
engineered landscape extending over 5,000 sq kms: a relic cultural
landscape reflecting the history of the area and everyday activities
of people which continue to this day (Taylor and Altenburg 2006;
Engelhardt 1995). ICOMOS and IUCN are active in dialogue with
the World Heritage Committee (WHC) on outstanding universal
values and ‘how references to values of minorities, indigenous and/
or local people were made or obviously omitted’ in nominations
(UNESCO 2007b:3). IUCN notes in its commentary that it ‘has
long emphasised the importance of involving indigenous people in
the planning and management of protected areas’[and that] ‘many
natural World Heritage properties have very significant cultural
and spiritual values for local communities and customary owners’
[but that] ‘in recent years, the natural World Heritage nominations
of the States Parties only rarely reflect on local cultures, the rights
of these cultures, and prospective conflicts between these cultures
and international efforts for protection (ibid:33/34).
Filling the gaps and thematic studies: cultural landscapes and Asia
UNESCO (2007a:116) in its report World Heritage Challenges for
the Millennium reflected that ‘The geographically unbalanced representation of cultural landscapes on the World Heritage List ...
is striking.’ By mid-2010 this still prevailed with around forty-two
of the inscriptions being European. Asia is not well represented
with twelve inscriptions.4 The Millennium report also notes that
many cultural landscapes have building techniques, vernacular architecture and management schemes that often relate to complex
social and contractual arrangements. The example of the rice terraces and irrigation system of the Philippine Cordilleras is indicative of this where indeed, if the physical or the social structure
collapses, the whole landscape and ecological system is threatened.
UNESCO further notes that the category of continuing landscapes, particularly agricultural landscapes, has great potential but
needs to be backed by global and thematic studies to provide a
An additional two sites are in Eurasia (Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan).
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 55
basis for nominations. Such studies would also guide the World
Heritage Committee in its listing decision making.
An ICOMOS (2005b) report highlights the gaps in the Asia-Pacific Region in the inscription of cultural properties on the World
Heritage List in general, and cultural landscapes in particular. It
indicates that the majority of places on the World Heritage or Tentative Lists are archaeological, architectural monuments and religious properties. Whilst this logically reflects the importance, for
example, of Buddhist or Islamic places and archaeological sites,
the paucity of such ensembles as cultural landscapes, vernacular
architecture, technological and agricultural sites – all within the
cultural landscape spectrum – represents a missed opportunity taking into account the spirit of places in the region. Notable in this
regard is the fact that many existing Asia-Pacific Region properties
on the World Heritage List would admirably fulfil the category
of continuing landscape of outstanding universal value with cross
references to the associative cultural landscape category. They offer scope for renomination; for example, Ayutthaya in Thailand,
whilst in China there are the Mount Qingcheng and the Dujiangyan Irrigation System or the Ancient Villages in southern Anhui-Xidi and Hongcun.
Another important area for consideration is that of vernacular
villages with the ICOMOS report noting the lack of vernacular
buildings and settlements on the World Heritage list. It is another
area where Asia has a rich heritage and where cultural diversity
and biological diversity are palpable.
In reviewing a periphery perspective from Asia on cultural landscape heritage values, significance, and protection it is instructive
to look at the issue through the lens of authenticity and integrity
These are characteristics from UNESCO 2011 Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention
(op cit) where the spirit of place resides as much in the meaning
and symbolism of places and their setting – intangible values – as
it does in tangible physical fabric, i.e landscape seen holistically.
Authenticity (para. 80 of the Guidelines) concerns ‘the ability to
understand the value attributed to the heritage depending on the
degree to which information sources about this value may be understood as credible or truthful.’ We may see authenticity, therefore, as ability of a place to represent accurately/truthfully what it
purports to be. Figure 1 Dimensions of Authenticity from UNESchapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 56
Figure 1 Dimensions of Authenticity in an Asian context (UNESCO Bangkok
2009 Hoi An Protocols)
and setting
and design
and function
Spatial layout
“Sense of place”
Changes in use
over time
and vistas
Spatial distribution of usage
Impacts of use
Degree of dependence
on locale
Linkages with
other properties
or sites
Usa as a
response to historical context
Living elements
Use as a
response to
Sounds, smells
and tastes
CO Bangkok’s (2009:8) Hoi An Protocols document illustrates the
importance of authenticity within an Asian context.6
Integrity is a measure of the wholeness and intactness of the
cultural heritage and its attributes. Examining the conditions of
integrity, therefore requires assessing the extent to which the property a) includes all elements necessary to express its outstanding
universal value; b) is of adequate size to ensure the complete representation of the features and processes which convey the property’s significance; c) suffers from adverse effects of development
and/or neglect. In relation to (c) I would add that judgement will
be required when the whole might lack sense of integrity yet some
parts or remnants possess it. The decision on overall integrity then
will depend on how the parts with integrity are able to be read and
interpreted to give an overall sense of continuity.
Finally it is apt to close with a quintessentially timeless quote by
David Lowenthal (1975:12):
It is the landscape as a whole – that largely manmade tapestry, in which all
other artefacts are embedded … which gives them their sense of place.
Hoi An Protocols build on ICOMOS (1994) Nara Document on Authenticity.
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 57
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chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 60
Management of
Unesco World Heritage Sites:
From Cultural Districts to Commons
Aldo Buzio
[email protected]
Politecnico di Torino, Italy
Alessio Re
[email protected]
SiTI- Higher Institute on Territorial Systems for Innovation, Politecnico di Torino, Italy
This paper is intended as a potential contribution into the growing
literature on UNESCO World Heritage sites, and presents the preliminary results of a research project about innovative strategies
for cultural heritage management.
More in detail, the issue of the text is to contribute to explore, from a multidisciplinary point of view, the concept of cultural
commons towards a reference to the UNESCO vision and approach about culture. Considering the debate around the concept
of (world) cultural heritage, around the same concept of “value”
as a ever-changing prospective. Here is proposed a shift from
the theory of cultural districts to the innovative idea of “cultural
commons”, it could appear useful in understanding new forms of
world heritage sites. It could also contribute to face the challenges
posed by heritage management in relation with local communities,
for instance it can provide an evaluation of social carrying capacity for safeguarding cultural values and authenticity.
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 61
1. Cultural Districts and World Heritage
This research project start from a reflection on commons, how they
could be defined and applied to WH Sites, in order to contribute
to their proper management. In this sense, the paper is a first draft
with the aim of designing a categorization on what are commons
and how they entered into the cultural debate. We looked at the
commons as a natural evolution of a research going on from the
’90s about material culture and its localization. This kind of work
took Santagata and other scholars to define the idea of cultural
districts as a particular kind of localization for cultural heritage,
in particular material culture.
Simplifying the definition of cultural district it could be given
by the concentration, in a well defined area, of cultural facilities,
as museums, artist studios and shops, libraries and arts schools
(Santagata, 2002). A district could be identified with places where
a system of economic activities is clustered in a defined area and
some resources, like tacit knowledge, trust, institutions, are shared
among the members of the community. These few features are also
able and proper to describe many of the sites inscribed, during
the last years, in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Approved in
1972, the “Convention concerning the protection of the World’s
Cultural and Natural Heritage” was adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization (UNESCO)
and came into force in 1976. It has been ratified by 183 States
Parties across the world. The List includes at present (April 2011)
911 sites and it can be probably considered the most significant
representation of active heritage policies at a global level. According to the article 1 we shall consider as “cultural heritage” the
following three categories:
• monuments: architectural works, monumental sculpture and
painting, elements or structures of an archaeological nature, inscriptions, cave dwellings and combinations of features, which
are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of
history, art or science point of view;
• groups of buildings: groups of separate or connected buildings
which, because of their architecture, their homogeneity or their
place in the landscape, are of outstanding universal value from
the point of view of history, art or science point of view;
• sites: works of man or the combined works of nature and of
man, and areas including archaeological sites which are of outstanding universal value from the historical, aesthetic, ethnological or anthropological points of view. (UNESCO, 1972)
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 62
Following this definition of culture, the World Heritage List was
adopted for protecting the “Outstanding Universal Value” of monuments, groups of buildings and sites. The notion of OUV is the
key and central concept of the Convention, based on the idea that
some cultural and natural heritage sites are of such outstanding
and universal importance for ‘all the people of the world’ (preamble of the Convention) indiscriminately, that they need to ‘be preserved as part of the world heritage of mankind as a whole’. This
kind of approach can be seen in some way as closely related to the
concept of cultural district, mainly because both of them appear to
be strongly connected with the concepts of time and space. As the
World Heritage List includes sites that represent a specific culture
in a given time and space, the cultural district uses to include the
products from a specific material culture, again delimited in a specific time and space. In this sense, many examples taken from the
Italian world heritage sites can be seen as representative: among
them the Caltagirone district (Baroque towns of Val di Noto), the
Murano district (Venice and its lagoon), Naples and, more recently the Val d’Orcia and Val Camonica ones.
A part from this, we also should consider that in present time
the concept of cultural districts appear to be not enough flexible
for understanding many new complex forms of contemporary cultural production and consumption. The concept of art has passed trough infinite revolutions in the last 40 years and we cannot
imagine what it will be in the next future. Nowadays, conserving
and safeguarding contemporary art pieces means dealing with new
practices and very high levels of innovation. For instance, due to
the new technologies diffusion, the strong consideration for the
production spatial component tends to lose his physical meaning
without decreasing in importance. Taking in consideration, for instance, the form of art created and diffused trough internet, we
can still recognize forms of the so called Marshallian atmosphere,
distinguishing the cultural districts, but the place of production
moved into the virtual reality and web 2.0, a well defined but not
physical place. The same phenomena could be recognized into the
new chains of consumption and distribution based on internet like
social networks and e-commerce. Cao Fei for example, a Chinese
artist known as China Tracy, produces her art works interacting
in various ways with internet and virtuality. For the 52° Biennale
di Venezia she presented a documentary, iMirror, entirely shot on
Second Life interacting with common web users and showing vir-
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 63
tual groups’ interactions similar to the real ones analyzed in the
definition of cultural districts. (
Cultural commons may help in understanding this forms of culture created thanks to a strong exchange of information, with a
shared knowledge and with recognizable forms of production, exactly like the material culture for cultural districts.
2. UNESCO Conventions: from 1972 to 2003 and 2005.
Moving back to UNESCO World Heritage List we can notice
even in this field how much the discussions and reflections on and
around the concept of cultural value have become central in debates and practices, moving away from the one expressed in the
1972 Convention. The concept of heritage has changed content
considerably, being extended from the beginning of the 1980s to
include intangible expressions, as defined in the 2003 Convention
for the safeguarding of intangible heritage, such as popular festivities, spiritual customs, holy rites, intellectual “material” goods.
Cultural heritage does not end at monuments and collections of
objects. It also includes traditions or living expressions inherited
from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants, such as the
ones from oral traditions to knowledge, practices and skills such
as the ones necessary to produce traditional crafts. According to
the definition stated in the Convention for the safeguarding of intangible heritage, 2003, there are five broad ‘domains’ in which
intangible cultural heritage is manifested:
• Oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle
of the intangible cultural heritage;
• Performing arts;
• Social practices, rituals and festive events;
• Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe;
• Traditional craftsmanship.
Those categories, as well as the serial sites among different nations, the “cultural routes” (introduced in 1993) and the so called
“cultural landscapes” (introduced in 1994) are just single thematic
examples of how UNESCO changed and is still changing its tools
and its interpretation in trying to adapt to a more credible vision
of contemporary cultural heritage. They reflect and show clearly
the fact that in the contemporary view, cultural heritage is considered as living heritage. Dance, music, theatre and craft traditions
are invaluable because they manifest dynamic communities and
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 64
are a driving force in cultural diversity. They are constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment,
their interaction with nature and their history, and they provide
communities with a sense of identity and continuity. While they
are bound to tradition, they are also constantly evolving and it depends on the community to maintain and transmit them to future
Despite their individualities, tangible and intangible cultural heritage together create a full picture of the richness and diversity of
the world cultural traditions. The 2004 Yamato Declaration (on
Integrated Approaches for Safeguarding Tangible and Intangible
Cultural Heritage) affirms that safeguarding tangible and intangible cultural heritage demands an integrated approach that recognizes both their interdependence and their distinct characters.
(UNESCO Bangkok, 2008)
Though we can say that the intangible and tangible may thus be
connected in material cultural heritage, the safeguarding of what
we call intangible cultural heritage refers to something distinct
from the recognition of intangible elements associated with tangible heritage.
What appears extremely relevant in designing policies for heritage, is the fact that the importance of cultural heritage is not
(only) in the cultural manifestation itself but rather in the wealth
of knowledge transmitted through it from one generation to the
next. The social and economic value of this transmission of knowledge is for instance relevant for minority groups and for mainstream social groups within a State, and is as important for developing
States as for developed ones. (…) This issue is actually enlarged
to everything related to the history of a civilization: culture is the
totality of life expressions of an ethnic group at a particular time
and within a specific area.
Culture comprises arts and science, politics and economy, language and religion of a specific group as well as life expressions
developed in historical processes – under specific temporal and
spatial conditions.
This new viewpoint on culture brings a strong revolution in
analyzing cultures that now appear as a dynamic process always
subject to different influences to which, when in contact, they
react, develop, adapt and change.
The issue is deeply analyzed in the Convention on the Protection
and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression in which
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 65
Cultural Contents are defined as “Cultural content” referring to
the symbolic meaning, artistic dimension and cultural values that
originate from or express cultural identities” (UNESCO, 2005, art
3. New forms of heritage
Furthermore, a large part of the scientific community is now proposing a new definition of heritage, not only as the product of a
determined society and culture, but also as generator of culture
(Santagata, 2008). UNESCO itself, among protection, affirms (see
Convention on cultural diversity, 2005) that placing culture at the
heart of development policy constitutes an essential investment in
the world future and a pre-condition to successful globalization
processes that take into account the principles of cultural diversity.
Following this logic, the “new” forms of heritage recognition,
strongly encouraged by the historic scientists and clearly showed
in the recent inscriptions to the WHL, can be seen and interpreted
as a good example, again in the direction of de-spatialization, of
the cultural commons. Thinking, for instance, to serial sites and
cultural routes (inscribed or under proposal) like the “Camino de
Santiago”1, the “Main Andean Road”, the “Silk road”, the “Vikings routes”, the “Theutonic route for the crusades”, the “Venetian trade route” and so on, they are the geographical representation of a cultural heritage that crosses the national borders but still
define or used to define a specific cultural community.
The nature of the concept is open, dynamic and evocative and
offers a privileged framework in which mutual understanding and
a plural approach to history and culture can operate. It is based on population movements, encounters and dialogues, cultural
exchanges and cross-fertilization, taking place both in space and
People that walk the pilgrimage routes share a sense of belonging to the same values, not depending on their nationalities but
based on the fact of participating to a ritual that goes on from centuries. Cities and villages built on the Silk road symbolize in their
architecture the passage of different cultures, that create a specific
style, present on the whole road. In this sense also these kind of
“narrative” sites (sites narrating an historical period/activity/complexity of events linked with different places) are a case of cultural
It was the first cultural route added into the WHL, in 1993.
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 66
commons, the number of pilgrims or merchants has no limitation
but strongly influence the creation and transmission of the culture
itself2. Again, the case of cultural landscapes, is maybe even more
significative, in consideration of their productive characterization.
The same concept of landscape, as the one of space comes from
remote theories, whose intention is to give an interpretation to
the complex features of a given territory. During the years, each
culture create a specific relationship towards the years with nature,
originating places with specific characters, becoming the mirror of
the society that created them. Debated since the 1980s, in 1992
the Committee of WHC adopted 3 categories of cultural landscape (clearly defined, organically evolved and associative cultural
landscapes) , in order to reveal and sustain the great diversity of
the interactions between humans and their environment and to
protect living traditional cultures. To date, 66 properties on the
WHL have been included as cultural landscapes.
And again, talking about the intangible heritage, it includes
“practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills, etc.,
transmitted from generation to generation, it is constantly recreated by communities and groups …provides them with a sense of
identity and continuity…oral traditions and expressions, performing arts, rituals and festive events, traditional craftsmanship that
communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as
part of their cultural heritage.” (art. 2, UNESCO, 2003) This concept appears to be crucial. It is only the community itself that can
decide whether or not something is part of its heritage and, to
every community or group, each element of its intangible heritage
has value that can neither be quantified nor compared to other elements of other communities heritage (UNESCO Bangkok, 2008).
All these key concepts, taken from the definition of Intangible Heritage in the 2003 Convention, seem to be also a good description
of what a cultural common could be.
Among this “typology”, as examples, the proposal of Leipzig (Germany), narrating the music history of the town, and of the “Pearling in Bahrain”, made by 5
different placed sites telling the social and economical history of pearling, from
“fishing” underwater, to the selling markets in the urban district of Muharraq
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 67
4. World Heritage and Cultural Commons
The Convention conceives intangible heritage as a phenomenon
always being created and recreated, transmitted from generation
to generation or shared from one community to another. In the
Convention’s words, it “is constantly recreated by communities
and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with
nature and their history.”
In this sense, expressions like the “Canto a Tenore of the Sardinian shepherds”3 or “Vedic Chanting of Indian Brahmins” inscribed from 2008 in the UNESCO Intangible list, represent good
examples of cultural commons. They are traditional knowledge
transmitted along centuries, they represent a specific community,
whose members could be spread around that the world but still
recognizing themselves in the shared singing tradition.
As for classical commons, there is no easy exclusion in the cultural commons, in her article Zhang demonstrates very clearly
why and how tangible heritage inscribed in the WH List has to be
conceived as a Common Pool Resource (CPR). Here we are trying to enlarge this approach to other forms of cultures considered
by UNESCO’s conventions. For doing this we want to start from
basic considerations about CPR and intangible heritage, that is
non excludability and rivalry. Anyone could potentially learn and
sing the Canto a Tenore or the Vedic Chanting exactly like every
prepared fisherman could go in a lake to fish. As the number of fishermen increases the characteristics of the fishing will change due
to congestions effects into the lake, in a similar way congestion
effects could change the authenticity of the Sardinian or Indian
traditions if too many people participate to the performances of
traditional chants.
In the definition of cultural commons presented at the head of
this book is underlined the absence of a carrying capacity effect
for cultural commons is underlined. Talking about new technologies, it is correct that there isn’t a maximum number of users, the
more participant to Facebook are the better for the network. On
the contrary analyzing the traditional cultural heritage from an
UNESCO view point, worried about maintaining OUV and au-
In this traditional practice, listed in 2008, Sardinian men gather to sing in circles
of four, spontaneously in local bars, or more formally at weddings, festivals and
carnivals. The leader sings verses, expressing both traditional and contemporary
issues and the other singers respond in a complex polyphony that is marked by a
deep voice quality.
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 68
thenticity, we cannot forget the risk of overexposure due to a too
much growing participation.
Is there a form of “tragedy of commons” also for the cultural
The topic is strictly related to tourism, and becomes a critical
issue when heritage is the major attraction of tourists.
Authentic and genuine values of the heritage may be in fact be
compromised in the process of making it more attractive to the tastes of the consumers. There are plenty of examples of places where
such kind of changes have happened or are happening. Heritage
(tangible and intangible) may get standardized and homogenized
in the local community concerted efforts to present the heritage in
a more congruous manner to the tourists.
A good example of the Hardin’s phenomena could be represented by performing events like rituals and ceremonies: more the
festival is exploited on the market more it risks to be compromised
in its authenticity, a sort of carrying capacity could be easily overlapped, compromising the fragile equilibrium between traditions
and local community.
For example the Dragon Boat Festival in China, like many other
events in the Intangible Heritage List, with ceremonies, dances
performances displayed on the river, is exposed to high risks to be
compromised if too many people start moving there in uncontrolled way; exactly like Venezia, Lijiang or Quito that are losing day
by day their authentic value for the inhabitants.
“An authentic object of cultural heritage, therefore, is a movement-inducing medium that not only indexes the link between
individuals and their culture, but constructively conjoins the two.
If a heritage object connects an individual with the socio-cultural
milieu from which he came, UNESCO’s World Heritage objects
are intended to transcend the temporal and spatial situatedness of
one culture heritage claims...” (Di Giovine, 2009). If we differentiate UNECO cultural heritage from the other cultural commons,
introducing a maximum caring capacity, there is no difference
considering the minimum number of user.s Exactly like Facebook
also UNESCO tangible and intangible heritage need a critical mass
to survive, empty archaeological sites or abandoned traditions risk
to disappear and to lose their value.
UNESCO underlines quite strongly this aspect of safeguarding
the intangible heritage because negative effects on it are not reversible: once the tradition is compromised it will be almost im-
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 69
possible to move back. For that reason the Urgent Safeguarding
list aims to protect the intangible heritage in strong danger of disappearing. The Traditional Li textile techniques in China, inscribed in 2009 on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need
of Urgent Safeguarding, are one of these cases. This complex set
of material cultural traditions and rituals are going to fade away
just because present market characteristics, rules and trends make
impossible for those products to have a real business chance and
to produce some profits. “The traditional Li textile techniques of
spinning, dyeing, weaving and embroidering are employed by women of the Li ethnic group of Hainan Province, China, to make
cotton, hemp and other fibres into clothing and other daily necessities. The textiles form an indispensable part of important social
and cultural occasions such as religious rituals and festivals, and
in particular weddings, for which Li women design their own dresses. As carriers of Li culture, traditional Li textile techniques are an
indispensable part of the cultural heritage of the Li ethnic group.
However, in recent decades the numbers of women with the weaving and embroidery skills at their command has severely declined
to the extent that traditional Li textile techniques are exposed to
the risk of extinction and are in urgent need of protection” (http:// The simple exposure of
the traditional good on the international market is not a possible
solution. In fact, there wouldn’t be the possibility to produce for a
global market with the consequence of raising illegal not original
copies made in low labour cost countries; the Murano glasses is a
clear example of this.
What we suggest is the identification of two different lines of
carrying capacity for these forms of cultural heritage. Under the
minimum carrying capacity the good will disappear, if it is an intangible cultural good, or it will become useless and empty, if it is
a tangible cultural heritage. Over the maximum carrying capacity
the good risks to be compromised in its authenticity and physical
A research on those topics is conducted by Mansfeld and Jonas
studying the rural tourism in several kibbutz placed in the northern area of Israel. They argue the existence of a socio-cultural
carrying capacity represented by the resistance of the local population to the changes introduced by the tourists incoming. Once the
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 70
maximum capacity is overlapped the local population considers
tourism as a damage instead of a benefit and starts to react against
this phenomena, compromising the authentic value of the place
and the significance of the experience for the visitor (Mansfeld,
In short, “...measuring tourism carrying capacity does not have
to lead to a single number. Even when this is achieved, this limit
does not necessarily obey to objectively, unchangeable, ever lasting
criteria. An upper and lower limit of TCC can be of more use than
a fixed value. TCC assessment should provide not only maximum
but also the minimum level of development, which is the lowest level necessary for sustaining local communities.” (Pedersen, 2002)
5. Governance of Cultural Commons
One possible solution for helping the survival of this kind of traditions could come from the studies on commons made by Ostrom
and Hess (Hess, Ostrom, 2007)5, in which the active involvement
of the local community is essential for guaranteeing a sustainable
use of the resource.
Zhang’s paper clarifies, with a very clear economic approach,
the application to cultural heritage of the eight Ostrom’s principles
for governing commons. An other approach in the governance of
common heritage is well described for the organization of cultural
districts, see San Gregorio Armeno in Naples (Manna, Marrelli,
2007), where the setting up of producers associations represents
the optimal solution for safeguarding the traditional knowledge
from an uncontrolled opening to the international market of counterfeited goods.
Also in the field of UNESCO World Heritage sites some similar
example already exist.
The Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests in Kenya are listed both under the World Heritage List and the Intangible one. The forests represent a sacred place for the Mijikenda inhabitants and there they
use to show their rituals. The forest risks to disappear from the
physical viewpoint due to the forest destruction and it risks to disappear from the intangible viewpoint because no more people are
willing to take care of it. The inscription under the UNESCO lists
is aimed to preserve the forest and conserve its values. For a right
Hess C., Ostrom E. (2007), Understanding Knowledge As a Commons, The
MIT Press, Cambridge
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 71
conservation of these values, the elders community is involved and
the Kambi (Councils of Elders) appointed to directly manage the
preservation of the tangible and intangible aspects, also to regulate
the tourists flows. This system was established because after the
inscription on the WHL a big increase of tourists was expected,
and the sacred value for the inhabitants would be compromised if
no pure people entered into the forests. Thanks to a self regulation
of the tourists flow, decided in agreement with the elders, the forest could be purified through to specific magical rituals. Doing so
the local community will maintain the sacred rituals alive and will
benefit from the economic development of the tourists incoming,
finding out the correct balance between conservation and tourist
market. In this case the two lines of the carrying capacity are naturally exploited and managed. If we consider the Mijikenda culture,
and its relation with the forest, as a cultural common constituted by traditions and practices, the direct involvement of the local
community represents the optimal solution for the management
of the cultural heritage, from the tangible and the intangible side.
An interesting point of view quite close to these considerations
comes from the anthropological theory of “cultural area”, which
came up in Germany and US between the end of the XIX century
and the beginning of the XX century. With this definition, it is
intended a geographical space characterized by common cultural
features, and which includes integrated cultural goods. Many times this concept has been applied to cultural heritage, trying to
revise the concept, and this seems to have many interesting and
contemporary points in understanding what a management plan,
as instrument required by UNESCO since 2002, should be referred
to. In this sense the concept can be associated to the cultural economy theory, which has stressed for many years the relevance of
communities and the cultural districts mentioned at the beginning
of this paper. In the cultural heritage field, the cultural area can
be associated to the buffer zone, not only intended as a protective
tool for the site, but also as a “place” to integrate the heritage with
its territory and the community living in it, crossing, in some way,
the boundaries of the “island of excellence” as it is considered the
core zone (and meeting the principles affirmed by the EU Landscape Convention ).
Some other sites included in both lists (tangible and intangible
heritage) seem to represent this direction. It is the case of The Cultural Space of Jemaa el-Fna Square in Morocco (inscribed in the
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 72
Intangible List in 2008) which features a unique concentration of
traditions, such as storytelling, healing and various forms of entertainment as well as commercial activities, and that complements
the Medina of Marrakesh (inscribed in the tangible list in 1985).
The same aspect can be seen in the Rice terraces of the Philippines (Tangible 1995) among which was inscribed also (Intangible,
2001) The Hudhud Chants of the Ifugao people who work on
these terraces. The Terraces and the Hudhud Chants, which are
sung during the sowing season and the rice harvest, are intimately
linked and present a unique interdependence of a World Heritage
site and a Masterpiece.
The knowledge and skills handed down from generation to
generation together with a delicate social balance have helped to
create a landscape and musical and other cultural traditions that
testify to the harmony between people and their environment.
Both the terraces and the chants are endangered; local experts and
practitioners claim that coordinated protection action is required
and that neither the terraces nor the chants can be safeguarded in
6. What conclusions?
Continuing on this last example, cultural landscapes reflect different claims and social requests such as the reaffirmation of the
founding role of the common heritage, the search for identity
values, the increasing demand for environmental qualities, and
even the affirmation of new citizens rights (Greffe, 2010).
The incorporation of the underlined aspects seems to be something missing in the present WH management approach.
Some experimentations have been done on management plans
and systems, and have made raise a dimension of complexity, because many of the WH sites are both tangible and intangible, relate to the juxtaposition of global status symbols, international
attractions, and local cultural provision. The intersection of these
elements, defined here as the cultural area/space where common
cultural features are strongly integrated with cultural goods, is the
one that provide the key interpretation in recognizing and managing the WH sites.
A theory of cultural commons may help in understanding these forms of culture created thanks to a strong exchange of information, with a shared knowledge and with recognizable forms of
production, and could play in this sense a potential central role to
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 73
face these issues and to address the problems in the right direction,
not considering the management as something separate from the
cultural characters of the site, but in itself as a cultural product of
the local culture.
We can notice that using the cultural common prospective the
whole WHL could be considered as a unique common. A global
community of owners and visitors sharing similar values and interests could be identified. This new approach led to consider the
World Heritage List as a cultural resource in its unity and not a
simple list of cultural goods of exceptional value. The differences
of nation, tangibility, categories, etc. would be naturally harmonized and would become the strength of a complex global network.
Adopting this perspective, a huge number of issues requires to
be explored starting from those, still unsolved, of the credibility of
listed heritage (see Vilnius conference, 2006), of the meaning to be
attributed to the protection of intangible-based heritage categories (see the debate animated by ICOMOS) (Araoz, 2010), of the
resources distribution (Bertacchini et al., 2010), and, not last, the
one of incorporating culture into development policies, supporting
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chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 75
Conceptual Proximity
between “Cultural Landscape”
and “Historic Urban Landscape”
Maria Antónia Nobre Trindade-Chagas
[email protected]
Faculty of Architecture, University of Architecture of Lisbon, Portugal
This paper aims to present a brief theoretical reflection on the
close relationship between Cultural Landscape and the emerging
concept of Historic Urban Landscape. Complex and comprehensive, in line with the current meaning of Cultural Heritage these
concepts represents in different contexts, the new paradigm of
UNESCO in the safeguarding and protection of cultural territories. The terminological and conceptual proximity between these
notions, has lead the debate on convergence and overlap of both.
In this brief and not exhaustive study, is intended to help clarify
some issues arising from this concern which may allow a better
approach and understanding of both, in particular about the recent concept of Historic Urban Landscape. The relevance of this
theme is on the agenda. Presently, UNESCO has recommended
in the Vien­na Memorandum. World Heritage and Contemporary
Architecture – Managing the Historic Urban Landscape “that the
concept of the historic urban landscape be included in the nomination and evaluation process.” (UNESCO 2005:5). This conceptualization has been developed internationally, although in Portugal
is almost nonexistent. Its introduction in Portuguese reality is for
this reason a fundamental and important contribution to the scientific area of Urbanism within safeguard and protection n of cultural territories. This study, currently under construction and without
the requirement and desired depth, is part of the research work
of the PhD in Urban Planning at the Faculty of Architecture of
Lisbon, under the scientific orientation of Professor Maria Calado
(FAUTL, Lisbon) and Professor Joaquín Sabaté (UPC, Barcelona),
entitled: Historic Urban Landscape. Methodologies for evaluating
the cultural territories, which has been subject of Scientific Assessment in 5th January of 2010.
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 76
1. Conceptual proximity between Cultural Landscape
and Historic Urban Landscape
The dimension of contemporary Cultural Heritage
The importance of culture is defined as an aesthetic, historic, scientific, social or spiritual value for past, present and future generations (OERS, 2008). The cultural values are essential for preserving the collective memory of past and present, identity and sense
of belonging of a community. Currently, with the increasingly globalized world and the consequent tendency towards standardization of lifestyles and spatial organization, the Cultural Heritage
is assumed great importance in virtually worldwide and in nearly
all subject areas. Confronting the contemporary transformation
of the territories that cause the increasingly discontinuous, fragmented and unreadable areas (BARATA SALGUEIRO, 1999) in
which there is loss of aesthetic value, cultural, sense of identity and
belonging, a concern with anthropological places of identity, relational and historical has been growing (AUGÉ, 2007). The identity
and sense of belonging is an undeniable need for any human being
who should stay and prevail in the territorial planning. This line
of thinking is evidenced in the increasing concern with the actions
of safeguard and protection of places of memory (NORA, 1989)
in order to transmit to future generations, in their integrity the
heritage reminiscences and identity of a community in which are
valued the historical, cultural and socioeconomic dimensions.
In 1972 the Convention for the Protection of World Cultural
and Natural Heritage (UNESCO, 1972) highlights the international importance acquired by the Cultural Heritage, through the
concept of Outstanding Universal Value. The principles and criteria for classification and preservation of Cultural Heritage are guided by an overall philosophy. The protection and safeguarding of
Cultural Heritage becomes an object of study and specific methodologies of work. In parallel with its increased importance, the
meaning of Cultural Heritage has been gradually expanded typological, chronological and geographical (CHOAY, 2000) until the
recent inclusion of immaterial values in its meaning.
The concept of Cultural Heritage has been under study for
decades and their approaches have led to many discussions and
opinions and suffered several developments over the past years.
Opposed to the sixties and seventies, in which the recognition of
Cultural Heritage was under discussion, the political and social
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 77
relevance of this issue (emphasized in 1975, European Year of Architectural Heritage), was gradually increased and, paradoxically,
at present, part of the major challenges that cultural territories
are facing result from the excessive appreciation of this Cultural
Presently, the interventions in these cultural territories must
be based on concepts, strategies and methodologies appropriate
to the requirements, singularities and scale of current problems.
From this set stand out the pressures resulting from growth population, exponentially urban development, traffic pressures, large-scale tourism, pollution, climate changes, the irreversible material deterioration of Cultural Heritage, vandalism, the out of scale
building and changes in existing uses and functions in the cultural
territories. In this context, the concepts expressed in the “Recommendation on the safeguarding of historic areas and their role in
contemporary life” (UNESCO, 1976), the last on this matter, taken more than thirty years, has been overtaken by these evolving
threats and this current understanding of Cultural Heritage. Presently this complex concept, comprising a large universe of skills,
is embodied in values and seemingly opposing realities: the tangible and intangible, present and history, the cultural and natural.
It is this comprehensive set of values and realities that actually can
legitimize our collective memory and identity, which contribute to
the understanding of history, present and future prospects.
In line with the recent more comprehensive understanding of
Cultural Heritage, the cultural territories are the aggregators of
that set of values and realities. Cannot be understood in isolation
just limited to physical and visual realities, without taking into
account the intangible values in its evolution over the time. Places
of memory are currently considered the key factors in safeguarding and protecting the community’s collective Cultural Heritage.
Parallel to this set of factors, there is gradually and increasingly
widespread appreciation and concern for environmental issues, resulting from changes of biological, physical, climatic, economic,
cultural and social dimensions. This set of factors together with
the recent process of globalization and consequent uniformity of
society and territorial planning; have caused several modifications
on the traditional landscapes. Some changes have contributed to
widespread degradation of the natural and urban environment,
with the production of more and more indistinguishable landscapes, in which it is difficult to establish relations of identity and
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 78
belonging. These changes and the disappearance of the cultural
references of the community have turned some of these territories
into pieces of land without aesthetic value, economic or cultural
(ALVES, 2001). Given this situation and jointly with our concern
for environmental issues, the Landscape concept has become prominent. It is currently a key component in local and regional identity of European territorial planning strategies within the safeguarding and protection of cultural territories, as reflected in European
Landscape Convention (COUNCIL OF EUROPE, 2000).
This set of issues combined with the evolution of the notion of
Cultural Heritage can legitimize the origins of the concepts of Cultural Landscape and Historic Urban Landscape.
Within UNESCO, the categories defined in the Convention for
the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage (UNESCO,
1972), Monuments, Ensembles and Sites, became insufficient to
cover all Cultural Heritage which may be registered in that List.
Thus, despite these three categories are fundamental, once they are
listed in the Convention, deemed other sub-categories of Cultural
Heritage, set from that Convention, notably the Mixed Heritage
and Cultural Landscapes (UNESCO, 2008 ) with the exception of
the intangible cultural heritage. The universal recognition of these
values resulted in a legal instrument: Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (UNESCO, 2003).
Presently it is considered that the Cultural Landscape and Historic Urban Landscape, in its specificity and in different contexts,
are the key concepts of the current dominant paradigm of safeguard and protection of cultural territories. In essence are binders of
different values and realities, and in line with the current meaning
of Cultural Heritage. They can be defined as vast, complex and dynamic realities in the sense of continuous evolution and transformation. They are aggregators of different valences materials and
immaterial values, the natural and cultural, the history and contemporary and generate a sense of belonging and cultural identity
of the territories as places of memory.
The concept of Cultural Landscape
The category of Cultural Landscape has been recognized internationally for the first time in 1992 by UNESCO, subsequently
resulting in different classifications of Cultural Landscapes and
their inclusion on the List of World Heritage. The definition of
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 79
this new category of World Heritage has been stated in the follow
up form “illustrate the evolution of society and human settlements
throughout history, under the influence of material conditions
resulting from its natural environment and social, economic and
successive cultural, internal and external”. There was established
three categories of Cultural Landscapes: Man defined; evolutionary landscapes (may be old cultural landscapes – active or fossil) and associative (UNESCO, 2008, Appendix 3 par. 10, p.86).
Despite this statement has been declared internationally in 1992
by UNESCO, the definition of Cultural Landscape dating back to
the Convention for the Protection of World Cultural and Natural
Heritage (UNESCO, 1972), Article 1: “Cultural Properties are the
result of the combination of Man and Nature. Show the evolution
of society and settlements over time, under the influence of physical constraints and / or opportunities presented by the natural
environment and social conditions, economic and cultural, both
external and internal”.
The U.S. National Park Service, in the Guidelines for the treatment of Cultural Landscapes – Defining Landscape Terminology,
defines Cultural Landscapes as “a geographic area (including both
cultural and natural resources and the wildlife or domestic animals
therein), associated with a historic event, activity, or person or
exhibiting other cultural or aesthetic values (NATIONAL PARK
SERVICE, 1996).
More recently Sabaté underlines this definition: “a geographical
scope associated with an event, a deed or a historical figure and
that for this reason holds aesthetic and cultural values” (SABATÉ,
Between us, under Portuguese Law, the concept of Cultural
Landscape is first referenced in 2007 regarding the scope of assignments of the present IGESPAR: “to provide and safeguard national Cultural Landscape classified by UNESCO”, although not
stated their definition1
The Cultural Landscape of Sintra (Portugal) was inscribed on
the List of World Heritage by UNESCO in 19952. Sintra was the
first registration in this field in Europe and also in Portugal (Figure
Dec.lei nº 96/07 de 29 de Março. Iª série, nº 63, p. 1924
UNESCO – Cultural landscape of Sintra. Inscrição nº 723 na Lista do Património da Humanidade. (Em linha). (Consult. 20 Julho 2009). Disponível em http://
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 80
1 and 2). The first classification of Cultural Landscape accepted by
UNESCO was formalized in 1993, the Tongariro National Park in
New Zealand, important cultural and religious place of the Maori
The category of Cultural Landscape has been gradually taking a
prominent place in the World Heritage List. If the proposals in the
first years were exceptional, currently this List indicates that there
are more than a hundred cultural objects in this class.
Presently the fast and multiple social and economic transformations that have been processed in almost the entire World threaten
the cultural significance of the cultural territories. The gradually
broader contours of the Cultural Heritage concept and the inclusion of values and meanings increasingly complex are both accompanied by the general importance of the meaning of protection and
safeguard of places of memory on a global scale. The preservation
of Cultural Landscapes is a major player not only at local level but
as Cultural Heritage of all mankind. These attest the knowledge
of a community, its beliefs and ways of understanding the universe, shaped on the organization of the territories. The dimension
of this concept, inclusive and comprehensive, provides a holistic
framework for understanding the form of territorial organization
and human thought.
The concept of Cultural Landscape results from the natural dimension combined with the historical, cultural, social and economic specificities of a community. Agglutinates the material dimensions related to the territory, including the topography and
the relevant biophysical components but also the intangible values
that include aesthetic and spiritual valances, identity and sense of
belonging of the community. This new concept can help to redefine the perception of the environment, not only in scenic and aesthetic components but including the understanding of interactions
between community and territory.
This concept tends to cover an ever wider scope, because of the
gradual and increasing depth understanding of the complexity of
the World we live in and the Cultural Heritage to safeguard and
protect. Currently, in addition to the tangible and intangible dimensions implied has been discussed as part the vault of heaven
(and thus astronomy and archaeoastronomy). This will certainly
be a challenge for the identification, characterization, protection
and management of Cultural Landscapes. Opposed to the dichotomy heaven / earth, in which the traditional reading of the cul-
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 81
Figure 1
Figure 2
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 82
tural territories ignores the sky, this holistic approach of Cultural
Landscapes considers equally the sky as real as the landscape that
surrounds us, as well as the threats that affect it, such as pollution
light. The sky cannot be separated from the surface contributing to
an approach of the concept become more complete, comprehensive and multidisciplinary (IWANISZEWSKI, 2006).
There is a strong link between the conceptual meaning, beyond
the obvious similarity in terminology between Landscape and Cultural Landscape. In fact, today almost all Landscapes (if not all
Landscapes), even those that reflect the domain of Nature, are the
result of a human construction. Despite being essentially characterized by the dominance of the impermanence of living materials
and human, Landscapes may be incorporated in the definition of
Cultural Landscape.
The scope of this concept allows several readings over the previous classifications of World Heritage. With this in mind the category of Natural Heritage, referred in the Article 2 of the Convention of Cultural and Natural Heritage (UNESCO, 1972), could
also be incorporated into the Cultural Landscape? This contentious issue under discussion can review the classification of Natural Heritage in the World Heritage List. In this context also the
Landscape, history and culture guidelines, which give identity to
the monuments that have been classified separately in the World
Heritage List could be part of this category of Cultural Landscape
(FALZON, 2007).
Apart from these theoretical and conceptual issues, the emergence of the notion of Cultural Landscape is based on the aggregation of natural and cultural dimensions that calls for measures of
interdisciplinary management. Sabaté advocates within sustainable development, appreciation of cultural expression and identity
of the territories through new tools for strategy management and
planning including the “cultural heritage parks”. These projects
aim to ensure a Cultural Landscape preservation of identity and
integration of the binomial nature and culture to contribute to the
socioeconomic development of a region. Sabaté believes that the
Cultural Landscapes have become increasingly important to improve the quality of community life, because they binding nature
and culture and generate a sense of belonging and historical and
cultural identity of the territories as places of memory. The Cultural Landscape embodies the long history of a community and its
relationship with the territory. The perception of this particular
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 83
culture gives an understanding of cultural diversity and different
forms of ownership of the territories. In turn, this allows for better
understanding of the social, economic and cultural base for key decisions that contribute to a better territorial planning and sustainability (SABATÉ, 2004). There can be no sustainable development
without culture or society without Nature (LOULANSKI, 1998).
Some authors also highlight this issue: (...) cultural landscapes
shall be construed as reference models in the face of the principles
of sustainable development. (ANDRESEN, 1992). and this notion
is not only comprehensive in the quantitative sense, but results
from a change of the values underlying the policies of managing
the assets, which come from a analysis territorial which highlights,
not only the visual characteristics, but the relationship between
human activities and environment (LAROCHELE, 2001).
3. The concept of Historic Urban Landscape
Some preliminary references on the changing concepts of Cultural
Heritage, of protection and safeguarding of cultural territories expressed in the vast cultural production of Charters, Conventions
and Recommendations of UNESCO and ICOMOS, that preceded
the Vienna Memorandum, may be useful for reflection and clarification the concept of Historic Urban Landscape.
In this set of documents is a noticeable evolution of the concept
of Cultural Heritage increasingly widespread, resulting from the
progressive deeper understanding of this complexity. This notion
in the Athens Charter (1931) was restricted to isolated monument,
however incipient it also stressed the importance to be given to its
surroundings. Following the prescribed in the Recommendations
for the Safeguarding of Beauty and Character of Landscapes and
Sites (1962), the Venice Charter (1964) assumes the importance
of context in which the monument belongs. Thereafter the Convention for the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972) broadens the concept of Cultural Heritage, adding the
concepts of nature protection and cultural property and defines
the concept of Cultural Landscape. In the Declaration of Amsterdam (1975), Recommendation of Nairobi (1976), the Burra Charter (1979), the Charter of Florence (1982), the Charter of Toledo
(1986), the Charter of Washington (1987) and the Convention
for the protection of intangible cultural values (2003). In these set
of documents is becoming increasingly clear distancing from the
reductionist and isolated view of Cultural Heritage replaced by
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 84
a more comprehensive understanding, including urban and rural
areas with cultural value, the historic towns, the historic gardens
and the intangible cultural values. There is also the affirmation
of the importance of Cultural Heritage through the need to implement methodologies and criteria of approach increasingly well
defined, as evidenced in the Charter of Nara (1994).
The concept of Historic Urban Landscape was mentioned internationally for the first time in the Vienna Memorandum document
(UNESCO, 2005), resulting from the UNESCO International
Conference: “World Heritage and Contemporary Architecture –
Managing the Historic Urban Landscape” held in Vienna. Its principles were later reaffirmed in the Declaration of Conservation of
Historic Urban Landscape (UNESCO, 2005). Recently, UNESCO
issued a draft version of the “Recommendation on the Historic
Urban Landscape” (UNESCO, Set. 2010) to be recognized and
adopted later this year.
That conference preceded the debate occurred earlier, at the
27th Session of UNESCO General Conference held in Paris in
2003, generated by the controversy over the great height project
of the Wien-Mitte station in Vienna’s historic center, inscribed on
World Heritage List in 2001. It was considered that this iconic
and self-referent project constituted a conflict that affect physically and visually the existing, the authenticity and integrity of the
consolidated city’s historic fabric, so that put at risk the inclusion
of Vienna at the World Heritage List (Figure 3). To avoid this exclusion was agreed a new solution resulting in a project with lower
volume, (Figure 4) that would not interfere with the image of the
historic city.
The Commission of UNESCO concerned about the increasing
and widespread projects of this type in various cultural territories
inscribed on the World Heritage List, advocated the appropriate
measures to safeguard and protect those threatened cultural territories (LONGUET, 2009). On the Vienna Memorandum document, the concept of Historic Urban Landscape, proposed by
UNESCO as a new category of classification of Cultural Heritage
has been defined as follows:
“The group of buildings, structures and spaces inserted in their natural environment and ecological co, including archaeological and palaeontological
sites, constituting a human in a crowded urban environment in a relevant
time period, the cohesion of which are recognized and the value of the archaeological point of view , prehistoric, historic, scientific, aesthetic, ecological
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 85
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figures 3 and 4 (2002). “Wien-Mitte” Project Site. (on line). Retrieved from:
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 86
or sociocultural. This landscape has shaped modern society and represents a
great asset to understanding the present life. The Historic Urban Landscape
incorporates the social expressions of the past and present and its evolution.“
This notion, though vague, and including the ambiguities inherent
of an emergent concept, offers, in addition to concerted efforts to a
closer and consensus definition of the concept, a broad framework
for reflection on Cultural Heritage. The debate on the safeguarding and protection of cultural territories is back on agenda. The
new paradigm introduced by Historic Urban Landscape leads us
to a new interpretation of this concept. This notion has been discussed from various points of view in several international events
over the last six years, because this is a major objective of the concept (OERS, 2008). The main objective of this process, expected
by UNESCO at year end, is the adoption of the Recommendation
on the Historic Urban Landscapes. Resulting from this objective
there was the occurrence of a large number of conferences on this
subject together with relevant publications from UNESCO and
The debate for agreement on this notion has no consensus yet
and there is no specific bibliography. In Portugal, the research on
this topic is almost nonexistent, but the conceptualization of Historic Urban Landscape has been developed internationally. In the
lack of consensus, the absence of specific references, and incipient
development of the conceptualization of this emerging concept
lays the difficulty of approach and delimitate this complex notion.
To clarify this emerging concept that is still in the definition may
be useful to understand the convergent concepts of Historic Urban Landscape. This concept covers a multidisciplinary approach
implicit in its terminology, which may consist of the cumulative
adding of Landscape, Urban Landscape and History and the annulment of its conceptual boundaries. Abolishing the sectionalism,
combines the resources of the Landscape approach of the territory
due to the concept of Landscape and the heritage of Urban Landscape and acquires a new dimension by the union of these cultural
values, which include these aspects: culture, territory and urbanity.
Within safeguard and protection of Cultural Heritage, the Historic Urban Landscape terminology is ambiguous because unifies
a paradoxical dichotomy. It is apparently difficult to reconcile the
antagonism that seems to remain between the notion of Landscape and the safeguarding and protection of cultural territories.
The difficulty in this approach is based on the essence of these
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 87
aggregated opposite concepts. The Landscape has the nature as
object of intervention, because made of living materials and impermanent, inherently continuous process of transformation and
evolution. The addition of this concept generates a conflictual relationship and a contradiction with the traditional conception of
safeguarding and protecting the cultural territories. Traditionally,
this concept is based on the dogma of conservation of inert materials, leading to the permanence, and whose intervention is aimed
at “urban artificiality.” This paradox highlights the complexity of
this new paradigm of safeguard and protecting the cultural territories, and is central to a reflection and approach to the definition
of this emerging concept.
Beyond this density, the notion of Landscape, the key concept of
the paradigm shift of these two new categories of Cultural Heritage, whose importance and relevance is evident in the nomenclature
of both, is a complex notion. If our era is the “ubiquitouslandscape”, its definition is not so simple. All attempts to locate from
the theoretical and practical everyday language will necessarily be
confronted with a series of paradoxes: the landscape is not measurable or identifiable and hardly representable. It is neither the
country nor the country nor the site (JAKCOB, 2008).
The Portuguese term Landscape can be seen from the etymological point of view, either as action on a particular place and result
of this action, and either as a set of places with common characteristics (LIMA, 2008). The Landscape has a plurality and complexity of the material aspects resulting from human action on nature,
but also sensorial aspects, which can be perceived individually at
any given time. The combination of these two components, both
tangible and intangible, which encompass the biotic and abiotic
factors, ecological, cultural, socioeconomic, and sensory, it is considered essential for a true understanding of the Landscape (CANCELA D’ABREU, et al. 2001).
The addition of Landscape concept on this new perspective of
protection and safeguarding, emerging on the notion of Historic
Urban Landscape, incorporates previously separate valances and
creates a new dimension and a broader significance of Cultural Heritage. The identification and perception of evolving environment
not as an immovable or pictorial object, which includes material
realities but also the intangibles values resulting from the projected
and individual perception is critical to understanding, protecting
and safeguarding the cultural territories. This concept requires a
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 88
new methodology for identifying, characterizing, evaluating and
approach of the cultural territories.
Near the references of the “The image of the city” (LYNCH,
1988) and “Urban Landscape” (CULLEN, 1990), this concept
helps to accentuate the visual perspective and combines the natural
and cultural, the spatial and temporal dimensions. LYNCH values
the importance of successive eras in the city, producing palimpsest, (CORBOZ, 2004) which far from the dichotomy between
tradition and rupture, isolated and crystallized preserving, made
present the past in successive overlapping time.
This emerging concept, comprehensive and consistent with the
current meaning of Cultural Heritage can recognize the cultural
territories in a broad and dynamic perspective and includes the
changes and developments over time. The Historic Urban Landscape is a key concept of the current dominant paradigm in the
context of safeguard and protection the cultural territories. Vast
and complex may help to reconcile the contemporary with the
Cultural Heritage of a community, the material realities and intangible values, the past and present, the cultural and natural. The
territory is in its cultural expression the aggregator of these values
and realities.
This concept can be defined as an urban anthropology with cultural value, perceived through a framework of extensive territorial,
geographic and landscape. It is the materialization of the resulting
interaction between the biophysical system and the community,
demonstrating the identity and relationship with the socioeconomic context in permanent evolution over time. The Historic Urban
Landscape shows the evolution of human society and sedimentation over time, as a result of the interaction of the natural environment, the socio-economic and cultural values.
Despite this interpretation of cultural territories be very different from previous classifications of Cultural World Heritage it
approaches to the Cultural Landscape concept. The Historic Urban Landscape, integrating the concept of Landscape, generates a
new methodological approach. AHLBERG believes that the usefulness of looking at cultural territories as Cultural Landscapes is
methodological, because it broadens our understanding and provides new tools to analyze historical values in a holistic manner.
On the other hand also points out that all the cities created by
man should be seen as Cultural Landscapes (urban). (AHLBERG,
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 89
4. Conceptual proximity between Cultural Landscape and Historic
Urban Landscape
Are Historic Urban Landscapes a kind of Cultural Landscapes?
The importance of this issue led to debate on conferences sponsored by UNESCO to discuss this issue3. The question, which was
the theme and title of a recent conference held in 2007 in St. Petersburg, has led to several disputes since the enunciation of the
concept of Historic Urban Landscape in 2005 on the Vienna Memorandum document.
Chronologically the concept of Cultural Landscape came first
and from the legal point of view it is possible to regard the Historic Urban Landscape as a subcategory of that (UNESCO, 2008),
however these concepts are rooted in different contexts. This divergence has been demonstrated by several authors (AHLBERG,
BEAUDET, FOLIN-CALABI). In fact, the enunciation of Cultural
Landscape reveals the action of man on nature, while the concept
of Historic Urban Landscape regards the urban environment, with
particular emphasis on the inclusion of contemporary in these cultural territories as part of sustainable development.
The more clearly basic issue about this closeness is evident on
the common nomenclature of the complex notion of Landscape.
This concept composed mainly of natural elements resulting from
human action, approaches in natural dimension with the notion
of Cultural Landscape and in the urban dimension with the concept of Historic Urban Landscape. Although the objects of protect
and safeguarding are different, both concepts have in common the
inclusion of the Landscape concept, which implies a conceptual
proximity, a similar methodological approach, problems and goals, but differentiated by the specific urban and natural.
The inclusion of Landscape in this new category of Cultural
Heritage contributes to the understanding of cultural territories
in an expanded geographical context, as a dynamic landscape system in which the material values and physical realities, the cultural and natural components are not objects isolated, static and
musealized, they are in permanent evolution and transformation,
Are Historic Urban Landscapes a Type of Cultural Landscape? Conferência
Regional realizada em São Petesburgo pela Federação Russa da UNESCO entre
29 de Janeiro e 2 de Fevereiro de 2007. (Em linha). Disponível em http://portal.
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 90
and perceptual experience should be contextualized in the ongoing
evolution in time.
The Historic Urban Landscape considers the cultural territories,
similar to a “dynamic but artificial ecosystem” which includes the
urban dimension in a permanent process of transformation and
evolution. This concept extends beyond the material realities and
the intangibles values includes a physical approach and extended
time which is seized upon the notion of landscape structures, ie
the configuration that results from human interaction between a
biophysical system (geology, ecology) and a social system (the set
of socio-economic and policies activities) over time (LONGUET,
2009). Understanding the city as an ecosystem is not a new theme
(FADIGAS, 2007), but apart from this aspect, the emergent concept of Historic Urban Landscape contributes to join tangible and
intangible dimensions and to evaluate and understand the city or
urban space as a process and not as an object (OERS, 2008).
Despite the objects of intervention of Historic Urban Landscape and Cultural Landscape are different, remains the terminology
and conceptual proximity between both. The definition of these
concepts helps to accentuate the visual perspective and assemble
the components of natural and cultural, temporal and spatial previously disjoint, in a new dimension and a broader sense of Cultural Heritage. For LAROCHELLE this notion is not only comprehensive in the quantitative sense, but results from a change of
the values underlying the policies of cultural heritage, which come
from a form of territorial analysis which highlights, not only the
visual characteristics, but the relationship between human activities and the environment (LAROCHELLE, 2001).
In this regard, it is considered that the boundaries between Cultural Landscape and Historic Urban Landscape are tenuous. The
Cultural Landscape corresponds mainly to the combined living
evolutionary works of man and nature that show the evolution of
the community. However, the origin of the urban territories was
also an human activity on the existing natural. From another perspective, presently in a highly urban society which tends to the exponential growth of this component and the dispersion in an area
where differences are increasingly illegible, sometimes is difficult
to distinguish the cultural from the urban. The classification of the
Cultural Landscape of Sintra (Portugal) is an example of this by
including an urban area, showing the physical, visual and conceptual difficulty of this distinction in the cultural territories.
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 91
In this context it seems useful to mention the JAKCOB reference: The lack of references and the daily confrontation with
non-places and other interstitial spaces inspired a huge desire to
identify, preserve and celebrate what seems to escape this trend:
the region, the wild scenery or scenic site. From where appears the
paradoxical desire (in a perpetual rebuilding territorial tissue) to
speak loud and strong about landscape (...).The landscape appears
at first glance like a natural response to citizens currently subject
to very fast changes in the World. In fact much more complicated
frequently demonstrates the extreme artificiality, or if we want the
cultural construction of the desire of Nature (...) (JAKCOB, 2008).
AHLBERG, N. (2005). (Urban) Cultural Landscapes and Historic Urban
Landscapes, (on line), Retrieved from
ALVES, T. (2001). Paisagem – em busca do tempo perdido, Finisterra, XXXVI,
72, 71.
ANDRESEN, T. (1992). Para a crítica da Paisagem, Dissertação para obtenção
grau Doutoramento Aveiro: Universidade de Aveiro (copied document).
AUGÉ, M. (2007). Não lugares. Introdução a uma antropologia da
sobremodernidade. Lisboa: Editora 90º.
BARATA SALGUEIRO, T. (1999). Ainda em torno da fragmentação do espaço
urbano, “Espaços Urbanos-Inforgeo”, (pp. 65-71). Lisboa: Edições Colibri/
Associação Portuguesa de Geógrafos,
BEAUDET, G. (2006). Le concept de paysages urbains historiques, “Le concept
de paysage urbain historique”, pp. 40-42, Procès-Verbaux/ Le patrimoine
et la Conservation des Paysages Urbains Historiques, Table ronde organisée
para la Chair de Recherce en Patrimoine Bâti, Faculté de l’Aménagement,
Université de Montréal.
CANCELA d’ABREU, A.; et. Al. (2001). - Identificação de Unidades de Paisagem: Metodologia aplicada a Portugal Continental, Finisterra, XXXVI, 72,
CHOAY, F. (2000). A alegoria do património, Colecção Arte e Comunicação.
Lisboa: Edições 70.
COUNCIL OF EUROPE. (2000). Convenção Europeia da Paisagem. (Decretolei nº 4/2005, do Diário da República I-Série A, nº 31 de 14 de Fevereiro de
CORBOZ, A. (2004). “El territorio como palimpsesto” ín AAW (ed. Ángel
Martin Ramos), Lo urbano en 20 autores contemporáneos, Ediciones
Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Barcelona, Ediciones Universitat
Politecnica de Catalunya: Barcelona.
CULLEN, G. (1990). Paisagem Urbana. Lisboa: Edições 70.
FADIGAS, L (2007). Fundamentos Ambientais do Ordenamento do Território e
da Paisagem, p.6, Edições Sílabo: Lisboa.
FALZON, C. (2007). Managing natural values in cultural landscapes. Presented
paper on International Centre for Protected Landscapes. (copied document).
FOLIN-CALABI, L. (2008). L’approche du paysage culturel commme instrument pour definer et protéger les perspectives visuelles importantes.”, pp.
128-129. Université de Montréal - “Le Patrimoine Mondial: Définir et prote-
chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 92
ger les “perspectives visuelles importantes”, Procès-Verbaux/ Le patrimoine
et la Conservation des Paysages Urbains Historiques, Table ronde organisée
para la Chair de Recherce en Patrimoine Bâti, Faculté de l’Aménagement, 18
- 20 Março 2008, Université de Montréal (copied document).
IWANISZEWSKI, S. (2006). Astronomy in cultural landscapes: new challenges
for world heritage issues. Forum UNESCO University and Heritage10th
International Seminar “Cultural Landscapes in the 21st Century”, New­
JAKCOB, M. (2008). Le paysage. Collection Archigraphy Poche. Paris: Infolio.
JAIN, P. et. Al (s/d). Preserving Cultural Landscapes: A Cross-Cultural Analysis.
The Alliance for Historic Landscape Preservation. (on line). Retrieved from:
LAROCHELLE, P (2001). Lecture des paysages culturels et maintien de
l’identité dês lieux, VII Seminaire sur les paysages culturels: “Notre patrimoine paysagiste; les paysages culturels”, La Plata.
LIMA, I. (2008) A Salvaguarda da paisagem no âmbito do património cultural.
Abordagem ao Jardim Botânico de Coimbra, Dissertação para obtenção do
Grau de Mestre em Conservação e Recuperação do Património Construído,
Texto policopiado, p. 21. Universidade Técnica de Lisboa: Instituto Superior
LYNCH, K. (1988). A imagem da cidade. Lisboa: Edições 70.
LOULANSKI, T. (1998). Cultural Heritage in the Context of Sustainable
Development. Unpublished PhD Dissertation, Hokkaido University, Sapporo,
LONGUET, I. (2009). “Note de présentation et questions pour les ateliers”.
p. 5. La Convention France UNESCO - “Paysages urbains historiques: une
nouvelle recommandation de l`UNESCO à l`appui de la Convention du
patrimoine mondial. Synthese dês journées techniques ténues à Bordeaux”,
Bordéus: UNESCO.
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE (1996). Guidelines for the Treatment of Cultural
Landscapes. (on line). Retrieved from:
NORA, P. (1989). Between Memory and History: les lieux de mémoire, Represen­
tations 26, Universidade da California (copied document).
OERS, R. (2008). Towards new international guidelines for the conservation
of historic urban landscapes (HUL). (on line), Retrieved from: http://www.
SABATÉ BEL, J. (2004). Paisajes Culturales. El patrimonio como recurso
básico para un nuevo modelo de desarrollo. Revista Urban nº 9, pp. 8-9.
Departamento de Urbanística y Ordenación del Território. Scuela Técnica
Superior de Arquitectura, Universidade Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid:
Anta Ediciones.UNESCO. (1972). Convention concernant la Protection du
Patrimoine Mondial Culturel et Naturel. (on line), Retrieved from: http://
UNESCO. (2003). Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural
Heritage. (on line), Retrieved from:
UNESCO. (2005). Declaration of Conservation of Historic Urban Landscape.
(on line). Retrieved from:
UNESCO. (2009). List of World Heritage in Danger. (on line). Retrieved from:
UNESCO. (2008). Orientations devant guider la mise en oeuvre de la
Convention du patrimoine mondial. Capítulo II, 45-48. (on line). Retrieved
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UNESCO. (1962). Recommendation concerning the Safeguarding of Beauty and
Character of Landscapes and Sites. (on line). Retrieved from: http://portal.
UNESCO (2010). Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape. First
draft. (on line). Retrieved from:
UNESCO. (1976). Recomendação sobre a salvaguarda dos conjuntos históricos
e da sua função na vida contemporânea, Nairobi, (on line). Retrieved
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chapter 2 cultural landscapes, cultural commons, historic urban landscapes 94
World Heritage
and Public Awareness
Communicating World Heritage
– Challenges for Serial
World Heritage Properties
Barbara Engels
Master of European Studies
[email protected]
Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Germany
Communication plays an important role in the implementation of
the World Heritage not only as a major tool for increasing public
awareness, involvement and support as adopted by the World Heritage Committee in its 2002 Budapest Declaration as one of four
Strategic objectives. but also in relation to enhancing the role of
communities in the implementation of the Convention’s objectives.
Serial World Heritage properties present a current trend with several nominations being presented every year including more than
one component part often geographically spread within a Member
State or crossing country borders or even continents. Conveying
the Outstanding Universal Value of these properties to stakeholders and visitors presents a major challenge and is crucial for the
long-term conservation of these properties. In the exemplary case
of the nomination project “Ancient beech forests of Germany”
a strategic approach has been chosen to turn the challenges into
opportunities and a communication strategy has been elaborated
and implemented already during the preparation of the nomination. This includes a thorough analysis of communication objectives and contents, target groups and communication tools. This
approach can be used as a model approach for similar projects and
general conclusion can drawn for the communication and interpretation of World Heritage.
chapter 3 world heritage and public awareness 96
1. Definition and role of communication in the World Heritage Convention
Although communication does not play a major role in the basic
texts of the World Heritage Convention, the convention itself in
Article 27 states a clear obligation for States Parties:
“The States Parties to this Convention shall endeavour by all appropriate
means, an in particular by educational and information programmes, to
strengthen appreciation and respect their peoples of the cultural and natural
heritage defined in Articles 1 and 2 of the Convention. They shall undertake
to keep the public broadly informed of the dangers threatening this heritage
and of the activities carried on in pursuance of this Convention.” (UNESCO
World Heritage Convention, 1972).
This defines public information and awareness as the main roles of
communication in the context of the Convention. The Operational
Guidelines of the Convention – as the most important text for the
implementation – have integrated the “Communication” in 2002
as a result of the Budapest Declaration (UNESCO, 2002) reaffirming the strategic objectives of the Convention, the so-called “5
Cs” including the objective to “Increase public awareness, involvement and support for World Heritage through Communication.”
(para 26 of the Operational Guidelines, UNESCO, 2008).
The Action Plan which had been developed as a result of the
2003/2004 Periodic Reporting exercise for Europe reveals the urgent need for an enhanced communication to effectively implement the Convention in stating:
“The adequate protection of World Heritage sites requires the communication of World Heritage Convention intrinsic idea and concepts to all stakeholders. Inclusive partnership approach to World Heritage should therefore
be reinforced.
All relevant stakeholders, especially on site level, should be updated about
the results and decisions (....) There is a need for a dissemination of successful strategies to promote dialogue with the local community, decision makers
on all levels, property owners, the broad public and within educational
programmes.” (UNESCO, 2007)
Communication in the World Heritage plays an important role
in visitor management, educational activities and raising support
for conservation as awareness raising on World heritage values is
essential to gain support from both local stakeholders and visitors
for conservation (Shalaginova, 2009, 27f). Periodic reporting in
Europe had shown, that there is adequate awareness of World heritage among visitors and officials but low awareness at the level of
chapter 3 world heritage and public awareness 97
population (UNESCO, 2007). Communication at World Heritage
sites includes both communicating the values of the site as well as
the goals of the Convention and of UNESCO (Shalaginova, 2009,
Communication in the World Heritage context faces the more
general challenges for communication such as the need to understand the needs of the audience and to communicate on the basis
of a shared ground building on language, experiences, knowledge
and values. More specific communication in individual World Heritage sites needs a very clear “Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV)”, which enables the understanding of the World
Heritage values of the site. In addition there might be the need to
Overcome fears that OUV and preservation of OUV might prioritize over other heritage values (educational, cultural socio-economic values). (Shalaginova, 2009, 42ff).
2. Characteristics of Serial World Heritage properties
Definition and concept of Serial properties.
The definition of a serial World Heritage property is given in the
Operational Guidelines of the Convention. Para. 37 sets them as
“Serial properties will include component parts related because
they belong to:
(a) the same historical-cultural group;
(b) the same type of property, which is characteristic of the geographical zone;
(c) the same geological, geomorphological formation, the same
biogeographic province, or the same ecosystem type
and provided it is the series as a whole – and not necessarily the
individual parts of it – which are of outstanding universal value”
(UNESCO, 2008).
This implies that serial properties play an important role, especially in recognizing significant properties united within a single theme
to be of Outstanding Universal Value. Since the inclusion of this
definition in the Operational Guidelines (and even before) a broad
variety of serial properties have been inscribed on the UNESCO
World Heritage List. Where the key values cannot be displayed in
only a single property, serial properties have the function of recognizing OUV. The OUV of a property may be expressed through
the metaphor of it ‘telling a story’ and the component parts can
be thought of as different chapters of this story. In relation to the
chapter 3 world heritage and public awareness 98
option of nominating a single property, serial properties can thus
add value in when a series of distinct component parts is needed to
‘tell the story’ of the values within a coherent region, feature or set
of values. In practical terms, this means that the nomination of a
serial property needs a comprehensive idea of the ‘story’, the overall property wants to tell, and what the individual contribution of
each component part is (Engels et al., 2009).
Challenges for Communication in Serial World Heritage Properties
Communication in serial World Heritage properties faces specific
challenges linked to the very nature of serial properties. As communication needs a shared ground language, experiences, knowledge and values which might differ considerably in different component parts (especially in the transnational context). Thus joint
communication packages may be developed for serial properties
but need to be adapted to site specific circumstances for the individual component parts. When communicating OUV at component
part level the difficulty arises how to communicate the individual
chapters (= component parts) without the context of the others.
As communication is usually handled by the site management
(national park authority or similar) the focus in communication
is often laid on site specific issues and/or the regional context (especially for local politicians), but the overall context is missing.
In terms of internal communication it seems therefore absolutely
essential to ensure the required joint management and achieve a
joint understanding of OUV among the component parts. For the
use of communication instruments both an approach on component part level and on an overarching level are advisable (fig. 1).
Figure 1: Approaches for Communication in Serial World Heritage Properties
chapter 3 world heritage and public awareness 99
3. Example: The Ancient Beech forests of Germany
The nomination project
The nomination project is a proposed extension of the inscribed
serial property “Primeval beech forests of the Carpathians“ (including ten component parts in Ukraine and the Slovak Republic)
which has been inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2007. In
January 2010 Germany has submitted the nomination of five additional component parts (four located in national parks, one is
a core zone of a biosphere reserve). The project involved various
stakeholders both on national and international level and the decision by the World heritage Committee is foreseen for June 2011.
Figure 2: Nomination Dossier “Ancient Beech forests of Germany”
chapter 3 world heritage and public awareness 100
The Communication Strategy
In view of the challenges outlines above, the nomination project
included the development of a comprehensive communication strategy to assist all stakeholders involved and especially the leading
authorities to deal with communication during the nomination
process. The strategy is based on an analysis of the local situation
at the five component parts, the definition of joint objectives and
interim targets for communication, the selection of target groups,
the development of a system of information clusters as well as a set
of communication measures (Lenkungsgruppe der Länder Brandenburg, Hessen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern und Thüringen,
2009). The development of the strategy was assisted by a professional communication consultancy, Atelier Papenfuss commissioned
by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN).
Table 1: Results of the initial analysis
reasons for acceptance problems among
the public at large
problems in
the message
Restrictions on freedom
of movement
of sites
Existing environmental
education creates highly
disparate conditions
Hierarchy problems
Levels of awareness
of the various sites
Differences in the extent
to which beech forests are
recognised as deserving
Local conflicts
Regional settlement
patterns and development structures
Differences in educational
material available on this
Property rights
Thematic focus of the
protected areas
Different cultural connotations associated with
the beech
Cultural connotations of
terms such as “wilderness” and “primeval
structures (various
information agencies,
frequency and regularity of information
Different communication
structures (various information agencies)
Feeling of being passed
over by decision-makers
Levels of relevance to
local communities’
daily lives
Prejudices against
Financial capacities
chapter 3 world heritage and public awareness 101
The jointly defined communication objectives can be resumed as
• Positive attitude to the nomination among the population at large
• Active support for the nomination from representatives of various population groups, without any suspicion of pseudo or
tokenistic participation
• Provision of transparent, comprehensive and reliable information about the nomination process
• Involvement of the general public in the nomination process
through the provision of practical opportunities to lend support.
• Longer-term support for the conservation process is ensured.
These overall objectives were underlined with defined interim targets:
• Raising regional awareness
• Filling the information gaps
• Creating forums for action
• Clarification of terms, re-interpretation
• Accessibility of knowledge
• Up-to datedness
The strategic approach is based on targeted distribution of information, in the form of information blocks, to identified target
groups (regional population, children and young people, regional
politicians and public personalities, tourists, the national public
and multipliers). The key question is: which information is passed
on, how and when and to whom? For each of these target groups,
communication objectives are identified which define what needs
to be achieved for the individual target group in order to involve
it appropriately in the nomination process. In order to achieve an
equivalent level of knowledge among all target groups, the information clusters are broken down into central, regional and individual clusters. This then linked to the choice of medium which
included the identification of a format that conveys the information appropriately. In the follow up, all communication products
(leaflet, brochure, website1 etc.) have been created on the basis of
the strategy:
chapter 3 world heritage and public awareness 102
Figure 3: Linking information clusters to target groups
chapter 3 world heritage and public awareness 103
Challenges for future implementation
With a view to the future communication after a potential inscription on the World Heritage2 list challenges will remain and/
or change. It will therefore be important to avoid local/regional
individual approaches (on component part level) to benefit from
the media interest after potential inscription. Developing joint sign
posts and a corporate design for World Heritage information based on the strategy will be one important task involving not only
German but also the Ukrainian and Slovak partners. There will
be a specific challenge on the trilateral level to cope with different
views on communication and heritage management and different
In summary, communication is an important instrument to enhance the role of communities in the implementation of the Convention’s objectives. Communicating serial World Heritage properties
requires the multiplication of the analysis and communication
work of an individual site to reach an overarching communication
framework and should therefore be considered as part of the management framework of serial properties. This includes a thorough
analyses of communication objectives and contents, target groups
and communication tools. Conveying the Outstanding Universal
Value of serial properties to stakeholders and visitors presents a
major challenge and is crucial for the long-term conservation of
these properties.
To be noted: The World Heritage Committee has approved the extension of the
„Primeval Beech forests of Carpathians“ by the „Ancient Beech forests of Germany“ at ist 35th Session in June 2011.
chapter 3 world heritage and public awareness 104
Bibliographic references
Engels, B. 2009. Serial Natural World Heritage Properties – Challenges for
Nomination and Management. Proceedings of a workshop organized by
the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation in cooperation with
the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and the International Union for
Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 7–11 November 2009.
Lenkungsgruppe der Länder Brandenburg, Hessen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern und
Thüringen (2009): Nomination Dossier “Ancient Beech forests of Germany”.
Shalaginova, I. (2009): Heritage Presentation. How can it enhance management
of World Heritage sites? VDM Verlag. Saarbrücken.
UNESCO (1972): UNESCO World Heritage Convention, 1972
UNESCO World Heritage Committee (2002): Budapest Declaration on World Heritage. Decision WHC 26 COM 9.
UNESCO (2007): Periodic Report and Action Plan. Europe 2005-2006. UNES­
CO World Heritage Papers No. 20. UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Paris.
UNESCO. 2008. Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World
Heritage Convention. Paris, World Heritage Centre.
chapter 3 world heritage and public awareness 105
What does Skiing have to do
with World Heritage!?
Glimpses into Visitors Awareness
of World Heritage
Herdis Hølleland
Research Fellow
[email protected]
IKOS/KULTRANS, University of Oslo, Norway
The World Heritage Convention has been described as a UNESCO
flagship, and one of the organisation’s successes. While from an
international policy and bureaucratic point of view it is well recog­
nised, the extent to which this is the case with the international
community of travellers is uncertain at present. Using data from a
pilot survey undertaken at the World Heritage Areas of Tongariro
National Park in New Zealand and Greater Blue Mountains in
Australia, this article discusses visitors’ knowledge of the World
Heritage phenomenon and their awareness of the reasons for why
the given sites were World Heritage listed.
chapter 3 world heritage and public awareness 106
1. Introduction
From a noble desire to protect humanity’s natural and cultural
heritage, UNESCO’s Convention Concerning the Protection of the
World Cultural and Natural Heritage (hereafter the World Heritage Convention) has grown to be described as one of the organisation’s flagships and success stories (e.g. Cameron 2005, p. 3).
While the World Heritage Convention often is criticised for being
Eurocentric, it has become a significant player in the field of international heritage conservation. It is among the most widely ratified international conventions, and, even if unevenly distributed,
there are World Heritage Sites on every continent. As such, World
Heritage has become a global heritage phenomenon which, seen
from an international political and bureaucratic point of view, has
successfully engaged governments and non-governmental agen­
cies working for a cause larger than themselves. However, there is
another element which I believe is central to address when looking
at the success of World Heritage as a phenomenon: the general
public’s awareness, knowledge and appreciation of World Heritage.
World Heritage Sites draw millions of visitors each year, and
Francesco Bandarin (2002, p. 3), former Director of the World
Heritage Centre, sees this as an inevitable destiny: “…the very reasons why a property is chosen for inscription on the World Heritage List are also the reasons why millions of tourists flock to those
sites each year”. The statement is vague enough to be interpreted
in a number of ways: if we take it literally, it can read as an indication that there is a correlation between the values ascribed to the
site/area by governments, experts, and ultimately the WH Committee, and tourists’ reasons for going. This is a fine ideal; it puts
a lot of faith in the tourists, their interest in, knowledge of, and
capability to identify heritage values. However, despite 40 years
of World Heritage, the extent to which this is anything near the
case at present is indeed uncertain. This article will briefly present
the existing strategies for public dissemination before discussing
the strategies in relation to some of the preliminary findings of a
survey on visitors’ awareness and knowledge of World Heritage
conducted as part of an ongoing research project1.
The Survey has been undertaken as part of the PhD project of “Sites of Transformations? Globcal Perspectives on World Heritage”.
chapter 3 world heritage and public awareness 107
2. From information to communication
From the very beginning, the World Heritage Convention has
stressed the importance of strengthening appreciation and respect
for natural and cultural heritage as defined in the World Heritage
Convention’s articles 1 and 2. This is made clear in the World Heritage Convention’s sixth section ‘Educational Programme’, art­icle
27. Here it is stated that the State Parties shall, through educational and information programmes, ‘keep the public broadly informed of the dangers threatening this heritage and of the activities
carried on in pursuance of this [World Heritage] Convention’.
The roles of communication and dissemination are also noted in
the Operational guidelines to the Convention’s paragraph 26 and
section VI.C on Awareness-raising (UNESCO 2012). The latter
encourages State Parties to raise awareness of the World Heritage
Convention, to ensure that the World Heritage Sites are adequately
marked and promoted on-site and makes clear that the Secretariat
can provide assistance to make sure awareness-raising is achieved.
Article 26 describes the strategic objectives – its ‘5 c’s’: Credibility,
Conservation, Capacity-building, Communication (included in the
2002 Budapest Declaration) and Communities (added at the 31st
session of the World Heritage Committee in Christchurch in 2007
(Decision 31 COM 13B)). Communication is the Budapest’s declaration’s 4th C, and the strategic objective is to ‘Increase public
awareness, involvement and support for World Heritage through
Thus while keeping the public informed has been a part of
the World Heritage Convention since the beginning, a stronger
emphas­is on communication is relatively recent. Nevertheless, it is
fair to argue that communication has been less visible in the overall
UNESCO discourse on World Heritage, which to a larger extent
has been dominated by defining criteria for outstanding universal
values, the desire to create a balanced list and developing consistent management procedures to ensure the threats of sites are kept
to a minimum. While educational material aimed at educational
institutions such as schools have been developed, there is a need to
address the global communities of (international) tourists. These
are diverse and difficult communities to reach, but because of their
mobility they are also communities by which the conservation
ethic of the World Heritage Convention can be spread. For this
to happen, World Heritage Sites need to be presented in a united
manner – as one rather than several brands. At present, however,
chapter 3 world heritage and public awareness 108
the lack of rigorous attention towards communication and making
World Heritage a central and meaningful concept in travellers’
consciousness is backed up findings of the following survey.
3. Partnering for wisdom
At present there is a lack of extensive research on how visitors
understand, or even are familiar with, the World Heritage Convention. Recently the World Heritage Centre has tried to address
this issue through their partnership with TripAdvisor (UNESCO
2011a and b; TripAdvisor 2011b). The TripAdvisor® Media
Group is described as the world’s largest travel site, with more
than 50 million hits per month over its 18 different travel sites, being one of them. In brief, TripAdvisor is
a site where travellers can rate their travel experiences – hotels
as well as sites – and get other travellers’ advice on where (not)
to stay and what (not) to do. At present there are 20 million active users and 45 million reviews posted (TripAdvisor, 2011a).
TripAdvisor has been rather fittingly described by Kira Cochrane
(2011) as a “celebration of consumer power”. On the one hand it
is beyond doubt that this TripAdvisor caters for what one may call
‘keen travellers’ as well as ‘keen complainers’, and as such is not
representative for the full variety of travelling communities. On
the other hand TripAdvisor has, not surprisingly, been criticised
by over 1000 hoteliers through the company “Kwikcheck” which
have threatened to take TripAdvisor to court, arguing there are at
least 27 000 legally defamatory comments on the site (Cochrane
2011). Thus while TripAdvisor gets mixed reviews it can nevertheless provide a platform where UNESCO can gain more information about their visitors, and as such get UNESCO interacting with
the global travelling community in a new way.
TripAdvisor users who have stayed at hotels close to World Heritage Sites, are invited to provide their views on their experiences.
Furthermore, it is seen as a means to help tourists act upon World
Heritage; Steve Kaufer, founder and CEO of TripAdvisor argues
that they are “…calling on the world’s largest travel community
to help preserve the places around the world that we all love …”,
continuing “…we will give not only dollars but also the collective wisdom and support of TripAdvisor’s millions of travellers,
and their trusted insights. We’re eager to build global awareness
about World Heritage sites, and about sustainable and responsible
travel” (UNESCO, 2011b). As such travellers can through their
chapter 3 world heritage and public awareness 109
observations make a difference for the preservation of the outstanding heritage of mankind (TripAdvisor, 2011b).
During the first year the scheme had more 80 000 responses (New
Outreach, 2011, p.108). This is considerable when seen in relation
to the general lack of information available at present and provides
much needed feedback. Seen in relation to the overall users of the
TripAdvisor, 80 000 is not a particularly high number over a year
– considering there are 20 million active users and over 900 World
Heritage Sites. It needs to be noted that the feedback forms are
focused on threats to the sites rather than experiences and visitor’s
knowledge of what World Heritage is about, and this raises a more
fundamental challenge. Before we are in a position to ask travellers
to judge whether a World Heritage Site is threatened, they need to
be aware of what World Heritage is, and be able to identify the sites
they are asked to evaluate as World Heritage Sites.
4. A glimpse into visitors’ World Heritage awareness
At present we have a poor understanding of visitors’ awareness
and knowledge of World Heritage. Thus, we are yet to be in a situation where we know what is possible and useful to ask visitors.
After a brief round of test interviews in Norway, it soon became
clear while World Heritage is a known-of concept it is not a concept that most respondents are likely to be particularly familiar
with. Rather than creating a fixed survey, the on-site research was
therefore conducted as conversational interviews with a set interview guide with closed and open questions.
Convenience sampling was used as a means to gather respondents: random visitors were approached, the research presented
and they were asked if they could participate. A total of 232 persons were approached, and 204 interviews were conducted, 102
at each World Heritage Site. The interviews were undertaken at
Whakapapa visitor centre and Whakapapa ski field in Tongariro National Park World Heritage Area and at Echo Point in the
Great­er Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.2 At Tongariro the
vast majority of the approached were happy to participate. Only 3
of the approached did not answer, and this was due to the language barrier. This was, however, a considerably bigger problem in the
Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Here, nearly a fifth
These sites are the case studies of the PhD project, and were therefore used.
However, the survey is not site-specific and can be conducted at any World Heritage Site.
chapter 3 world heritage and public awareness 110
of the approached were not able to participate due to the language
barrier, which has meant it has been problematic to get the view
of tourists visiting from Asian countries such as Japan and China.
While some interviews were considerably longer, most of the
interviews varied from 2-5 min based on the tourists’ knowledge
of World Heritage. The interviews were not recorded; rather the
answers to the questions and possible relevant digressions were
written up by hand directly after the interview and later typed into
a Word document. The coding of the interviews was undertaken
after all 204 interviews had been conducted.
Familiarity with World Heritage
Designed as a closed question, the respondents were asked whether
they had heard of ‘World Heritage’3. Overall, three quarters of the
respondents answered they had heard about the concept.
Figure 1-3: Have you heard about World Heritage?
Interestingly more of the respondents in Tongariro (ca. 80%) stated they had heard of World Heritage than in the Greater Blue
Mountains (ca. 71%). Thus a majority of the visitors had heard of
the concept of World Heritage. Having heard of World Heritage
does not, however, really give us any insights into the visitors’ understanding of the concept. Designed as an open question the respondents who were familiar with the concept of World Heritage
were given the opportunity to explain in their own words what
they associated with it. Based on the interviews as a whole, it is
fair to argue that World Heritage is not something most people
However, some respondents initially answered no, but then as the interview
moved one it turned out they were familiar with the concept. They are here included in as ‘no’ answers.
chapter 3 world heritage and public awareness 111
were used to talking about; few had strong opinions about it and
many found themselves surprised to be struggling to accurately articulate what they associated with it. Seen together, the responses
can be divided into four main feedback categories which shed light
on how visitors’ views and experiences diverge and intersect with
more institutional discourses on World Heritage.
‘Have just heard of the term, but have no understanding what it
really means’
22.5% of the respondents answered that they had not heard of the
term World Heritage, whilst 15.2% of those who had heard of the
term, said that they had only heard of it in passing, and did not
associate it with anything in particular or had no understanding
of what it meant. So in total 37.7% of the respondents had no or
minimal knowledge of World Heritage. While this may be seen in
relation to these two sites only, it is likely that it also reflects some
of the difficulties explaining the term more generally. Where there
is on-site information about the given site’s World Heritage status,
there is a tendency to use the ‘World Heritage tag’ as a self explanatory sign. This is also the most common practice in guidebooks
and other information and promotional material. As this survey
shows, this is not necessarily the case.
Figure 4 What do you associate World Heritage with?
chapter 3 world heritage and public awareness 112
‘It is about going green, preserving the nature’
At present the cultural heritage sites by far outnumber the natural
and mixed World Heritage sites, and this has caused internal concerns and contributed to strategies for creating a more balanced
list. This is it not reflected in the current data. Rather the contrary.
The largest number of respondents, nearly 30%, associated World
Heritage with some form of nature-related protection whilst less
than 5% thought of it in terms of cultural/culture historic protection. Taking into consideration that the surveys were undertaken
in Australia and New Zealand, and ca. 42% of the respondents
came from the two countries, it is not surprising that there is a
strong link between nature conservation and heritage. The natural
environment plays a central role in both countries’ national heritage, and there is a tradition for having cultural heritage placed under agencies whose main focus is nature conservation. Only more
recently has Indigenous and European cultural heritage been given
a more central role within the larger heritage field in New Zealand
and Australia. As such the countries stand apart from older European heritage legislation which tends to focus on the built historic
environment and cultural property (e.g. Hall and McArthur, 1993;
Smith, 2004, 2006; Jones and Shaw, 2007). Thus it is likely that
the responses would had been different if the survey was conducted at a cultural site as many of the visitors to National Parks
actively seek out natural experiences rather than cultural heritage sites. Furthermore, it is possible that the protection of cultural
heritage would be more well-known if the number of European
visitors had been higher.
‘Everything in Europe – when on honeymoon everything we went
to was World Heritage, what is not?!’
The respondents from Europe, or tourists that had visited Europe or Asia, to a larger extent viewed World Heritage in terms of
protection of cultural heritage or a combination of cultural and
natural heritage. Furthermore, there was a tendency among the
respondents from Europe or those who had visited Europe to have
a more negative attitude towards World Heritage. Those lived in
World Heritage Cities would often refer to the restrictions it put
on development. Furthermore, as a (European) visitor pointed out
in Europe, there was simply too much heritage, and it was hard to
separate what made World Heritage different from other heritage
tags. This was echoed by non-Europeans who had problems un-
chapter 3 world heritage and public awareness 113
derstanding what was special about World Heritage when nearly
everything they went to had the ‘World Heritage tag’. Reflecting
on their own experiences from Europe, the restrictions natural heritage listings provided were praised as a good necessity by many
visitors. European visitors were often impressed by the restrictive
measures taken in New Zealand which ensured that the natural
areas were not ‘overcrowded’ and certain parts were not accessible
to the public.
World Heritage and UNESCO
The interview questions were designed in such a way that UNESCO was not mentioned when asking the respondents. This was
done as a means to see whether the visitors connected World Heritage with UNESCO. Less than 7% mentioned UNESCO in relation to World Heritage. However, some of those who did had very
negative views on both UNESCO and World Heritage, arguing it
was all well and good preserving heritage, but at the end of the
day there were more pressing issues to be dealt with in most places
of the world. Thus if UNESCO wants to use World Heritage as a
means to raise awareness of the organistation, the work it does
and the values it stands for, UNESCO needs to gain a stronger
presence and take a more active role in the dissemination of World
Awareness of the visitied sites’ World Heritage status
Sat in one of the cafes at the Whakapapa ski field, an interview is
moving towards the last questions. However, before reaching the
question of whether the respondent knew Tongariro was World
Heritage listed, the respondent, who happily has told how he,
thorough his job in a large international firm, writes cheques for
World Heritage projects in different parts of the world, runs ahead:
TNP-X6: ‘So what has all this to do with mountains and skiing?’
HH: ‘Well, you are actually sat in a World Heritage Area’
TNP-X6: ‘Really?! I have been here many times, but I never
knew that! But, why is it on?’(Field notes Sept 2010)
In addition to gaining information about visitors’ general knowledge of World Heritage, the survey also set out to find out whether
visitors were aware of the fact they were visiting a World Heritage
Area, and whether they knew the reasons why the given area was
World Heritage listed.
chapter 3 world heritage and public awareness 114
Figure 5-6: Visitors awareness of the visited sites’ World Heritage Status
Not aware 38%
Aware 42%
Not aware 58%
Aware 62%
Seen together nearly 50% of the visitors were not aware of the
fact that they were visiting a World Heritage Site. Split up, more
visitors to the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area were
aware of the area’s recognition than in Tongariro National Park
World Heritage Area. Yet none, when asked, answered that they
went to the given area because it was a World Heritage Area.
It is interesting to note that more visitors were aware of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area’s status than Tongariro.
There are more signs and more consistent signage informing visitors to Tongariro National Park about its World Heritage Status
than when entering the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage
Area, and most of the interviews were conducted in Whakapapa
Visitor Centre which has clear displays and audiovisual material
Reasons for the areas’ World Heritage Listing
Tongariro National Park was first World Heritage Listed in 1990 as a natural site for the
outstanding scenic features the volcanoes represent (today’s criteria vii) and as part of the
Pacific ring of fire, it is also listed as an example of the earth’s evolutionary history (today’s
criteria viii). Originally nominated as a mixed site, the National Park gained recognition
for the cultural and religious significance to the Maori people, both of which contributed
to the gifting of the peaks of the volcanoes which is the nucleus of the national park and
World Heritage Area, in 1993 (today’s criteria vi). This could only happen, however, after
the cultural criteria were altered to include the new category of cultural landscape. After the
re-nomination Tongariro became the first World Heritage Site to be listed as a cultural landscape, and is today one of 27 sites classified as mixed sites and one of 66 sites classified as
cultural landscapes.
As Tongariro, the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area was also put forward as
a mixed site by the Australian government in 1998. It did, however, only gain recognition
for its natural values when it was listed in 2000. Today it is listed under criteria (ix) for its
eucalypt vegetation and its adaptability and evolution in the post-Gondwana isolation; and
(x) as a significant natural habitat for in-situ conservation of eucalyptus, endemic taxa and
rare and threatened species.
Sources DOC 2006; DECC 2009; UNESCO 2011c and d.
chapter 3 world heritage and public awareness 115
on the park’s World Heritage status. Visually, it should be easier
to detect Tongariro’s World Heritage status than the Greater Blue
Mountains’. However, the information material available (leaflets, brochures, internet pages) on the Blue Mountains are more
abundant, and the area’s World Heritage status is more commonly
highlighted whenever the area is mentioned than is the case with
Tongariro. Compared to the Whakapapa Visitor Centre, the central gateway for exploring Tongariro, there is very little information about the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and
the reasons for why it was listed at Echo Point, which is the mostvisited viewing point of the mountains and where the interviews
were conducted. This situation may have contributed to the fact
that more of the visitors to Tongariro had an understanding of
why the area was listed as a World Heritage area.
In Tongariro the visitors who were aware of the area’s World
Heritage status were to a larger extent able to answer why it was
listed. Around 10% answered that Tongariro was listed for both
its cultural and natural values, and another 4% thought it was due
to the Indigenous cultural heritage only. Out of these, most people
referred to the gifting of the area as a core reason for its World Heritage listing. Thus while the level of understanding for the reasons
behind the World Heritage listing in general is poor, both cultural
and natural values were picked up by the visitors. Thus there does
not seem to be any problems with disseminating the idea of associative cultural landscape to audiences more accustomed to a
more ‘European’/tangible notion of cultural heritage. This stands
in contrast to the situation in the Greater Blue Mountains World
Heritage Area, which even though it is listed only for its natural
values, also holds strong cultural associations.
Overall it is fair to argue that there is very little knowledge or
understanding for why these sites are listed, this is in particular
true for the Greater Blue Mountains where over 90% were either
unaware of the area’s status or were unable to answer why it was
listed. The lack of clear signage and information may have been
partly to blame for the low response rate, but its rather complicated natural values may also contribute to the low response rate;
only one person specifically referred to the eucalyptus vegetation.
The cultural aspects of the Greater Blue Mountains are not part of
the current listing, but there is ongoing work for it to be recognised for this in the future. At present, however, the cultural values
of the landscape did not figure in respondents’ answers. Of all the
chapter 3 world heritage and public awareness 116
respondents, only one of the respondents, a European visitor who
was not sure as to why it was listed, assumed it was likely to be
due to the Aboriginal heritage. However, while few had any understanding of the reasons for why the area was listed, most people
drew attention to the fact that the area was scenically beautiful –
something which it is not recognised for at present.
Figures 7-8: Reasons for why the given areas are World Heritage Listed
Tongariro National Park World Heritage Area
Greater BlueMountains World Heritage Area
chapter 3 world heritage and public awareness 117
5. Conclusions
As noted in the introduction there are several ways of judging
whether a phenomenon is successful. World Heritage is successful
as an international document being widely ratified, and as forum
where experts and governmental representatives from the natural and cultural sectors meet to discuss and evaluate specific sites
and more general matters. There is at present reasons to question
the extent to which World Heritage has become a success for the
vast majority of people who interact with the sites, the growing
communities of visitors. That the sites are visited by millions of
people is beyond questioning. However, are the reasons for why
the sites made the list the reasons for why tourists visit them as
indicated by Bandarin’s quote in the beginning? With over 900
sites and millions of visitors, there is no one simple answers to this
question. Based on the research conducted in Tongariro and the
Greater Blue Mountains, this does not seem to be the case. None
of the respondents argued they went to either of the sites because
they were World Heritage listed; and few had any understanding
of why the specific site was listed. Thus, most visitors had heard
about World Heritage so it is not something which is completely
unfamiliar to tourists. However, it seems fair to argue that the
‘World Heritage tag’ has yet to become a well understood and
meaningful among the visiting public. One of the reasons for this
clearly has to do with the implementation of and (lack of) focus on
the Budapest Declaration’s 4th C – communication.
At present communication is mainly a responsibility of the State
Parties to the World Heritage Convention. This poses a considerable challenge if World Heritage is to be understood as one united phenomenon. There are few formal guidelines on how to keep
the public informed not only on threats, but more fundamentally
how to display and explain World Heritage Status at the given
sites. Consequently on-site information varies greatly between
and within countries: New Zealand provides consistent signage
of their World Heritage properties; Australia and the United Kingdom have more varied signage practice, whilst the USA for the
most part chooses not to display any connection with UNESCO
and World Heritage. Furthermore, another important challenge
for a united communication strategy is that a site’s World Heritage
status is commonly only but one tag – sites are national parks,
or belong to national heritage schemes and they are part of other
tourist or heritage networks to name but a few. Thus while being
chapter 3 world heritage and public awareness 118
the highest international recognition a site can achieve, World Heritage is only one of a number of competing statuses a place can
have, and this is often reflected in seemingly untidy and visually
inconsistent signage and information practices. Furthermore, there
is a need to create more dissemination-friendly descriptions and
explanations of why sites are listed if World Heritage is to become
meaningful and understandable for the non-experts. This filters
back to the 4th C, and the need to take it seriously and not merely
state its importance. Sadly, communication and dissemination to
the general public is something which often ranks low within the
management of past. A sign is a beginning, but it should not end
there. If World Heritage is to be understood as one phenomenon
by the visiting public, there is a need to develop a more stringent communication strategy where a common force, such as the
UNESCO World Heritage Centre, develop and provide funds and
resources to unify the dissemination. Only when World Heritage
has become a meaningful, recognised and cherished phenomenon
to the public, can it become a true international success story.
Bandarin, F. (2002). Foreword. In A. Pedersen (ed.), Managing Tourism at
World Heritage Sites: A Practical Manual for World Heritage Site Managers
(p. 3). Paris: UNESCO World Heritage Centre.
Cameron, C. (2005). Evaluation of IUCN’s work in World Heritage
Nominations. Parks Canada.
Cochrane, K. 2011Why Tripadvisor is getting a bad review. The Guardian
25.01.2011. Retrieved from
DECC (2009). Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area strategic plan.
Sydney: Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW).
DOC (2006). Tongariro National Park management plan. The Kaupapa
Whakahaere mo Te Papa Rehia o Tongariro 2006-2016. Turangi:
Department of Conservation.
Hall, C. M. and S. McArthur (Eds.) (1993). Heritage management in New
Zealand and Australia. Auckland: Oxford University Press.
Jones, R. and B. J. Shaw (Eds.) (2007). Geographies of Australian Heritages.
Loving a sunburnt country? Aldershot: Ashgate.
News Outreach (2010). TripAdvisor partnership involves world travellers.
World Heritage, 58, 108.
Smith, L. (2004). Archaeological theory and the politics of cultural heritage.
London: Routledge.Smith, L. (2006). Uses of heritage. London: Routledge.
TripAdvisor (2011a). About. Retrieved from
TripAdvisor (2011b). About the partnership. Retrieved from http://www.
chapter 3 world heritage and public awareness 119
UNESCO (2008). Operational Guidelines for the implementation of the World
Heritage Convention. Paris
UNESCO World Heritage Centre. UNESCO (2011a). TripAdvisor pledges
support to World Heritage. Retrieved from
UNESCO (2011b). UNESCO and online travel giant TripAdvisor launch World
Heritage partnership. Retrieved from
UNESCO (2011c). Tongariro National Park Retrieved from http://whc.unesco.
UNESCO (2011d). Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Retrieved
chapter 3 world heritage and public awareness 120
Local and Glocal
on World Heritage
Angra Do Heroismo
– a World Heritage Site
and a Hometown
A Study of the Local Effects
of a World Heritage Status
Marit Johansson
[email protected]
Telemark University College, Norway/Linköping University, Sweden
This paper presents my PhD research framework which aims to
investigate the local effects of the World Heritage Status which
the city of Angra do Heroísmo, situated in the Azores archipelago,
was given in 1983. The specific effects of interest are: the consequences for local business, tourism and culture, and the possibilities and limitations for contemporary development within a World
Heritage City in general. Additionally, the research will focus on
how the World Heritage Status has affected the inhabitants on a
personal level and in terms of their local identity. Through qualitative interviews it aspires to incorporate a broad range of viewpoints and values within the community, as well as among local
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 122
1. Introduction
“Criterion IV: Set in the mid-Atlantic, the port of Angra, obligatory port
of call for fleets from Africa and the Indies, is the eminent example of a
creation linked to the maritime world, within the framework of the great
explorations. Criterion VI: Like the Tower of Belem, the Convent of the Hieronymites of Lisbon and Goa, Angra do Heroísmo is directly and tangibly
associated with an event of a universal historic significance: the maritime
exploration which permitted exchanges between the great civilizations of the
world” (ICOMOS, 1982).
Based on these criteria, the central zone of the city of Angra do
Heroísmo, situated in the Azores archipelago, was inscribed on the
UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The justification of the inscription was mainly Angra do Heroísmo’s crucial importance during
the maritime exploration of the 15th and the 16th centuries, when
Angra, with its unique position in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, worked as a port of call. It was Vasco da Gama himself who
first made Angra’s port obligatory for the merchant fleets, and as
a consequence the city functioned as an important link between
Europe and “the New World”, connecting four continents (ICOMOS, 1982).
Consequently, Angra grew both in size and population, and was
finally raised to the status of a city in 1534. In the same year Angra
do Heroísmo became the seat of the archbishop of the Azores. Its
religious function contributed to a monumental character of the
city where the cathedral Santissimo Salvador, as well as several
churches and convents, were built in a classical baroque style. The
town is also known for its two 400 year old forts, of São Sebastião
and São João Baptista, which defended Angra from foreign attacks
(ICOMOS, 1982, UNESCO, 2006).
The town is situated in a natural basin, and the very meaning
of the name Angra is bay or cove. This was also the reason for
choosing the site as a port for the merchant fleets, since the basin makes a natural harbor with its surrounding hills protecting
it against prevailing winds from the Atlantic. The specific climatic
conditions were taken into account when the city-plan was set out,
and Angra offers an example of the adaption of an urban model to
a particular climatic condition (ICOMOS, 1982).
Unfortunately, Angra do Heroísmo was struck by an earthquake
in 1980, and as a result a large part of the historical town was
damaged. The catastrophe brought Angra to the world’s attention
once again and the city clearly showed the fragility of our cultural
heritage. One of UNESCO’s objectives is to safeguard the cultural
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 123
heritage of outstanding value for future generations (UNESCO,
1972), and only three years after the earthquake the seventh ordinary session of the World Heritage Committee decided to include
Angra do Heroísmo to the World Heritage List (UNESCO, 1983).
During subsequent years following the earthquake, a great effort
was made to restore the city to its former glory, and Angra is today
an example of a restoration project where many of the old architectural principles have been respected (UNESCO, 1988, Legislativo Regional 15/2004/A 2010).
Presentation of the Research Problem
The special interest for Angra do Heroísmo as a World Heritage
site is based on the personal knowledge I obtained while living
and working in the town in 2008. Throughout the days I spent
in Angra, I was constantly reminded of its historical value as a
World Heritage City and its unique placement on the southern
tip of an island in the mid-Atlantic. Based on my experience, it
became clear that these spatial and historical factors must be essential for the identity of the people living in Angra do Heroísmo,
and parts of the investigation aims to study the inhabitant’s local
attachment and identity. However, the main task of this thesis is
to investigate the local consequences of the decision, made by the
World Heritage Committee, to give Angra do Heroísmo a World
Heritage Status. I wish to understand what this implies for the inhabitants, and how it affects the local community. When working
as an archaeologist for the Regional Directorate of Culture of the
Azores (Direcção Regional da Cultura), I became aware of some of
the challenges one faces leading the cultural heritage management
of a dynamic and modern town such as Angra do Heroísmo. Its
status gives a valuable protection of the historical centre of the
city, but it may also cause limitations for development and natural
evolvement of a vibrant city. The issue has been widely debated,
and it is of specific relevance within a city which is exposed to
massive pressure engendered by the needs of mobility, economy,
housing and the service society (Schicker, 2009). Nevertheless, the
status provides positive effects in terms of increased tourism which
often leads to economic growth and a richer cultural and social
life. Tourism might, however, also have negative effects, considering the fact that mass-tourism might deteriorate a site. Another
positive aspect of being listed on the World Heritage List is the
enhanced value it automatically gives the city. To be given outstan-
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 124
ding universal value is a tremendous recognition and thus an asset
to the city’s character. On the basis of these areas of interest, I will
conduct a qualitative study of the social consequences for Angra
do Heroísmo as a World Heritage City.
2. Angra do Heroísmo - Cultural Heritage Management within a
World Heritage City
After Angra do Heroísmo was enlisted to the World Heritage List,
it became evident that the legacy needed official management. With
reference to the Convention it is also an obligation “to take the
appropriate legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial
measure necessary for the identification, protection, conservation,
presentation and rehabilitation of this heritage” (UNESCO, 1972,
article 5). The preservation of Angra do Heroísmo is now being
monitored by the Regional Directorate of Culture which replaced the former office, Gabinete da Zona Classificada de Angra do
Heroísmo, whilst the legislation, Legislativo Regional 15/2004/A,
is ensuring the legal restrictions of the World Heritage City. The
main task of the directorate is in many respects the same as the
former Gabinete; to give their opinion on every rehabilitation or
modernization project being undertaken within the classified zone
of the city as well as supervising the process. Moreover, it is the
responsibility of the regional government, in cooperation with the
City Hall (Câmera Municipal de Angra do Heroísmo), to outline a
management plan for the historical city centre (Legislativo Regional 15/2004/A). Management-strategies for the classified zone are
presently being discussed in Angra do Heroísmo after the City Hall
recently launched a new management plan (Gonçalves, 2010), and
I consider it to be of great interest to get the point of view of the
City Hall of Angra do Heroísmo on the matter of managing a
World Heritage City. Furthermore, I believe it is of importance to
investigate how the directorate is dealing with their task within the
frames of the law.
Contemporary Development Projects in Angra do Heroísmo
The legal framework enforces restrictions in order to protect the
central zone of Angra do Heroísmo (Gonçalves and Leitão, 2001).
Nevertheless, there are several contemporary development projects being conducted within the city. For example, a new marina
was constructed in the bay of Angra do Heroísmo at the end of the
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 125
1990s. The marina project was inspected by representatives of the
ICOMOS who expressed their concern about its negative impact
on the characteristics of the waterfront of the World Heritage Site
(UNESCO, 1998). In order to safeguard the underwater heritage
from being threatened by the marina project, an underwater archeological intervention was conducted in which several Iberian
constructed shipwrecks from the 16th century were discovered
(Garcia and Monteiro, 2001).
At the present moment the marina is once again calling for
modernization, and much local discourse has been provoked after
the launch of new plans for a cruise ship terminal which is to be
constructed outside of Angra do Heroísmo. According to archaeologist Paolo Monteiro, who has participated in many of the archeological excavations in the bay area, this decision will have a
clear negative effect on the shipwreck park in the bay of Angra do
Heroísmo (Rocha, 2009). However, there are other voices within
the local community who are welcoming the presidential initiative,
and considering it to be valuable for both tourism and commerce.
The debate is a clear evidence of the core contradictions within
cultural heritage politics, and the challenging task which lies in
managing the World Heritage within the policies being outlined by
the government and the UNESCO. The World Heritage Convention points out that the State Party should adopt a general policy
which aims to give the cultural heritage a function in the life of
the community, and integrate the protection of that heritage into
comprehensive planning programs (UNESCO, 1972, article 5).
However, the World Heritage Convention clearly states that once
a property has been classified as being World Heritage, it is expected that the values and the conditions, which give it outstanding
universal significance, will be maintained. In cases where the state
of the World Heritage Sites are threatened by proposed treatment
or used inappropriately, the World Heritage Committee might include the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger (UNESCO,
1990). UNESCO hereby gives the State Party and the local community a responsibility to make reasonable choices which allow
room for local development, yet do not disturb the authenticity
and integrity of the World Heritage Site.
The present discourse in Angra do Heroísmo is revealing the different prevailing opinions in the community. We can observe the
existence of protectionists who are seeing the intrinsic value of the
cultural heritage, and thinking that the modern society needs to
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 126
adapt in order to give the protection that the World Heritage City
needs. On the other hand, there are others who think of cultural
heritage as something which is compromising necessary development. In the specific case of the new cruise terminal, the community is forced to choose between safeguarding the cultural heritage
or to let the modern society take the necessary measures to evolve.
Might it be that the cultural heritage at times must suffer for the
sake of the present society? Are we forced to choose between the
past and the present? Or is there a possible coexistence between
a sustainable development and the protection of the cultural heritage? These are some of the dilemmas which I will try to cover in
my thesis. The research project is set to make a study of the different opinions existing in the community of Angra do Heroísmo;
moreover I want to investigate how the inhabitants are affected by
the restrictions given by the Directorate of Culture, the City Hall
and regional legislation.
Tourism in Angra do Heroísmo
Despite the many challenges related to cultural heritage management within a cityscape, cultural heritage also holds positive connotations in terms of historical perspectives and aesthetic experiences. Additionally, it might be valuable for tourism and regional
development, given that an increase in tourism often leads to an
economical, social and cultural growth (Ronström, 2007, p. 98).
However, as the former director of the World Heritage Centre
Francesco Bandarin (2005, p. V) writes; “tourism is a double-edged sword, which on the one hand confers economic benefits (…),
but on the other hand, places stress on the fabric of destinations
and the communities who live in them”. As a Venetian he refers to
first hand experiences from a city which benefits financially from
its buoyant tourism industry, but which struggles to attend to the
conservation problems it faces as a result of a large influx of tourists every year (2005). Previously, tourism was little explored
in Angra, and the periodic world heritage report from 2006 also
underlines the fact that visitor management is inadequate within
Angra (Gonçalves and Leitão, 2001, UNESCO, 2006). However,
as the former employees at the Gabinete da Zona Classificada de
Angra do Heroísmo wrote in 2001: “tourism is one of the goals
for the development of the city to a worldwide scale” (Gonçalves
and Leitão, 2001). The Azores in general has experienced an increased influx of tourists during recent years, and Angra do He-
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 127
roísmo has been promoted as one of the few cultural attractions
within the archipelago. In my study I would like to investigate the
current status of visitor management, and how tourists are experiencing their visit to the World Heritage City.
In this chapter several questions and problems have been raised,
which I wish to answer and investigate more closely. In the end,
however, it all comes down to studying how resolutions issued on
a regional, national and international level affect local communities. This theme is the core of my research, and I will approach
it from two angles: through an enhanced insight in the common
opinion of the local community, and by obtaining a better insight
into decisions made by UNESCO, as well as the Portuguese and
Azorean government.
Theoretical Perspectives
“This profound attachment to the homeland appears to be a worldwide phenomenon. It is not limited to any particular culture and economy. (…) The
city or land is viewed as mother, and it nourishes; place is an archive of fond
memories and splendid achievement that inspire the present; place is permanent and hence reassuring to man, who sees frailty in himself and chance and
flux everywhere.” (Tuan, 1989, p. 154)
The American geographer Yi-Fu Tuan considers the ways in which
people feel and think about space and place in his book Space
and Place – the Perspectives of Experience (1989). The human
experience of a place is highly relevant in a study which is so much
related to a physical place. It is like he argues in his introduction;
“space and place are basic components of the lived world” (1989,
5). For the people of Angra do Heroísmo, Angra is their basic
component, and with its monuments and architectural expression
of high visibility and significance it may enhance the identity of its
inhabitants. Due to Angra’s historical value and unique architecture, it will surely awake a special experience to visitors and tourists spending a few days of their holiday in the city. Places which
give an immediate feeling based on the visual, is something Tuan
(1974) calls “public symbols”. On the other hand he believes there
are the “fields of care”, which is a sense of a place which goes beyond the visual and which is rather based on personal experience.
The home place can give such a deep felt sentiment towards a
physical space, an emotion which is by far deeper than what any
“public symbol” might trigger. However, in some cases a place can
be both “a field of care” and “a public symbol”. A heritage site
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 128
might be a very good example of such a place where the historical
surroundings might generate an aesthetic experience, yet it is also
a home environment for the inhabitants, who additionally develop
personal feelings connected to the cultural heritage site (Johansson, 2006).
I can hardly discuss the significance of physical space without
drawing attention to the particular concept of an island. Angra do
Heroísmo is situated on the southern side of the island of Terceira
which is about 29 km long and 17 km wide. Evidently it is a fairly
small island, and it never escapes your mind that you are on an
island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Even though Terceira
is surrounded by eight other Azorean islands, you are separated
from them by the rough sea, and due to the distance and the mist
there are rarely views of the other islands. Throughout the time I
spent on Terceira, I witnessed countless discussions on the subject
of adjusting to the island life. The numerous settlers from the continent managed the adaptation in various ways, often fleeing to the
continent in order to maintain their equilibrium.
So what is an island? What makes an island special? “An island can be both a prison and a paradise, both heaven and hell.
An island is a contradiction between openness and closure, between roots and routes, which islanders must continually negotiate” writes Godfrey Baldacchino (2007, p. 165). The paradoxical
space of the islands is probably the reason for our long lasting fascination for these geographical places. Ever since antiquity, islands
have been ascribed a mythical value. Thus the Azores have been
the subject of legends, and at one time were believed to be the lost
Atlantis (Ronström, 2007). Historically, Angra do Heroísmo has
in many regards had an island’s typically many folded dimension;
being situated on an island with all the limitations and restrictions
which that implies, yet receiving the whole world while working
as a life line for the sailors and ships on the way to and from “the
New World”.
I believe these factors of space and place mentioned above to be
of immense importance for the identity of the people of Angra do
Heroísmo, and furthermore I consider the historical value of the
city to be influential. But let me pause on the subject of identity before going any further. According to Zygmunt Bauman, the focus
on identity is fairly new in the history of man, occurring as a result
of the lack of affiliation in the constantly shifting modern society
(Bauman, 1996). Identity is understood to be determined by the
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 129
situation and the context, which will continuously be discursive
(Sørensen, Høystad, Bjurström and Vike, 2008). This means that
we as human beings consist of various bridging identities. In later
years there has been a vast discourse on the matter of cultural
heritage and identity, where many scholars see the value in emphasizing a more pluralistic view in this regard (Solli, 1997, Hastrup,
2004). Nevertheless, I think a historical home environment can be
of importance to the inhabitants, and during this research project
I wish to investigate to what extent the people of Angra see their
identity to be affected by their historical surroundings. I will also
seek to find out whether there have been any changes in historical
identity and pride among the inhabitants of Angra do Heroísmo,
following the city’s designation as a World Heritage City.
As I mentioned previously, there have been several archaeological interventions in the bay of Angra do Heroísmo during the last
decades. Due to the maritime history of Terceira and its abundant
coastline, shipwrecks are an important part of the island’s underwater heritage, and there are recorded several shipwrecks within
the bay of Angra do Heroísmo (Garcia and Monteiro, 1998). Some
of the ships are still visible and can be seen by the many swimmers
and snorkelers within the bay. Thus the public is able to view shipwrecks which sank over 500 years ago. The immediate experiences
of the excavations and the shipwrecks also increase the historical
dimension of the city, and I am thus curious to explore whether
this has brought about a greater interest for history and cultural
heritage among its people. Additionally, I think it is essential for
the sake of the investigation to bring the matter of identity and
cultural heritage further to the decision makers.
Angra do Heroísmo as a Social Space
“My entire scientific enterprise is indeed based on the belief that the deepest
logic of the social world can be grasped only if one plunges into the particularity of an empirical reality, historically located and dated, (…)” (Bourdieu 1998, p. 2).
In order to understand Angra do Heroísmo as a World Heritage
City and the local effects which the status provides, I wish to make
use of Pierre Bourdieu’s theories. Today, Bourdieu’s ideas are widely used within social sciences, as they enable us to analyze concrete
social systems and relations within a theoretical framework. One
of the central concepts of Bourdieu is the notion of field (champ),
a theoretical model which proclaims that all social formations are
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 130
structured by a hierarchy of fields such as the economic field, the
cultural field or the educational field. According to Bourdieu, social fields function as structured spaces with their own laws and
logics, which are “relatively autonomous, but structurally homologous with the others” (in Johnson, 1993, p. 6). In other words,
social fields have a tendency to overlap one another and larger
social fields might as well consist of smaller partial fields (Broady,
1991, p. 269). The concept of a social field is highly open; it can be
both psychological and place determined, and for this reason each
individual might belong to more than one field (Johansson, 2006).
A further definition of a social field is given as a system of relations
between positions which are taken by agents and institutions, who
fight for something which is considered to be common for the participants (Broady, 1991 p. 266). Bourdieu called this undisputed
faith within the social field as the doxa, to which the agents are
loyal (1986a, p. 167, 168).
In my view Angra do Heroísmo holds a web of different social
fields which interact with each other, and the World Heritage City
Angra do Heroísmo can be said to be the arena or the space where
the various fields promote and negotiate their diverging interests
and beliefs. Bourdieu also wrote about the meaning of a physical place which, in his opinion, served as both a physical and a
social room. In relation to such a physical space he claimed that
by being corporal individuals, humans will occupy physical places
just as any other object (Bourdieu, 1994 p. 150). The space of
Angra do Heroísmo is very much geographically and historically
determined, and there are as well certain institutional boundaries. In addition, there are regional laws working as a legal framework for the management of the World Heritage City, and the
World Heritage Convention, ratified by Portugal in 1980, is also a
commitment which serves to control the different social fields and
the arena itself. The various social fields have diverging interests
for Angra, but whether they are fighting for the protection of the
city or promoting contemporary development, there is a common
agreement that the city is of special significance. I believe all the social fields involved have a commitment towards the city of Angra
do Heroísmo.
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 131
There are many aspects which need to be considered when choosing the right methodology in a research project. The method is
the instrument used to approach the objectives, and the preferred
method will affect the results of the study. Choice of method must
therefore be evaluated on the basis of practicalities, in terms of the
objectives, hypothesis, possible results, personal preferences and
experiences (Johansson, 2006).
Qualitative interviews
The purpose of this investigation is to gather personal opinions,
attitudes and sentiments. It is my intention to get the full specter
of different values existing within the society, among employees
within the cultural heritage management sector and among representatives from the city council. Accordingly, the focal point of the
research process is to grasp personal opinions in order to make
general assumptions and conclusions. I therefore believe qualitative interviews to be the best approach in order to collect the data
(Ryen, 2002). The interviews will be conducted in person in order
to obtain a complete impression of the informant. In addition to
interviews, it will also be needed to do several document studies to
collect information about the administrative and political processes at UNESCO, as well as within the City Hall and the regional
and national government.
In recent years qualitative research, concerned with interpretive
practice, has employed many philosophical approaches to studying the social sphere. Husserl’s phenomenology has been the most
fundamental because of its focus on the constitution and reconstitution of the human consciousness in the interaction with the
lived world, something which is close to qualitative interviews –
where dialectic processes such as experience, language, narratives
and dialog is central (Holstein and Gubrium, 1994, Kvale, 2009).
The purpose of this investigation is to understand the informants
from their perspectives; it is their subjective understanding of reality which is interesting. This is in line with the phenomenology
which seeks the subjective experience (Thagaard 2002: 36), and
tries to understand the ways that the life world is produced and
experienced by its members. As Alfred Shutz states in Holstein
and Gubrium (1994, p. 263); “the safeguarding of the subjective
point of view is the only but sufficient guarantee that the world of
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 132
social reality will not be replaced by a fictional non-existing world
constructed by the scientific observer”. During an interview study,
it will be impossible to grasp the data truly objectively, for I, as a
researcher never will be able to exclude my own experiences and
life philosophy. These aspects will thus always affect my interpretations and analysis.
There will mainly be three categories of informants in this study;
the local inhabitants of Angra do Heroísmo and public employees
from the city council of Angra do Heroísmo and the regional administration. At this stage, I can hardly get a full overview of all
the informants who will be participating, so supplementary informants will probably come to my knowledge as the research project
develops. It is my aspiration to carry out most of the interviews
in Angra do Heroísmo in Portuguese, but upon possible language
difficulties, which might occur, I will consider using a translator or
speak English wherever possible.
Ethical considerations
Even though I am familiar with the Azorean culture and the mentality of the people living on the island of Terceira, I still regard my
investigation to be close to an anthropological study. Research­ing
within another culture needs particular considerations in the planning process and during fieldwork. As having a phenomenological
approach to qualitative research and the qualitative interview, it
causes certain challenges in perceiving the unspoken and the dialectical processes beyond the objectively apparent. Nevertheless,
there might be certain advantages to being an outsider. For instance, it will be easier to take a neutral part in the local discourses, yet being an archaeologist might bring presumptions as to my
As to end this chapter, I would briefly like to draw attention to
the ethical aspects of carrying out a qualitative research. An interview study in particular implies moral and ethical dimensions,
as the whole process is relying on private information, personal relations and trust (Kvale, 1997, p. 65). Miles and Huberman
(1994) explain the meaning of three essential terms in the ethics
of qualitative research practice; privacy, confidentiality and anonymity. The authors tell us to bear in mind that privacy implies
the “preservation of boundaries against giving the protected information or receiving unwanted information”, confidentiality means
“agreements with person or organization about what will be done
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 133
with their data”, and finally anonymity is “lack of identifiers, information that would indicate which individuals or organization
provided which data”. I already realize the challenges in keeping
the information anonymous in a small community like Angra do
Heroísmo, where local people can easily tell who is being depicted.
Other ethical issues and dilemmas might occur through the investigation, and I will look to The Norwegian Guidelines for Research
Ethics for guidance and navigation in order to avoid any ethical pit
fall along the way (2006).
5. Conclusive aspects
There are several reasons for electing Angra do Heroísmo as a case
study. Firstly, Angra do Heroísmo was chosen because of my first
hand knowledge of this community, its history and its archaeology.
However, Angra do Heroísmo is thought to be an example and it
is my aspiration to highlight aspects which have transfer values to
other World Heritage properties. I acknowledge the distinctiveness
of each site, and it may be of significance to perform comparative
studies to get a broader perspective.
One of the main objectives of this project is to conduct a study
which can be a valuable resource for Angra do Heroísmo in their
daily management of the World Heritage City. By increasing general awareness of the possible local affects of the World Heritage
Status, I hope the outcome of the research might be of interest to
countries which are in the process of submitting their cultural and
natural sites to the World Heritage List.
The World Heritage List is continuously getting longer, and the
World Heritage Committee makes annual evaluations of new cultural and natural sites which are nominated for inclusion on the
List (UNESCO 2009). It is becoming highly prestigious to be included, and countries are making a considerable effort to reach the
World Heritage Status for their cultural heritage sites. Considering
the bureaucratic energy being put into the nomination process, I
think it is crucial to perform a study of what this status means for
the people who know a World Heritage Site as their home environment, and maybe even having their own home enlisted.
During the last years there have been several studies investigating the significance of World Heritage (Titchen, 1995, Omland,
1997, Harrison and Hitchcock, 2005, Turtinen, 2006), in which
some have been dedicated to certain World Heritage Sites. For example, the Norwegian anthropologist Nina Haslie (2009) studied
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 134
the impact in terms of local inhabitants in Trinidad in her thesis;
“Living with heritage – Negotiating the Past, the Present and the
Future at the World Heritage Site Trinidad de Cuba” (authors own
translation). Furthermore, Owe Ronström’s book “Cultural Heritage Politics: From a Worn Down Village to a Medieval Icon”
(authors own translation) presents a study of the transformation
which the City of Visby in Sweden undertook after it was added to
the World Heritage List. As well, an investigation is being carried
out at the Norwegian World Heritage City Røros, by the Norwegian Institute of Cultural Heritage Research, in order to estimate the
economic effect of the enlisting (Guttormsen and Ibenholt, 2009).
In my study I intend to perceive the social consequences of the
World Heritage Status for the City of Angra in general, including
the effects in terms of the local inhabitants, as well as in respect
of the public officials. I believe it is relevant perceiving all aspects
of the enlistment, and in my opinion it is of special interest to
study the consequences when urban areas are recognized to be of
outstanding universal value, when we know they are under higher
pressure than other sites and within a zone of higher density of population than most other World Heritage places. The dilemma is
vast taking into account the fact that historical cities constitute the
largest category on the World Heritage List, representing 255 out
of a total of 911 World Heritage sites (Bandarin, 2010, OWHC,
2010). The former director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Francesco Bandarin, has been addressing the challenges of preserving the historic cities while allowing them to grow and develop
naturally. Saying that when these issues are presented to local authorities and communities, “they test the limits of the legal, policy
and public participation system, (…)” (Bandarin 2009, p. 2).
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Vol. 97, Issue 2, 165-174
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Bourdieu, Pierre (1986): Outline of a Theory of Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
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författarskap och den historiska epistemologien. Stockholm: HLS Förlag
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og framtid på Verdensarvstedet Trinidad de Cuba. Unpubl. Master thesis in
archaeology, University of Oslo
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New Delhi: Sage Publications Inc.
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and Literature. Cambridge: Polity Press
Johansson, Marit (2006): Kaupang – kulturminner og lokalbefolkning. Et møte
mellom nåtid og fortid. Unpubl. Master thesis in archaeology, University of
Kvale, Steinar (2009): Det kvalitative forskningsintervjuet. Oslo: Gyldendal
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Miles, Matthew B. and A. Michael Huberman (1994): Qualitative Data
Analysis. Thousand Oaks, London, New Delhi: Sage Publications Inc.
NESH 2006: Guidelines for research ethics in the social sciences, law and the
humanities. Oslo: National Committees for Research Ethichs in Norway
Omland, Atle (1998): UNESCOs Verdensarvkonvensjonen og forståelsen av en
felles verdensarv. Unpubl. Master thesis in archaeology, University of Oslo
OWHC 2010: 5 New Cities on the World Heritage List in 2010. URL:http:// [Date of reading: 24.09.2010]
Rocha, João (ed) (24th of October 2009) Carta Aberta a Carlos César.
Arqueólogo contra Cais de Cruzeiros em Angra in A União (Angra do
Heroismo). URL: [Date
of reading: 16.05.2010]
Ronström, Owe (2007): Kulturarvspolitik. Visby. Från sliten småstad till
medeltidsikon. Stockholm: Carlssons bokforlag
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Bergen: Fagbokforlaget
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identiteter, ting og betydninger. B. Brenna og K. M. Fjeldstad (Eds.) Oslo:
Senter for teknologi og menneskelige verdier, Universitetet i Oslo. (TMV
skriftserie nr. 24)
Thagaard, Tove (2003): Systematikk og innlevelse. En innføring i kvalitativ
metode. Bergen: Fagbokforlaget
Titchen, Sarah M. (1995) On the construction of outstanding universal
value. UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention (Convention concerning
the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, 1972) and the
identification and assessment of cultural places for inclusion in the World
Heritage List. Unpublished PhD thesis, the Australian National University,
Tuan, Yi-Fu (1974): Space and Place. Humanistic Perspective. S. Gale and G.
Olsson (Eds.) Philosophy in Geography
Tuan, Yi-Fu (1989): Space and Place. The Perspective of Experience.
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press
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internationell politikk. Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis. Stockholm Studies
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and Natural Heritage. Paris: UNESCO
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Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. World Heritage
Committee Seventh Ordinary Session, Florence (Italy), 5-9 December 1983.
SC/83/CONF.009/8. Paris: UNESCO URL:
repcom83.htm#206 [Date of reading: 09.10 .2009]
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chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 137
The Changing Definitions
of Global and Local
in World Heritage Properties
and its Implications
Somi Chatterjee
Conservation Architect
[email protected]
Hampi World Heritage Area Management Authority, India
This paper attempts at highlighting the importance of realising the
impact of changing definitions of global and local and the role
of policies in protecting the interests of a ‘local’ for sustainable
heritage management. Cultural resource can be defined by its nature and associational values rather than its location or its status
as World Heritage. For example, sacred sites of Benaras, Haridwar or Kailash-Mansarovar although not ‘World Heritage’, are
more ‘local’ to the lives of Hindus world over. The same holds
good for secular sites too. In such cases, the definition of local
or global becomes immaterial as the ‘everyone’ is a stakeholder
with varying responses and responsibilities. The nomination of a
property as ‘World Heritage’, especially in countries where a standard approach towards heritage management at a national policy
level is yet to be adopted, it initiates a chain reaction, that alters
the definition of stakeholders, hence their responses to the site.
The nominated property becomes a magnet for interested groups
with respective agendas and monetary superiority to dominate decision-making. It is in such cases, that the definition of global or
local becomes indispensible as will be demonstrated through the
case of Hampi, World heritage area, India. chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 138
World over, identification of a local from a global has been a challenge, especially when the two worlds today are constantly moving
closer, defying boundaries to give rise to a new being called the
‘glocal’. The definition of who- is local to a specific context is crucial to enable value-based planning, conserving, protecting and
management of cultural properties, as it is through them that the
values of a site is respected, revered and is transcended through
generations, hence kept alive. Therefore safeguarding values becomes synonymous to protecting the interest of the ‘local’ whose
identity lies in the associations and values shared, the responses
and relationship shared with the context rather than their geopolitical location, official document or any other proofs considered
valid in the eyes of the law.
At an international platform, heritage, although understood as a
shared property, where every man, irrespective of their citizenship,
hence onus to safeguard it lies with all. Therefore, respecting and
maintaining cultural diversity and protecting values that impact
its authenticity and integrity, through contextual understanding
is a universal responsibility. The World Heritage Convention’ 72,
with its Operational Guidelines, the Nara Document, the Convention on Safeguarding Intangible Heritage and Cultural Diversity
and the recent debates on the apt philosophy of conservation has
brought in a new understanding of the significance of a ‘local’. In
its perception, onus lies on the individual nation or a number of
them together (for cases like cultural routes, viz the Silk Route),
to ultimately identify and devise suitable mechanisms within respective framework to safeguard values of the cultural property,
irrespective of it being World Heritage or not.
With the passage of time, processes of globalisation and the
emerging concepts of ‘global village’, a certain degree of homogenisation through increased communication, exposure to a greater
diaspora, has inadvertently occurred worldwide. Theoretically, a
‘local’ is now accepted as a part of the global populace, as glocal
whereby having equal right, with responsibility. This concept,
when applied to the field of heritage conservation and management has differential impact. At one end, it unites the world under the perception – that cultural resources are shared properties,
where all, irrespective of geo-political standing or belief system,
has a stake in safeguarding it. On the other hand, it attracts and
gives rights to interest groups who assume the form of stakehol-
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 139
ders and whose relation with the site is established on the basis of
anticipated flow of profits rather than responses stemming from
associations or ascribed values. Ingress of such groups are heightened in the case of Heritage sites which when enlisted in the World
Heritage List; as such status comes with a promise of an increased commercial activity, almost overnight. The interest groups,
often stronger in organisation, monetary capacity, often supported
by several sectors, are vociferous in their demands and often displace the true locals from their rights, but stop short before reciprocating the earned benefits through responsibilities. Under such
circumstances, the intervention of the government or the public
body becomes indispensible to first identify a local and then devise
effective tools to protect their rights, hence safeguard values of a
site for the future.
Understanding a Local differently
At the very onset of this paper, it is crucial to understand two concepts – first, the difference between a stakeholder and a local and
second – an understanding of cultural resource and how humans
relate to the same. Cultural resources of India are best understood
in the light of traditional landscapes, as human beings relate to
natural landscape by ascribing associations and values, thus emphasising more on the metaphysical aspects. Developing an understanding of such landscapes, becomes the basis to better appreciate
cultural resources in the context of the Sub-continent and to define
a local in the light of the paper.
Figure 1: Why Identify a Local?
Source: Illustration by author
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 140
A stake holder1 for the light of this paper, is any individual/ organisation/ group who are affected decision and its process, positively or negatively, directly or indirectly, to bring about change in
circumstances in any place. They have the power to mobilise or resist implementation of a decision (under a democratic system). Stake holders do not preclude locals, who become one of the smaller
fraction representative groups among many interested groups and
for whom, the flow of benefit may or may not be bi-directional.
For example, in any site frequented by tourists, a tourism operator who gains from the site without investing in the same could
show an example of a parasitic gain, as opposed to centralised
collection of benefits and its equitable distribution. A local person
on the other hand has a connection which is independent of his
existence being altered by changes in his locality, area or context.
He may only be local in terms of proofs or documents, yet bear no
stake or have no response to the changes occurring in a context.
It is this response that differentiates a stakeholder from a non-responsive local.
For example, in the case of Hampi World Heritage Site, over
and above UNESCO and other Advisory Bodies -
In the Oxford dictionary, a Stakeholder is – ‘a person with an interest or concern
in something, especially a business.’ (Oxford Dictionaries)
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 141
Figure 2: Stakeholders in Hampi World Heritage Site
National level Agency for Heritage
• ASI (Ministry of Culture, Govt. of
State-level Agency for Heritage
• DAM (State Department of
Kannada and Culture, Govt. of
• HWHAMA (State Department
of Kannada and Culture, Govt. of
State and Local Administrative
• Rural Governance at District level
Bellary Zilla Panchayat
Koppal Zilla Panchayat
• Rural Governance at Taluk level
Hospet Taluk Panchayat
Gangawati Taluk Panchayat
• Local Government
Nagar Panchayat - Kamlapura
Gram Panchayat - Hampi , Bukkasagara , Nagenahalli, Anegondi, Mallapura
Other concerned State
and Central Government
Departments on Telecommunication, Energy/ Alternative energy,
Commerce, Housing and Transportation
Non-governmental organisations
• INTACH, Karnataka Chapter
• The Kishkinda Trust
• Temple Trusts, Mathas and
Peethas, such as Virupaksha
Temple Trust
Other relevant government departments and agencies
• Govt. of India
Ministry of Civil aviation
National Highway Authority
National Railway Authority
South Indian Authority
Airport Authority of India
• Govt. of Karnataka
Dept of Education & Health
Dept of Mining
Dept of Environment
Karnataka State Road and Transport Development Corporation
Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation
• Others
Citizen’s Right group, Hampi
ASTRA, IISC, Bangalore
Corporate sector partnership
with public sector agencies
Banks and other private financial
Cultural Organisation in the
Other Mathas and Peethas in and
around Hampi
The opinion and decisions of the
local people (59,941 Census 2001)
are voiced by 2 heads - District
Collector of Koppal and Bellary.
Source: Hampi Integrated Management Plan, 7th Volume, Final Draft
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 142
Out of 22 (Twenty two) agencies with different priorities, only 2
(Two) voices the concerns and demands of the people from their
respective jurisdictions, i.e., the life and livelihood of 59,941 people from 29 (Twenty nine) villages, depends on two individuals,
the District Collectors of respective Districts. Constitutionally, Indian governance practices decentralised process of decision-making; therefore, the heads of the nagar (town) and gram (village)
Panchayat are entrusted to present the District Collectors with requirements of the people within respective jurisdiction. Cultural Resources of India and Its people
Although a detailed discussion remains beyond the scope of this
paper, in order to bring in greater clarity to the aforementioned
qualities of a local, it becomes indispensible to discuss the complex
nature of Indian cultural resources and how human being relate to
the same. Heritage of India has been borne out of a complex process over a considerable length of time, under the hands of many.
Known as the land of cultural diversities, there remains a certain
degree of commonality sublimely enforced by geography that serves as a canvas for culture.
Topographically, India can be described as a landmass, where
varied physical features remain enmeshed, forming a coherent
geographic entity and greatly influenced man`s unique perception
of geography, which differed vastly from a ‘physical’ description
of the landmass through mountains, hills, river, plateaus, plains
or forest, extant today. This formed the backdrop that influenced the traditional Indian perception of geography, where physical
features were perceived through ascribed values and association
- a fact that leant into shaping philosophy, religion, culture and
the relation between man and his landscape. The traditional understanding of landscape also reflected in the manner in which
communities engaged both actively and passively with the same
since time immemorial. Through this process, different types of
settlements, both religious and secular, dotted the sub-continent.
The paper ‘The Indian Cultural Landscape and its Protection &
Management through Cultural & Historic Urban Landscape Concepts - Prof. Nalini Thakur’ (Thakur N. , 2010) outlines Kshetras (
a sacred expanse (Baidyanath, 1975) , for example Padmakshetra
of Puri, state of Orissa), (Shakti) Peethas ( Sites where the parts of
the body of Sati was consecrated (Sengupta), like Ujjain, Maihar in Madhya Pradesh), Bhoomis ((Thakur P. N., 2001) Vraja or
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 143
Mathura Vrindavan, the Birth place of Lord Krishna, expanding
over Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi), and Cultural Regions
like those of Rajputana and Marwar evident as the Princely States
of Rajasthan as some of the distinct types of Indian traditional
landscapes that can be identified.
What needs to be specifically pointed out is that, irrespective of
the nature and function of the aforementioned types of habitation
patterns, there remained two important similarities, firstly, the extremes or boundaries were fluid and were based on a cultural or
associative understanding of the natural landscape and its features. Secondly, every settlement developed a unique context-specific interaction of traditional communities with their geography
manifesting in formulation of a traditional management structure
that voiced itself through the evolved lifestyle, customs, belief and
faith system, socio-cultural structure, traditions and knowledge
systems2, thus their identity. Over generations, the traditional systems have developed and evolved and have been impacted by the
changing social, political, economic, cultural and other aspects.
Figure 3: Interaction of Human and landscape
Source: Illustration by author
The Word knowledge system is as defined by Prof. N. Thakur in her presentation – Hoslistic Framework for Integrated Conservation and Heritage Management, (
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 144
Example – 1: Interaction of Communities with their Geography –
a case of Bishnupur3
The town of Bishnupur lies to the south of the River Dwarkeshwar
Basin in the eastern part of the Bankura district, West Bengal, India and is a land of terracotta temples, craftmanship and artefacts,
baluchari saris, conch shell craft, dasha avatar cards and Dhrupad
Gharana or school of music. Borrowing heavily from natural resources, this town became one of the most prominent urbanised
centre of the medieval era, after the fall of Gaur as the capital of
Vanga and shows the evidence of a unique relation forged by man
with nature creating a society and culture that shaped its landscape, based on religion.
The Dwarkeshwar river valley was marked by thick sal forested, numerous depressions and water bodies and a home to tribal
activities, Bagdis (Fishermen tribe) being one of them. Under the
chieftainship of Adi Malla in 694A.D. this tribe shifted their capital from Pradyumnapur to Dwarkeshwar valley, south of which
was an orthodox Brahmanical Hindu hamlet of Bishnupur. The
hollow laterite soil, with slightly raised central highland, surrounded by thick sal forest and a bounty of water bodies was seen as
a strategic site, Jagat Malla a chieftain, established Bishnupur as a
capital in 994 A.D.
A shift in religious practice together with the political instability of medieval Bengal demanded a shift in administrative strategy. This reflected in the evolution of a management mechanism
stemming from a deep understanding of the then prevalent ecological and socio-cultural condition. Under the rule of Bir Hambir
(1565–1620 A.D.) a secure defense system, within the thick Sal
forest land, in combination with a series of 7 bandhs (water bodies created by tapping the hollow laterite soil) formed a protective
moat for the entire town. The citadel, located on a highland, was
also surrounded by a natural depression, acting as a moat. The interconnected bandh and the moats remained filled with rainwater
and excess rainwater following the natural gradient, was channelized into the river Dwarkeshwar. Water bodies and forested land,
inhabited by wild animals, especially poisonous snakes, created
an impenetrable barrier for attackers. Religion, that is Vasishnavism, also played a critical role in protecting the defense system.
The case study of Bishnupur was taken up during Masters Degree Course
(School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi) for a 2nd Semester Studio,
conducted under Prof. N. Thakur.
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 145
With the elements of nature, that is water, groves, temples of terracotta, the Kings recreated Vrindavan, the birth place of Lord
Krishna symbolically. This together with the tribal worships of
nature, whereby, trees, animals were considered holy, provided
protection, hence safeguarding the landscape automatically. Moreover, Ghatchakki system was introduced for management and
maintenance of the water bodies. Water bodies in general were
community owned and were designated for a variety of purposes
as drinking, pisciculture, house hold needs, over and above defence, depending on their geographic positions.
Patronisation of Vaishnavism and adopting its philosophy of
thought introduced a series of changes to a society that was dominated by orthodox practices of Bramhanical Hinduism. The
change in the nature of worship, demanded priests to be invited
to perform the temple rights and rituals and to support a living,
resources such as land and water grants were made by the King.
A temple became a symbolic centre for not just religion but for resource protection and management. A series of trade formed pivoting around temple activity – to supply food, which was re-circulated as prasadam to the devotees, a group of cultivators (or Chasha) were engaged. To supply clothing for the temple and patrons,
weavers (or Tantis) who wove the famous Baluchari sarees were
invited to settle in Bishnupur. The Dasha Avatara card game, which
was a played in veneration of Lord Vishnu was yet another artistic
novelties associated with Bishnupur. These were some of the many
artisanal practices evolved in the town, and were dedicated to the
temple. Reflecting upon each occupation, classes of people were
derived, which were only stringent, to maintain the larger system.
Understanding Humans from Land
Based on the discussions before, people, as an individual or a group, by the virtue of the nature of association with a location, the
symbiotic relation established and the response towards the landscape, develop an identity for perpetuity. This cultural identity has
evolved since time immemorial, becomes and forms an integral
part of the value system of any site irrespective of its nature. It
must also be mentioned here that, it is in the Indian ethos, that
man is perceived not as an isolated entity, but as a part of a greater
whole (Banerjee 2006).
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 146
Figure 4: Interaction of the 3 cosmos
Source: Illustration by author
To elaborate the aforementioned, traditionally, there are 3 cosmos
– a macro, a meso and a micro. The Macrocosm is the celestial
world, where the gods reside. The Mesocosm is the landscape, for
example, the Indian subcontinent or Bharatavarsha, marked by a
variety of natural features, like mountains, forests, rivers, etc. And
on this platform exists the microcosm and communities, while existing as a part of the same, communicate with the macrocosm,
through the mesocosm (Rana 2000) (Refer to: Figure 3: Interaction of the 3 cosmos). To simplify, sites where nature assumes unique forms, like northward bend of a river (eg. Hampi, Karnataka),
lofty snow-capped peaks (eg. Mount Kailash, Tibet), lush forests
(eg. Chitrakoot, Madhya Pradesh), confluence of river (eg. Prayag
or Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh) are few examples of areas considered
sacred by traditional communities and areas to achieve communion with god through acts such as pilgrimage. The point remains,
that culturally, human beings were never perceived in isolation but
as an integral part of his surrounds, with which he interacts. Therefore, it can summed up to say, that in the light of Indian heritage,
defining people as local, should stem from a cultural understanding, rather than an administrative one, where identity remains
arrested within limited legal documents.
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 147
Figure 5: A Local based on Culture
Locals, are the people whose –
• identity remains intricately woven with the site and its components,
• culture is shaped by the interaction with the context
• existence is impacted by any alteration of the context
• geopolitical location or physical remoteness from a site can be
negated when compared to the nature of response and interaction
shared with their context
A Cultural Identity is created over a length of time through engaging with respective context and is beyond the rigidity of official
Source: Illustration by author
3. Defining a Local: An Indian scenario
Figure 6: Understanding a local
Source: Illustration by author
Now, the question remains – who are the locals? Are they synonymous to stakeholders? If they are stakeholders too, then why is it
essential to identify them and re-instate and safeguard their rights
as different from a stakeholder?
To define ‘who are the locals’, especially pertaining to the Indian sub-continent, it is important to understand the word ‘local’
through the lens of associations and values and its departure from
the modern official meaning. This difference answers why it is important to perceive a local as different from a stakeholder and
protect the former`s interest. Moreover, it becomes a tool to ensure
safeguarding the gamut of values of our heritage, irrespective of its
status as World Heritage List.
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 148
Locals4, in the light of this paper, are the people whose identity
remains intricately woven with the site and its components, whose
culture is shaped by the interaction with the context and whose existence is impacted by any alteration of the relation shared
between them with the respective site or to the site itself. Their
geopolitical location or physical remoteness from the site can be
negated when compared to the response and interaction with a
context that becomes of importance. It must also be mentioned
here, that to define a local, as perceived in this paper, an official
document or a well accepted identity proof like a passport or a
voter`s identity card hold but little significance, when compared
to the cultural identity created over a length of time through engaging with an area.
Pilgrims – a special case
Pilgrims can be mentioned, as a special group, whose interaction
with the landscape is through the timeless act visitation or pilgrimage. Specific communities, who are remote to a sacred location,
visit the same, on a designated period of the time, travel along a
specific route, conducting a premeditated set of activities, since
time immemorial. Pilgrims can be understood as remote locals,
or a group, whose engagement and relation with a landscape is
intricate and complex and is governed by religion. The interaction of the pilgrims and the in-situ residents is interesting, where
institutions of varying scale, with assigned groups or classes of people who were allotted duties to facilitate the needs of the pilgrims
emerged. Ashramas, mathas and other monastic institutes that had
once been established by benevolent patrons, dot sacred cities like
The concept of local in the light of the Indian Constitution and Law is jurisdiction based and not on a person. In the eyes of the Constitution and the Law all
men are deemed equal, sharing equal rights. However, the closest to defining a
people is through the description of a citizen or a national.
Citizenship at the commencement of the Constitution.-At the commencement of this Constitution, every person who has his domicile in the territory of
India and (a) who was born in the territory of India; or
(b) either of whose parents was born in the territory of India; or
(c) who has been ordinarily resident in the territory of India for not less than five
years immediately preceding such commencement, shall be a citizen of India.
The Citizenship Act’ 1955, Amended in 2005, however defines a person as – ‘a
person does not include any company or association or body of individuals,
whether incorporated or not’ (Clause 2 (f)) and is perhaps the closest to how the
percieves its people. (
In the Oxford Dictionary, a local (person or thing in particular) – an inhabitant
of a particular area or neighbourhood (Oxford Dictionaries)
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 149
Benaras (Uttar Pradesh), Puri (Orissa), Kedarnath (Uttaranchal),
and many more and bear the testimony of such a system of management. The Satra system of Majuli, a river island on the Brahmaputra River in Assam, India (potential World Heritage Site), shows
the evidence of a well structured traditional management system,
that is based on Vaishnavism (ASI, 2004).
4. The Point of Conflict
The modern Indian system of administration and governance borrows greatly from the former Colonial (British) one (A.S.I., 2006),
devised almost over 200 years ago, with a physical not a cultural
understanding of the sub-continent. The focus of the Colonials lay
in maximising profit from lands parcels and easy governance, for
which they devised a number of systematic measures. Of these that
devised for revenue collection proved to be of great consequence
with respect to cultural resources. In order to accrue benefits from
land was conveniently divided along prominent natural features,
when the same was commodified. A convenient system of governance was designed, that ensured an hierarchical flow of profit
easily to the Raj (Gadgil & Ramachandra, 2000).
Such rigid systems practiced over two centuries were retained
with minor modifications, and today, the political map of India
clearly shows that its administrative organisation, i.e., into states, districts, taluks, panchayats (gram and nagar) and wards has
evolved from the same. Today, people`s identity, in the eyes of the
government lies with respect to their geopolitical location, i.e., the
house number, adjacent street, ward, area and then the district, of
a certain state, the person belongs. Census surveys became the new
tool to group people based on quantitative grounds, like number
per households, occupation, nature of property etc. This superimposition of this synthetic identity, discarded the possibility of the
fact that any individual or a group has a sense of belonging, a
response to the area, from which stems his identity. With the passage of time, it also resulted in gradual isolation of people from
their landscape, culture and the roles performed by them in their
Example – 2 : Pampakshetra in Hampi
Within the World Heritage Site of Hampi, is a Chakra Tirtha
(where the River Tungabhadra takes a northward turn) and is a
Tirthasthan (site for pilgrimage) venerated by Hindus world over
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 150
and spreads across two administrative divisions, i.e. Koppal and
Bellary in the State of Karnataka. In the Hindu mythology, Pampa
(Hampe) devi, a local deity and consort of Lord Virupaksha (incarnation of Shiva), was married to the later in Hampi. The Site of
Pampa sarovar or lake (Koppal District, north of the Tungabhadra
River) and the Virupaksha Temple (Bellary District, south of the
Tungabhadra river), together with the Ratha Vidhi, the celebration
of the Kalyana utsav (marriage festival) by devotees, together present a comprehensive view of the Pampakshetra, a much venerated sacred geography. However, the line of administrative division
created prior to Indian independence is located along the banks
of river Tungabhadra which bisect a continuous geographic setting into two unequal segments, wherein, in one – lies the Pampa
sarovar and in the other lies the Virupaksha Temple. This plant
the seed leading to fragmentation of a landscape bound by faith
through planning and implementation carried out by the administration. Being under two districts that are independent in terms
of decision-making, individually develop respective jurisdictions
through construction of access-ways, land use planning and activities in the name of human development. The ultimate result is the
complete reconfiguration of a landscape through isolation of its
different parts, resulting in loss of integrity of the site and values.
Another critical implication of the Colonial rule was the gradual shift from a participatory decentralised form of resource
management, inherent within the Indian culture to a centralised
disposition (Jacob, 2008). That is, with the advent of the British
Administrative system, the pattern of ownership, changed drastically - from community-owned to administration-owned. Natural
resources, to which humans were bound to in many ways, were
now owned by the British, causing a rift between people and their
resources. This rift continued over generations and resulted in
gradual cessation of the traditional practice of resource management, at large, as people were disallowed to actively engage with
the landscape, and as a result became passive to the mainstream.
The communities, who retained the practices, were reduced to a
minority, whose knowledge and understanding of the environment remained largely unacknowledged for modern application and
was often at cross-purposed with official rules and regulations, as
these follow the contiguous nature of the landscape, not limited
to geopolitical boundaries. As a result, the ‘local’, as defined before, were distanced from their context by systematic imposition of
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 151
rules and regulations, which were neither based on understanding
the resource or context or people belonging to it.
Today, in the administrator’s vocabulary, there is practically
little or no difference between a local and a stakeholder, beyond
that based on proximity. Rather, the terms are almost co-terminus,
where a local is one of the parties in a larger group called stakeholder. The latter is classified as – primary, secondary and tertiary,
depending on the ‘stake’ or how a decision, irrespective of its nature or validity, alters the status of a group.
Process of decision-making
Any decision taken by the governance, especially those affecting
‘public assets’, under the Indian democratic system, is required to
be through a consensus building process. By the virtue of the same,
the ‘public’ who in the purview of the government, is the stakeholder, is required to voice opposition, if any, through a certain official format, against or pro a decision, when the same is notified.
When a hearing is organised, people, as individuals or as groups
are required to voice their concerns and the same is considered for
revision of a decision. This system in principle leaves ample scope
for individuals or groups to voice concerns, rectify or stall a decision, where intervention in much needed. However the prerequisite
to run such a system, or such a process of decision-making, is education and not awareness among the respondent. The ground reality being, that the number of respondents to make an informeddecision being few in many cases, the vociferous groups, who have
a certain position or power, leverage the decision to their favour
without much effort. These groups are transient by nature and
seek opportunities in any situations, at any location, where their
demands or interests remain unquestioned and fulfilled. Therefore,
in order avoid such undue distortion in the process of effective
decision-making, it becomes a foremost duty for the government
to identify and empower the actual locals, for whom the site is a
repository of values, whose engagement with the site is a source
of identity and the traditional knowledge system that has evolved
over generations of practice, be recognised by the mainstream and
continued for posterity.
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 152
5. What happens in nominated Sites
In Sites with heritage resources, differentiating interest groups
from stakeholders (as per the administrative understanding) is of
extreme consequence, whether enlisted as World Heritage or not.
Ethically, heritage is a common property, whereby, every man has
a stake. Therefore, an interest group, whose, focus is commercial
through tourism, hospitality, transportation, small scale and household industry business, have equal right in demanding his right.
Thus, interest groups, whether in the form of a tourist, a donor, a
tourism operator or a corporate house or a research groups approaches belonging to a global, national or regional arena, have
an equal right, but affect a Site in varying manners and intensity.
Some of the commonest impacts have been acculturation and loss
of local values, restructuring of economic balance with sudden increase in commercial activity like hospitality facilities, recreation
and shopping facilities etc, and in the process initiating sudden and
unplanned development in the form of infrastructure and transport facility, construction works, increase in water consumption,
waste generation and many more. In all the dynamics, the locals
of the site, who are generally not as organised, become a minority
group, losing their rights to a more powerful organised establishment or sector, for example tourism. Therefore, it becomes extremely critical to plan and monitor the nature of interaction between
interest groups with a cultural property and herein lays the role of
the government.
In case of it being an inscribed property, the complexity increases, it being under a global scanner, and being a focus by groups
with myriad interest and responses. In a condition where the definition of a local is under debate, the difficulty in managing a cultural property, especially, those as complex as Hampi in Karnataka,
Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh and Champaner in Gujarat where
heritage is more than just monuments, having living resources, like
traditional communities with their customs and activities, associations and belief systems and most importantly a stable societal
structure that has evolved over generations, drawing deeply from
nature. Their geopolitical distribution does not follow the order of
modern administrative boundaries, but rather a metaphysical one,
following an understanding of the land. This fact poses a great
challenge in delineating a boundary that ensures both – safeguarding all values and ease of management. It must be mentioned here
that in order to nominate a property any State Party is required to
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 153
demarcate such limits of the property so that its gamut of values,
its aspects of authenticity and integrity are truly represented
’Article 99 - The delineation of boundaries is an essential requirement in the
establishment of effective protection of nominated properties. Boundaries
should be drawn to ensure the full expression of the outstanding universal
value and the integrity and/or authenticity of the property.’
Therefore, the maintenance of the integrity of a property could
require large scale reconfiguration of administrative boundaries of
the sub-continent, so that they be in consonance with the cultural
understanding of geography. Following this, the synchronization
of concerned organisations and foremost, a strong local organisation, preferably within the government, which acts as a single-window interface to regulate all actions and interests, would be
a logical action. And, in order to initiate such an attempt towards
value-based management of heritage sites, the identification of
‘locals’ in their true light would be indispensible, as it is through
them that a landscape can be rediscovered.
Figure 7: Cultural and Official Identity – the point of Conflict
Source: Illustration by author
Example 3 – Defining Boundaries – Case of Hampi World Heritage Site
The case of the World Heritage Site of Hampi is most apt to explain the challenges faced and the importance of, redefining boundaries so as to protect the interest of both heritage and locals. Like
Hampi, there are many more historic landscapes though not an
inscribed property, experience the same problem – fragmentation
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 154
of its integrity affecting complete comprehension of the site, resulting in the loss of values. Being an inscribed property, having a
strong body of research and being under pressures at several levels,
a value-based reconfiguration of boundaries (both core and buffer)
was made possible for the case of Hampi.
Hampi, as an important archaeological site was realised since
the 1880`s. The British Administrators identified an expanse on
the south bank of the Tungabhadra River in the Koppal District to
have ruins of the medieval capital city of Vijayanagara Kingdom.
Over a period of almost a 100 years excavation, structural repairs,
laying of new roads and carriage ways, dismantling of structures
were carried out to conserve the site. However, it was not realised,
that the site of Hampi was spread not only on the northern bank
of the river, i.e. in the Bellary district, but much beyond - till the
Sandur Hill, which acted as the outer most defence barriers. What
also remained outside realisation was the fact that Hampi, was a
Chakratirtha, and a part of the great Ramayana landscape, where
the Vijayanagara Kings established their capital, realising the strategic position and religious significance. In 1904, the British introduced the Ancient Monuments and Sites Remains Act (Amended
in 1958 and 2010) and this became the tool to protect a Capital
City, with systems devised drawing deeply from the natural landscape, from the perspective of Monuments.
The potential of Hampi, to be inscribed in the World Heritage
Site was realised and it became one of the 3 National Projects in
late 1970`s, spear headed by the State Department of Archaeology
and Museum, Government of Karnataka. The Vijaynagara Research Project was initiated and this became an important source of
information on Hampi. Although the research and the series of
excavation showed that the site was more than a Group of Monuments, the State Party (India) submitted nominated Hampi in
1982, as so, because the official system was monument-centric, as
under the Archaeological Survey of India. In 1983, ICOMOS, the
Advisory Body to UNESCO, stated that –
‘“…the proposed Cultural Property be inscribed on the World Heritage List,
on the condition that there be an extension of the area of protection to the
whole of archaeological site…[ICOMOS] would suggest that a new definition of the cultural property of Hampi, which would take into account the
whole of the natural and archaeological resources of the site and not just
several isolated monuments, should be formulated in view of being able to
justify its inscription on the World Heritage List based on Criteria I, III and
IV.” (source:
pdf, pp. 1-2)’
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 155
Although the nomenclature and description for the site remained
unchanged, this compelled the State Party to redefine the limits
of the property based on the contiguous nature of archaeological
resources and natural setting, thus justifying the statement of Outstanding Universal Values. This Site, which expanded over two
districts, Koppal and Bellary, (Karnataka) was inscribed in the
World Heritage List (Cultural Property) in 1986.
Heritage management, in India, retains the Colonial monument-centric perception, which also reflects in its legislature. The
Ancient Monument and Sites Remains Act of 1904, (Amended in
1958 and 2010), the principle tool for heritage protection and management for the country reflects this limitation. Management of
Hampi as a ‘Site’, required a co-ordinated action of agencies in the
government (Refer to Figure 1: Stakeholders in Hampi World Heritage Site) not just those responsible for Koppal or Bellary alone,
but also between the two districts. Such co-ordination of action
was a new practice altogether, resulting in differential understanding of responsibilities and as a result, endangering the Site (in
The process of formation of the Integrated Management Plan for
Hampi World Heritage Site, under the vision of Prof. N. Thakur,
which though initiated as a compliance measure, devised a System effective for value-based Site management within the Indian
framework. Maintaining the priorities as heritage, planning and
human development, followed by commerce-lead development (in
that order), the Integrated Management Plan has recommended a
management framework that lays specific actions for co-ordinated
administration of Hampi, thereby safeguarding its values.
The implementation of the Plan had started in 2005, and the
path has been challenging, as it requires all mandated agencies5 to
perceive the World Heritage Site in a new light, beyond administrative limitations. Though slow, progress has been made towards
enabling value-based Site Management. A site-specific agency (the
Hampi World Heritage Area Management Authority) been established under the Hampi World Heritage Area Management Authority Act- 2002 and a Joint Heritage Management Program, for
uniform informed management has been initiated, however much
more is left to do.
Refer to Figure 01: Stakeholders in Hampi World Heritage Site
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 156
6. Cultural Landscape – a tool to identify and reinstate rights of a
With the aim of safeguarding Indian historic landscapes, there is
a need to develop a comprehensive method, which is context and
resource specific, so that our cultural resources can be managed
without restricting human development and progress. There needs
to be a structured approach, which realises and responds to complex cultural resources as evident in India. Operationalising such
an approach, would require the city managers to work in a co-ordinated manner and maintain respective priority as heritage management, followed by human development and lastly, commerce
based development. It would also require a long-term institutional
support so as to ensure informed decision-making towards heritage conservation, protection and management.
Developing a different perception towards management of Indian heritage is gradually gaining momentum, where individual
disciplines, in their own unique way, have developed tools and
methods to study, research and analyse the resource. Over the
years, a host of studies have been conducted by foreign and Indian scholars on the various facets of the landscape, and through
these works, disciplines have been further structured and crystallised itself. As a result, many interesting approach to study the
Indian historic landscapes has developed in the recent past. Each
has perceived the landscape through their individual niche and is
in varying stage of research and analysis. Some scholars like J.
Mc Malville, Lalit M. Gujral and Dr P.B. Singh Rana have used
archaeo-astronomy and cultural geography to understand the relationship between traditional communities and their landscape and
the manner in which Indian Sacred Landscapes have evolved over
generations of engagement. Some others, like Madhav Gadgil, Ramachandra Guha and Dr P.S. Ramakrishna have understood the
landscape through ecology, biodiversity and human geography.
While other, like Dr Baidyanath Saraswati has looked at it from a
social and anthropological point of view. In some cases, mapping
on a GIS platform has also been applied to document and study
complex sites. However, no one field of study or research has been
able to provide all answers so as to enable value based management of Indian historic sites. It is probably a combination of all
or atleast more than one discipline that is required to better comprehend the historic landscapes together with the integral relation
shared by ‘locals’ with their geography.
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 157
In the field of conservation studies, world over, Cultural Landscape, has been a new approach to look at complex heritage resources, where human being share a unique bond with their environment. This approach creates opportunity to form an interdisciplinary platform, whereby, complex resources can be studied
through varied perspectives and can transcend into developing an
effective value-based management structure within the official system. However, it must be remembered that with the gradual cessation of traditional practices by many communities, it is difficult
to piece together a complex management structure, like that in
Majuli in Assam, Bishnupur in Bankura District of West Bengal.
And as per Prof. N. Thakur (Thakur N. , 2010) the regeneration of
knowledge of Indian cultural landscapes can be achieved through
holistic and integrated approaches, so that effective systems and
frameworks that are context and resource specific, ensuring the
continuity of the cultural landscapes, can be formulated.
Figure 8: In a World Heritage Site
Source: Illustration by author
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 158
Defining a local for governance
Figure 9: Cultural Landscape - Tool to identify & reinstate rights
Source: Illustration by author
Figure 10: Arriving at a definition based on responses and values
Source: Illustration by author
Formulation of a management structure in the light of this paper
should begin with the identification of ‘locals’ and their inter-relationships with the landscape, irrespective of their geo-political
locations, ideally. This process will help bring into the forefront
the groups or locals (in the light of this paper), whether in-situ or
not, whose interest has to be considered as a-priori in the process
of decision-making, as through them, the values of a site has been
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 159
created and is continued. In the language of modern planning and
city management – perhaps, such groups can be called – the primary stakeholder.
As the next step, there is a need to identify those groups, who
were once a part of the traditional system, but over the years have
creased to practices the same. Such groups become an important
part of the knowledge base either actively or passively by supporting a host of research, therefore, having great potential to
support value-based management. In the light of this paper, such
groups can be considered under the bracket of secondary stakeholders, who share the potential to support the protection of values.
The other important group to consider in a historic site remain
as domiciles, who have, over the years have migrated into the
place for any reason and today form a part of the populace, but
remain peripheral to the traditional system in culture and ethos.
Management of such groups is a difficult process, as they may bear
very little response towards the site as their sense of belonging to
a context is purely need-based. Such transient groups can be categorised as tertiary stakeholders, who although have the power to
stop or allow the implementation of a decision, but whose judgement may not be in the best interest of the site.
Over and above the three groups is the administration and institutions6, who interact with the aforementioned three groups
through decision, policies, planning and implementation activities. Their importance is peripheral to the immediate cultural system as they are in a position of power to take decision and hence
make changes which do not affect them. Over and above this, as
city managers, power also lies with them to regulate the nature
of development and hence suitable policies that is in the best interest of a Site. India being a democracy and being decentralised
constitutionally, immense opportunity lies within the local govern
government to tailor context and resource specific policies for the
best interest of human development.
Groups with commercial interest should occupy the last rung
when stakes are being considered. Such groups, although critical
to the local, regional and national economy, may have a different
interest – it being profit. For such groups, a site is a resource for
financial investment, and likewise returns with due profit. This
becomes a dangerous relation to control as, in a country where
It must be specified here, that agencies with commercial interest is not to be
considered within the ambit of administration. Their role being very different,
they are required to be categorized likewise.
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 160
development is much in demand, it becomes convenient to accept
a short-term commerce–led one, over a long termed conservation
oriented path. This group includes any organisation, agency or
private individual, whose primary interest lies in superimposing
profit-based values over the inherent values of a cultural resource, leading to its commodification or commercialisation. As these
groups, driven by monetary power have the potential to over-ride
the interest of the mass, these require to be under constant regulation and monitoring by the administration to safeguard the interest of the real stakeholders of a Site.
It must be remembered that the aforementioned categorisation
of actors and factors into groups is aimed not at practicing exclusion but to enable informed inclusive planning through participation and to ensure effective allocation of resources. Grouping of
people can become an aid in capacity assessment of a site, where resources, especially spatial, is a constraint. This is important
in case of nominated properties, so as to control development
without opposing human growth. Such a perspective allows identification of the quantum resources such as land and water that
needs to be allocated vis-a-vis what can be allocated, for equitable
growth and development of the locals. Hence, setting a threshold
based on actual facts and figures, i.e. capacity, can be enabled, as
opposed to figures from empirical methods.
7. Conclusion
Cultural properties, irrespective of their scale, status (in the World
Heritage List), or origin, is an important part of human history
and identity. With globalisation, modernisation and changing philosophies, the manner in which humans perceive their culture and
identity has changed dynamically. This fact has impacted how humans respond to the evidences of the past, which co-exist in their
present. The very need to highlight the importance of safeguarding
people who form an integral part of the cultural system shows the
distance, modern man shared with his past. This gulf widens with
the growing pressures and demands, as more effort is required
from a larger populace to understand the importance to safeguard
our heritage. Today, India is at a stage where development is yet to
overtake the role of culture in a society or to define humans and
their lives. Therefore, before the loss heightens to a point, where culture is read only in records and documents and visualised
through simulations and graphics, this paper attempts to build a
bridge between past and present for the future.
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 161
The author thanks Ar. Adarsha Kapoor and Ar. Saparya K Varma
for helping with editing of the paper. The author also expresses
her deep gratitude to Prof. N. Thakur, working with whom had
helped her develop a new perspective towards Indian Heritage and
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A.S.I., P. N. (2006). Integrated Management Plan (Volume 7). New Delhi:
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Cohn, B. (1971). India: The Social Anthropology of a Civilization. Part of
Anthropology of Modern Society Series. (D. M. series, Ed.) New Jersey:
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2010, from http://indiacode. (n.d.). Retrieved 2010, from http://
Kale, M. (2002). The Meghaduta of Kalidasa. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidas
Oxford Dictionaries. (n.d.). Retrieved 2010, from Oxford Dictionaries
Web Site:
Rana, P. B. (2000). Ancient Cities, Sacred Skies: Cosmic Geometries and City
Planning in Ancient India’. (M. J. L.M., Ed.) New Delhi: Indira Gandhi
National Centre for Arts, Aryan Books International.
Sengupta, P. Satir Dehached Ekanna Peeth (51 Pithas). Kolkata: Mitra and
Thakur, N. (.(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.
Thakur, N. (2010, Summer). The Indian Cultural Landscape and its Protection
& Management through Cultural & Historic Urban Landscape Concepts.
Journal of Landscape Architecture (28; Summer edition).
(2008). Training Workshop on World Cultural Heritage Site Management in
India (15-18 June 2008). Hampi: Unpublished.
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 162
Breaking the Norms
A Study of a Norm System
within a World Heritage Nomination
Maj-Britt Andersson
[email protected]
Department of Art History, Uppsala university, Sweden
This paper deals with the origin and a discourse of the ongoing
World Heritage nomination of Hälsingegårdar in Sweden with a
local but distant perspective in fragile balance. It is the result of a
complex methodological approach while rising questions to the
nomination process. Who promote Hälsingegårdar? Why? What
are the expectations? Who leads and “owns” the nomination process? Who are invited to participate in the process and who are
not? How does a culture heritage nomination process and mirror
norms in the society? This study presents the results from discerning a discourse within the process. The project works with power,
gender, class, norms with perspectives and theories drawn from the
sociologists Berit Aas and Fanny Ambjörnsson as well as the ethnologist Owe Ronström concerning Visby. It is scrutinizing how the
initiative was moved from a local arena and the National Heritage
Board to the County Administration Board and the consequences
of this power shift. As Ronström has observed World Heritage sites are shaped by the urban middleclass consolidating spectacular
myths and narratives while locals are the audience to the transformation of their everyday life into a styled culture heritage. This
study of the process in Hälsingland confirms the marginalizing and
suppression of the locals in spite of UNESCO’s operational guidelines saying respectful collaboration with the locals. By studying
the process in situ the suppression techniques have been identified.
This study reveals how a middle-class management without adequate qualifications and politicians stick together to defend their
positions in a complex norm system of power, gender, class in the
culture heritage field to achieve a site on the UNESCO Heritage
List for the Board of a County Administration.
keywords: interdisciplinary study, patriarchal norm system,
power, gender, class, mechanisms
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 163
Norms and mechanisms revealed
A world heritage nomination can reveal norms and mechanisms
within a society which it is not aware of, or pretend not to be aware of. Between 2000-2010, in a period of ten years, I have studied
the still ongoing world heritage-nomination of Hälsingegårdar,
Farms and Villages in Hälsingland in the County of Gävleborg in
Sweden with a gender- class- and power perspective.
Sweden has a total of fourteen natural and cultural heritage sites
on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and one is a mixed site. It
was anticipated that the large timbered farmhouses of Hälsingland
in the north of Sweden would be listed in June 2009. ICOMOS,
however, came to another conclusion and deferred the nomination.
The nomination process has lasted for over 10 years and has
been a painstriking process involving the local communities, the
County Administration Board in the county town of Gävle and
the National Heritage Board. The local people is partly thrilled,
because they assume there is money to earn when they open their
homes for tourists; an income that for some is badly needed because of the deterioration of the buildings due to the high costs of
maintenance and renovation. But some are openly critical to the
entire enterprise, which is seen as a status project for the County Administration Board and some politicians and threat to the
landscape by disturbing the harmony between built environment,
people and the natural landscape. In a cultural heritage nomination, a complicated interaction arises between expert knowledge
and local knowledge, which generates insights that are crucial to
capture and dress in words to be able to formulate a successful
world heritage proposal and not least to make it operational.
I have studied the nomination process with focus on one person, a middle aged female academic researcher of vernacular architecture and folk art. She was born and brought up in a working
class family in a house of a local building tradition in Hälsingland,
a so called Hälsingegård, and she still lives there. This person formulated the proposal of Hälsingegårdarna in a letter to the National Heritage Board in 1999 but has not been invited to take part
in the application or lead the nominationprocess. As a native of
this part of Sweden and an academic researcher of Hälsingegårdar
she combines local knowledge and expert knowledge. A gender-,
class- and power perspective gives an answer to why she has been
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 164
A Methodological Problem
Initially she was the local initiator and a participant observer but
at the end of the period she was in the margin of the process as
an outsider and an academic expert scrutinizing the nomination.
At the beginning she had a methodological problem being too
emotionally involved like many other local people. After the conference “Hälsingegårdar. People and Mentality” arranged by the
County Administration Board of Gävle and the University College
of Gävle in 2002 , where she was working as a lecturer by then,
she was no longer invited by the County Administration Board to
conferences, meetings, books, articles etc concerning Hälsingegårdar. She became a persona non grata; she was not informed about
the application or the nomination process, the county curator and
his collaborators made fun of her, demonized and isolated her.
She found herself being regarded as invisible. She recognized this
mechanism as the power-techniques formulated by the Norwegian sociologist Berit Aas. At the conference she had experienced
some aggressive attitudes, as women often do when they present
their research with other conclusions than male experts. Further
on she succeeded in analyzing the mechanisms and her personal
role from an objective outside-perspective accepting the emotional
experiences without allowing them to influence her research. It is
painful to be invisible. She decided to take an outsider position
with recognition and respect for her emotions as an important part
and experience for her research. We are all more or less personally
involved in our research. She was more emotionally involved than
she could accept professionally and chose a strict position as an
outside observer.
A professor of Ethnology at the University College of Gotland,
Owe Ronström, has investigated the world heritage nomination
of Visby and found it all a middle class project led by the Count
Administration Board. This is also what happens in the County of
Gävleborg. The County Administration Board of Gävleborg has a
vision of Hälsingegårdar which does not correspond to the reality.
Criticism of this vision is not accepted and listened to. The County
of Gävleborg has a high degree of unemployment, a low educational level and a misogynic mentality. There is a gender-structure
which does not accept that a woman from the working class achieves a Ph D in art history and comes back home to work within
the culture heritage sector. She is “too much”, as people say. You
should be a heterosexual white young or middle aged man with a
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 165
master s degree, wife and children, according to the official image
established by the communities. Single women with a doctor’s degree are not as welcome home as less competent men with families.
Being a successful woman is a handicap rather than an advantage
in the County of Gävleborg, as in many other parts of the world
still. They are told to be “too much”. If you don’t fit in the norms
of how women are expected to live their lives it can be difficult to
live in a society in this part of Sweden. You don’t find so many people who are “too much”, artists and other highly creative persons
or hbtq-persons as they find these old fashioned norms and gender
structures limiting their lives.
Political reluctance against academics and expert knowledge led
to incompetence in many fields of the society, not least concerning
museums and culture heritage issues. These communities ruled by
a traditional heterosexual middle aged male mentality will continue to lose inhabitants to Uppsala and Stockholm. A site on the
UNESCO World Heritage List would make Hälsingegårdar and
Hälsingland famous but as Ronström (2009) has noticed in Visby
the local people is not positively involved. In Hälsingland there is a
gentrifying process going on, which will continue, with or without
a site on the UNESCO World Heritage List. A gentrifying process
does not disturb the local or regional gender structure as the newcomers are not taken seriously. So far the nomination has been
an issue for the County Administration Board of Gävle and not
involved local people from Hälsingland in a deeper sense. Most
people don’t care any more.
From Initiative to Application
The Swedish application of 2009 was compiled by the international secretary of the National Heritage Board who had many years
of experience with previous successful world heritage nominations
in Sweden. The National Heritage Board prepared the nomination
based on data from the county curator who was an architect. The
application consists of descriptions, explanations, maps, maintenance, protection and illustrations in accordance with UNESCO’s
Operational Guidelines that give detailed instructions on how to
formulate an application. It is always a loss of prestige if an application is denied. An application from Sweden had never before
received this kind of response from ICOMOS and it is appropriate
to say, in the light of the new circumstances, that the County Ad-
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 166
ministrative Board of Gävleborg is facing a delicate situation after
such a long and arduous process.
It took almost 10 years to produce an application from the time
that the National Heritage Board approved the proposal of Hälsingegårdarna. This can be compared to the contemporaneous nominations of Falun and Kopparbergslagen that were accepted in
2001. The proposal of Hälsingegårdarna as a site on the UNESCO
World Heritage List was first formulated by a native of Hälsingland in 1999 in a letter to the National Heritage Board. But before
the letter was sent, the proposal was presented to the then director
of Hälsinglands Museum and the county curator who both dismissed the proposal on indistinct grounds. The matter took a new
turn when the National Heritage Board in a letter which was also
forwarded to the County Administration Board and The Ministry
of Culture urged the proposer to further develop the argument in
collaboration with the County Administration Board in Gävleborg
(RAÄ 302-1000-1999), where she was never invited.
Fields of Tension and the Culture of Economy
The County of Gävleborg consists of the provinces Hälsingland
and Gästrikland and Gävle is the seat of the county government. There is a certain tension to be discerned between the local
population in Hälsingland including the owners of the culturally
historical farms and houses in Hälsingland called Hälsingegårdar
and the authorities in Gävle. A great deal of the local population
in Hälsingland have a historically dependent skepticism to authorities in all its different forms. In the application there is a weak
tone of tension that can be discerned if one has followed the process and has had contact with the parties concerned. The proposal from the County Administration Board has an obvious lack
of voices from the house owners despite the explicit mentioning
in the text of the importance of a close collaboration with them.
The UNESCO Operational Guidelines demand local participation.
In the proposal there is a list of the different local collaborators
which is very sympathetic. Nevertheless, it may appear that the
world heritage nomination is not only about the houses and the
places per se, but rather function as means, or a front, to achieve
a certain status and maybe get access to financial resources in the
form of EU-grants and others.
There is nothing wrong with these intentions as this is the way it
is done in the rest of the world. There are great economic interests
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 167
in world heritage, but it is important to stress that the proper order would be that the owners of the houses benefit of that money,
resources and prestige materialized in work opportunities and projects instead of going to clever cultural entrepreneurs, middle-men
and administrators who sell their vision of the place. In the worse
case scenarios, as in the County of Gävleborg, they are neither
rooted there, nor do they have deep knowledge about the place.
It might be easy to forget, that the nomination of this particular
vernacular architecture began with recognition of their international value and that these culturally historical buildings were jeopardized by lack of funding for maintenance. Neglected preservation
and maintenance have not been attended to in any large extent
with the many EU-millions that have been spent on different projects with their focus on rural development involving Hälsingegårdar. Excellent but damaged porches and portals as well as interior
design from the 18th and 19th century by local craftsmen are in
urgent need to be restored or to make a copy of.
The permanent demand from the owners of Hälsingegårdar
is financial support for maintenance and restorations in order to
facilitate and promote sustainable economic development. The
world heritage nomination is estimated to have cost 15 million
Swedish Crones (approx.1, 5 million EURO) according to the
county curator in interviews 2008. The culture economy, however,
does not seem to give preference to the farm owners’ economical
and practical possibilities to straighten ramshackle buildings, stabilize house foundations, put new roofs on the large barns and
to conserve beautifully carved porches and delicately ornamented
doors, eliminate mildews and damp damages, or, acquire adequate knowledge and education. Hälsingegårdar are in great need of
academic research as well as acute conservation and maintenance.
Resistance and Distaste
UNESCO emphasizes the importance to anchor the world heritage
discussion on the local level to avoid a von- oben approach. Nevertheless, the investigation of Hälsingegårdar was early imbued
with tensions between the local people and the County Administration Board. It is common that tension arises in the negotiations
between authorities and local people during world heritage investigations. Basically this is about who has the preferential right
of interpretation (the last saying) in combination with local economic struggle for access to resources. The Swedish process shows
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 168
similarities, but also differences to other world heritage nominations around the world (Turtinen 2006, Saltzman 2001 & 2002).
But foremost, a site must always be situated in its historical, economic, cultural and political context, which in its turn means that
every nomination process has its special characteristics and themes
influencing the outcome and profile of the nomination.
In the case of Hälsingland, the work was initially characterized by reluctance, confusion, lack of competence, social skills and
local participation, which unfortunately resulted in the rather hasty and superficial world heritage proposal. The first application by
the County Administration Board was deferred by the National
Heritage Board. The criteria for Hälsingegårdar were unclear from
the start. In the northern parts of Sweden the lack of nobility and
upper class culture has stamped the society and created a relatively weak social stratification. In the 19th century it can be read
from the narratives of the county governor that the people of
Hälsingland was more difficult to govern than the population of
Gästrikland. Such a parish mentality still seems to be present in
this part of the country. Parish mentality exists all over the world
(in Italian campanilismo) and might explain to a certain extent
the difficulties for the parties to co-operate effectively. It becomes
difficult to join forces, when everyone stubbornly sticks to his/her
own business instead of seeking compromises and co-operation
towards a common goal that would gain everyone, even the culture heritage tourist industry. But to flatter and subordinate oneself,
or brag, does not fit a person who belongs to a farm that has been
in the family since the 16th century. And they are many in Hälsingland.
Moreover, the initiator of the world heritage nomination was
a hälsing “from the people” which has certain advantages from
the perspective of UNESCO as the Operational Guidelines stress
the importance of local relations and consent. For the County Administration Board of Gävleborg the proposal, however, seems to
have come from the “wrong direction”. It came from a female academic researcher, specialized in vernacular architecture, born and
brought up in a Hälsingegård instead of a middleclass man from
Gävle or somebody from Stockholm. The proposal came from a
private person in Hälsingland and not from the county curator in
Gävle. This circumstance colored the process in its initial phase.
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 169
”Wrung out dish-cloths”
The County Administration Board of Gävleborg has since the
1990s carried out a number of projects associated with “displaying, protecting and maintaining” Hälsingegårdar, but it was first
ten years later that the world heritage topic was brought to the
fore and implemented in the projects. At the beginning of this century, the world heritage idea attracted more and more attention
and when the political elite realized that a nomination would benefit the area some voices spoke out loader than others and claimed ownership of the idea. The troops were gathered and when
the county curator was retired he remained titled a regional world
heritage expert and a close collaborator. An agronomist with no or
little academic training in cultural heritage research and cultural
studies was recruited for the position as county curator.
The proposal the National Heritage Board approved in 1999
coincided with the national interest X202 from 1974 in the parish of Forsa, municipality of Hudiksvall. The 1999 proposal was
postponed due to several reasons. Firstly, the area still lacked the
necessary prescribed laws of protection, which were due to a combination of the county’s neglect and the local politicians’ lack of
interests for the topic. Secondly, the county met with opposition
from the local people in Forsa, a parish said to have stubborn
inhabitants. After a wild “heritage meeting”, the representatives
of the County Administration Board returned to Gävle as “wrung
out dishcloths”, narrates one of the participants. This incident indicates that there was an urgent need for letting multiple voices
speak out about the process and be met with respect and trust.
At the same time we should carefully watch our steps and not
let the local knowledge be the governing voice in projects of this
magnitude. There is a tendency to glorify local knowledge and
“sneak about” because one is afraid of offending the local people.
This would be just as much a mistake as allowing the authorities
in Gävle to solely governing the process. Culture heritage experts,
politicians, administrators, culture entrepreneurs and owners of
Hälsingegårdar all contribute to the knowledge on how we best
carry out complex projects of this kind. These different, complimentary and even contradictory knowledges must be recognized,
analyzed and made operational on all levels.
Such an approach demands that each party is prepared to let
their knowledge be deconstructed and scrutinized and maybe discarded in order to enhance the quality of the nomination as a joint
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 170
effort. It also demands a transparency and distribution of information – also the unpleasant information that could upset people.
I suggest a true dialogue between the parties, which is much more
complicated and strenuous than a von-oben approach or an approach of compliancy.
A Serial Nomination
The serial nomination of 15 objects that made out the proposal
to the World Heritage Committee in 2009 was an emergency solution and a response to the problems and difficulties the County
Administration Board of Gävleborg and the National Heritage Board had encountered in their meetings with the local people. The
stated aim of the proposal was to place the architecture of these
large farms and villages on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. The
buildings should furthermore be evaluated and located in their natural context. Among the objects are: the very large private owned farms of Jon Lars and Pallars in Långhed in Alfta parish; the
museum farms Ystegårn in Hillsta in Forsa parish and Karls in
Bondarv, Järvsö – both built in an ancient foursided square form
enclosing a grassy courtyard. Villages that were nominated are
the county’s culture reserve village Västeräng in Delsbo with the
farms Ol Ers, Ersk Mickels, Schäftners and Bommens with the
neighboring villages Vi, Ås, Tomta and Mora, Fjärdsätter, Åkre
and Duvnäs. The last mentioned are known as “Delsbobygden”.
Nominated are also the village-museum of Rengsjö and the farms
of Erik Anders and Västergården in Asta, Söderala parish. Våsbo, in the parish of Ovanåkers, represents the indispensability of
summer pasture for cattle breeding. Trolldalen and Växbo mill
represent entrepreneurship with flax production as a lucrative and
complementary source of income for the farmers. The objects are
scattered in the landscape. They represent an architectural variety
and present different constellations of ownership. Each municipality is represented, which might be more a sign of equity thinking
and lobbying than aspects of preservation. Some of the proposed
world heritages sites are privately owned and run as farming and
forest enterprises. Other sites are public museums.
The selection of objects consolidates the myth about Hälsingland as a landscape inhabited by well-off farmers, rather than the
landscape that we encounter when studying the area maps and parish records of the 19th century. I suspect that this kind of discrepancy between facts and a consolidation of a mythical landscape
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 171
can be found in many of the UNESCO world heritage sites. This is
in accordance with David Lowenthal (1998) theoretical model on
how heritage relates to history. Lowenthal states that “Heritage is
known as just demonstrated, in ways utterly unlike history. Like
medieval relics, heritage is sanctioned not by proof or origins but
by present exploits” (1998, p.127).
The Myth of Hälsingland consolidated
Consequently, the nomination that was prepared and finalized by
the National Heritage Board and the County Administrative Board
of Gävleborg in 2009 mirrors a wishful official image based on a
corresponding selection of research results on the farms from different disciplines. In its Executive summary and the Justification for
Inscription the nomination states that nowhere in the world there
are as many well-off farmers who have built such great houses in
order to manifest their social position in the agricultural society.
The preference of building large is in line with a nowadays antiquated article by Fredric Bedoire & Lis Hogdal (1983) republished
in 2000 as an offprint financed by the County Administrative Board of Gävleborg and used as a scientific background text for the
proposal. The argument that the farmers in Hälsingland have built
large to mark their social position leads to a false conclusion in so
far as also landless in Hälsingland have built bigger than peasants
in the south of Sweden. Furthermore, the farmers in Hälsingland
were in the highest degree actively involved with the industrialization, that according to the arguments of Bedoire and Hogdal they
were hesitant to. The entrepreneurship of the farmers, as already
mentioned, played a crucial role in the accumulation of wealth to
the farmsteads. To a certain extent the wealth was also spread to
the landless population because as employees on the farms they
were involved in the production of linen and other industrial enterprises.
A more functional explanation to their preferences of building
large houses (even for the cattle) can be found when looking at
the practical circumstances of every day life in Hälsingland. Lumber of great length from the forests have been available for rich
and poor alike to be used for house building in Hälsingland at all
times. The houses of the landless as well as a wealthy farmstead
could have an elegantly carved porch and imposing interior decorations styled by skilful local craftsmen, most of them landless. For
a person from Hälsingland the large buildings is the normal state
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 172
of building, but people unfamiliar with this architecture problems
the size of the farms. Building large, hence, was a tradition and
a norm in Hälsingland among both the well-off farmers and the
landless. By ignoring the relatively weak social stratification in the
north of Sweden one misses the point of connecting the right for
all to build large with the modern Swedish well-fare equality model. The very Swedish preference for a red wooden house of one’s
own might have its historical explanation in this early non-formulated but existing equality ideology (Harnesk 1990).
The Swedish well-fare state has largely been based on a landless
working class with its roots in the 19th century rural society. In
Hälsingland the landless were in majority during this century. The
landless owned their houses located on the outskirts of the villages on the fringe of the forest or on other rugged land. They were
called “utanvidsfolk”, “outsiders”, but nevertheless they were integrated in the society, in its value grounds, norm-systems, codes,
aesthetics and economy through their work as craftsmen, maids,
farmhands, day workers, soldiers and as “help women” who were
hired for cleaning, baking, textile handicraft and other duties. In
Hälsingland there are buildings of the landless and small farms
that have earned a place in the nomination. In the proposal the homesteads of the landless population are treated as if they were the
outcast of society (only large wealthy farms are nominated) but in
reality they were a strong element in the socio-economic and aesthetic landscape of Hälsingland. Thereby the nomination misses
recent research and a focal point in the concept of Hälsingegårdar.
Interior Design Art defused
The painters and carpenters are found among the landless, who
were in majority in the countryside of Hälsingland during the
19th century when most of the large farm houses of today were
constructed. They have created the high quality entrance porches,
portals, doors and an exceptional interior design art of outstanding international class and quality born and generated within the
a preindustrial rural society or at the fringe of industrialization.
These excellent carpenters and painters have been noticed by the
art historians Lars Stackell and Manne Hofrén and myself, but
this research has not been emphasized in the proposal to the world
heritage list. The illustrations in the application are surprisingly
thin considering that Hälsingland is famous for its colourful high
quality folk art. Surprisingly, more effort has been put on the in-
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 173
serting of empty quotes that simply confirms the buildings uniqueness and grandeur. I find that the proposal would have gained
by inserting illustrations of e.g. a richly carved door from Forsa,
an elegant porch from Ljusdal or Färila, a furniture typical for
the Alfta master carpenter Olof Brunk, and flower-paintings by
the tenement soldier Anders Ädel and the peasant painter Jonas
Hertman trained by a town painter – often apprised as work by
fraternity artisans from the town, but in reality produced by the
local craftsmen (Andersson 2000).
The County Administration Board of Gävleborg leans firstly on
the myth of Hälsingland as an ideal landscape of well-to-do farmers (storbönder) and secondly on its special interest in the wealthy vernacular architecture of the area. The proposal mirrors to
a large degree these special interests, which can readily be seen
from multiple and irrelevant drawings of frames for windows and
doors. Moreover, the interiors with wallpaper get an unreasonably
large space although they are not specific for the vernacular architecture of Hälsingland, but are present in different social spaces in
Sweden and many other countries.
Special Interests and Glorification
The proposal would have gained on an in-depth critical close-up
examination. It has little connection to the more recent culture
heritage research findings and to the necessary broadening of the
analysis to gender, power and class perspectives. The comparative
outreaches are unsatisfactory due to the lack of comparative material from the magnificent vernacular architecture found in the
world, for example, at the Black Sea in Turkey, in Romania, Austria, Switzerland.
The connection to academic research is weak and consequently new and highly relevant texts and insights have not been effectively communicated. This would have lifted and profiled the
grandeur of Hälsingegårdar and toned down other less important
aspects presented in the proposal. Unfortunately, the proposal is
an example of the lacking of research competent staff at many of
Sweden’s county administrative boards and The National Heritage
Board and thereby creates a space where knowledge is based on
personal interests and arbitrariness rather than on scientific systematic knowledge. There are several factual errors in the proposal
text, for example, that an artistically unskillful family from Dalecarlia who earned their living as painters in Rengsjö during the
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 174
19th century had a great impact on the interior design in Hälsingland. On the other hand the high quality interior design of Jonas
Hertman originating from the 18th century has not been communicated in a satisfactory manner although he was a native of the
area where he successfully established himself as an artist.
The Operational Guidelines demand that the applicants prove
the uniqueness of the proposed objects. In the case of this proposal, the words have literally been overused (e.g. on page 5 these
words are to be found 6 times), which have the counter effect on
the reader, as these key words are not well-founded in the text.
As already mentioned, ICOMOS came to the conclusion that the
uniqueness and authenticity were not proven in the proposal of
Hälsingegårdar from the County of Administration Board in Gävle in 2009. In accordance with the demands of the Operational
Guidelines an almost indefinite number of investments, preservation plans and protection of the historic buildings in Hälsingland
have to be realized and reinforced if the nomination would have
been accepted.
The proposal anticipated that the countryside must be prepared
for a sharp increase in culture tourism and the University College of Gävle should introduce new courses on Hälsingegårdar and
vernacular architecture. A new information centre is also planned.
Again, these proposed plans are not in harmony with the reduction of the Hälsinglands Museum in Hudiksvall that in the last
ten years has been degraded from a professional culture-historical
museum to an amateur museum lacking personal and financial resources. Hälsinglands Museum is the natural node around which
the world heritage nomination would revolve by functioning as
a knowledge bank and information centre and with museum pedagogic educational activities. The County Administration Board
has not strengthened the position of this museum as a visitor’s
venue. With my inside perspective, I fear that the many promises
in the nomination will never be realized, at least not on the soil of
Finally, the cover sheet shows a winter picture of Norrgården
in Flatmo, Forsa parish. It has the tight dignity that characterizes
Hälsingegårdar. It stands above it all as if it contemplates over the
business and intrigues of world heritage nominations. Norrgården
lives up to the saying of UNESCO; “ It is important to underline a
fundamental principle of UNESCO, to the effect that the cultural
heritage of each is the cultural heritage of all”.
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 175
Breaking Norms
By inviting an academic researcher of vernacular architecture who
also is a native of Hälsingland to the nomination process the application had been compiled within 2 years, which is normal, instead
of 12 and at a cost of far less than approximately 20 millions
crowns, 2 millions euro, which have been spent by now. There had
been less tension between the authorities and the local people with
a key person knowing mentality, norms, values, codes in Hälsingland. The County Administration Board of Gävleborg did not take
the chance to challenge the gender- class- and power structures by
inviting a female native of Hälsingland academically specialized
in vernacular architecture and folk art to the nomination process.
That was “too much”.
Instead she took the chance to do a case study about the norms
within a UNESCO world heritage nomination led by the County Administration of Gävleborg and the National Heritage Board
in Sweden. Her results are in line with those of professor Ronström in Visby. They present that the world heritage nomination
of Hälsingegårdar mirrors a traditional Swedish gender-, class-,
and power structure in favor of urban middle class men. In culture heritage nominations generally there seem to be an underlying
discourse of conserving norm systems instead of scrutinizing them
and break norms as we try to do in many other fields in our modern societies today. Gender-, class- , and power structures within
culture heritage nominations do need more research. They do need
to be conserved on the UNESCO World Heritage List rather than
working in the culture heritage field of a modern society. On a list
of their own.
Aas, B. (2004). The Five Master Suppression Techniques. Stockholm: The
European Outlook.
Andersson, M-B. (2000). Allmogemålaren Anders Ädel, Stockholm: Prisma.
Bedoire, F & Hogdal, L. (2000). Storbönder. Gårdar och befolkning i Voxnans
dalgång. Stockholm: Byggförlaget.
Harnesk, B. (1990). Legofolk. Drängar, pigor och bönder i 1700- och
1800-talens Sverige. Umeå: Acta universitatis Umensis.
Lowenthal, D. (1998). The Heritage Crusade and the spoils of history.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Länsstyrelsen Gävleborg. (2006). World Heritage Convention, Swedish
Nomination 2007, Farms and Villages in Hälsingland. Gävle. Gävleborg
County Administration Board:
Ronström, O. (2008). Kulturarvspolitik. Visby. Från sliten småstad till
medeltidsikon. Stockholm: Carlssons.
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 176
Saltzman, K. (2001). Inget landskap är en ö: Dialektik och praktik i öländska
landskap. Stockholm: Nordic Academic Press.
Saltzman, K. Konsten att förankra ett världsarv: maktens anspråk och
människors samspråk i södra Ölands odlingslandskap. Kulturmiljövård
Turtinen, J. (2006). Världsarvets villkor. Intressen, förhandlingar och bruk i
internationell politik, Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis.
Unpublished Material
ICOMOS: Document No 1282. May/June 2009.
Riksantikvarieämbetet (RAÄ), Förslag att nominera Hälsingegårdar till
Världsarvslistan 302-1000-1999
chapter 4 local and glocal perspectives on world heritage 177
World Heritage
and Craftmanship
Archaeological Heritage Management
in the World Heritage:
A Preventive Archaeology Proposal
Alicia Castillo Mena
Ph.D. Postdoctoral Researcher avd Lecturer
[email protected]
Universidad Complutense de Madrid. España
A research line between management of archaeological properties
and World Heritage (WH) sites in European and Latin-American
is presented in this paper with special interest in the Spanish case,
as it is the second country with the most WH sites inscribed (41).
The study is based upon Archaeological Heritage, which can be
found in all types of WH properties, even in the cases in which the
sites have been included in the List without “archaeological references”. In this way, managing World Heritage sites must include
adequate measures for all kinds of cultural properties belonging
to the site, even if they are not cited in official documentation of
UNESCO nominations.
Analyzing the UNESCO and Advisor bodies’ reports, as well as
bibliography and direct documents of some WH Sites, it can observed that there are a lot situations where Archeological Heritage
is not considered or it is only valued as a scientific part of historical
studies of the site. However, there are no programs, nor specific
or adequate projects dealing with this archaeological category of
Heritage (its conservation or diffusion).
Consequently, a model of Preventive Archeology is proposed to
improve Archaeological Heritage Management in these WH sites.
Several examples of activities to put in practice and to achieve greater diffusion are presented in this paper.
keywords: Archaeological properties, World Heritage, treatment, regulations, protection and diffusion.
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 179
1. Introduction
A research team, with members from the Universidad Politécnica
de Madrid, University of Brighton and other Spanish Culture administrations (Castilla la Mancha and Madrid) decided to work in
WH from an archaeological point of view four years ago. As the
responsible researcher for this investigation line, part of the conclusions and results of the research work performed until today1
will be presented here. Firstly, the need for these studies and the
origin of the work is going to be explained.
1.1. World Heritage and its management.
In our opinion, WH must be exemplary not only for the universal
or for authenticity of its values, but also because its management
must be carried out better than that of other properties. If WH has
the same value in the entire world, the measures for its treatment
should also be the same, or at least, should have the same good
results for conservation and protection than other cultural properties.
More research needs to be developed, specifically in an intermediate scale, where there seems to be a lack of specific studies
dealing globally with World Heritage management. There are a lot
of local and practical presentations about WH management (i.e,
some publications about specific sites edited by Unesco). There are
general observations and statistics on world heritage showing the
imbalanced situations concerning the number of inscription in several aspects (regional, historical periods, kind of heritage, etc. i.e.,
statistics or several public information and report made by Unesco
World Heritage Center). As it is well known, this was stated by
UNESCO when presenting the global strategy in 2004. But today’s
reality is that these skewed representations of WH continue. We
do not have enough scientific-technical studies to know well what
the real effects of WH inscriptions concerning cultural heritage
management are in multiples matters. We are aware that probably
these studies would not sort out the management problems, but,
they could help to better understand the situation and will propo1
The main Project is called “The treatment of archaeological properties in the
World Heritage cities of the European Union & Latin America” HAR200908691). Specialists belonging to Archaeology, Architecture, Philology and Computer Science areas are working in this project funded by Spanish Ministry of
Science and Innovation. Web page:
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 180
se new ways to protect and spread our most important cultural
The opportunity to explore and contrast situations in different
socio-economic and legal contexts has also proved to be very interesting, because one can distinguish whether the issues are circumstantial or structural in archaeological heritage management, and
how this subject is extended or changed. The main goal of the research project is to know the impact and contribution of international conventions, chapters and the transversal dimension of WH.
A decision was made to focus our studies in WH for these stated
reasons, but not only because of them. As mainly a Spanish team,
we are deeply concerned with Spanish decision to transform everything into WH. Spain is the second country in the world with
more WH inscribed sites. We do not really agree with this fact, and
indeed, many other countries have cultural properties with good
values that have not been submitted yet or would ever become
WH. But certainly, today Spain has become a great laboratory to
research the effects and management of WH inscribed sites.
Finally, the international aspect of the research line implies to
study other countries in order to make a comparison among them.
The European and Latin-American contexts have a lot of points
in common with Spain and this was the main reason to focus the
study on WH properties in these areas.
1.2. About Archaeological Heritage.
This is the WH context in which this research unfolds, and it is, at
the same time Archaeological Heritage.
We understand Archaeological Heritage like a part of Cultural
Heritage. And also, we understand Cultural Heritage like a wide
and changing concept. The first cause to study it, is that we believe
that Cultural Heritage must help us understand and respect ourselves and live better. At the same time, we try to analyze the management focusing on Archaeology like a science and consequently
the case of Archeological Heritage. Of course, and nevertheless, as
members of academia and university or research centre, working
in these issues implies to work from an idealist perspective, where
it is sometimes difficult to move into the practical dimension.
But, what do we understand by Archaeological Heritage? Certainly, there is an international consensus in conventions and scientific environments that Archaeological Heritage is all Cultural
Heritage, which is studied using archaeological methodology.
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 181
However, since this methodology is useful for the vast majority
of cultural properties, it is possible to find Archeological Heritage
in all of them.
Besides, when Archaeology is defined as a science, the use of this
methodology in all the cultural properties is very useful, because
it allows to improve the historical content and consequently to
increase the values of the mentioned properties.
Therefore, the idea is not that Archaeological Heritage will be
the protagonist in all cultural properties, but that it is an added
value and it needs our attention and consideration, because it enriches and promotes Cultural Heritage in general.
2. The kind of World Heritage concerning Archaeology.
With these introductory principles, three types of WH properties
can be recognized.
First, those for which the reason of the inscription is archaeological. These are the easiest ones to identify: mainly sites like Pompeya and Herculano, Petra, Chichen-Itza, etc. All of them need Archaeology as a basic resource for their research and consequently,
it is easy to identify the archaeological values of these properties.
The second group of WH properties is that where the archaeological values are clear, although other important reasons have
motivated the WH inscription. For example, the Historic Centre
of Rome or the Archaeological Landscape of the First Coffee Plantations in the South-East of Cuba. Archaeology is one of the key
features for the inscription as WH, but not the only one.
And finally, most important for our study are the sites where the
Archaeological Heritage is not easily recognized, but it is important and exists as well. Two properties are given here as examples:
Florence. The relationship between Archaeology and Architecture is clear here, because the monumentality of a lot of buildings in Florence sometimes prevents another approach, other
perspectives, histories or overviews. However, it is important to
remember that cities are live archeological sites. One monument
has a historical context and a great part of its value is possible
thank to its archaeological context.
The second example is Ngorongoro Conservation Area (Tanzania). This is mainly a natural area, consequently Natural heritage,
but indeed, it is very difficult to find something really wild in the
nature, without a human influence. In fact, this area has one of the
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 182
most important archeological sites in the world: those referring to
our human remote past and our common origins2:
However, researching from this position, a first step would be
to know the role Archaeological Heritage plays in each property.
Of course, a key issue to progress in this research documental
revision is mandatory. Knowing official information, and learning
from other legal, administrative and technical documentation as
well about the country and the socio-economic context has become seminal to this research work, trying to deepen into some
examples throughout local information and direct field work, contacts, etc, to complete the survey.
We applied for several calls of proposals mainly in the Spanish
support context with these ideas. But not only this, we also contacted with other organizations in order to launch the research line
and today we have several ongoing projects and activities. Different specialists participate in these research actions: archaeologists, architects or engineers, philologists, tourist experts, and even
professionals who are working in the practical world of Cultural
or World Heritage management, as it needs to be a comprehensive
3. Examples of studies results
3.1. The Spanish Case
The first case analyzed in this paper is about Spanish WH properties. When all the basic and official documentation concerning
WH inscriptions are reviewed, it can be observed that only in a
few cases are there some references to Archaeology or Archaeological Heritage. In all UNESCO reports (periodical reports and
declaration files) in the case of Spanish WH properties, only in 10
out of 42, do not include archaeological researchers in the properties remarked. However, searching in other scientific information
“The Ngorongoro Conservation Area spans vast expanses of highland plains,
savanna, savanna woodlands and forests. Established in 1959 as a multiple land
use area, with wildlife coexisting with semi-nomadic Maasai pastoralists practicing traditional livestock grazing, it includes the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater,
the world’s largest caldera. The property has global importance for biodiversity
conservation due to the presence of globally threatened species, the density of
wildlife inhabiting the area, and the annual migration of wildebeest, zebra,
gazelles and other animals into the northern plains. Extensive archaeological
research has also yielded a long sequence of evidence of human evolution and
human-environment dynamics, including early hominid footprints dating back
3.6 million years” Source: World Heritage Center. UNESCO http://whc.unesco.
org/en/list/39. 2010
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 183
in contrast, that archaeological studies have been made in most of
them (Castillo 2009).
The following table shows a summary of this study. An evolution regarding archaeological issues can be seen. In fact, there is
a greater presence of Archaeology in the official documents when
these are newer. This increase in the archaeological references is
specially significant in the case of the UNESCO periodic reports
for the sites which were inscribed between 2005 and 2006.
exten- first references to archaeologision cal heritage/archeology unesco
public files.
Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín,
Burgos Cathedral
Historic Centre of
Monastery and
Site of the Escurial,
Works of Antoni
Cave of Altamira and
Paleolithic Cave Art
of Northern Spain
Monuments of Oviedo and the Kingdom
of the Asturias
Old Town of Ávila
with its Extra-Muros
Old Town of Segovia
and its Aqueduct
Santiago de Compostela (Old Town)
Garajonay National
Historic City of
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 184
Mudejar Architecture
of Aragon
Old Town of Cáceres
Cathedral, Alcázar
and Archivo de Indias
in Seville
Old City of Salamanca
Poblet Monastery
Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida
Route of Santiago de
Royal Monastery
of Santa María de
Doñana National
Historic Walled Town
of Cuenca
La Lonja de la Seda
de Valencia
Las Médulas
Palau de la Música Catalana and
Hospital de Sant Pau,
Pyrénées - Mont
Perdu *
San Millán Yuso and
Suso Monasteries
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 185
Rock Art of the Mediterranean Basin on
the Iberian Peninsula
University and
Historic Precinct of
Alcalá de Henares
Ibiza, Biodiversity and
San Cristóbal de La
Archaeological Ensemble of Tárraco
Archaeological Site
of Atapuerca
Catalan Romanesque
Churches of the Vall
de Boí
Palmeral of Elche
Roman Walls of Lugo
Aranjuez Cultural
Renaissance Monumental Ensembles of
Úbeda and Baeza
Vizcaya Bridge
Teide National Park
Tower of Hercules
Figure 1.Resource: World Heritage Center. Self-made.
3.2. The case of the cities
Probably this is our most ambitious project and we have been
involved in it trying to deepen in the problem of archaeological
urban heritage (see footnote 1) since 2008 with the support of
the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. We selected an
important geographical and political area to be researched: WH
cities from European Union and Hispano-America.
These are the main objectives of the project:
1. To study the state of the art and diffusion done on archaeological works in WH cities in Europe and Latin America. Special attention is payed to their considerations within the inscriptions,
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 186
the restorations carried out in Architectural Heritage and the
physical presentation of the properties.
2. To develop new strategies based on a comparative analysis of
the protection and valorization of Archaeological Heritage in
WH Cities, with a practical use for the case of Spain.
3. To spread through different means, the research results obtained with this Project with a clear diffusion purpose.
4. To generate a meeting point, form a methodological platform,
to work in the protection and valorization of urban Archaeological Heritage promoting the development of new projects in
relation to this working area and encouraging the international
multidisciplinary collaboration in Cultural Heritage management, both with research centres and with public and private
5. To use the Information Technologies Communications to digitalize all the documents generated so that it can be easily and
widely spread.
The first challenge for this research was the concept of city, which
was inscribed as WH. This a problem in two ways dealing with
physical aspects: one of them concerns the delimitation of the city
inscription, because, sometimes, important parts of the city are out
of the official declarations and these hide other important values
(not only “underground” archaeological elements or sites, even
features concerning visual landscape and the historical interpretation of urban Archaeology).
At the same time, there are some inscriptions concerning specific
buildings or elements in the city (i.e Cathedrals or bridges). These
kinds of inscriptions are more difficult to consider. As the study
focuses on heritage management, the role of organizations, administration and institutions is very important in this precise topic.
In the case of the cities, the city council is the first agent in their
management and its vision must be integrated concerning cultural
and historical values in the city, independently of the area inscribed as WH. For this reason, mainly cities have been chosen to study and analyze where the city county has an important role as the
institution “responsible” of WH. There is an important international organization joining city councils to WH: Organization of
World Heritage Cities (OWHC). Cities that were members of this
organization could be a good starting point for selecting the cities
of our research. Recent publications by UNESCO note that there
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 187
are “about” 250 cities inscribed on the WH list (2010). More than
half of all cities (134) were selected for our study, since most are
located in our areas of interest and belong to that organization.
General studies about the inscriptions and the archaeological references have been performed. Unfortunately, little has been found
about the precise archaeological topic, and results are similar to
Spanish case. When any archeological topics are included, the files of inscriptions treat only aspects like diggings, prospections or
support for restorations or general civil works. Usually the increasing number of diggings is the most underlined fact. However,
the historical dimensions, the new knowledge developed through
archaeological sites or an archeological heritage protection strategy hardly appear in the official files and the public information
belonging to UNESCO World Heritage Center.
The fact that Archeology is linked to older periods is significant,
although in recent inscriptions, it is more common that archaeological works appear linked to “stages” closer to the Medieval or
Modern period, and even to the Contemporary era.
Moreover, the use of this criterion to select cities for this research, has led us to contact the OWHC and to start a collaboration
project3 with 16 cities in the European and Mediterranean context.
A questionnaire has been drawn to be answered by professionals(mainly archeologists) belonging to several WH cities who are part
of Regional Secretariat of Southern Europe and the Mediterranean
area of Organization of World Heritage Cities. Three meetings
have been celebrated during the last two years where information
has been interchanged and discussed about the situation of Urban
Archaeology and its relation with World Heritage contexts.
Some important conclusions are that although most of the cities
had references or inventories about Archaeological Heritage, not
all have archaeologists in their staff for the WH city management
(only 10 cases) or have specific archaeological preventive measures
through planning (like protected areas or others) (12). Another
result was the imbalance concerning the number of Archaeological interventions per year in every city: ranging from 4 to 612.
There is a high disparity of situations concerning these aspects and
others, such as the rate between population and construction activities and the number or interventions, the quality of the implemented measures, etc.
The project is called “Archaeological Heritages and World Heritage Cities in the
OWHC (2009- 2010)” and was supported by Regional Secretariat of Southern
Europe and Mediterranean area which is located in Córdoba (Spain).
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 188
Anyway, results of these surveys performed, show a very complex scope for comparative studies, with references to Archaeology and its management in several ways, but without clear and
proportional measures in most cases. The reasons for these imbalance situations are many too. For example, the historical role of
Archeology in the city or the review of the town planning in the
last years can be decisive for an adequate management.
areas reserved
Angra do Heroismo
In progress
In progress
In progress
Alcalá de Henares
Figure 2. Some results of the studies in the cities concerning Preventive
Archaeology actions. January 2010. Resource: Part of surveys responses by
technical staff of the council participating in the project of the OWHC (see
footnote 3). There are some cities without very important archaeological
preventive measures. Self-Made.
Finally, it is important to discuss the case of Latin America and
compare it to the European context. There are two clear differences:
One of them concerns the own geographical area and history.
It is important to observe how the Pre-Columbian past of many
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 189
cities is less important in the context of WH inscription. There are
124 WH properties in this area and 46 are cities. Most of these cities have a pre-Columbian origin, but, in the WH files, this aspect
is rarely underlined or is rarely included as the main reason for the
Probably the reason is the prominence of spectacular archaeology (Mayas, Incas, pyramids, etc.) and this determines the absence
of pre-Columbian reference in the other inscriptions. Of course,
we think part of this global imbalance in the treatment of these
sites responds to UNESCO’s global strategy and the idea that Western past is “truly” important.
The second aspect concerns the diffusion of urban Archaeology
and “rescues” Archaeology in general like a science that is more
difficult to know in these countries. It is less developed there than
in the European context, but it is starting to appear more frequently, as “Arqueología Histórica” for the urban case. Other reason
for not identifying archaeological studies in the cities is sometimes that these are included with other names or in articles/texts
about architectural works (i.e., restorations). It can even be seen
in the legal context. For example, in Mexico, Archaeology is not
“well regulated”, as Archaeology or archaeological zones are only
pre-colonial past sites. Other countries are starting to change their
legislation in this way and rename other kinds of Archaeology and
consequently, another Archaeological Heritage. This is the case of
Colombia, which has collective measures and rules that consider
Preventive Archaeology (ICAHN 2010: 1.4). However, in general,
normative and regulations concerning this issue are very young
(from 2008 on) 4 and only time will allow us to evaluate it.
3.3. Some conclusions
For the time being, we can observe some common conclusions
from the different studies carried out:
In spite of archaeological studies having been extended to all
types of WH properties in the analyzed area, especially in the
Colombia published the Law about Culture in 1997, but it was partially modified in 2008 (Ley 1185 de 2008 »Por la cual se modifica y adiciona la Ley
397 de 1997 - Ley General de Cultura - y se dictan otras disposiciones«). This
modification is specially interesting for the case of Archaeological Heritage (art.
3 in the revised legislation and 6 in the 2008 Law), because in the 1997 Law it
is considered only for “pre-Colombine” properties. Nevertheless, in the 2008
Law, Archaeological Heritage is considered for any period where archaeological
methodology can be applied.
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 190
last years, there are a few particular strategies on the treatment
of Archaeological Heritage in the sites, and the majority of interventions and their results are still unknown. Probably, this is so
because Archaeology is mainly understood as an excavation, not
as a historical science to know better the whole property, not the
specific cases of intervention.
Besides, these archaeological excavations are very linked to
construction works and sometimes this kind of Archaeology must
be avoided. It is important to remember that digging is destroying
the Cultural Heritage. And, unfortunately, a lot of times the strategy towards Archaeological Heritage is more a legal imperative
than the real consideration or valuation of the archaeological remains.
Consequently there is not a real strategy towards Archaeological Heritage management in World Heritage.
4. A proposal from Preventive Archaeology
These surveys carried out corroborate a general problem that Archaeology has today. Trying to improve the situation of archaeological properties we believe the work should be accomplish through
Preventive Archaeology.
Preventive Archaeology comprises a series of activities aimed
at discovering and protecting Archaeological Heritage before any
type of incident may affect it. In cases when this is impossible, the
aim will be to reduce the impact as much as possible, preventing
that the elements are excavated or destroyed. (Martínez y Castillo,
The reason to focus our researches in protecting Archaeological
Heritage is that a great deal of it is being lost every day, and consequently, Cultural Heritage is lost and future historical and social
tangible and intangible values too.
Four actions at least, are necessary to put into practice in this
matter (Querol 2010: 216-219):
• To know well the archaeological heritage in the considered property, with previous studies and prospections.
• To manage this information before any plan or strategy could
affect it and to establish preventive measures: to preserve zones
(only for spreading, conservation and archaeological reserves)
and caution areas (with previous studies in the case of ground
“movements” or destructive physical changes)).
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 191
• To correct in the first stages of construction works, the affection
of Archaeological Heritage which can destroy it.
• To avoid destructive archaeological interventions (excavations).
The aim is to preserve the site for future studies, public presentation and a long-term reservation.
And, of course, one of the main reasons for going so is to diffuse
or spread the more unknown Archaeological Heritage, because it
is the most common of this kind of Cultural heritage and, at the
same time, society does not appreciate it as it deserves to be appreciated.
For all of this, we think management plans are a good opportunity to launch this proposal in the context of WH, because
UNESCO is demanding more and more this treatment tool for the
countries with inscribed sites. Some of these properties have this
kind of plan or use urban plans to justify their way of acting, but
we observe that the flexibility and trans-disciplinary proposal are
not present in these tools.
In the case of Archaeological Heritage, promoting these strategies where the Archaeology must have a significant role and is in
agreement with other interests and social values is a basic need.
For this reason, we have developed presentations and publications
in not only academic or scientific contexts, but also collaborating
with other organizations to show the importance of our theoretical proposals and comparative studies. For example, in the project
of the OWHC, we have participated in a Workshop about management plan (November, 2010) and we have published a document concerning Archaeology in the cities that participated in
the project.
Other good example was the “First International Conference on
Best Practises in World Heritage: Archaeology” celebrated in April
2012 (Castillo Ed.)5 We selected several topics that we considered
key ones in order to achieve a good Archaeological Heritage management in WH (Social action, ITC, Architecture, Land planning,
Preventive Archaeology, Education and diffusion).
We think it is another way to reach our objectives concerning
diffusion and promotion of “unknown” Archaeological Heritage.
Some papers and conferences of this event will be published by Springers ed.,
with the support of International Scientific Committee of Archaeological Heri­
tage Management (ICOMOS). The Conferences was supported by Insular Government of Menorca (Spain) and Spanish Ministry of Industry, Tourism and
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 192
Figure 3. Cover and a page of the brochure about WH cities and Archaeology.
This was made partially edited in four languages (English, French, Portuguese
and Spanish) Resource: OWHC. Regional Secretariat of Southern Europe and
We hope this event will be a success and it will make an impact on
promoting studies and new measures about archaeological management.
Definitively, Preventive Archaeology and its practice is one of
the challenges for the following years in the context of WH. We try
to contribute to it and this paper fulfils this purpose.
Bozóky-Ernyey. K Ed. (2007). European Preventive Archaeology. Papers of the
EPAC meeting 2004, Vilnius. National Office of Cultural Heritage, Hungary.
Council of Europe, Directorate of Culture and Cultural and Natural
Castillo Mena, A.
- (2009). El tratamiento de los bienes arqueológicos en el Patrimonio
Mundial de España/ Treatment of archaeological properties belonging to the
Spanish World Heritage. Journal of Patrimonio Cultural de España,2, pp:
192-215. Spanish Ministry of Culture.
- Ed. (2012). Actas del Primer Congreso Internacional de Buenas Prácticas en
Patrimonio Mundial: Arqueología. Mahón, Menorca, Islas Baleares, España
9-13 de abril de 2012/Proceedings of the First International Conference on
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 193
Best Practices in World Heritage: Archaeology. Mahon, Minorca, Balearic
Islands, Spain 9-13 April 2012. Madrid. Editora Complutense. 1076 pp.
Cleere H.F.
- ed. (1984). Approaches to the archaeological heritage. New directions in
Archaeology. Ed: Cambridge University.
- ed. (1989). Archaeological Heritage Management in the Modern World.
One World Archaeology. Ed: Unwin Hyman.
Instituto Colombiano de Antropología e Historia (ICAHN) (2010) Esquema
para la promoción de la investigación y gestión del patrimonio arqueológico
en las regiones de Colombia. Report by General Direction, Scientific Subdirection. República de Colombia.
Querol, M.A. (2010) Manual de gestión del Patrimonio Cultural. Ed. Akal
Spanish Ministry of Culture (2009). El Patrimonio Mundial en España, una
visión Crítica. Patrimonio Cultural de España, 2 (with English version).
Published in paper and retrieved from:
Martínez Díaz, B. y Castillo Mena, A. (2007) Preventive Archaeology in Spain
in Bozóky-Ernyey. K (ed).: pp. 187-208.
Council of Europe (1992, revised). Convention for the Protection of the
Archaeological Heritage of Europe. Valleta.
ICOMOS (1990) Charter for the Protection and Management of Archaeological
- World Heritage Centre:
- (2010) Managing Historic Cities, World Heritage Series n°27
- (2008, last version) Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the
World Heritage Convention. WHC. 05/02. Intergovernmental Committee to
protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage. World Heritage Center.
- (1972) Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and
Natural Heritage.
Willems W. and Van Den Dries, M. (2007) Quality management in
Archaeology. Oxbow Books. England.
*Seminar or Courses made by team of the WH Cities Project (see footnote 1):
Querol, M.A. and Castillo, A. (dir.)
- Patrimonio Arqueológico y Patrimonio Mundial en España. Encuentro de
verano de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid. 7-9 de Julio de 2010. El
Escorial. Madrid
- (i.p) Seminario Internacional Complutense. La gestión de las Ciudades
Patrimonio Mundial: desde el Urbanismo hasta la Arqueología. 21y 22 de
Abril de 2008. Facultad de Geografía e Historia. Universidad Complutense
de Madrid. Serie TAPA. Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas.
Villanueva, De, L. y Mora, S. (dir.) (2009) Arquitectura y Arqueología en las
Ciudades Patrimonio Mundial. 21 y 22 de abril de 2009. Escuela Técnica
Superior de Arquitectura. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. Conferences
retrieved from Youtube:
Debate 1:
OWHC Project
Debate 2
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 194
The Construction of Craftmanship
through Built Heritage Dialogues
at World Heritage Sites
Jorun M. Stenøien
Professor Ph.D.
[email protected]
Department for Adult Learning and Counselling
Faculty of Social Sciences and Technology Management
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Marit Rismark
Professor Ph.D
[email protected]
Department for Adult Learning and Counselling
Faculty of Social Sciences and Technology Management
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
World Heritage Sites strive to ensure the quality of the built heritage. One of the main contentions in this article is that the heritage craftsperson is of fundamental importance in the efforts to
maintain World Heritage. He or she is a connecting link between
the tangible (building) and intangible (crafts practice) heritage.
Activities at the sites involve experts from various disciplines and
approaches. When serious questions on how to manage and preserve the World Heritage are raised, various branches of antiquarian expertise on architecture, conservation and bureaucrats have
their say when intervention is negotiated and decided upon. The
empirical findings in this article stem from an international Leonardo de Vinci project that intended to honour the craftsperson
and craftsmanship by developing knowledge that could contribute
to recognition of their work. During the project, the World Heritage Town/Cities of Røros, Tallinn and Vilnius were arenas for
three craftsmanship workshops. The workshops were targeted for
craftspersons of different nationalities, education backgrounds
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 195
and job situations. We describe and discuss the craftspersons’ participation in the World Heritage dialogues and the dialogic aspects
of built heritage craftsmanship as this is expressed through knowledge exchange and collaboration, through action related requirements at the site and through the different stages when craftspersons in different sites enter the preservation scene. The craftspersons’ considerations about the interplay between modern and traditional tools, materials and work methods at different stages of
preservation, as well as the uniqueness of each object, may enrich
the built heritage dialogue. Questions related to whose interests
are voiced in these decisions, and how these considerations are reflected in the restoration practices may be raised as it is the choices
in tool and practice that literary marks the tangible heritage.
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 196
1. Introduction
Røros, Vilnius and Tallinn are three European towns on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Like other World Heritage Sites, they
strive to reinforce the quality of the built heritage. Activities at
the sites involve experts from various disciplines and approaches.
When serious questions arise as to how to manage and preserve
a World Heritage Site, various kinds of antiquarian expertise on
architecture, conservation, and so on, and bureaucrats have their
say. In this article we address a group that has seldom been addressed, even in the Charters (Eggen et. al. 2006), the broad heritage
craftsperson. It may at first seem a little odd to ask for an opinion
from the craftsperson’s perspective. They are, after all, the doers
dealing with local on-site practicalities. The interest in craftsmanship competences seems, however, to be increasing at all levels. In
the Official Norwegian Report on the cultural heritage it is argued
“Craftsmen and their competence are together with owners crucial for how cultural monuments and environments are maintained, restored and upheld. … A variety of competences is necessary
to maintain our various cultural heritages.” (NOU 2002:1, p. 114)
However, there is a general problem in that competence in traditional crafts is disappearing due to low recruitment, even though
traditional building and constructing practices need to be re-established. In other words, the sustainability of both the intangible
and tangible heritage is at stake. When the work centres on the
maintenance of buildings, this calls for a broad range of knowledge, competence and skills. Judgments involve how to go about
the work, with what kind of tools and in which ways, and to what
purpose. A general assessment is that the contemporary artisan
education does not fully provide for the development of such competences:
“Artisan education does not provide sufficient knowledge and
methodology to perform satisfactory work on existing buildings.
Even though rough estimates show that between 50 and 60 per
cent of all construction work is maintenance, rehabilitation and
reconstruction, education in the building and construction industry is largely focused on new construction. And craftsmanship
teaching is often given low priority,” (NOU 2002:1, p. 115).
Within vocational education, craftsmanship training is focused
on and serves the modern building industry. The standards and
control within this sector provide detailed regulations for all parts
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 197
of a building. For example, there are standards for all details in
the building and for special rooms, such as bathrooms. With these
thorough regulations it follows that it is sufficient to look into the
standards and thus know what the inside of a building looks like.
In accordance with the regulations, a range of certified craftsmen
carry out specialised work within a building site. There is cohesion and matching between the building regulations and the craftsmanship competence and qualifications in this sector.
The standards for the modern building industry cannot be
transferred as standards or methods for buildings and craftsmanship when restoring and preserving old houses. According to Sjur
Mehlum (2005), from the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural
Heritage, this is a suitable system for new buildings, but not for
old buildings and restoration. There is, however, no qualification
system that separates modern and old buildings so that building
experts from the modern building industry may very well also be
responsible for work on old buildings without having any experience of such work. To explain why this is not necessarily a suitable solution for the built heritage, Mehlum pointed out that: “In
the built heritage one finds the solution in the house or building,
not in the regulations” (ibid.). In other words, the building must
have a say, and the standards governing how to approach the maintenance tasks are to be found in the building itself. This requires
a special kind of craftsmanship experience and expertise that is not
easy to acquire.
Following this perspective, craftspersons who work in the midst
of the heritage scene are in a key position. The craftsperson can
be regarded as a connecting link between the tangible (building)
and intangible (crafts practice) heritage. The craftsperson then has
a very important role in managing knowledge and material at the
World Heritage Site. The craftsperson will always be the one, based on his or her competence, to put his or her marks on the house.
Local craftsmanship is influenced by various discourses and dialogues of contemporary and historical interest on the local, national and global scale. Caring for the built heritage involves bringing
together different perspectives, interests and standards of a local,
national and global nature. The various interests may involve different standards and regulations, such as the International Council
on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), regulations and modern national standards for buildings, bureaucratic procedures and heritage expertise, local owners, traditions and so on. In this context,
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 198
preservation practices at heritage sites may be understood as part
of on-going dialogues. These continuous (changing) dialogues
evolve over time and provide direction and meaning to practices.
The dialogues comprise a knowledge base and performance base
for heritage craftspersons in their daily work.
Taking our point of departure from the local level of the built
heritage dialogue, we will discuss how craftsmanship and competence development is performed at built heritage sites. We will also
look at how and when craftsmen are invited into the restoration
work in progress.
2. The Celebration of Crafts Project
The empirical findings in this article stem from an international
Leonardo de Vinci pilot project (2003 – 2005/2006) that aimed
to honour the built heritage craftsperson and craftsmanship by
developing knowledge that could contribute to the recognition of
this work (Eggen et al., 2006).
The project owner was the local authority of the town of Røros,
in addition to eight partners from Greece, Italy, Estonia, Lithuania, Finland and Norway who collaborated throughout the project period. The partners were educators from vocational schools,
architects, heritage administrations and researchers. Included in
the project were also critical friends from such institutions as ICOMOS, and most important of all, craftspersons with experience
from working on the built heritage.
The Celebration of Crafts Project (CoC) reflects the common
understanding of the growing importance of the restoration of
historical monuments. Teaching institutions are attempting to satisfy the needs this situation creates and the World Heritage Site
managers are asking for better tools to deal with this wide ranging challenge. Self-employed craftspersons and those employed by
companies and organisations operating in the heritage field are
professionally interested in and genuinely motivated to increase
the quality of craftsmanship. However, the lack of quality control
effects the professional development of craftspersons. An information folder developed by the CoC Project states that “…craftsmanship has a world-wide tradition – learning systems and knowledge which are transmitted hand-to-hand through generations.
Alone, no teaching institution can cover all aspects of this vast
field of architectural heritage and crafts education” (Celebration
of Crafts). These circumstances provide a strong motive for study-
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 199
ing craftsmanship, both as practice and as workplace learning (See
e.g. Billett, 2006, Lave, 1997, Lave & Wenger, 1991, Säljö, 2001).
During the CoC project period the heritage towns and cities of
Røros, Tallinn and Vilnius were arenas for three craftsmanship
workshops. The three workshops were targeted for craftspersons
of different nationalities, education backgrounds and job situations, the latter being the various heritage objects or contexts proposed by each organising partner. For the Røros workshop, the
craftspersons worked on wooden houses included in the Uthus
Project (Outbuildings Project). The workshop at Tallinn involved a conventional intervention on a church tower. The Vilnius
workshop collaborated on timber houses.
The Røros and the Tallinn workshops serve as the empirical
base for this article, with the Røros workshop and the Uthus Project as the main source of information. The Uthus Project at the
World Heritage Site of Røros plays an important role as the backdrop for developing the ideas that are forwarded to the Leonardo
da Vinci Project. The Uthus Project was the main starting point for
the CoC Project and the place from where many of the craftspersons had their built heritage experience.
The article is based on analyses presented in papers and reports
from the CoC Project (Rismark & Stenøien, 2004, 2005a, b, 2007,
Stenøien, 2010).
The Uthus Project – The Røros Experience
The evaluation of Røros as a World Heritage Site, undertaken
by ICOMOS in 1993, paved the way for the Uthus Project. Since
1980 Røros had been included on UNESCO’s World Cultural and
Natural Heritage List.
The groundwork for the project was laid in 1994 and 1995,
and it became a comprehensive preservation programme for close
to 400 outbuildings (barns, stables, tool-sheds, wood-sheds) that
comprise part of the farm complexes in the town. From 1995 to
2003, 150 outbuildings were preserved. In the spring of 2004,
about 25 outbuildings were in the process of being preserved, and
about 25 self-employed heritage craftspersons were working in the
project. A new ICOMOS evaluation of Røros provided a list of
11 critical remarks on how Røros was mismanaging the World
Heritage responsibility. However, the same report was positive to
the Uthus Project and recommended that it should be made permanent and that it should be expanded to cover the district called
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 200
“Småsetran” outside the city centre (Hovland, 2004). According
to a newspaper article on March 4 2011, the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage has found the competence-raising in traditional built heritage craftsmanship taking place in the project to
be so interesting and important that they have decided to continue
supporting it. One plan is to make Røros a centre for traditional
craftsmanship (Tønset, 2011).
This project has been carried out in a way that has pleased various authorities. The Uthus Project is managed and for a large
part funded by the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage.
Røros local authority has been delegated responsibility for carrying out the project and together with the house owners provides
the rest of the funding. A reference group decides the basic principles for the on-going work. One requirement is that the experience
gained through the project must be shared with others working
in similar areas, in particular those repairing historically valuable
buildings and collections of buildings. The Uthus Project also focuses on documentation of the entire process through such themes
as: organisation and leadership, delivery of materials, training of
craftspersons, relation to the house owners, management’s participation, degree of documentation, the relationship to international
guidelines for protection and so on.
Already from the start-up this project was based on ideas of
repair work that are very different from standards in the modern
building industry, which could become an example for others. The
first conservation officer at Røros, Fredrik Prøsch (2004), hoped
that experiences from the Uthus Project could also serve as an example for the main buildings at Røros, and as a counterpoint for
what he felt was a brutal modernisation, perhaps slowing down
and even reversing the trend.
Background documents stipulate that the various actors involved in the project are required to work together (Uthusprosjekt,
1999). This involves bringing together different perspectives, interests and standards of a local, national and global nature. The
fact that Røros is valued as a heritage site makes the unique experience of documentation and knowledge development in the Uthus
Project an important key to understanding the interplay between
cooperation, knowledge and learning processes in general. These
different perspectives and interests comprise part of the platform
for the craftspersons in their daily work. They are faced with the
challenge of satisfying and combining the preservation requirements.
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 201
3. Knowledge and Collaboration in Craftsmanship
within the Built Heritage
We see the heritage site as a unique and complex learning environment. In general, when discussing learning through work, subjective ascription and the social negotiation of meaning of the changing technical-organisational environments are essential (Jorgensen
& Warring, 2000). Negotiating meaning naturally brings built
heritage dialogues into attention. Through different dialogues, the
heritage craftspersons play a role in knowledge construction processes. The concept of dialogue goes far beyond people talking together. According to Bakthin (1986), dialogue refers to dialogicality as a part of human language and thought (Wertsch, 1991). We
apply the dialogue concept in a wide perspective, seeing all human
action as dialogic in nature. Human consciousness and even existence itself may be considered dialogic. Our analysis is based on
the craftspersons’ descriptions of their actions and involvements as
dialogic partners in the joint efforts to strive for quality in maintenance at the heritage sites.
According to Richard Sennet, craftsmanship is “… the skill
of making things well” (Sennet, 2009, p. 8). There should be no
doubt that the World Heritage work needs and deserves competent craftspersons. But the traditional trades and guilds from the
middle ages are long gone. Already around late 1800 these communities had lost much of their strength, and the master craftsman
became the main figure (Farr 2000). Sennet (2009) speaks of two
kinds of expert, one social and one anti-social, and at Røros, they
appear to honour the social craftsperson.
The Heritage Site Requires More than Routinized Action
At Røros, the craftspersons operate within a sociocultural context,
and they participate in processes of satisfying, adjusting to and
transforming different interests and standards into practical solutions and perspectives. This context constitutes both the working
reality and the learning frames for the craftspersons and their various backgrounds. This brought attention to how the work context
allows knowledge to be shared and developed and how the participants see the learning opportunities at the work sites.
One principal idea in the Uthus Project is that craftspersons
need a broad competence to deal with the complex challenges of
the heritage site. This is because the craftspersons here are invol-
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 202
ved in the total process of preserving a building. At the same time,
the competence needed and possessed is not documented in any
systematic way. Even though there are guidelines to follow in the
preservation work and these provide some direction for the work
processes, there are no fixed standards guiding the actions.
The craftsperson is responsible throughout the work process.
The goal of the work is to raise the outbuildings to a good enough
standard that they only require normal maintenance. Repair work
is to be carried out according to preservation principles, using traditional materials, methods and tools. According to Fitsch’s (1998)
list of levels of intervention (1) Preservation, 2) Restoration, 3)
Conservation and Consolidation, 4) Reconstitution, 5) Adaptive
Use, 6) Reconstruction, 7) Replication), the Uthus Project operates
on the lowest of these levels of intervention preservation. Nonetheless, the expectation for the heritage craftsperson at Røros is
that he or she should be able to carry out the designer’s intention,
distinguishing between the following approaches: renovation, restoration (2), reconstruction (6), replication (7) and maintenance
(Eggen et. al. 2006). Only three “levels” match Fitsch’s list (1998).
In the Quality Assurance for the Cultural Heritage Craftsmen at
Røros (Eggen, 2006), the overall principle is: “to restore
buildings with the utmost care, giving priority to the existing form
and construction as the standard for craftsmanship and strength”
(op.cit., p. 283). This is also reflected in the priorities within the
CoC Project. The CoC Project also emphasises caution, underlining the importance of looking for good answers before acting to
avoid meaningless action.
Preservation principles are to be applied within a complex restoration work process. Restoration work involves taking the whole building into consideration, at the same time the intervention
mostly implies work with bits and pieces of a building, with as little interference as possible with the heritage. This leaves the workers in a situation with few opportunities to work on a building
in its entirety. Their ability to read the houses is closely connected
to knowledge about the construction complexity of heritage buildings per se. Craftspersons reflect on the limitations of just working on special aspects. One way of overcoming such limitations
is to exploit the possibilities for knowledge flow between restoration work and the construction of new houses. This can benefit
both practices. For example, knowledge about choosing materials
is one element that may enrich the modern building process, and
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 203
turning this around, opportunities to construct new houses will
allow craftsmen to develop and maintain understandings of the
totality of the building.
The craftsperson needs to ensure that his or her intervention is
as minimal as possible, but at the same time, the moment he or
she decides to take action, it must be well thought out and take
the form of skilled practice. Bearing this in mind, it becomes clear
that restoration work requires more than routinized action, or as
Langer (1989) says, this type of challenge calls for “mindfulness”.
Part of the restoration craftsperson’s competence deals with time
and history. According to Jokilehto (1988), there are three periods
in a building’s history. First, the construction period, second the
period when it is used, and last, the period when the house is to be
valued as a heritage building. The craftsperson needs knowledge
about and must relate to all three periods. One craftsperson at
Røros puts it this way:
“When we start on a job – we go and look at the house. You
try to go back in history. Maybe 10-15 different people have been
working on the house. We can see it on a log. We can see a pattern.
We can see that good, average and bad craftsmen have worked on
the same building. Some have smooth finishing and others were
rougher. Skills were different among the craftsmen. It is interesting
for us craftspersons to see the variation in the building itself. The
trim work has been done by someone who has not done it before.
The more heads, the more ideas will be developed. The main issue
for us is that we need to talk about it. Overall, maybe 5-10 of us
talk about the problem, while in the end, one craftsperson signs
the form to confirm that the job is done. We’re not alone; we discuss things during our coffee breaks.”
When the craftsperson says “when we start on a job – we go
and look at the house”, this expresses a starting point for the work
process that activates a complex knowledge base. The craftsperson
explains how they “read” the history of the house by going back
in history. Knowledge about the three periods of construction, use
and heritage value provides part of the knowledge base for deciding how much intervention to undertake and in which ways to go
about the preservation work. This is about methods, materials and
craftspersons’ skills at the time of construction and repair.
The decision-making processes imply craftsmanship skills as
well as the ability to reflect upon action. Or as Richard Sennet
(2009) has put it, there is an intimate connection between hand
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 204
and head: “Every good craftsman conducts a dialogue between
concrete practices and thinking; this dialogue evolves into sustaining habits, and these habits establish a rhythm between problem
solving and problem finding. … (T)here is nothing mindlessly
mechanical about technique itself” (ibid, p. 8).
Using Ellström’s (2004) terms of work and learning logic, these
craftsmen have to be able to use and combine both the logic of
doing and the logic of development. The logic of doing involves
skills and knowledge needed to solve routine operations, while the
logic of development reflects tasks that cannot be solved in a routinized way. This logic calls for the ability to learn to ask questions
and to apply a critical approach to tasks. In the daily work the
craftsperson is involved in both reproductive and developmental
The dialogue is not only intra-personal; it is also inter-personal
as it reflects the dialogue between craftsmen and other actors at
the heritage scene. Moreover, the dialogue of problem solving and
problem finding is not relying on a single knowledge source. In
this decision-making process, many interests come into play. The
Directorate for Cultural Heritage will have their say, as well as the
house owners and the local authority. A craftsperson’s challenge
is to become part of such broader dialogues, to negotiate meaning
by “translating” differing interests into action and to combine different knowledge sources to form a good practice.
Entering the scene of restoration and the
heritage dialogue at different stages
Our findings show that the craftsmen enter the built heritage scene
at different stages in the preservation process. In the Tallinn workshop, we learned that when craftspersons encounter the preservation object, architects have already made a report describing the
object and proposed levels of intervention. A local craftsperson
“Yes, the architect writes down what kind of work I must do,
and I do it, yes. And sometimes he draws some pictures (to illustrate) how I must fix it, the tiles and so on.”
In the planning process the architect is a key figure among other
voices that may have a saying in the dialogue as the plans take
form. In the actual dialogue the craftsperson’s voice does not appear to be present in this initial phase of the work process. This
may actually be one feasible scenario, and for the quality of the
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 205
built heritage dialogue, issues may be raised as to what it means
if the preservation process starts without the presence of the
craftspersons’ voices.
A Norwegian craftsperson makes a comparison of features in
the Røros and Tallinn practices in this way:
“I think that including the craftsmen is a good idea, we make
the craftsperson aware of the decisions we make, and thus also
make him aware through the next stage of the process why THIS
is correct or not correct.”
It seems as if the Røros practice was distinguished by involving craftspersons in the decision-making processes, right from the
planning stage of the project, and they kept this initiative throughout the work process. This level of involvement places the Røros
craftspersons in a special position in the built heritage dialogue.
Generally, the craftsmen at Røros work in teams of two or more.
They also arrange meetings to discuss common interests and common measures. The quotation below highlights and contrasts the
difference between the Røros craftspersons’ community and the
experiences of a visiting craftsperson from Finland at the Røros
workshop. The craftsperson says:
“This is a team-work method they have here in Røros. They
work effectively. Here, I can join the team – not only as a helper,
but as a partner. In Finland, I work differently. There I work alone
in a corner.”
Entering the heritage scene at an early stage allows the craftspersons to participate both in the planning phase and the intervention
phase of the work process. By doing it in this way, craftsmanship practice develops throughout the intervention process. In our
work we were able to trace various features of the collaboration
and the value it had for the work process. The craftspersons point
out that collaboration entails practical gain in the sense that when
two persons work together, heavy but straightforward work tasks
are made easier. This is also time saving and efficient. When it comes to more “complex and demanding” work operations, collaboration is still found to be an asset that enhances work quality. The
craftspersons understand their work situation as one of problem
solving, and according to that process, collaboration strengthens
“It can be good to have someone to discuss solutions with. It’s
always good to have several points of view before you make up
your mind what to do. If only one person is deciding, and that
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 206
person knows one way of doing things, then that’s the way it gets
done, and you don’t see anything else.”
One person working alone will stick to and depend on his or her
own skills and knowledge, and in this sense become an anti-social expert. The involvement of several people and approaches in
problem-solving processes may ensure better quality of the work
in that the final solution may combine elements from various approaches. In this way the social expert is honoured. It is evident
that collaboration at the workplace is regarded as both efficient
and time saving. Nonetheless, the workers also talk about collaboration as time consuming, as it takes time to have problem-solving discussions. Therefore, it is not as clear if collaboration has
a potential to improve the financial situation by reducing costs.
However, there is no doubt among the informants that collaboration in problem solving enhances the quality of the work. This illustrates an understanding that reflects a “best practice” approach
based on a multitude of knowledge sources. This also means that
the single self-sufficient anti-social expert does not play a prominent role in this work context.
Knowledge exchange may be encouraged when craftsmen enter
the restoration scene at an early stage. Knowledge exchange may
represent a potential both for learning how to perform routine
skills and for acquiring more creative and developmental learning.
In our view, this involves learning logic, the logic of the trade as
well as the logic of the enterprises. One main approach is to bring
multiple voices into the dialogue. This brings ambiguity into attention and questioning follows as a core strategy in deciding the
levels of intervention. Substantiating and arguing in favour of a
line of action and defending a rejection of a solution is regarded as
core competence in this particular built heritage arena.
In our two examples of craftsmanship practices in Norway and
Estonia, the participants considered the ways of performing the
work to be quite similar. As described above, the craftspersons had
different starting points. The scene was defined to varying degrees
by others by the time they entered the restoration scene. As such,
the craftspersons may have different levels of familiarity with the
project when they start their work. Hence, the craftspersons may
experience varying degrees of otherness and ‘our-own-ness’ in the
actual intervention plans.
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 207
Extending the World Heritage Dialogue
The informants find that preservation work requires more than
routinized action. The nature of their work demands a continuous
flow of existing and new knowledge. The work situation requires knowledge and reflexive action. Such action implies access to
explicit knowledge about the task, where causal connections are
crucial to understanding the origin of the problem and to guiding
subsequent action (Ellström, 2004, Ellström & Kock, 2009).
The participants understand the working environment as a
knowledge sharing community. From the data, it is possible to
trace a number of knowledge and learning assets. All craftspersons
see individual competence as too limited to fulfil the tasks and
they value different sources of knowledge coming from external
sources. Knowledge and learning situations unfold in the newcomer-old-timer relationship and through contact with external
work communities.
A person working close to the project characterises the spirit of
sharing in the following way:
“What one learns won’t just be left with that one person, right?
Because when they switch with each other, they have those things
they work most together on, but OK, they meet and they talk together, and then the information is shared quickly but it appears
they like what they’re doing. Not only for the money, and then it’s
like when they meet they start talking…”
This reflects a motivation and dedication to the job and a willingness and need to share. The focus is not on performing work
only for production or personal gain. This is about commitment to
their job. Even though the work relations are stable, the craftspersons also alternate from time to time, giving a broad range of situations for knowledge exchange. The regular partner is in this respect the basis, but from time to time partners are changed, and this
is seen as another source of knowledge exchange. The informant
above points out that information easily spreads within the work
community as their dedication to the work leads to discussions as
soon as people get together.
Collaboration clearly enhances different learning paths for the
craftspersons. The newcomer-old-timer relationship is one key element in competence building. The quality of this relationship is
crucial for the outcome of learning.
At the Røros workshop it was made clear that the newcomer
needs to understand such things as what function a mortise has. It
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 208
is not enough to tell how to do the job or just demonstrate or show
the other person how to go about the work. Connections have to
be explained and the craftsperson has to reflect on why things are
done in in this particular way. If the craftsperson simply learns
how to copy the damaged part, this is not sufficient as the “why”
question in fact places the detail worked on into a larger picture.
In this way the craftsperson can learn how to “feel” what makes
a good mortise.
The more experienced person took the role of guiding and supporting the other person to a better result. But the old-timers do
not look at newcomers as being solely inexperienced and thus not
able to add positively to the work process. The second opinion
of the newcomer was seen as an asset that leads to better ways of
performing the work. The basic attitude is to complement each
other to attain the best result possible. The aim of the craftsperson
training is not to train the newcomer so he or she can just copy
the experienced craftsperson. The skills and knowledge called for
at the heritage site exceed the picture of the inexperienced person
who copies the more skilled craftsperson. The restoration job is
to be done in a dynamic environment with no one single best way
of approaching the job. Accordingly, mutuality in the sense that
participants also value more inexperienced workers’ knowledge
is the kind of reciprocity that enhances the logic of development.
At the same time, the craftspersons also introduce the idea that
external traditions and knowledge are important, as they raise
their own skills. Travelling to new places and working with other
craftsmen in other communities and other kinds of heritage buildings is important for developing the local practice:
“From the craftsman’s point of view this is a good thing. Then
you see other ways of notching wood together and other dialects
of building. ... Other types, they put the roof beams differently,
or slant them differently ... This you see much more if you go somewhere else, and many of the houses here at Røros, or some at
least, have been moved here from where they were made.”
In this way, travelling provides a knowledge base that helps the
craftspersons to read the houses in more accurate ways, and provides a potential to develop one’s own practice. New insights from
several other approaches create a platform for developing and improving knowledge about the local area. In this way, knowledge
sharing among craftsmen, training of newcomers and travelling
activities are essential sources for extending the heritage dialogue.
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 209
4. Translations and considerations in craftsmanship
Up to this point we have described and discussed various dialogues
the craftsmen take part in at the heritage site. The knowledge sharing dialogues evolved around knowledge flow in the restoration
process. Our findings show that deciding intervention may or may
not involve multi-voiced actions and thus illustrate that craftsmen
have differing degrees of access to the restoration processes at built
heritage sites. This means that dialogues, as performed and facilitated, are vital for the reinforcement of the tangible as well as
the intangible heritage. Following these features of the heritage
dialogue, the ways of transforming knowledge and deciding intervention come into attention.
During the craftsmanship workshops it became evident that
craftsmanship competences were situated within each built heritage site. What the craftsmen participating at the Tallinn workshop
pointed out was that in some respects the craftspersons at the heritage sites had different ways of performing the work. These were
considerations about use of tools and materials, differing practices
regarding surface finishing and issues regarding documentation
Considerations about practices revolved around questions about
use of traditional versus modern tools and old versus new materials. Moreover, solutions to dilemmas about traditionally made
or processed materials and the types of interventions were found
along the “old-new” dimension. Heritage craftspersons evidently
were challenged by these issues and their use of modern contra
traditional tools. This included issues about which tools to select
at which stages in the intervention.
The use of tools and the acquiring of skills in the use of traditional tools may be understood as comprising part of craftsmanship
competence. In a wider perspective, both the use of traditional
tools and the skills in using these tools may be seen as vital to enabling re-establishment of traditional knowledge and as a way of
keeping intangible heritage alive.
How these considerations are addressed and brought into an
on-going built heritage dialogue reveals the knowledge discourse.
The craftspersons are the ones who carry out the planned intervention and thus put the final marks on the objects. In this regard,
it is important to examine which frames of references guide the
chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 210
Craftsmen argued differently about how to go about choosing
tools, materials and lines of action. The range of the craftspersons’
preferences reflects the various understandings of how to work
with and protect the built heritage. At the action level of the built
heritage, crucial quality questions seem to be about how craftspersons actuate their judgements. Considerations are related to the interplay between modern and traditional tools, materials and work
methods at different stages of preservation as well as the uniqueness of each object. Questions related to whose interests are voiced
in these decisions, and how these considerations are reflected in
the restoration practices may be raised.
Questions about developing knowledge are closely linked to
the phenomenon of dialogue and of whose voices are heard (and
seen). It is about studying if and how people come to express their
knowledge, how they exchange skills and views and how they
come to develop shared knowledge as a platform for individual
and collective craftsmanship.
Within the built heritage, processes of increasing awareness
about the learning force of dialogues may create shared platforms
for actors. And the shared knowledge that is developed may become accessible and valid to many actors.
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Hovdal, I. A. (2004). Folk glemmer så lett. Memento 2/2004. Medlemsblad for
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Mehlum, S. (2005). Building environments for training Heritage Craftspersons.
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chapter 5 world heritage archaeology and craftmanship 212
of World Heritage
in Serbia
Medieval Monasterial Complexes
Integral Protection
– Between the Cultural and Spiritual Heritage
Nevena Debljović Ristić
architect and conservator, Senior Associate
[email protected]
The Republic Institute for the Protection
of Cultural Monuments, Radoslava Grujica 11
11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Medieval monastery complexes are specific urban areas, defined
by their spatial determinants as well as their origin, by recognition
through their history/past. In the second half of the 20th century, systematic archeological investigations of the most important
monasterial complexes in Serbia were conducted, providing the
results that helped in understanding of their spatial geometry and
the concept of their development. Numerous social and political
changes led to, on the one hand, decrease in care for cultural heritage, thereby for the monasterial buildings, and on the other hand,
to an expressed need to make these sanctified complexes living
anew. Consequently it caused to numerous problems with utilization, management and maintenance of these complexes.
This paper discusses problems in processes of redefining archaeological matrices into functionally reconstructed monasteries
inscribed in the World Heritage List (Đurdevi Stupovi, Studenica, and Sopocani Monasteries). The complexity of the needs of
a brotherhood, besides the material and functional ones, leads to
solving the problems by including also intangible values in the revaluation system of these units.
Identifying causes of and possible steps in solving both problems and needs at the same time, opens up polysemous questions, leading to devising an instrumental, interdisciplinary form
of action, creating cultural policy and management as mediators in
establishing common goals, abolishing contradictions of reality.
keywords: monasterial complexes, restoration, integral protection
chapter 6 reaffirmation of world heritage in serbia 214
Mediaeval monasteries are rather specific built complexes, integrating the natural, cultural and spiritual heritage. In the mediaeval
Serbia, natural features of the countryside were important factors
in building monasteries. The 12th and 13th century monasteries
were always built near a body of water, on open, natural elevated
places, which symbolised the political and cultural power of the
Serbian state at that time.
Mediaeval monasteries architectural ground plan was of a somewhat round shape, with a church in its centre. Circular enclosing the complex with a church dominating the area is an original
concept of separating the secular from the sacred. The monks lived
and were engaged in their activities within the enclosed complex.
The buildings assumed both the existential and symbolic/sacral
character. The refectory was a place where meals were served, but
also a place of an extended liturgy, whilst the cells were primarily
the monks’ living quarters, but also a place of prayer and austerity.
The most significant mediaeval 12th and 13th century monasteries were:
Djurdjevi Stupovi (St George’s Towers), Studenica and Sopoćani.
Due to their cultural and historical values they are ranked as cultural monuments of outstanding value and are declared the World
Heritage Sites. In addition to their historic, artistic and architectural characteristics, each monasterial complex is at a different stage
of monument conservation and presentation.1
The beginnings of the Serbian mediaeval art scientific studies,
the mediaeval architecture and particularly the religious one, date
back to the 1890s. Primary investigations were focused on collecting the historical and material data on artistic and architectural
features of the religious building, which carried characteristics quite significant in the quest for the national identity, being at that
time the central point of European civilisation. Through tracing a
path of scientific terminology and methodological procedures in
researching the Serbian mediaeval art and architecture a quite substantial amount of source material was created for numerous and
The “Stari Ras and Sopocani” cultural property area was inscribed in the World
Heritage List in 1979. This area ranks among the first monument ensembles
listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, inscribed only five years upon
adopting the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and
Natural Heritage, Paris, 1972.); and three year upon adopting the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Safeguarding and Contemporary Role of Historic
Areas, 1976, formulated in Nairobi, pointing out that historic areas and their
surroundings should be regarded as forming an irreplaceable universal heritage.
chapter 6 reaffirmation of world heritage in serbia 215
extensive research undertaken in the 20th century, yielding results
of outstanding value.
Organised quest for the architectural remains of the monasterial complexes within their natural environments, where a church
occupied a dominant position, started only in the second half of
the 20th century. The previous scientific investigations had been
focused mostly on the church architecture. The spatial position
of the church building allowed interpretations of the monasterial
settlement spatial definition. 2
In the early 20th century, little was known about the built
structure of the mediaeval monasterial complexes. Turbulent Serbian history left its numerous marks on the sacral built heritage.
Systematic archaeological investigations of the most significant
mediaeval monasterial complexes in Serbia gave numerous results
on a complex construction chronology, appearance and disappearance of the monasterial architecture.
It was established that the monasteries of mediaeval Serbia were
formed according to a specific circularly defined area concept,
where the structural relations inside the area, with their predetermined arrangement, created a specific spatial religious hierarchy.3
A selection that was made while defining the archaeological traces
contributed to the understanding of the area geometry and concept
that were used in building these ensembles. Through conservation
of archaeological remains, a building assemblage was presented,
the functions of the space were marked through renovation of
feature elements, the functions linked to individual rooms purposes, and also historic connections with various periods testifying
to their duration were shown. The conducted conservation and
restoration works respected all the relevant material information.
By the end of the 20th century the sacral heritage was evaluated
solely as a cultural property. Protection strategies were focused
on conservation, restorations and remedy, meaning the physical
and legal protection. The conservation and restoration works bestowed a new integrity to these cultural properties, providing a
Čаnаk-Меdić, М.(2003-2004). Оbnоvа crkvеnih grаđеvinа pоslе Drugоg svеtskоg
rаtа. Sаоpštеnjа XXXV-XXXVI, 279-301. Church buildings architecture and art was
a special field of research and today there are not only written works about it, but
also results that came out of concrete works on safeguard, restoration and protection, that have been woven into their core and structure.
Norris, P. Ronald,I. (2004). Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide. New York: Cambridge University Press, pp.111-133; Dеblјоvić Ristić, N.
(2009). Pоrеklо i ulоgа trpеzаriја pri sаkrаlizоvаnju аrhitеktоnskоg pоstоrа u
mаnаstirimа srеdnjоvеkоvnе Srbiје. Sаоpštеnjа XLI, 51.
chapter 6 reaffirmation of world heritage in serbia 216
more comprehensive view of, first of all, the archaeological sites
material testimony, identification of authenticity of the spatially
shaped concept, building materials and techniques, but also of a
special relationship with the environment.4
The maintenance plans for a complex, consisting of a church
and an archaeological site, having a character of a monument in
ruins, referred mostly to practical and technical measures undertaken in order to preserve a proper monument presentation concept.
In times of communist social order, churches were often treated as
fresco galleries and their monumental character made an impact
on interpreting the values, whether historic or artistic, based mostly on a scientific, critical-historical assessment that formulated an
approach to a cultural property.
With the discovery of traces of monasterial settlements, the category of cultural monuments underwent some transformations.
At first, a church was treated as a monument, but with archaeological architectural remains of buildings and the surrounding wall
that defined its urban structure, the area came to be a monument
In the mid 1990’s, the Serbian Orthodox Church launched a
campaign for renewal and building of new structures within the
enclosed monasterial areas. The campaign initiated considerations
about aesthetic and semantic criteria, pointing to better knowledge and understanding of intangible values. These considerations
covered a support of authentic monastic way of life within the
enclosed monasterial area.
The renewal objective was to return the liturgical life into the
centuries long ruins of the Djurdjevi Stupovi, built in the 12th century. Systematic archaeological and architectural investigations
on the monument have been going on for several decades. Complex conservation and restoration works have been done on the
St George’s Church, but also on the monasterial complex on the
whole. The scope of the works has been carefully evaluated in
order to preserve the historic fabric of the monument. After com-
The Venice Charter for the conservation and restoration of monuments and sites
(1964), in its Art. 11, points out that the valid contributions of all periods to
the building of a monument must be respected and when a building includes the
superimposed work of different periods, the revealing of the underlying state
can only be justified in exceptional circumstances and when what is removed is
of little interest and the material which is brought to light is of great historical,
archaeological or aesthetic value, and its state of preservation good enough to
justify the action.
chapter 6 reaffirmation of world heritage in serbia 217
pleting the archaeological and architectural works, the monument
gained significant potential.
Integral protection of the complex is reflected in the unity of
monument protection requirements; interest for the spiritual life to
be re-established; unique natural environment preservation.5
The revitalisation project included a partial restoration of the
monks’ residential quarters, along with the King Dragutin’s Refectory. The idea of restoring the residential quarters opened up
manifold questions about undertaking some new works on the
church, as well. The life in a monastery, certainly unimaginable
without the primary, divine service function, encouraged the works
that entailed new interventions on the church (restoration of the
altar space, as the most significant for the divine service within
the temple hierarchy, the restoration of the north vestibule with
its importance of linking the church with the quarters in spatial
and functional terms, then resolving the issues of the church west
façade, and so on).
The monasterial life cannot survive without the function of religious service, so some new requirements arose, leading to some
new interventions on the St George’s Church. The works were performed by the use of two methods:
restoration of all the architectural elements which could have
been supported by definite material data and “re-composition” –
reconstruction of the basic forms.6
This Revitalisation Project was supported by numerous institutions, the media, public figures and the government. Promotion of
the cultural and spiritual heritage integration went under a slogan,
“Lets’ Renew Ourselves, Let’s Build the Towers”. The design of
the promotion and marketing material attracted a great number of
donors. The new project was a reflection of the new social values.
Reintegration of the Đurđevi Stupovi monasterial complex proved
to be a positive step towards sustainability, usage, maintenance
Jokileto, J. and Filden, B. M. (1998). Menagement Guidelines for World Cultural Heritage Sites. ICCROM; Filden, B. M. (1998). Conservation of Historic
Building. Butterworth Heinemann
Đurđеvi Stupоvi in Stаri Rаs (12th century) is one of the oldest monasteries of
the mediaeval Serbia, and the St George’s Church, with its architectural features,
ranks among the most significant religious buildings in the history of Serbian
mediaeval architecture. These extremely complex investigations and the conservation and restoration works were conducted by Prof. Dr Јоvаn Nеškоvić. Short
but instructive genesis of all the works was given in: Nеškоvić, Ј. (2010), Аrhitеkturа Đurđеvih Stupоvа – Istrаživаnjа, zаštitа i оbnоvа mаnаstirа u: Маnаstir
Đurđеvi Stupоvi u Stаrоm Rаsu. Маnаstir Đurđеvi Stupоvi: Krаguјеvаc, 18-29.
chapter 6 reaffirmation of world heritage in serbia 218
Enclosure 1. Đurdevi Stupovi Monastery (12 century)
and visitations to the monastery as a spiritual centre, which also
gave a positive outcome for the monument itself.
One of the integral protection primary goals is to control the
changes and curb the spread of negative and unrestrained development. The position of the monument in the altered social and
economic order improved the cultural values, justifying its limited
functional renewal.
He character of this important monument underwent numerous
changes. Its journey from a monument in ruins to a live monastery
was a complex one. In order to provide a clear picture of the cultural property ensembles, it is necessary to complete the process
with symbolic, intangible indicators, necessary for understanding
the monument as a live organism. For a comprehensive interpretation of such monument complexes it is also necessary to grasp the
key metaphysical references, the non-materialised manifestations
of the religious, which cannot be presented or made manifest, but
just have to be understood or immanent.
The complexity of understanding a monument in this way requires a balanced relationship between its meaning and material
manifestation, without underestimating, however, the religious
side in the manifestations of a monument, an ensemble or a whole
cultural monument area.
Significantly different from the Đurdevi Stupovi case, is the example of the Studenica Monastery. Here, the perpetuity in its functional and existential sense has been realised through centuries. All
the south-west buildings have served almost all the meant purposes for an uninterrupted period up to the present day, contributing
to safeguarding the authenticity of the cultural property.
chapter 6 reaffirmation of world heritage in serbia 219
Enclosure 2. Studenica Monastery (12 century)
The area of the Old Ras and Sopocani, including the Djurdjevi
Stupovi, was declared a World Heritage Site in 1979.7 The Sopocani Monastery is an integral part of the whole area. And as a result
of such understanding, similar problems and needs, the Sopocani
monasterial buildings restoration project was made. In restoring
the life in the Djurdjevi Stupovi Monastery, an initiative was launched for, above all, restoring the erstwhile buildings of other monasteries. The Sopocani Monastery was the next in the line.
In its spatial concept, the Sopocani Monastery architecture belongs to the same autochthon ground plan building expression.
The interior of the St. Trinity Church preserved its frescoes whose
artistic values rank the Sopoćani among the most distinguished
13th century European monuments. The monastery was built in
the second half of the 13th century, but in the 17th century the
Turkish invaders devastated it and for a long time it remained lifeless. Systematic archaeological investigations yield the first results
on the monasterial perimetral wall and the rooms inside. After the
archaeological investigations, conservation and restoration works
followed and the building activities from the mid 13th to the 17th
century were defined. (Enclosure 3)
The conservation practice on the monument showed complex
interventions of various sizes, particularly on the church. The
monks’ quarters were built in the early 20th century, outside the
monastery walls. At the beginning of the new millennium the mo-
The criteria for selection the site as WH: i. to represent a masterpiece of human
creative genius; iii. to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared.
chapter 6 reaffirmation of world heritage in serbia 220
Enclosure 3. Sopocani Monastery (13 century)
Enclosure 4. Restoration Proposal
nastery brotherhood grows in size, thus bringing a need for extending the capacities for fulfilling the basic functions and needs. The
issue of restoration of the monasterial buildings over the conserved remains inside the walls was opened up.
The SOC requests related to restoration of all the structures
within the complex. The monastery itself proposed a design, according to which the complex would be enclosed by three- or multi-storey structures. Such a design would completely change the
historic fabric of the monument, as well as the character of the
immediate environment around the St Trinity Church. The design
showed excessive development, no respect for the archaeological
matrix and destruction of material testimonies of the past. The
issue became particularly heavy when the project gained a political
significance. A negative influence of certain institutions and an unconditional support for the Church made a dialogue between the
protection services and the monastery impossible.
The Sopocani restoration project was proposed by the Institute
for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Serbia. The work
on the project included extensive analyses of individual structures forms, composition and arrangement and presentation of the
entire monasterial complex. The project meant a controlled and
limited restoration of certain structures in combination with the
presented archaeological remains. The proposal met all the functional requirements of the brotherhood.
The knowledge and understanding of the monastery spatial definition, its essence, its life, but also its history and the state of the
cultural monument, were taken as starting points for identifying
all the positive and negative effects that might have come out from
careful study and analysis of numerous opposed views. The basic
structural characteristics, such as the closure and a possibility of
integration of some of the buildings into the extant matrix, pointed to a limited set of activities that may be undertaken in this
particular case.
chapter 6 reaffirmation of world heritage in serbia 221
The Sopocani complex buildings partial restoration preliminary design considers numerous issues and problems concerning an
approach that the protection services should adopt in such cases.8It
entailed comprehensive, detailed and careful analyses of both the
individual buildings forms, and the fitting and arrangement and
presentation of the whole monasterial complex. In the design process, the focus was on the principles a mediaeval builder could
have followed, using ratio analyses, the mediaeval measures, as
well as a shaping concept and use of materials which would clearly
designate the new intervention lines, but on the other hand, would
not depart from the old building techniques.
Due to insufficient reliable data on the monasterial structures,
the conservation approach was based on a balanced restoration, in
clear connection with the historic, architectural and even style features of the cultural property. The project also took care to use the
proper materials, clearly differentiated from the original matrix.
The restoration included the preservation of the monasterial body
through the spiritual life itself, including all the intangible values
into the area revalorisation system, as well.
In order to resolve this complex process and the confronted
views between the Church and the experts and to try to meet all
the needs in view of real possibilities, an ICOMOS professional
expertise mission was called in by the UNESCO in 2009. The mission gave its support to the experts’ proposal – for a moderate and
balanced restoration.9 (Enclosure 5)
All the stated problems, the nuances bordering the risky from
the acceptable, the possible from the impossible, when speaking
about the heritage listed as the World Heritage Site, challenge the
safeguard of the extant historic corpus, but also point to a potential of re-establishing the functional and the architectural duration,
A Sopocani Complex renovation works preliminary programme project was made
at the Republic Institute for the protection of Cultural Monuments; the monasterial core buildings renovation preliminary project was made by Nеvеnа Dеblјоvić
Ristić, arch.
In late November 2009, called in by the RIPCM of Belgrade, an ICOMOS Advisory
Mission came because of the problems the protection services had concerning the
World Heritage Sites. The Sopocani Monastery buildings renovation preliminary
project, made by the Republic Institute for the protection of Cultural Monuments,
was assessed as follows “… a successful balance between the authentic conserved
katholikon and the ruins of the old southern wings, created as a testimony to the historical evidence that has come down to the present day, and the new northern wing
reconstructed on the base of the old walls, on the background of the green hill-slope,
has been achieved. All three stages will be completely distinct from one another
and comprehensible for visitors..“ Prepis, A.( 23-27 November 2009). Report of the
Advisory Mission to Serbia, pp. 8.
chapter 6 reaffirmation of world heritage in serbia 222
converging all the elements of a monument ensemble sustainability. An integral perception of cultural heritage, viewed from a
prism of intangible values, but also of knowledge and skills that
are thereby being renewed, can contribute to creating a coherent
approach to its long-term protection.
Therefore, it is necessary to create an instrumental and interdisciplinary action plan and a cultural policy and management which
may serve as a mediator in setting the common goals, whilst dealing with the contradictions of reality.
Čаnаk-Меdić, М.(2003-2004). Оbnоvа crkvеnih grаđеvinа pоslе Drugоg svеtskоg
rаtа. Sаоpštеnjа XXXV-XXXVI, 279-301.
Dеblјоvić Ristić, N. (2009). Pоrеklо i ulоgа trpеzаriја pri sаkrаlizоvаnju
аrhitеktоnskоg pоstоrа u mаnаstirimа srеdnjоvеkоvnе Srbiје. Sаоpštеnjа XLI,
Filden, B. M. (1998). Conservation of Historic Building. Butterworth Heinemann
Jokileto, J. and Filden, B. M. (1998). Menagement Guidelines for World Cultural
Heritage Sites, ICCROM
Norris, P. and Ronald,I. (2004) Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide. New York: Cambridge University Press
Prepis, A.( 23-27 November 2009). Report of the Advisory Mission to Serbia
The Venice Charter for the conservation and restoration of monuments and sites
(1964), in its Art. 11.
chapter 6 reaffirmation of world heritage in serbia 223
Stari Ras and Sopoćani:
Identifying Problems
and Defining a Modern Protection Model
Marina Nešković
architect and conservator, consultant
[email protected]
The Republic Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments,
Radoslava Grujica 11
11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Cultural and historic area of the Stari Ras and Sopoćani was inscribed in the World Cultural and Natural Heritage List in 1979
as an area where the earliest Serbian state had been formed in the
Middle Ages. Besides the fortified towns, courts of rulers and settlements, monasteries and church centres relevant to the key events
of the Nemanjic dynasty, the founders of the Serbian state and national identity, this ensemble also includes significant monuments
of Islamic monumental and folk architecture.
This paper will present a genesis of protection of the area, from
the moment of its inscription in the World Heritage List up to the
present day. The beginnings feature planned and economically organised and scientifically founded activities shaped in the Investigations, Protection, Area Arrangement and Utilisation Programme, which were the basis of archaeological investigations, conservation and restoration works, systematic terrain surveys and the
map documentation.
Various historical, social and political circumstances caused
these organised and focused protection works to be extinguished,
whereas the changes in government and social systems, real estate
proprietary rights and the legislation governing the cultural properties protection and planning have had their impact on this multiethnic and multicultural region.
Thirty years of experience in studying, protecting, revitalising
and arranging this cultural and historic area is a starting point
in the process of determining the condition of the cultural heritage and identifying problems under new and changed conditions,
which is all relevant in defining a modern protection model.
keywords: Stari Ras and Sopoćani, investigation, valorisation,
protection, planning
chapter 6 reaffirmation of world heritage in serbia 224
The cultural property complex Stari Ras and Sopocani is of a particular significance among all other Serbian cultural properties. Because of the vast area that the complex covers, then its recognised
cultural, historic and natural values and above all, the importance
of the World Heritage site, the issue of protecting and safeguarding the spatial cultural and historical ensembles becomes rather
In 1978, the Municipality of Novi Pazar passed a decision on
declaring the cultural area of Stari Ras a cultural property – a cultural and historic ensemble, encompassing 15 cadastre municipalities, including the area of the town of Novi Pazar. The whole area
was listed as a cultural monument of outstanding value in 1987,
under the name Stari Ras and Sopocani.
This area was inscribed in the World Cultural and Natural Heritage List under the name Stari Ras and Sopocani, based upon
two criteria:
• It is a masterpiece of the human creative ingenuity and
• it is a unique and outstanding evidence on the cultural tradition
and civilisation that is still living or has come about.
It was in the group among the first monuments inscribed in the
UNESCO’s List, only five years after the Convention on Protection
of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage had been adopted in
The basic criterion of cultural valorisation for listing the area as
protected is its significance as an administrative seat of the mediaeval Serbian state, which is evident in the concentration of these highly significant cultural monuments, connected both by the
same area and in their functions. The most important ones are
listed in the nomination text: St Peter’s Church, the Gradina Fortress with Trgoviste, the Djurdjevi Stupovi Monastery and the Sopocani monastery as an outstanding monument due to its unique
fresco paintings dating from the 13th century.1
The Holy Apostles St Peter’s and St Paul’s church – St Peter’s church is The oldest preserved monument of mediaeval architecture in
Serbia. Different stages of construction, different layers of fresco
paintings, archaeological findings, preserved remains of a media-
Documentation of nomination on the World Heritage List; Identification: C 96;
Date of inscription: april 10.1979.
chapter 6 reaffirmation of world heritage in serbia 225
Figure 1: Area of inscribed property – 15 cadastre municipalities: 10134ha
56a 32m2
eval necropolis and a 19th and early 20th century cemetery stand
witness to continuous and stratified existence of this highly significant cultural complex.
As the 10th century Episcopate Seat, the place of significance
of the Nemanjic Dynasty, the founders of the Serbian state and
national identity – St Peter’s church is in the centre of the historic,
spiritual and state mediaeval Serbian key events.
Figure 2: St Peter’s church
chapter 6 reaffirmation of world heritage in serbia 226
Figure 3: Djurdjevi Stupovi Monastery
after conservation works
Figure 4: Mediaeval Town of Ras
Djurdjevi Stupovi Monastery - One of the oldest mediaeval Serbian monasteries, erected by Stefan Nemanja soon upon coming to
the throne in the second half of the 12th century. Its significance is
reflected in its characteristic position on top of a hill, dominating
over the Raska and Dezeva river valleys, in the special architecture
of the St George’s church with its towers and in the old biography
Mediaeval Town of Ras - The place is of a particular significance
as a centre of and a spot where the Serbian mediaeval state was
founded. In the Nemanjic period it was the seat of rulers and their
chapter 6 reaffirmation of world heritage in serbia 227
Figure 5: Sopocani Monastery
permanent place of residence. Development of this complex monument can be traced back through numerous fortification, sacral
and other structure remains. The complex consists of: a fortification on the Gradina Hill, fortified settlement and Trgoviste below,
churches with the cemeteries and the Archangel Michael’s Cave
King Uros I’s endowment, the Sopocani Monastery was erected in
the second half of 13th century, by the Raska river source, in the
Ras area – the seat of the Serbian mediaeval state. The most important structure in the complex is the Trinity church with a subsequently added exonarthex and a centrally positioned west tower.
The greatest value of the church are the very well preserved frescoes dating from the second half of 13th century. Perfectly executed drawings, exquisite colouring, splendid and sublimated figures
and particular prowess in composition creations make these frescoes a masterpiece of worldly proportions.
As this group of monuments was listed as cultural monuments
of an outstanding value in 1946, investigations and conservation
works on the monuments had started before it was listed a complex cultural and historic property and inscribed in the World Cultural and Natural Heritage List.
Historical research, along with the archaeological excavation
results, provided conditions for uncovering and presenting the remains of the elaborate structure of the Ras town – the Serbian
mediaeval capital.
chapter 6 reaffirmation of world heritage in serbia 228
Figure 6: Sopocani Monastery - Presentation of monasterial buildings
Owing to the multidisciplinary investigations conducted in the
St Peter’s Church, valuable archaeological prehistoric finds and
various fresco painting layers have been revealed, the construction chronology established and the mediaeval cemetery remains
investigated. The basic concept applied at conducting the quite extensive conservation works on both the building architecture and
the frescoes aimed at preserving and presenting all the information
relevant for reading and understanding the intricate and rich history of the erstwhile episcopal seat.2
The first investigations of the Sopocani Monastery were conducted on its church, so as to obtain the information relevant to
its restoration and for establishing the requirements for undertaking systematic investigative and conservation – restoration works
on the fresco paintings. The archaeological excavations followed,
along with the architectural research of the whole monasterial
complex, then the conservation and restoration works on the presentation of the revealed monasterial buildings, as well as further
activities on uncovering and restoring the original form of the
Holy Trinity Church.3
2Nešković, J. (1961). Petrova crkva kod Novog Pazara – Konzervatorski radovi
na arhitekturi, Saopštenja IV, 141-147.
3Kandić, O. (1984). Istraživanje arhitekture i konzervatorski radovi u manastiru
Sopoćani, Saopštenjaа XVI, 7-16.
chapter 6 reaffirmation of world heritage in serbia 229
Systematic archaeological and architectural investigations allowed the restoration works to be conducted, as well as the Djurdjevi Stupovi monasterial complex presentation. All the undertaken activities restored the fundamental spatial, architectural and
artistic values to this unique religious mediaeval Serbian complex,
which was once in ruins.4
Based upon the research results obtained on these four most
significant mediaeval monuments, valorisation was performed and
established the character and spatial boundary of cultural and historic ensemble of the “Stаri Ras and Sopocani“.
However, the inscription in the World Heritage List was a crucial point for this monument ensemble further treatment and protection procedures, as well as for establishing the organised, scheduled and continuous work on studying, investigating and protecting
it. Making a note of previous flaws and weaknesses and having
in mind all the obligations accepted by the Convention on Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, a Monument
Area Investigation, Protection, Area Arrangement and Utilisation
Programme in the 1984-1990 Period was adopted. It was the first
long/term programme in the history of the monument heritage
protection in Serbia.
Programme of investigations, protection, area regulation and
utilisation of the cultural area is marked as the first long-term project in the history of heritage protection in Serbia, setting a plan
of: investigation fields in history, history of art, ethnography and
archaeology; works on conservation, restoration and presentation
of some of the units; works on environment protection and improvement; legal protection measures; works on building access roads
and other infrastructure; publishing and information activities.
Such a Programme concept, apart from comprising descriptions
of all the activities undertaken for each individual element or site,
also stated the necessary means for carrying them out on an annual basis and a recapitulation of the overall works performed by
1990. Resources for the Programme Project came from a special
Participants in carrying out the Programme Project: The Republic Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments; The
Republic Institute for the protection of Nature; The National Museum; The Homeland Museum of Novi Pazar; Scientists associates
Nešković, J. (1975). Djurdjevi Stupovi u Rasu, Raška baština 1, 152.
chapter 6 reaffirmation of world heritage in serbia 230
Figure 7: The Old Town Centre (çarsi) of Novi Pazar
of the institutes of Philosophy, School of Architecture and the institutes of Archaeology and Ethnography.
Project Monitoring - Stari Ras Protection and Care Commission, and project verification and conservation and restoration
works monitoring - Ministry of Culture Commission.
Owing to such a programme concept and the realisation monitoring instruments, this period saw the most extensive and intensive archaeological investigations, complex conservation and
restoration works, systematic terrain reconnaissance and regular
publishing the results of all the stated activities.
In addition, architectural heritage protection and revitalisation
plan documentation was made, as well as the natural landscape
betterment and protection studies were conducted. Protection and
revitalisation plan of the Old Town Centre (çarsi) of Novi Pazar
was made in 1987 and adopted in full as a detailed town plan. The
significance of this Protection Plan, made in collaboration with the
School of Architecture of Belgrade and the Institute for Protection
of Cultural Monuments of Kraljevo, is reflected in setting a methodology of making such plans.5
At the same period, the work on the Stari Ras and Sopocani Cultural Property Complex Protection Spatial Plan started. The principal goal was to define the area category and value based upon its
valorisation and also to define the proper protection regimen for
each area section. But although the Plan has never been completed
or adopted, it is still in use and is one of the basic documents supporting all further protection activities on the complex.
Nešković, J., Djordjević, S., Kurtović-Folić, N., Radović, R., (1988). Stara čaršija u
Novom Pazaru – zaštita i revitalizacija, Beograd - Kraljevo
chapter 6 reaffirmation of world heritage in serbia 231
The recognition of the property natural environment values, the
importance of its protection, arrangement and preservation so that
the whole Stari Ras and Sopocani heritage complex could be presented in full, resulted in collaboration between the cultural monument protection service and the natural environment protection
one. They jointly worked on the area valorisation, on identifying
the immediate surroundings of the monument and on investigating
the possibilities of defining the landscapes of outstanding interest
which could also be listed as natural property.
In the early 1990’s, due to the new social and political circumstances, the first hints of changes could be recognised, which led to
extinguishing of any organised activity in the area of protection.
It would give rise to lots of problems and frequent misunderstandings between the professionals, on the one hand and the local
communities, the society in general and increasingly the religious
communities, on the other.
Impoverishment of the society could be first seen in the area of
protection, in gradual decrease and then complete stop of funding
the investigations and technical protection works.
The local community started to view the protection of the area
increasingly as a burden and a limiting factor of development. Unlike in the previous period, collaboration between the institutions
in charge of the monument protection and the city planners started to be incompatible. Even though the protection activities were
legal obligation, it became ever so formal, the situation deriving
from incompatible laws on protection on the one hand and city
planning laws, on the other.6 Thus, the protection conditions were
not an integral part of city development plans, which were adopted anyway, either without a competent institution opinion or in
spite of the existing negative opinion.
Furthermore, another problem arose in this period, a problem
of legal protection. According to the law on immovable cultural
properties, adopted in 1994, and still actual, decision documents
on putting the cultural properties on a protection list have to state
a clearly defined delimitation, i.e. exact area of the cultural property, determined upon the cadastre plots register, as well as precisely specified protection measures. Although the area cultural and
historic ensemble Stari Ras and Sopocani is precisely defined as an
Although there is an obligation of obtaining the prescribed protection conditions
approval, there is no obligation of obtaining an approval for a city development
plan, but only an opinion.
chapter 6 reaffirmation of world heritage in serbia 232
area encompassing 15 cadastre municipalities, stated in the Decisions passed in 1978, in concrete and particular cases the protection status is questioned ever so frequently for individual plots for
which certain interventions are planned. The fact is that the area
of this cultural ensemble is really a vast one and the protection
services lack the material means for obtaining detailed cadastre
maps, which would help define the whole area and individual plots
delimitations; but such a fact has not been considered as a reason
enough for accepting the existing legal document as an appropriate one – the Decision on Protection. The local community uses this
argument ever so often, trying to negate the status of a cultural
monument of the whole area.
Such circumstances gave rise to increasing illegal building on
the whole area, particularly in the town historic core section. Building interventions on the existing structures and construction of
new ones were done without any issued permits or approvals or
with permits issued by the Municipal administration, but without
stating the protection conditions. This period is marked by various interventions – shop windows changed, putting up another
level (first floor) on the ground floor structures, construction of
new structures – which mostly degraded the area of the old çarsi.
The existing detailed city plan of the Old Town centre, integrated
in the Protection and Revitalisation Plan, was not respected any
more, which rendered this area cultural and historic ensemble devastated, previously classified as a cultural property of outstanding
Summer cottages built along the Raska river, all the way from
its source in the immediate vicinity of the Sopocani Monastery to
Pazariste which belongs to the mediaeval town of Ras complex,
greatly changed not only this extraordinary natural setting, but in
places even the topography of the terrain and the natural features
of the river banks were completely changed, as well.
Along the road from Novi Pazar to Djurdjevi Strupovi, new
houses and industrial structures started to be built. Development
of the town endangered St Peter’s Church, in which immediate
vicinity, on the road to Dezevo, a whole settlement was built illegally.
In order to resolve such a conflicting situation between the local
community and the protection services, or better still, the Republic
of Serbia as their founder, in late 2008 a joint initiative was launched to make a revision of the Decision on listing the area cultural
chapter 6 reaffirmation of world heritage in serbia 233
and historic ensemble of Stari Ras and Sopocani. This complex and
extensive task was undertaken based upon the previously made
Programme, which envisaged honouring all the requirements deriving from the existing law on the protection of monuments of the
Republic of Serbia, as well as the requirements the UNESCO prescribes for cultural areas on the World Heritage List. The work on
updating the situation in the field, determining the protection zones and measures is underway and should be completed very soon.
Apart from all the above said, in this period there have also
been changes that had a substantial impact on the works undertaken on individual elements in the area, concerning the monastery
brotherhood communities, which have grown in size and influence. It resulted in their requests for extending the existing residential quarters and building new ones within the monastery complex.
To the initiative of the Serbian Orthodox Church, in the late
1990’s, revitalisation of the Djurdjevi Stupovi monastery started.
The design project of the new quarters was made and verified
by the Ministry of Culture Commission and the works started
in 2000. Immediately upon the completion of the works, which
enabled the brotherhood to settle in the monastery, an issue of
renewing the church came out. Consequently, analyses were done
to view the possibilities of undertaking new works on the church,
as well as some different versions of the works, since a complete
renovation of the church was not acceptable from the point of
view of the cultural monument value protection and preservation,
as well as of the whole monastery complex. The basic renewal
concept leans on two methods: a method of restoration of those
sections for which there are reliable information and a method of
“re-composition” of the basic shapes and architectural elements
which are to be made in another sort of material so that they could
be clearly distinguishable from the original or restored ones.7
Also, in the same period, an extensive protection and area arrangements project for the St Peter’s Church was made based upon
the needs of the Serbian Orthodox Church for a more active parish life. The project envisaged a construction of a new bell tower
and a church house with a refectory and a stone fragments gallery
over the existing remains of the structure at the north side of the
complex. Also, an extension of a stone house at the entrance road
to the complex was envisaged for the needs of the parish house,
All the works specified in the Project were performed from 2005 to 2010.
chapter 6 reaffirmation of world heritage in serbia 234
Figure 8: Djurdjevi Stupovi monastery - The new quarters
actually a residence of the priest. However, only the campanile
was built and the rest of the project was put on hold, partially
due to the lack of funding and partially to some new requests for
somewhat more extensive constructions.
Even after 2000, tendency to extend the existing capacities
within the monasterial complex continued. In the Sopocani Monastery, at the access road, new workshops and garages were built,
the farm houses built in the previous period were now extended
and the existing residential quarters outside the complex were
built up by another level. Last year, the protection services faced
another request from the brotherhood: to build up on the existing
mediaeval structures remains.
In order to resolve such a conflicting situation, a joint initiative
was launched to create a new valorisation plan in order to harmonise the situation in the field with the cultural property values and
the protection requirements.
The key issue of the valorisation process will be re-examining
the cultural property character. The property is defined a serial
nomination with four individual monuments and a vast encompassing buffer zone. A possibility to treat the whole area as a cultural landscape will be considered through evaluating the unity
of the cultural and natural features, as a consideration element of
chapter 6 reaffirmation of world heritage in serbia 235
Jokileto, J. and Filden, B. M. (1998). Menagement Guidelines for World
Cultural Heritage Sites, ICCROM
Kandić, O. , Milošević, D. (1985). Manastir Sopoćani, Beograd
Nešković, J. (1984). Đurdevi Stupori u Starom rasu, Kraljevo
Nešković, J. , Nikolić, R. (1987). Petrova crkva kod Novog Pazara, Beograd
Popović, M. (1999). Tvrdava Ras, Beograd
Sekulić, J. (1985). Putevi savremene zastite Starog Rasa sa Sopoćanima,
Saopštenja XVII, 251-271
Von Droste,B., PLACHTER, J. & ROSSLER, M. (1995) Cultural Landscapes
of Universal Value – Components of a Global Strategy, Gustav Fischer,
chapter 6 reaffirmation of world heritage in serbia 236
World Heritage
and Environmental
Heritage of Risk
Maths Isacson
Professor Ph.D.
[email protected]
Department of Economic History, Uppsala University, Sweden
In the old industrial western world many industrial buildings have
been abandoned during the last three decades. There are examples where large complicated industrial buildings and whole industrial areas have been a starting point for a local renewal on the
historical basis with museums in the center. We have also seen
transformations of old industrial sites to universities, hotels, dwellings, restaurants, new kinds of workshops etc. At the same time
there are a lot of works and areas that are too large and polluted
and very difficult to transform for new purposes. Especially old
mines which have produced copper, zinc, led, silver and gold containing a lot of sulphur contaminations leaves from a sustainability standpoint a difficult heritage. Furthermore, the mines often
include wide dam systems, important because it gave both power
to the water wheels and prevented the water from the surroundings to flow into the deep mines. But who takes responsibility
for the old areas and all the equipment after the mines have been
closed? In Falun in Dalarna there is a very old copper mine which
first was closed 1992 by the international company Stora Enso
and some years later by UNESCO was appointed to be a World
Heritage Site. When the company left the area a Foundation took
over the responsibility for the maintenance, but it lack both the
economic resources and knowledge to keep the complicated dam
system entirely intact. The question is consequently, who has the
responsibility for this kind of heritage, who pays for a sustainable
maintenance and how do we build up a knowledge base to manage
the risks when the industrial company has left.
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 238
The problem
Since the mid-1970s, countless industrial plants in the old industrial world have been wholly or partially closed. In communities
with high demand for facilities for service, education, recreation,
museums or dwellings, unless they have been deprived or unmanageable, subsequently got a new use. There are many examples
of both successful and less successful conversions of old industrial
buildings and large scale industrial sites.1 Commercial service companies and museums are common. The latter depicts the location
and history of the industry, sometimes combined with educational
programs for schools, or with an ambitious cultural program aimed at adult audiences.2 In other places, the empty sites are left
untouched and partially or fully in disrepair. In recent years we
have seen a rapidly increasing interest in abandoned buildings and
sites. The phenomenon is known as »urban exploration«. Where
goods previously were produced and people earning a living, »Urban Explorers« today find adventures and experiences.3 The larger
and more complex decay is, the greater the adventure and daring
the story conveyed through Facebook and blogs.4
In the high-industrialized period (1930s to 1980s) large scale
establishment became very common in the Swedish basic industry,
including mines, iron and steel, pulp and paper mills.5 Large companies with often complex installations were both transforming
the landscape and gave environmental impact with significant
emissions to land, water and air. In many places the inhabitants
had for a long time to come to live with the heritage of the industrial operation in the form of heavily polluted environments,
despite significant restructuring efforts in recent years by state,
municipalities and businesses.6 Besides the historical environme1
See Nisser (1979); Cossons (1993); Storm (2007); Den Jyske Historiker (2009);
Isacson (2011); TICCIH National Reports.
Geijerstam (1996).
Jörnmark (2007); Jörnmark (2008); Willis (2008); Urban Exploration is a
subculture there the practitioners investigate closed or other kind of non public
parts of buildings, building complex, underground systems, tunnels etc.
A check on Internet 2011-01-26 gave 55 800 results for ”abandoned places on
facebook” and 27 500 results for” abandoned places in Sweden”.
See Fellman & Isacson (2007) for a definition and use of the concept ”the
high-industrial period”.
The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency/EPA has over the past ten years
mapped pollution and taken a number of actions for the sustainable rehabilitation of water and land. At the end of 2009 the number of mapped »potentially«
contaminated sites of different nature and severity amount to 79 511, including
850 items of the highest risk category (1 of 4) and 4300 in the second. More
than 306 million SEK was paid for various activities in 2009. See Environmen­
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 239
ntal heritage of past industrial activities there are conditions that
complicate the long-term sustainable care even more. A town with
many severe durability problems is Falun in the province of Dalarna. Here the problems emanate from hundreds of years of mining
activities. But Falun is far from alone. Similar problems have other
mining and industrial towns in the old industrial world. In old mining districts the problems related to both pollution and the long
range management of the old water system.
The main question in this article concerns the management of
the industrial heritage to make it long-term sustainable. What are
the risks and what is required to minimize these risks, locally for
people, animals, buildings and infrastructure and regionally and
globally for lakes and oceans? Falun is my example. My conclusion is that industrial historical knowledge is required for a long
term sustainable management of the mining heritage.
The world heritage in Falun7
In December 2001, the historic mining landscape around the Great
Copper Mountain and Falun was by UNESCO promoted as one of
911 World Heritage sites in 151 countries. 14 of these are located
in Sweden. The world heritage distinction indicates that they are of
»outstanding universal value from the historical, artistic or scientific point of view«.8 Falun World Heritage site belongs to a small
body of industrial heritage (about 30), several of which are former
mining areas.
To be honored with the distinction World Heritage Site entails
responsibility. The legacy will be managed in perpetuity, without
distortion. This means additional and sometimes unexpected costs
tal Protection Agency’s website, documents under the keyword »Sustainable
remediation« and »State of the country - remediation of contaminated sites«.
EPA Administrator finds, in a letter to the Ministry of Environment 2010-04-05
(dnr 642-2233-10) that, not surprisingly, above all it is »former industries such
as chemicals, wood treatment, pulp and paper and glass, which has caused toxic
substances in soil and water”.
I would like to thank Lena Myrberg, cultural environmental manager, research
coordinator and responsible for the properties at the Foundation Stora Kopparberget in Falun. She has provided me with relevant documents, read and corrected facts and taken me to informative trips around the Falun water landscape.
Of the 911 is 704 cultural, 180 natural and 27 a combination of the two. West
dominates. Only Italy has 45 world heritage sites. Harsh criticism has been
leveled against this focus on Europe and efforts are now done by UNESCO to
increase the number of sites from other parts of the world on the World Heritage
List. Talk given by Professor Marie-Theres Albert at the conference »The Significance of World Heritage« in Falun on 8-10 December 2010.
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 240
and difficulties. The value of the title World Heritage Site are the
chances of getting additional financial support for care and, especially, to attract more visitors, and this in turns give opportunities
for service companies with increasing revenues for the municipality. In old industrial regions with a population decline, this is obviously a hope and an ambition.
Barely ten years before Falun became a World Heritage Site, in
December 1992, the owner, the industrial world enterprise STORA, closed the mine where ore had been mined since probably
700’s AD.9 The mine was drained of mineable ore. Since long
time it was also a significant tourists mine. In December 1999, the
newly formed forest industry company Stora Enso10 conveyed the
mine and associated facilities, including the works inside and outside Falun, to the Foundation, Stiftelsen Stora Kopparberget (Great Copper Mountain).11 The Foundation’s purpose is »to preserve
and make available for both academic research and for the general
public the cultural and historic industrial environments consisting
of the building stock and the external and internal facilities, inventories, utility goods and objects of art«.12
A larger capital was given to the Foundation. STORA gave 100
million SEK, Investor, a big investment company and former own­
er of the mine, 10 million and the municipality of Falun 1 million
SEK in founding capital.13 The capital was invested in funds and
shares. The return may, however, not be used for current expenses,
only for maintenance of buildings and technical equipments above
and under the ground. The current expenditure for personal, and
materials are paid with revenues from rental and conferences, and
sales in the store as well as from the raw material the Foundation
sell to Falun Red AB, and, most importantly, from visitor entrance
Olsson 2011.
10 Stora Kopperbergs Bergslags AB, or STORA, merged with the Finnish owned
forest company Enso Oyj.
11 STORA transferred to the Foundation most of its historical properties - Falun
Mine area and the surrounding industrial historic district, a hundred buildings
of varying ages in the town of Falun, and the ironworks Svartnäs, Korså and Åg,
and Vintjärn mines. The latter is called »utbruken«. »The urban works« are the
industrial buildings in the town of Falun which are managed by the Foundation:
The Silver foundry, Kopparvitriolverket, Zinc and Copper foundry. http://www. See also Foundation charter, paragraph
12 Foundation charter relating the Foundation Great Copper Mountain, paragraph
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 241
fees. The economic downturn a few years into the 2000s, however,
almost halved the Foundation capital and the return ceased for
several years. Through a more secure capital investment, and at
times a better return, along with external resources, opportunities
to maintain the plants improved. In 2007 the Foundation’s financial statements for the first time show a surplus on balance.14
The management
With the Foundation, the responsibility for maintenance of the
facilities was transferred to a reduced and partly new team of
employees who were educated and trained to perform tasks other
than the daily management of (old) mining sites. As long as the
mine was operated STORA’s staff controlled, and maintained and
renewed buildings, equipment, roads, canals and ponds. During
the last years of mining operation, the company had 4-5 people
with the task to maintain and repair buildings and equipment
above and below ground. Today the field of maintenance is much
more limit but still there are many things to look after and repair.
Only one person is working with maintenance.15 If required, firms
and extra personnel are taken in. The needs are still great, although mining obviously put more demands on maintenance and
repair compare to when the mine and the surrounding area turned
into a tourist destination.
The World Heritage nomination increased for the first year the
number of visitors as well as the requirements on new experiences
and, above and under the surface of the ground, not least, the requirements for safety. Within the mining area, 70 buildings have
to been looked after. During the period 2002-2010, the Foundation used about SEK 15 million to improve safety and preserve
buildings and technical equipment. Investment costs have largely
been paid through grants from foundations and government agencies. Among other things, the 55 meters high timber wall in Creutz
14 Notes from the Mining Council meeting, May 14th 2008. The Mining Council
is a forum with national external members linked to the Foundation. It will follow »the Foundation’s activities and submit wishes and suggestions, which can
facilitate coordination between the Foundation’s activities and Swedish scientific
research and Swedish education, culture and tourism interests.« The Council
shall have a maximum of 24 members and meets a couple times a year.
Lena Myrberg, Januari 24th 2011.
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 242
shaft was repaired. It was built in the years 1833-1836, than it was
202 meters high and the world’s greatest building in wood.16
New investments were also necessary. World Heritage Centre,
a brand new visitor center, was inaugurated in May 2005. The
building, which cost just over SEK 25 million, was financed by
contributions from individuals, companies, organizations and government agencies. A brand new entrance in the mine has also
been built. The number of paying visitors to the mine, following
the upturn in 2002, leveled off and reached in 2010 to 43 000. The
number of people who annually visit the wide mining area is far
larger, between 250 000 and 350 000. They pay no entrance fee,
but are hopefully buying things in the Heritage Centre shop, or in
one of the craft shops within the area, have lunch in the restaurant
and or visit one of the cafés.
Mining Heritage 1: The environmental impact
In addition to the major requirements for security is the problem
of leaching of heavy metals from mining slag, slag heaps, kisbränder17 and sand depositories into Lake Tisken flowing into Lake
Runn which has connection to the Dala River/Dalälven and further on to the Baltic Sea. The waste from the Falu copper mine,
along with waste product from the old zinc, led and silver mines
in Garpenberg, has for a long time been the large heavy metal
pollution source to Dalälven – and therefore to the Baltic Sea. The
treatment of the mine water in Falun started as late as in 1987.
That same year, the government initiated a mapping and control
project, the so-called “Mining-waste-project”. In 1992 STORA
signed an agreement with the authorities in order to reduce metal emissions (zinc, iron, cadmium and copper) from the mining
field in Falun.18 Through the 15-year lasted “Falun project”, the
levels of heavy metals to the lake Runn, Dalälven and Baltic Sea
have greatly been reduced.19 One measure was to cover the slag
16 In 2006 the National Heritage Board gave 4 million SEK in order to secure the
wall. Notes from the meeting with the Mining Council, May 4th 2006.
17 “Kisbränder” is waste, a fine-grained and ferruginous material, from the sulphuric acid factory in Falun. The factory was in use between 1872 and 1993. After
the closing down of the mine the primary product, pyrite, was not available
anymore. Olsson (2011). In all, “kisbränderna”, is calculated to 400 000 cubic
meters. Lindeström (2003), p. 28.
18 Lindeström (2003), p. 55.
19 Hanaeus & Ledin (2010).
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 243
heaps and sand heaps.20 The quality of water in Faluån, Runn and
Dalälven has significantly improved. The healing ability has proved surprisingly good. In short time, the fish population in Lake
Runn recovered but the water in Faluån has become turbid and
overgrowth of Tisken has increased.21
Efforts to reduce leaching has also changed the landscape and
not entirely positive. In the past so barren and sterile landscape
around the mine the green is today spreading out in summer. This
is contrary to UNESCO’s World Heritage nomination. The elimination of health risks has been given greater weight than the cultural heritage values. The combating of leaves shoots is now a
regular and expensive (and rather hopeless) activity. Furthermore,
in the mining field hedges today at least 47 species of birds. The
eagle owl attracts particular interest.22
If it has been possible to halt the worst leaching from the mine
depositories, it is harder to clean up the soil in the neighborhoods
closest to the mine, especially in the old miner’s town Elsborg.
Here the soil is contaminated by centuries of sulphurous smoke
from the many copper smelting works in and around Falun. Cold
roasting in furnaces embedded Falun in a thick smoke as through
extensive sulfur fallout was killing all vegetation. The concentration of metals in soils closest to the mine is now at 1000 mg/kg
which is far above the limit, but also in Grycksbo, more than 10
km north-west, lead levels of 100 mg/kg have been measured, against the 60 mg/kg as is considered normal in this part of the country.23
The measures taken in Falun from the beginning of the 1990s
have improved the local environment, although high heavy metal
content in some places remain in soil and leaching of metals from
landfills continues.24 How big leaches in the future will also depend on the climate. The climate changes predicted in the UN’s
climate panel (IPCC), with milder winters, warmer summers and
rainfalls would likely lead to increased leaching of metals into waterways.
20 Lindeström (2003), pp. 43.
21 Lindeström (2003), pp. 60 and p. 84.
22 Olsson (2011), p.135.
23 Lindeström (2003), p. 47.
24 Hanaeus & Ledin (2010).
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 244
Mining Heritage 2: The systems of dams
An immediate threat to the world heritage and town of Falun is
the old pond system. The construction began during the 1300s in
order to establish operational water to the furnaces in the mine
vicinity. From the 1500s new ditches and dams were constructed, to restrict the inflow of water to the mine and with help of
water wheels extract the power to bellows, pumps and hoisting
plants. During the mine’s heyday in the 1600s when mining went
deeper down ingenious hauling plants and pumping systems were
constructed. In 1650 there were three water wheels and two wheel
gins. During Christopher Polhem’s time as technical manager at
the mine from 1693 to 1716 the number of installations increased, many of which required a steady and reliable supply of water
power. One of his more grandiose proposals was carried out long
after he separated from his service, for ten years from the mid1730s, when the Crown ditch (Krondiket) was built, a 2.5 km long
and 5 m wide ditch. The material for the base of 25 m wide and
8 m high dam embankment, which protected and still protect, the
mine and the buildings below, consisted of soil, twigs and rocks
with a thin boarded partition dejected in parts of the middle. At
the end of the dam wall were three sluices that let enough amount
of water through to feed the mine’s wheel and gin houses.25
A similar dam system, but larger in area, was established from
the 16th century north west of Sala Silver Mine, 100 km south
east of Falun.26 This archaic water system has in recent times due
to lack of maintenance periodically posed a serious threat to the
nearby town Sala. Thanks to vigorous action efforts and modern
technology, the threat has now been removed.27
Also other early-industrial installations - ironworks, sawmills,
textile factories, machine shops and mills - collected the power to
the machines through large and small water systems with dams,
canals and outflow installations. Even today, these equipments require regular maintenance in order not to collapse. The water level
in reservoirs and regulated lakes are also defined in old water judgments, which requires special knowledge to interpret. Around Österbybruk and Dannemora mines in Upland stretches today an im-
25 Olsson (2011); Lena Myrberg, Januari 24th 2011.
26 Engelbertsson (1991).
27 Andreas Karlsson, talk with the conference on dam security in Falun September
29th 2010.
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 245
pressive system of dams and canals originally built in the 1600s.28
The ponds in Falun, which to some extent until the beginning
of the 1990s provided the mine with power and controlled water influx, are old and demand regular monitoring and periodic
maintenance. Climate change is likely to contribute to further
destabilization of the old installations of various ages. It is up to
the Foundation to monitor that the pond system is kept intact, ie.
to guarantee the maintenance. This includes responsibility for the
maintenance of the Crown ditch dam. Considering the dam systems’ size and complexity, it is a difficult task to monitor and take
action at the right time, even more so when it is costly.
Reservoir size and role
The large reservoir above the mine and the town of Falun covers
an area of 3.3 km2. The precipitation area, ie. the area reservoirs
are taking the rainwater from, was, according to a statement from
1924, far greater, 55 km2.29 Dams and canals are extending about
20 km to the west of the mine. The number of dams is 13, which
include eight dam-houses which, at the Korsgårdsdammen are still
operated in accordance with well-tried methods. With the help of
a sturdy old-fashioned technology the dam keeper manually regulates the water flow between Lake Stora Vällan and the Crown
ditch. In addition to the 13 dams, the Crown ditch and Queen
Margaret’s ditch, there are a number of small ditches and canals
that should be monitored and cleaned.
The current dam system has principally an aesthetic function
and a value as a recreational area for summer residents and others
who live and exercise in the landscape above the mine. A small
portion of the water that passed through the ponds is used by the
municipal district heating plant and the Falun Red, a factory located in the mining area. Excess water flows via an spillway culvert
in the Crown ditch weir and further on via underground culverts
into the Faluån in the city center where it is passed out in lakes
Tisken and Runn.
According to the framework agreement from December 1999
between the Foundation and Stora Kopparbergs Bergslags AB
See Geijerstam & Nisser (2011), p. 71.
29 “Description of the Stora Kopparbergs Bergslags Ltd, belonging to the Falun
Copper work, needs for dams within the water system, which by Crown ditch
diverted its water to Faluån.” Falun in July 1924. Records at the Foundation
Stora Kopperberget.
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 246
(Stora), an affiliated company of Stora Enso, this affiliated company has partial responsibility for the Crown ditch dam. The company Stora agrees to keep the Foundation »harmless if the Foundation through the final court ordered to pay damages to third
parties due to a sudden and unexpected breakthrough in the dam
embankment”. In addition, “the Foundation and Stora together, at
least once a year, should carry out inspection of the dam. If Stora
believes that action is needed to prevent damage the Foundation
shall constitute 10% of the costs of the action, with a maximum
of SEK 100 000 per calendar year.«30 Stora’s responsibilities require that the Foundation »perform normal ongoing supervision
and customary minor maintenance”. Falun Red Ltd is responsible
to keep the water level, by using pumps, at the level of 215 meters below the surface. Through increased rainfall and technical
problems quit recently this level has become increasingly difficult
to keep. Late autumn 2010 the water level was 190 meters which
has worsen the ventilation and probably contributing to a newly
discovered fungus infection in the visitors’ mine.31
The dam system is an important part of world heritage and something that the Foundation is required to keep intact. The water level has to be continuously regulated. Dams, dikes, canals,
spillways, ditches and weirs must be managed properly to prevent
water breakthroughs. The dam embankment at the Crown ditch
is today a major problem and an important local controversy. The
reason is that the dam dikes have long been used as a transport
route for motor vehicles and the traffic has increased with new
housing construction. The wall is definitely not built for tourist
coaches and regular bus traffic. A breakthrough would be devastating, not only for the newly built private houses below the embankment, but also for the mine (which could be filled) and for
parts of the town.
In the spring of 2010 the Foundation turned to the municipality
of Falun and demanded that the road on the Crown embankment
would be closed for motor traffic. Exactly where the water from
the pond is headed down through the spillway the road has sat
down and the sealing ring has been released to the tube.32 Since
30 Framework, December 29th 1999.
31 Dalarnas Tidningar (regional newspaper), December 7, 2010.
32 In the survey report that SwedPower presented in June 2005 after an inspection
of the Crown ditch the conclusion is that the tube must be sealed within two
years. In a even worse condition were the irrigation hoses through/over the
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 247
the Foundation owns the dam the municipality had to stop motor
traffic. It led to protests from the residents above the Crown ditch,
the people who daily use the dam embankment, either by bus or by
car. The municipality which is responsible for the bus traffic also
opposed the closure. However, the culture sector of the county
administrative board has not comment on the question, despite
its staff must ensure that the World Heritage site is kept intact.
Various studies were used as a »weapon« in the infected debate in
the local press during autumn 2010.
In 2006, a consultant accomplished an investigation of the state
of the dam system. The conclusion was that to ensure safety 400
000 Euro had to be invested. The annual maintenance cost was
estimated at 13 200 Euro. The Foundation has no such money
and neither municipality nor state wants to inject funds. Ministers
from the two Swedish governments visited in the first decade of the
21th century Falun and got the situation explained to them. The
investments required are however not reached.
Representatives from the Foundation and the municipality of
Falun have had meetings during the autumn 2010 and spring
2011 in order to find solutions to the infected and locked situation. A proposal is to dredge the narrow part of the canal above
the mine and the culverts. The idea is also to lower the water level
in the Crown ditch dam, down to 75-80 cm below the dam edge.
However, this would likely affect the landscape negative and leads
to a rapid overgrow with bushes. One question for the Foundation
is what happens if parts of the dam embankment, which during
centuries has been below the water surface, drained, preferably if
the water in the dam system through increased precipitation at the
same time rapidly rise? How will this affect the World Heritage;
it there a risk that UNESCO would withdraw the prestigious nomination? Various solutions are discussed at the moment and it is
possible that the road can be re-opened for light traffic. In the deal
that has been discussed, the Foundation would pay 100 000 SEK
and the municipality the rest. A decision will likely come in early
autumn 2011.
pond. These required immediate action, which also took place. See Mats Lund,
survey report 2005-06-01 on assignments of SwedPower. Records at the Foundation Stora Kopparberget, Falun.
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 248
Abandoned industrial buildings and industrial sites can be both
a starting point for a local renewal on the historical basis and a
particularly hazardous environment in unclear care conditions. Especially mines producing copper, zinc, led, silver and gold which
contains a lot of sulphur contaminations leaves from a sustainability standpoint a difficult heritage. Who takes responsibility for
this and how do we build up a knowledge base to manage the
risks when the industrial enterprises have been abandoned or left
the place?
In the case of Falun the big company Stora Enso left at the turn
of the millennium the mining area where mineable minerals had
been taken out of the famous mine during hundreds of years. The
care was entrusted to a Foundation which was provided with a
considerable capital invested in funds and shares. The Foundation
took over the responsibility for the maintenance of the mine and
dam system while the company retained the ownership of forest
land. Thus, the company also retained the right to a future good
return from the forest in the water system’s vast area. Stora Enso
got, it would soon become apparent, rid of an extremely complicated cultural heritage which attracts far greater costs than the
Foundation through revenues from capital investments, sales and
entrance fees are able to mobilize.
Stora Enso has, through its subsidiary company Stora, a shared
responsibility for the safety of the Crown ditch dam but is spared
from the current responsibility. The company has so far been able
to stay out of the difficult issue if the dam embankment shall be
used for motor vehicles, but also the question how the whole dam
system shall be maintained in a sustainable manner. Had the company also transferred the forest land in the water system’s area to
the Foundation its economic conditions for a long term management would had been improved.
However, it is not only a question of money for maintenance
and investment. As important are knowledge and solid experiences how old dikes, ditches, spillways, culverts, weirs and dam
house are cared for and renewed. The experience also needs to
be transferred to new generations. It is best done through personal communication in place, and not, as often happens, ends the
day the caretaker/dam keeper leaves the service. A retrospective
reconstruction of knowledge is usually a difficult task.
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 249
The risk of accidents involving damage to buildings, equipments
and even the people are great in this type of industrial environ­
ment, that we know from later years of devastating dam breaks in
Spain (Los Frailes) in 1998, Romania (Baia Mar) 2000 and later in
Hungary (Kolontár ) autumn 2010.33 Sweden has had at least two
major dam failures in the 2000s, partly in Aitik 2001 and partly
in Blaikengruvan 2006, two mines located in northern Sweden.
Furthermore, there have been spills from mining slag and sand
Also important is to model the water flow for the »hundred-years
flow” and to make dams and channels secured to extreme water
conditions. This requires both SMHI’s expertise35 to know how to
calculate the rainfall and water flow in different types of landscapes and also people with classical engineering knowledge.
In addition to knowledge how to model water flows and practical experience how to maintain dam systems, knowledge of road
engineering is required. However, this kind of education has in
recent decades been cut down at Swedish technical universities.
Last but not least, industrial historical knowledge and basic knowledge in historical theory and method, that is where to find relevant documents in the archives and how to interpret and analyze
data in the files. The industrial historical knowledge is necessary
if we shall understand what impact different businesses may have
sat in the buildings, land and water, and how plants are constructed. We historians need simultaneously to develop and deepen our
knowledge in the field of environmental history in order to deliver
sharper analysis and to be stronger in a discussion of risks and the
need for action.
33 Fokus October 15th 2010
34 Karltorp 2008.
35 SMHI, stands for Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 250
Archives at the Foundation, Stiftelsen Stora Kopparberget, in Falun.
Cossons, N. (1993). The BP Book of Industrial Archaelogy. 3rd ed. Newton
Abbot : David & Charles.
Den Jyske Historiker (2009). Theme: industrial milieus. Nr 121-122, Februar
Dalarnas Tidningar 2010.12.07.
Engelbertsson, B. (1991). Längs Salas vattenvägar. Bergslagsarkiv.
af Geijerstam, J. (ed.) (2006). Industriarv i förändring – rapport från en
konferens i Koppardalen, Avesta 7-9 mars,2006. Stockholm/Avesta: KTH/
Avesta kommun.
af Geijerstam, J. & Nisser, M. (red.) (2011). Bergsbruk – gruvor och
metallhantering. Sveriges Nationalatlas. Stockholm: Norstedts.
Hanaeus, Å. & Ledin, B. (2010). Efterbehandling av gruvavfall i Falun 19922008. Sammanfattning och slutrapport för Faluprojektet. Rapport 6398.
Stockholm: Naturvårdsverket.
Isacson, M. (2007). Industrisamhället Sverige. Lund: Studentlitteratur.
Isacson, M. (2009). in Den Jyske Historiker.
Isacson, M. (2011). The re-usage of large-scale industrial areas – an overview.
Polhem 2011 (forthcoming).
Jörnmark, J. (2007). Övergivna platser. Lund: Historisk Media.
Jörnmark, J. (2008). Övergivna platser två. Lund: Historisk Media.
Karltorp, K. (2008). Miljöpåverkan från gruvindustrin En översiktlig
sammanställning över potentiell miljöpåverkan från gruvindustrin. Utredning
genomförd på uppdrag av Andra AP-fonden och AP-fondernas Etikråd.
Lindeström, L. (2003). Falu gruvas miljöhistoria. Falun: Stiftelsen Stora
Koppar­berget &
Miljöforskargruppen AB.
Lindroth, S. (1955). Gruvbrytning och kopparhantering vid Stora Kopparberget,
I och II. Falun: Skrifter utgivna av Stora Kopparbergs Bergslags Aktiebolag.
Nisser, M. (red.) (1979). Industriminnen. Stockholm: Arkitekturmuseet/Liber
Olsson, Daniel S. (2011). Falu gruva. Falun: Stiftelsen Stora Kopparberget.
Storm, A. (2008). Hope and Rust. Reinterpreting the industrial place in the late
20th century. Stockholm: KTH, TRITA-HOT-2057.
TICCIH- national reports (The International Committee for the Conservation
of the Industrial Heritage. The national reports are published in connection
with the conferences, held each third year from 1973 up to 2009).
Wedin, I. (2007). Brytningstid vid Falu Koppargruva 1540-1620.
Examensarbete vid Avd för teknik- och vetenskapshistoria, KTH.
Willis, R. (2008). Industrial cool. Om postindustriella fabriker. Lund: Huma­
nistiska fakulteten vid Lunds universitet.
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 251
World Heritage in
the Lofoten Islands
and the Barents Sea
Allan Sande
Professor Ph.D.
[email protected]
University of Nordland,
8049 Bodø,
+4775517301, +4790742216
In the High North Region, The Barents Sea has both large undiscovered resources of gas and petroleum and sustainable populations
of capelin, herring, and cod. The challenge lies then in implementing the convention of world heritage and nature conservation, at
the same time managing sustainable exploitation of the natural
resources in The Barents Sea. The Norwegian government has tried to solve national conflicts of interest by making a large scale
ecosystem-based national management plan for The Barents Sea.
The national goals are both sustainable use of petroleum, fishery
resources and conservation of the maritime ecosystem. These goals
are implemented through designation and planning of the Lofoten
Islands and parts of The Barents Sea as world heritage sites. These
designated key areas for conservation are the spawning grounds
for cod and herring as well as sites for international tourism. The
same key areas at sea are the most promising areas for the exploitation of petroleum on the Norwegian continental shelf. In this
paper, I present an empirical case study of Norwegian national
decision-making in ecosystem-based management of The Barents
Sea and nomination of The Lofoten islands as a World Heritage
site. I discuss the social effects of the new environmental policy
and environmental institutions of problem-solving in Norway.
The question is: does the government-based eco-system management planning system provide a suitable institutional framework
for solving the conflicting interests of use or conservation of sea
areas in the Norwegian context?
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 252
Biodiversity conservation is on the international agenda in UN. In
this paper I would like to present the Norwegian solution of democratic participation in biodiversity conservation of large sea areas
in The Barents Sea. According to international UN agreements,
the Norwegian state has implemented an eco-system based management plan for large sea areas. This is linked to the international
convention of biodiversity conservation and the Malawi –convention of eco-system management. These international guidelines are
based on using management at the lowest democratic level, the
conservation of a large eco-system and use of local knowledge and
natural science knowledge in the governance of nature. At the UN
the Norwegian state has also ratified the UNESCO convention of
world heritage conservation of culture and nature. According to
agreements in IUNC and UNESCO, national states have taken on
the obligation of conserving 15% of the space of the country. By
2010 the Norwegian authorities had conserved 15 % of the onshore landscape as natural reserves and 34 different national parks.
Norwegian society today depends on the export of oil and
gas. About 25% of the GNP is based on offshore exploitation of
petroleum resources on the continental shelf. The Norwegian state
owns and governs the search for new petroleum on the continental shelf as far as 200 km. off the coastline. The sea areas in The
North Sea, The Norwegian Sea and The Barents Sea and The Arctic Ocean, are seven times larger than the onshore areas in Norway. Only a small fraction of the sea areas has by national decision-making been conserved as national parks and marine natural
protected areas. Sea areas are opened for international commercial
fishery, shipping, and the international search for petroleum and
production of petroleum.
According to international figures 25% of the world’s undiscovered petroleum resources are located in the Arctic. The Barents
Sea is the most promising area for exploration in the international
oil industry. The Russians have discovered the world’s largest gasfield Stockman offshore in the Russian sector of The Barents Sea.
The Norwegians have discovered three petroleum fields with two
fields already having started production of oil and gas (Snøhvit og
Norne). Because of the global climate change and rising temperatures, the Arctic sea areas are now open access areas for petroleum
research and production. The sea ice is receding and the climate is warming up in the Arctic. Growing international demands
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 253
for more oil and gas have put strong pressure on the Norwegian government to open new sea areas in the Arctic for petroleum
exploration. The most promising areas are the coastal zones of
Northern Norway and The Barents Sea. The “hot spots” for discovery of huge petroleum resources are the sea areas outside The
Lofoten and Vesterålen Islands. However, these areas also have the
most important functions in the structure of the eco-system of The
Barents Sea because the most important species of fish, birds and
whales use these sea areas as spawning grounds in the spring and
summertime. According to natural science knowledge available at
The Institute for Marine Research, these biological processes in the
coastal zones have key functions in the structure of the eco-system
in The Barents Sea (Havforskningsinstituttet 2010: 1a). The search for new oilfields at sea is potentially dangerous because large
oil-spills kill off small species, fish and birds. In the Arctic with
low sea temperatures and ice conditions in the wintertime, large
oil spills have a greater opportunity to damage large eco-systems
for long periods. Experience from the disaster of Exxon Valdes
in Alaska in1989 (Fall, Miraglia, Simeone, Utermohle and Wolfe
2001, Ott 2005), today still has a strong impact on the Norwegian
policy of regulating transport and production of petroleum in the
coastal areas (Midtgård 2011, Andersen 2011). Today the eco-system in The Barents Sea holds the world’s largest populations of
cod, herring and sea birds. Large scale commercial fisheries of pelagic species provide livelihoods for Norwegian, Russian, Icelandic
and British fishermen and are the most important industry in rural
communities in The North Atlantic region (Jentoft 1998, Holm
2001). Industrial fishery in the Arctic provides large export incomes and the basic conditions for human settlement. The new petroleum activity also provides opportunities as well as a great challenge towards other human activities such as fisheries, tourism,
shipping and outdoor recreation (Kristoffersen 2011, Dale 2011).
These human activities and settlements onshore depend totally on
nature and the ecosystem at sea.
I would like to present empirical material about democratic decision-making in Norwegian society regarding the use or conservation of large eco-systems at sea. The key areas at sea are here
at stake for lots of different stakeholders, local communities and
interest groups in Norwegian society. Because of international collaboration between the national states in the Arctic region, petroleum and fish are common resources divided between the national
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 254
states of Russia, Denmark, Iceland and The EU. The national states’ sovereignty over sea areas and the property rights over natural resources depend on international and bilateral recognition of
borders between national states.
The Norwegian state policy of gaining legitimacy in the international community consists of using international agreements
regarding managing sea areas, eco-system management and the
world heritage on islands. The islands of Jan Mayen, Spitzbergen
and Lofoten have by The Norwegian Ministry of The Environment nominated on UNESCO’s tentative list of world heritage places.
In this article, I focus on the nomination process of Lofoten Islands
as a world heritage site. This political process of decision-making
has become created a national controversy regarding petroleum or
world heritage within local communities, government and parliament (Kristoffersen 2011, Andersen 2011). The paper will attempt
to analyze the democratic decision-making of using the key areas
as a world heritage site and for large scale eco-system planning.
The question then is as follows: does government based eco-system management planning provide the institutional framework for
solving the conflicting interests between conservation and use of
nature in Norwegian society?
Perspectives on governing the environment
Management of environment as large eco-systems is human governance of other human use of natural resources in the eco-systems
(Davidson-Hunt and Berkes 2003:75). Eco-systems are governed
by political- and administrative processes which govern the human
use of nature. The challenge for natural environmental management is to integrate and coordinate international, national, regional and local interest groups in their use of nature (Ostrom 1998,
Jentoft 1998, Carlsson 2008). Management of the environment is
the political task of making decisions amongst conflicting human
interests, creating a balance between different political goals, and
finding solutions to social problems and conflicts of interests. In
the Nordic countries the power of governing nature is centralized
to national states, parliament, government and ministries at national level and then delegated to counties and municipalities at
regional and local levels. The national tasks, and different areas
of environmental policy, are national obligations because of international ratification of international agreements, such as The Rio
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 255
Declaration and UNESCO agreements (Ulstein 2001, Hovi and
Underdal 2008, Otterlei and Sande 2010).
The perspectives on governing society are many, and one traditional perspective is hierarchical top-down government and use of
the bureaucracy. The tools here are the central power of legislation, use of professional staff and local implementation of systems
with formal organisations (Weber 1922, Carlsson 2008). The central authority assumes the responsibility for and takes the initiative
for policy-making and legislation; public professional employees
follow up by loyally implementing the decisions taken. This situation we define as political government, defined as national consent
and loyal regional implementation (Jacobsen 1978:199). This is an
ideal model of government and central power-wielding in a national state (Weber 1922, Carlsson 2008). In this ideal model central
government and parliament enact the integration and coordination of different areas of policy-making relating to the whole field
of environmental management; the central decisions of policy are
automatically implemented by loyal professionals at regional level.
The integration and coordination of policy, legislation and organisation all take place at national level.
Inside a national state this ideal model does not, however, suit
the everyday work and implementation at regional and local levels. Many political science and sociological studies have in fact
shown the opposite results; more concentration of power at national level does not give the right results in regional and local implementation of national plans (Olsen 1988:49). Lack of implementation of national policy is a common theme in social science studies
of national state governing and management of human activities.
The explanation hinges round the fact that not just public actors
take part in policy-making and implementation. Private actors,
businesses, and non-governmental organizations also take part:
we have created a consultative state which delegates policy-making and implementing to organizations in the private sector, or
does the public task in partnership with the private sectors and
non-governmental organizations (Olsen 1988:49). The Norwegian tradition of government is based on decentralized authorities
at regional and local levels, both with regard to policy-making
and public management. This process implies a large number of
local and regional actors taking part in the policy-making and the
implementation of policy.
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 256
In the perspective of “bottom-up” government, the explanation
of problems of implementation hinges round the fact that that conditions for the ideal government model do not at present exist in
societies. The system of knowledge and analytical environmental
problems in national policy-making differs greatly from the system
used by professional staff at local level. At local level knowledge of
the environmental problems is different. Different goals, problems
and knowledge make it difficult to implement the national policy
of environment at regional and local level.
Sociological and political science studies of the Norwegian state
show the results of deregulation of central power in parliament and
government (Grønlie 1999, Engelstad, Selle and Østerud 2003).
This change from on ideal type of government towards another
type is called the process of detraction (Jacobsen 1978:200). This
process means that central government delegates authority and
power to other levels of management and governing organisations. This internal process then generates more specialisation and
fragmentation of public management (Christiansen and Lægreid
2007). We expect environmental policy to consist of a similar situation of processes of detraction.
Another perspective on these processes is the use of governance
(Peters and Pierre 2004). Governance is equal partnership between
public government and private interests in the common collaboration regarding policy-making and implementation (Peters and
Pierre 2004:78, Edvardsen and Hovik 2006, Røiseland and Vabo
2008). In this perspective, and the model of “bottom-up”, common collaboration will provide better opportunities for implementing common environmental policy because of the common
interest of public and private actors in the implementation of the
policy. Mutual dependence and common interest are important
terms for actors’ collaboration and joint work (Røiseland and
Vabo 2008:97). The policy of conservation of the natural environment depends on mutual interests between private and public sectors in the collaboration towards implementing policy. Not only
public government forms policy; other interest groups and private
organisations also take part in policy-making. The ideal model of
governance involves equal interests, power, knowledge and resources between the public and the private partners. In reality, societies
consist of different patterns involving inequality of power, resources and knowledge between local communities, classes, genders
and nations. Partnerships do not take into account the explicit
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 257
problems of differing meanings, interests and knowledge between
partners, and, because of hidden conflicts of interest, the goals remain loose and vague. Governance is an ideal model based on mutual interest, collaboration and joint work in a united co-ordinated
organization (Røiseland and Vabo 2008:92).
I want to investigate what sort of institutional model the Norwegian national state uses in the implementation of national nature- and environmental policy in The Barents Sea, and I want
to use the models of government or governance, as tools in the
analytical discussions. I want to investigate the capacity for making an integrated whole of environmental policy for the islands
and the eco-system at sea. The investigation of solutions is based
on the institutional organization of management with the patterns
of government or governance. These perspectives are used to analyze the construction of government, responsibility and authority
in the regional implementation of national environmental policy.
The actors in public management hold different formal positions,
and have different educational backgrounds and systems of knowledge. They take part in different interactions and institutional
systems of consultation with the local stakeholders. The empirical narrative of systems of management, actors and interaction
in policy-making and the implementation of national environmental policy will be presented as separate stories of political decision-making of world heritage and eco-system based management
of The Barents Sea. The different narratives will be compared and
analyzed in the last section.
World heritage in The Barents Sea
The UN convention of World Heritage was invented by representatives from the international organisations of ICOMOS and
INUC. These two organisations work for conservation of culture
and nature. Representatives from ICOMOS and INUC worked in
the UN committee UNESCO which developed the international
convention of world heritage in 1972. The national states, which
have ratified the agreement, can propose and apply for sites as
cultural, natural, or combined sites for world heritage. Today
194 nations have signed the agreement and over 940 places are
accepted by UNESCO as world heritage places. The Norwegian
state ratified the agreement in1977 and has seven different sites
as cultural or natural world heritage places. Most internationally
known are the Norwegian fjords which became world natural he-
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 258
ritage in 2005. The Norwegian government has proposed Lofoten
Islands, Jan Mayen Island, Bjørnøya Island and Spizbergen Islands
on UNESCO’s tentative list of new places in the future (Riksantikvaren 2008). Together with the Nordic countries the Norwegian
Ministry of the Environment has made a joint Nordic plan for
world heritage places in1996 (Nord 1996:30/31). In the Nordic
and UNESCO plan for world heritage, the Lofoten Islands and
the sea area off the islands, was proposed tentatively in 1996 as a
place for world heritage.
According to the guidelines of UNESCO the national state organizes the local and national decision-making of nomination, the
detailed statement and the application. In the Norwegian case The
Ministry of The Environment owns the task of applying for cultural and natural world heritage. The task is managing the process of
decision-making at local municipality level and inside the different
ministries and the Norwegian government. The result is a governmental decision to send an application to UNESCO. The application includes three sections: 1) The application for a site, 2) The
management plan for the proposed site and 3) 100 pictures from
the site. In 2003 The Ministry of The Environment started the
formal decision process of nomination for The Lofoten Islands.
The partners and stakeholders are the Norwegian government, 6
local municipalities with 24 000 people, The County Governor of
Nordland, Nordland County and the Council of Lofoten region.
In 2004 the Minister of The Environment, Knut Arild Hareide,
travelled to The Lofoten Islands and officially declared the start of
the formal process of local and national decision-making and the
production of a application. According to UNESCO’s guidelines,
an application for world heritage needs local participation, local
consent and local management. Five of six municipalities agreed
in 2004 to take part in the decision process and the making of the
UNESCO application. The Ministry of The Environment implemented a local and national staff to manage the decision process
of nomination and manufacturing knowledge and documentation.
Between 2005 and 2009 the elected board of the nomination process, with representatives from the directorate for nature, six municipalities, The County Governor of Nordland, The Directorate
of Fisheries, tourist organisations, public museums, the fishermens’
union, and the farmers’ union took part in the development of the
application, the production of local knowledge, collecting natural
scientific knowledge and the writing of a management plan. In
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 259
2006 the board of six municipalities supported the work of finishing the national application to UNESCO. The application of The
Lofoten Islands as a world heritage site was designed to answer the
questions and criteria set up by UNESCO. The nomination as a
world heritage site included six municipalities with 24 000 people,
3000 km2 of land and islands and 7000 km2 of sea areas outside
and in The Lofoten Islands. The criteria of nomination were chosen as follows: marine biodiversity of universal value, outstanding
natural beauty of universal value, the landscape of the Lofoten
Alpine Wall at sea, and the cultural tradition of 1000 years of cod
fishery. The Lofoten area is the first place in the world to be known
for commercial fishery of pelagic cod and export of stockfish to
Europe. The intention of the nomination of 7000 km2 sea area
34 kms off the coast of The Lofoten Islands, is the conservation
and development of the traditional coastal fisheries. According to
information from UNESCO, recognition of the world heritage site
will give an increase in tourism of between 40% – 60%. In the
Lofoten region today 1200 people are employed to take care of
500 000 visiting international tourists. The potential world heritage site opens up an opportunity to develop employment for 500
new people in the management and service industry related to The
Lofoten Islands being awarded the status of a world heritage site.
Within the board of nomination the representatives from the
two larger Lofoten municipalities, asked for an explanation of
world heritage related to the possibility of coastal petroleum activity. The Norwegian parliament had supported the Management
plan for The Barents Sea in 2006, and the government had worked on collecting natural scientific knowledge of the geology, the
biology, a maritime survey, climate change and the eco-system of
The Barents Sea. The decision to plan all human activity was taken
by the Norwegian government in the spring of 2011. The governmental decision of the revision of the “Holistic management plan
for The Barents Sea” opened up a new opportunity for national
decision-making regarding petroleum exploration in coastal areas. This new environmental policy provided the opportunity to
open up new coastal areas for petroleum activities. The national
decision-making process for Lofoten and the sea areas nominated as world heritage site are key national areas for petroleum
production and large-scale industrial fisheries. The Ministry of
the Environment manages these two different national processes
of decision-making happening at the same time and in the same
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 260
place. Because of the Norwegian government’s unknown decision
regarding these matters, the Lofoten council (a regional council
consisting of members from Lofoten Island municipalities) made a
decision in September 2009 to stop the national process of world
heritage application. The UNESCO application had by this time
been developed and completed in Norwegian language. The decision process lacked local municipality decisions of consent and
national decisions of consent within the Norwegian Government.
The local, regional and national processes were co-ordinated by
the national Ministry of The Environment. The Lofoten council
consists of six mayors from six municipalities in Lofoten. This regional institution is a partnership between The Lofoten Islands’
six municipalities. Because of this joint decision at regional level,
the local processes aimed at reaching consent have not been accomplished in five of the six municipalities. The Lofoten Council
applied to then Minister of The Environment Erik Solheim to stop
the national process of developing an application in English. Because of the UNESCO guidelines demanding local participation
and consent, the Norwegian Government has so far not managed
to finish and promote the application of The Lofoten Islands as a
world heritage site to UNESCO in Paris.
National government and holistic eco-system management of The
Barents Sea
Due to the risk of large oil spills and total destruction of the
eco-system in arctic sea areas, the Norwegian parliament made a
decision in 1993 not to open the Lofoten and Vesterålen sea areas
for offshore petroleum activities (White Paper nr. 26.1993/1994,
Arbo Hersoug 2010). The decision was made by way of the national act of petroleum and applied natural and social research
for national decision-making in government and parliament. The
national state-owned oil company Statoil, strongly desired to use
this coastal zone in the Lofoten region for petroleum activities.
According to geological research the coastal sea areas outside The
Lofoten Islands make up the most promising area for discovering
large new oil fields. According to the Norwegian Ministry of Oil
and Gas, the area holds petroleum and gas resources worth 600
billion Norwegian crowns (100 billion US dollars). According to
representatives from Statoil, the new petroleum activities will generate income worth 1200 billion Norwegian crowns (200 billion
US dollars) and create 2000 new oil work related places in the
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 261
local communities. The representatives of national and international oil companies visit the mayors and political representatives in
the municipalities concerned and promote the interests of petroleum and gas exploration in the Lofoten region.
The international oil industry has launched a joint lobby campaign directed at Norwegian municipalities, the government and
parliament in order to open up new areas for petroleum exploration in The Barents Sea and the sea outside The Lofoten Islands. In
the face of this international challenge, the conservative government of Kjell Magne Bondvik in 2001 started the process of policymaking and developing a new management system related to human usage of sea areas and sea eco-systems. The Ministry of The
Environment were given this task and developed the new system
of “a holistic governmental plan for large sea areas”. The Ministry
of The Environment invited the natural sciences environment and
directorates responsible for managing natural resources onshore
and offshore to take part in this development. In the process 150
natural researchers at 27 different research institutes and directorates used 500 million Norwegian crowns (100 million US dollars) in research studies and development of a natural science-based management system of sea areas and large scale eco-systems.
The continental shelf and sea areas are divided into three different
eco-systems and management regimes. The borders between the
eco-systems are linked with natural science knowledge of natural
biodiversity and marine life and eco-functions. Human communities onshore are not part of the eco-system, because the eco-system
borders are defined as starting 10 kilometres off the coast. Coastal
communities, municipalities and counties are not stakeholders and
participants in this eco-system based management. The borders
between the eco-systems in The Norwegian Sea and The Barents
Sea are The Lofoten Islands. Because of the cod population’s key
functions in the eco-system, The Lofoten Islands are part of the
eco-system in The Barents Sea. The Norwegian government chose
The Barents Sea as its first attempt to implement the new management regime of the ocean. This new policy was put to the Norwegian parliament in 2006 and accepted as a new policy regime offshore. The system is based on both human use of natural resources
and conservation of all parts of the eco-system structure and functions (Knol 2010). The decision in parliament included planning
and revision periods of 5 years. Only government and parliament
are given the opportunity of making the decisions of governing all
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 262
human activities at sea. The management of decision-making is
institutionalized at National Government level and they use manufactured natural scientific knowledge to govern politically all
human usage of the ocean. During the planning period there have
been two national elections to parliament and the government has
changed from a conservative government to a coalition including
the Labour Party, The Socialist Party and The Agrarian Party. This
government has not started the processes of decision-making related to The Barents Sea. In both parliament elections in 2005 and
2009 the sea areas outside Lofoten Islands turned out to be major
conflict issues in national politics. On the 15th of April 2010 the
Norwegian government received the new natural scientific reports
of the conditions of the eco-system in The Barents Sea (“Fisken og
havet” (The Fish and The Sea), særnummer 1a-2010). 150 natural
researchers delivered a joint consensus report to the Environmental Minister Erik Solheim. The scientific results present a picture of a healthy eco-system with growing populations of herring
and cod, low risk of oilspills and a growing biodiversity due to
the warmer climate. The natural scientific results are the basic documentation and knowledge in the decision-making of governing
all human activities in The Barents Sea. The Prime Minister, Jens
Stoltenberg, and then Minister of The Environment, Erik Solheim,
wanted all interest groups, parties and municipalities to provide
local knowledge, advice and comments before the governmental
decision in the spring of 2011. Several days after, on the 21st of
April 2010, an accident happened in The Gulf of Mexico on a
drilling rig searching for new oil fields in deep water. Deepwater
Horizon exploded and produced the largest known offshore blowout lasting 87 days and generating a major oil spill in The Gulf of
Mexico. This accident had an enormous impact on the national
decision whether or not to open new areas for petroleum activities
in coastal areas in Norway.
In Norwegian society it is common knowledge that there is disagreement between the parties forming the majority coalition government. The Labour party wants to start en opening process directed at new petroleum activities in the coastal zone and the two
other parties, the left-wing Socialist Party (SV) and The Agrarian
y Party (SP), do not want a new process enabling the opening of
these sea areas for petroleum exploration. The left-wing Socialist
Party follows the policy of conserving coastal areas in Lofoten as
a protected natural reserve according to the Act of Natural Pro-
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 263
tection. The minister of the Environment is a member of left-wing
Socialist Party. His ministry has responsibility both for the application of Lofoten Islands as a world heritage site and for the
Management plan for The Barents Sea, as government policy areas
and as part of the central administration of the Norwegian State.
The tug-of -war and battle between world heritage and petroleum
took place inside and between the different parties in national government. The international accident in The Gulf of Mexico on
Deepwater Horizon meant delayed decision-making within the
government. Because of the making of new reports on Deepwater Horizon, the decision was delayed in the autumn of 2010.In
March 2011 the Norwegian government announced its decision
under its new revised management plan for The Barents Sea (White Paper, “Stortingsmelding” nr. 10, 2010-2011). The content was
a policy of closing the sea area off the coast of Lofoten for petroleum activities. Instead the government opened new coastal areas
for petroleum activity in other places. The areas now opened are
coastal areas south and north of Lofoten. These new concession
blocks for petroleum activity are situated 35 kms off the coast of
Norway. In the same public document the Norwegian government
announced refusal to submit the UNESCO application because of
the decision at regional level to stop the nomination process of
Lofoten as a world heritage site. The political compromise arrived
at within the government opens new areas for petroleum activity
in The Barents Sea as compensation for the loss of the sea area off
the coast of Lofoten.
The Barents Sea and the Norwegian environmental management
The narratives tell a story of two parallel national processes of
decisions related to the governing of one sea area in The Barents
Sea. Because of national economic interests regarding the income
from the fisheries, the petroleum and gas industry and tourism,
the decision-making turned into a political battle within the political parties in national government. The political polarization,
the battle between world heritage and petroleum, has evolved into
a symbolic battle of the human use of nature for the future. The
Norwegian state economy is based on the export of fish, oil and
gas. Use of natural resources at sea provides the basis for Norwegian national welfare and livelihood. These vital natural resources
are shared with other national states and strongly depend on in-
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 264
ternational agreements and regulations. The Barents Sea is divided and managed in co-operation with the Russians. International
collaboration and strong dependence on natural resources has, in
Norwegian society, moved the power of management to national
level. The board of management has turned out to become the
Norwegian Government and Parliament. The decision-making
is carried out within the government and is based on the use of
purely natural science based research and knowledge. In the new
eco-system management of sea areas, the Government has gained
more political power in the governing of human usage. On the
other hand municipalities, the fishermens’ union , the union of oil
companies and the social sciences have lost their participation and
power. The balance of power has moved from local and regional
governance towards national government.
The other decision process, the application process to for Lofoten as a world heritage site paints a picture of detraction of power.
Municipalities have gained power due to UNESCO guidelines.
The national application requires local participation, consent, and
management. The making of decisions involves three different levels of management and stakeholders. The production of the application and the management plan implied a strong partnership
between local stakeholders, interest groups, social researcher, natural researchers and municipalities. On the other hand the application required consent within the Norwegian Government and
the central state administration. The lack of trust between local
and national stakeholders in politics and the national political polarization of the politics of nature prevented completion of the
UNESCO application. The Norwegian government announced in
its revised management plan for The Barents Sea, the political goal
of 10% conservation of the ocean area located on the Norwegian
shelf. However, it was impossible to make a decision to conserve
the sea areas proposed as world heritage in The Lofoten Islands.
The political compromise within the Norwegian Government ended up in no oil-exploration and no world heritage in Lofoten.
This national decision is a political solution lying between use
and conservation. To understand this decision we need to understand the historical background for political institutions. The Norwegian natural and environmental system has since 1972 been a
ministry organisation The Ministry of Environmental Protection
(Miljøverndepartementet) and The Directorate for Natural Management (Direktoratet for naturforvaltning). The Norwegian
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 265
system uses a top-down public organization for institutional policymaking and implementation (Jansen 1989, Berntsen 1994). In
this model it was intended to construct an integrated whole of the
government sector of the various ministries for the use of natural
resources involving the ministries of agriculture, fisheries, industry and petroleum. The national policy was based on a model
of public government of natural environment, but due to national conflicts with other ministries, this actually turned out to be a
small sector with poor professional natural scientific employees,
low legal power and a low budget. The Norwegian government
consists of different professional civil servants with educational
backgrounds ranging from law to agronomy, forest management,
the management of wilderness, landscape architects, social sciences and biology (Jansen 1989:229, Osland 1997). The Norwegian Ministry of The Environment has a multicultural professional
staff and no one professional group dominates the system (Jansen
1989, Osland 1997, Jonsson 1999). The Norwegian Ministry of
The Environment has had great conflicts of interest with other ministries at national level and conflicts of interest at regional level
in counties and local municipalities during the period from 1980
to 2000 (Jansen 1989, Osland 1997:149, Sande 2010). The Norwegian state implemented regional management of the environment at state county level in 21 counties in 1984. Professional
staff at regional state level has been built up in the same way as at
national level – with multicultural professional education (Jansen
1989, 222, Bertsen 1994, Klausen og Rommetveit 1996).
The tasks of operational management of natural resources, conserving biodiversity and conserved landscapes are delegated to state county level (Fylkesmannen i Nordland, Miljøvernavdelingen).
The state county level (Department of Environmental Protection)
has 20 employees in two different sections of areal conservation
and species conservation. The Department of Environmental Protection is small and lacks power, professional knowledge and budgetary power. The management tasks are onshore eco-systems and
coastal zone within the ocean area. In 2010 the Ministry of Environment delegated the management of large conserved eco-systems and national parks onshore to 430 municipalities. Two of the
municipalities in The Lofoten Islands, Røst and Vågan, received
a letter of invitation from the Minister Erik Solheim to take over
national management of protected nature reserves. This policy can
be seen as the total opposite of the eco-system based management
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 266
used for The Barents Sea. Sea areas are governed and managed
by national institutions such as The Directorate for Petroleum
(Oljedirektoratet) The Directorate for Fisheries and The Coast
(Fiskeridirektoratet) and The Institute for Marine Research (Havforskningsinstituttet). The Norwegian onshore system today has
three levels of management and government of nature: national,
regional and municipal. At municipality level in all the 435 Norwegian municipalities the same heterogenic patterns of different
professional groups exists. The largest group of employed heads
of environmental protection is nature managers educated at the
Norwegian University of Environmental and Bio-diversity. In five
of six municipalities in the Lofoten region, the position of head of
environmental protection has been removed and the tasks have
been transmitted to the Section for Development of Business and
Spatial Planning. At municipality level the heterogenic pattern of
professions is repeated, closely resembling the pattern existing
at national and regional state level. Because of the small scale of
many of these municipalities, different staff with varying professional educational backgrounds, works in each municipality. In the
six municipalities in the area studied, the professional group of
agronomists and engineering dominates the management of nature and environment. Management capacity related to Norwegian
onshore eco-systems (and national parks) is to be found at local
level with political delegation of tasks, power and responsibility.
This system of heterogenic professions uses different networks
and scientific models of management. The main model is developed at the former Norwegian University of Agriculture (The Norwegian University of Environment and Bio-engineering), and in
this model, management is based on using and cultivating nature.
Professional staff in the field of maritime management is usually educated in marine biology at the Universities of Bergen and
Tromsø (Holm 2001, Andersen 2010). This model of management is based on natural selection, biodiversity and eco-systems
(Aas and Skurdal 2000:77, Holm 2001, Knol 2010). The system
of management in the Norwegian case has different patterns of
professional groups. At local level managing the onshore system
in municipalities, professional groups use a model of cultivation
and strong local democratic participation of interest groups and
stakeholders. The management of The Barents Sea consists of totally based governance and partnerships between national politics and natural sciences. This horizontal integrated expert system
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 267
consists of professional engineers and natural science researchers
who work at different ministries, directorates, and national research institutes. The politics and power is concentred in central state
administration and national government.
The changing processes within the onshore eco-systems have
been marked by de-centralization and delegation, as well as power
shifts at local level moving toward models for cultivation of nature
at municipality level. The opposite process of centralization and
power shifts continues at national level moving towards a model
of natural selection and bio-diversity conservation in the management of offshore eco-systems. Within the national central system
of different ministries and professional groups, internal competition exists between these two different models for governing nature. At municipality level, political parties and professional people
support the integrated model of cultivation and the use of nature,
whereas at central government level in Oslo, national parties and
professional staff support the model of conserving nature and holistic eco-system based management. The globalisation of natural policy-making and politics has changed the power of balance
in favour of the international and national level (Often 1993:43,
Carlsson 2008). These new networks of governance between natural science and national politics have rendered the local level more
static. The national government uses international policy and institutions in the implementation of this policy at national level.
The general picture of management systems in Norway is based
on detraction and governance of onshore eco-systems at local and
regional level, with its total opposite being offshore marine ocean
management. The difference here is that Norwegian municipalities
and local stakeholders do have legal power and do take part in
the implementation of national policy, hereby implementing the
national system at local level.
The Norwegian state delegated the task of management of the
onshore environment, national parks and the large-scale eco-system to 430 municipalities. Every municipality employs one person
as head of the environment connected to the mayor’s secretariat
(Osland 1997, 157). This onshore eco-system based management
has three levels of political and democratic decision-making. The
national challenge consists of the vertical integration of three levels of management in 430 municipalities and 21 counties.
On the other hand, the offshore eco-system at sea is purely based on national political and natural scientific institutions (Jentoft
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 268
1998, Holm 2001, Knol 2011, Kristoffersen 2011). The new policy of eco-system based management offshore is the horizontal
integration of different national directorates and maritime natural
research institutes (Andersen 2011). Norwegian government gave
The Ministry of The Environment the task of horizontally integrating the policy areas of petroleum, shipping, fishery and environmental conservation of the ocean. The operative governing board
was centralized to Norwegian Government.
Temporary political conclusions
At the beginning of this study I asked the question: is govern­
ment-based eco-system management planning the institutional
framework for solving the conflicting interests of conservation or
use in Norwegian society? In this article I have presented two cases of national decision-making related to conserving large-scale
eco-systems in The Barents Sea and The Lofoten Islands. The issue
concerned is to make political decisions within government regarding both the usage and the conservation of maritime biodiversity
for the future. The national decision is based on national state implementation of different international agreements for conserving
biodiversity at the UN. The two different processes of national
implementation have produced national, regional, and local conflicts between petroleum stakeholders on the one side and stakeholders of world heritage on the other. In the politics of nature
within government, it is impossible to obtain a decision to secure
permanent natural conservation in the most important sea area
for the fisheries and tourism in Norway. Due to environmental
movements and politics, it is also impossible to obtain a decision
for oil exploration and research in the sea areas outside The Lofoten Islands. The national experimentation of the eco-system based
management has two different outcomes. The implementation of
international agreements has in the case of large onshore eco-system based management been delegated to municipality level as a
new system of local governance of national parks and large natural protected areas. On the other side offshore marine eco-system
based management is centralized at the national state level (national government). Because national income generation affects
the offshore petroleum and industrial fishery, sea management has
turned out to become an exclusive partnership between national
government and natural science institutions. This has made the
local and regional level of democracy redundant thereby concen-
chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 269
trating power in government and parliament. The strategy formed
by the Ministry of The Environment, with the nomination of word
heritage sites, has lost the battle against the stakeholders in oil industry. The politics of nature within government has only delayed
the drilling operations in The Barents Sea and the sea outside The
Lofoten Islands. On the other side, the possibilities for sending an
application for The Lofoten Islands as a world heritage site still
remains open for the parliamentary election in 2013. This is not
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chapter 7 world heritage and environmental sustainability 272
World Heritage
and Tourism
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 273
The Double Bind
of World Heritage
Noel B. Salazar
Professor Ph.D.
[email protected]
University of Leuven, Belgium
World heritage sites across the globe are adapting themselves to
the homogenizing standards of tourism at the same time as trying to maintain, or even increase, their local particularity. While
local and national tourism authorities and tour agencies package
and sell so-called ‘authentic’ cultural landscapes or ‘traditional’
cultures, what counts as world heritage – be it material or intangible – and the way it is interpreted is increasingly defined and
controlled supra-locally. This paper sketches the broad picture of
world heritage tourism in the 21st century and illustrates the general trends with examples of on-going ethnographic research on
world heritage sites.
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 274
1. Setting the scene
Despite major natural disasters and economic crises, tourism is
on the rise across the globe, albeit unevenly (UNWTO, 2011). Given the pervasiveness and local particularity of what is commonly
understood as ‘heritage’, it is not surprising that heritage tourism
is among those niches growing most rapidly (Timothy & Boyd,
2006). Such special interest tourism is being developed, both as a
primary objective and as a by-product of other leisure activities,
by a wide variety of stakeholders on local-to-global levels. While
people have journeyed to experience the material manifestations
and living expressions that represent the stories and people of the
past since ancient times, what is new is the ever-increasing speed,
intensity and extent of travel and tourism (Salazar, 2010). Private
and public sectors worldwide, whether or not in collaboration,
are converting heritage resources into destinations and attractions,
in a bid to obtain a piece of the lucrative global tourism pie. The
money visitors spend on admission fees, souvenirs, transport, and
food and accommodation contributes billions every year to the
global economy and employs millions of people directly and indirectly (Timothy & Boyd, 2003).
Apart from economic incentives, heritage tourism serves important political purposes (Breglia, 2006). On the domestic level,
heritage is commonly used to stimulate pride in the (imagined)
national history or to highlight the virtues of particular ideologies (Salazar, 2011). In the supranational sphere, heritage sites are
marketed and sold as iconic markers of a local area, country, region or even continent, and the journey abroad as an opportunity to learn about ‘Otherness’ – some go as far as promising a
contribution to worldwide peace and understanding. At the same
time, tourism is increasingly recognized and used as an agent of
socio-cultural change. The mounting struggles over who controls
heritage tourism reflect its growth and success (Porter & Salazar,
2005; Salazar & Porter, 2004). Heritage tourism in particular has
been advocated as an attractive alternative to mass tourism, providing sustainable livelihoods to small local operators, protecting
and sustaining cultural as well as natural resources, and educating
tourists and locals alike (NWHO, 1999). Heritage management
is now commonly seen as a strategic tool to maximize the use of
heritage within the global tourism market (Nuryanti, 1997). This
goes hand in hand with the overall trend to privatize goods and
services, making heritage tourism more entrepreneurial and enter-
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 275
tainment-oriented, and leading to new types of conflict over ownership and appropriation (Salazar, 2012a).
Some argue that the globalization of heritage through tourism
has led to a greater respect for (both material and living) culture
and nature than previously existed. However, the transformation
of natural environments and historical sites into attractions and
cultural expressions into performances is seldom straightforward.
Conservation and preservation along with developing and managing visitation are major issues facing the heritage tourism sector. The interface and relationship between heritage and global
tourism is extremely complex. In a tourism setting, heritage can be
(mis)used in a variety of ways for a variety of purposes by a variety
of stakeholders. In this paper, I want to discuss some of the most
pressing challenges that lie ahead in heritage tourism and stress the
importance of interpretation for its sustainable development. The
case study of central Java, Indonesia, illustrates the general trends
and shows the urgent need for more dialogue and collaboration
between the fields of heritage management and tourism.
2. Global standards versus local distinctiveness
Tourism development has been instrumental in globalizing heritage, its management, interpretation and appropriation (Labadi
& Long, 2010). Heritage management is caught up in a complex
web of global interconnections and dependencies between stakeholders at various levels. Engaging with global tourism inevitably
necessitates a certain degree of worldwide integration and homogenization, which are given tangible form via the standardization
of training, service and hospitality benchmarks. The challenge of
standardization is extremely relevant in the context of heritage
management. Heritage destinations worldwide may be adapting
themselves to the homogenizing trends of global tourism, but, at
the same time, they have to commoditize their local distinctiveness
in order to compete with other destinations (cf. Chang, 1999). After all, it is the local particularity of heritage (sometimes branded
as ‘national’) that tourists are most interested in witnessing and
experiencing. ‘The more globalization, of which tourism is a main
agent, homogenizes habits and landscapes around the world, the
more whatever is available of the past to be preserved for future
generations tends to be iconicized as a symbol for national identification and as a unique sight’ (Peleggi, 1996, p. 445).
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 276
Tourism marketers around the globe capitalize on the following
assumption: If all places on earth and their inhabitants have a natural environment and culture, and if these two are necessarily
unique to a specific place and people, then their transformation
into heritage should produce an exclusive product reflecting and
promoting a distinctive place or group identity. Heritage is thus
used to endow peoples and places with what in marketing terms
is called a product’s ‘unique selling point’. Ironically, pioneering
projects of originality and uniqueness have been so successfully
replicated to the point where they no longer express the sense of a
locally distinctive identity that was the intention of their creators
and proponents.
The global increase in tourism has exerted pressure on many
heritage sites. The process of ‘tourismification’ of heritage confronts those stakeholders involved and communities affected with
a whole set of complex issues, including authenticity, interpretation, heritage contestation, social exclusion, contested space, personal heritage, control and preservation (McKercher & Du Cros,
2002; Timothy & Prideaux, 2004). In this context, it is important to point out that there are significant economic, social, political, management, conservation and interpretation differences
between developed and developing countries in terms of heritage
tourism. Especially poor countries have a hard time achieving the
international standards set by the tourism sector (Salazar, 2010).
There are many issues in the less-developed world that create everyday obstacles to the sustainable development and management
of heritage, including the role of local communities in decision
making, sharing in the benefits of tourism development, empowerment and power, ownership of historic places and artefacts, lack
of funding and skills and forced displacement to accommodate
tourism growth (Hampton, 2005). The promise of sustainable heritage tourism becomes all the more difficult to realize if we take
account of the fact that low-income nations receive only a fraction
of global tourism revenue (United Nations World Tourism Organization, 2008).
2.1. World Heritage Tourism: Whose Heritage, Whose Tourism?
The expansive growth of tourism after World War II greatly helped to promote the cosmopolitan idea of a common heritage, to be
valued, shared and enjoyed by the global ecumene. In fact, global
tourism and world heritage recursively reinforce and enhance each
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 277
other in an ever-growing and influential lobby. UNESCO’s high
profile campaigns to safeguard Abu Simbel in Egypt (1966), Borobudur in Indonesia (1973) and Angkor Wat in Cambodia (1993)
are salient examples of this. These World Heritage Sites are considered to be the centrepiece of global heritage tourism (Shackley,
1998). The world heritage list is a rapidly growing catalogue of the
cultural and natural heritage that, according to the 1972 UNESCO
Convention on the Protection of the World’s Cultural and Natural
Heritage, is of ‘outstanding universal value from the point of view
of history, art or science’ (after having been nominated nationally
and accredited internationally). The first twelve sites were inscribed in 1978. Thirty years later, the list includes 725 cultural, 183
natural, and 28 mixed sites in 153 countries (with European and
Judaeo-Christian sites continuing to dominate). The original purpose of world heritage designation was to assist with management
and preservation of the sites and to encourage the development of
management plans.
The mere inscription on the list usually coincides with a boost
in visitation rates (Pedersen, 2002). UNESCO’s recognition thus
plays an instrumental role, not only in safeguarding heritage, but
also in increasing international visitor numbers (and all the problems associated with this). Many world heritage sites have quickly become major attractions. With millions of tourists visiting
the 936 sites each year, tourism has not only been economically
rewarding, it has also become a major management concern. By
definition no two sites are alike, but they all share common problems such as the need for a critical balance between visitation and
conservation. Many sites lack trained personnel and policy makers
sometimes lack the experience necessary to use tourism as a tool
for sustainable development. In 1999, ICOMOS adopted its International Cultural Tourism Charter, a policy document detailing
the importance of managing tourism at places of heritage significance. The overriding importance of tourism to world heritage,
both as an opportunity and, if poorly managed, as a threat, was recognized by the World Heritage Committee when it authorized the
World Heritage Centre, in 2001, to develop a Sustainable Tourism
Programme. This has resulted, among others, in a practical manual on tourism management (Pedersen, 2002).
Since 2004, National Geographic’s Centre for Sustainable Destinations asks hundreds of experts to rate tourism destinations on
several criteria. The idea behind this yearly exercise is to improve
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stewardship and attract the most beneficial, least disruptive forms
of tourism. In 2006, the panellists evaluated 94 world heritage
destinations. Among the highest scoring cultural sites were the Alhambra (Spain), Vézelay (France), Guanajuato (Mexico), Córdoba
(Spain), Bath (UK) and Évora (Portugal). At the bottom of the list
were the Upper Middle Rain Valley (Germany), Kyoto (Japan),
Assisi (Italy), Avignon (France), the Loire Valley (France) and the
Banks of the Seine (France). This type of rankings, together with
the biennial World Monuments Watch list of 100 most endangered
cultural heritage sites and UNESCO’s own list of World Heritage
in Danger provide opportunities to raise public awareness, foster
local participation, advance innovation and collaboration, and demonstrate effective solutions.
Such actions are necessary because the tendency to adopt topdown heritage planning and management procedures has often
resulted in the disenfranchisement of local people, giving greater
prominence to expressions of national, ‘official’ culture and nationalism at the expense of local culture (Wall & Black, 2004). This
kind of approach has tended to freeze sites and displace human activities, effectively excluding local people from their own heritage.
With tourist awareness of the significance and location of heritage
at an all-time high, no wonder governments strategically choose which monuments to nominate as symbols of (supra)national
character and culture and which ones not. While in some instances packaging heritage to cater to a world market appears to be
subservient to the nationalistic needs and criteria of the individual
countries in which the sites are to be found (Boniface & Fowler,
1993), world heritage sites are, par excellence, global heritage products. Every international visitor contributes to the globalization
of heritage by asserting the value of the site as universal and the
right of general accessibility to it (Di Giovine, 2008). However, the
very concept of universal heritage is increasingly contested. After
all, it privileges an idea originating in the West and requires an
attitude toward nature and culture that is also distinctly European
in origin. Within the discourse of universal heritage, there is little
room for specific cultural, political, or religious positions that diverge from Western, secularist viewpoints. The fact that the very
concept of heritage is underpinned by the globalization of Western
values has prompted challenges, resistance and misunderstandings
(Porter & Salazar, 2005; Salazar & Porter, 2004).
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 279
Today, global heritage tourism largely continues to base policies
around a Western-centric network of organizations and technologies. The intergovernmental agencies of UNESCO officially charged with the definition, recognition, designation, and protection
of world heritage (especially the World Heritage Centre and its
expert advisory groups such as IUCN and ICOMOS) are often
blamed for this bias. While they certainly play a role, it is rather a
hesitant and ambiguous one. After all, the sites designated on the
world heritage list represent those national choices and priorities
that have successfully been lobbied for, rather than any international standard (Ashworth & Tunbridge, 2000). In other words,
organizations like UNESCO offer a forum for national representation rather than world governance. World heritage is ‘the sum of
scrutinised national heritages, a situation which has the potential
to create competition given that heritage becomes an expression of
national self-esteem’ (Timothy & Boyd, 2003, p. 15). Ironically,
UNESCO’s apolitical stance towards conservation feeds directly
into the heritage-tourism-development nexus created by many
governments. Indeed, we should not forget that many countries,
especially poor ones, see tourism as a major tool to develop, and
that development in the eyes of those in power often equals erasing
local, traditional cultural practices.
Of course, world heritage is but one facet of the move towards
globalization and while a shared heritage is desired by certain
countries, it is not a universal presumption. Moreover, UNESCO’s
idea of a list is not new. Various precursor listings have been compiled over the ages to catalogue the most spectacular natural and
cultural heritage in the world. One of the first known inventories
was the one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, based on
guidebooks popular among Hellenic sightseers, including monuments located around the Mediterranean rim. The only wonder
that stood the test of time is the Great Pyramid of Giza, which was
inscribed as a world heritage site in 1979 and is one of Egypt’s
major tourism attractions. This ancient list inspired the creation of
many similar rankings ever since. Some years ago, the Swiss-based
New7Wonders Foundation invited people around the globe to cast
their votes on the Internet for the New 7 Wonders of the World.
Over 100 million people worldwide participated and chose as winners: the Great Wall (China), Petra (Jordan), Chichén Itzá (Mexico), the Statue of Christ Redeemer (Brazil), the Colosseum (Italy),
Machu Picchu (Peru) and the Taj Mahal (India). The results were
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 280
cleverly used by the winning countries to boost both national pride
and international visitor numbers. For the same reasons, countries
such as Canada, Poland, Portugal, Russia and Ukraine (who were
not included in the final list) organized their own national Seven
Wonders campaigns.
2.2 Interpreting Local Heritage for a Global Audience
Although seldom acknowledged, the globalization of heritage through tourism can seriously influence its interpretation, both for
locals and tourists. We should not forget that heritage mainly has
value because of the selective meaning that people ascribe to it,
often through personal identification and attachment. The way people relate to a place is not so much caused by the specific site attributes but by personal motivations and perceptions (Poria, Butler,
& Airey, 2003). Those who view a site as bound up with their own
heritage are likely to behave significantly differently from others.
A single heritage site can provoke varied degrees of understanding – be it on a local, national, regional or even global scale. In
fact, there is no heritage without interpretation, and the attached
subjective meaning is always (re)constructed and often contested,
because ‘society filters heritage through a value system that undoubtedly changes over time and space, and across society’ (Timothy
& Boyd, 2003, p. 2). ‘In today’s context of global tourism, ‘heritage’ and ‘tradition’ become all the more intensely rethought, rearticulated, and recreated and contested, both by insiders and outsider packagers, politicians, and visitors. Tourism does not simply
impose disjunctures between the ‘authentic past’ and the ‘invented
past’, but rather blurs these artificial lines, creating new politically
charged arenas in which competing ideas about heritage, ritual,
and tradition are symbolically enacted’ (Adams, 2003, p. 93). As
a tourism construct, a wide variety of individuals and institutions
attribute meaning and authenticity to heritage (Peleggi, 1996).
The interpretation of heritage is important to defining, evoking
and enhancing its meaning (Uzzell, 1989). Making the different
layers of multiple and shifting meanings and their dissonances accessible and understandable, for both local residents and tourists
from varied backgrounds, requires carefully designed strategies of
representation. Interpretative services are not a special favour to
visitors; they are an essential part of the work of heritage management. ‘Successful interpretation is critical both for the effective
management and conservation of heritage sites and for sustainable
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 281
tourism’ (Moscardo, 1996, p. 376). This is an extremely challenging task, because the desire to (re)present heritage for both domestic and international audiences often creates a tension around the
selection of stories to be told and what is to be left untold (Salazar,
2010). Moreover, ‘although the global heritage dialogue tends to
present the environment as an empty container, places of heritage
often remain places where real people live and where real conflicts
may arise’ (Al Sayyad, 2001, p. 22).
What does the globalization of heritage do to its interpretation?
Alternative readings of heritage as imbued with local values and
meanings risk being subsumed, and thus erased, by the universalist
assertions of global heritage tourism. When the interpretation of
heritage crosses boundaries and becomes entangled in the complex
web of global tourism, it can have the effect of disembedding local
(or nationally) produced senses of identity. Local tour guides, therefore, play an instrumental role in mediating the tension between
ongoing processes of global standardization and local differentiation. Paradoxically, they often seem to rely on fashionable global
tourism tales to interpret and sell their heritage as authentically
‘local’ (Salazar, 2007). This is partly because tourists appear to
appreciate interpretations that combine narratives about the particularities of a destination with well-known tourism imaginaries
that are circulating globally. In tourism to developing countries,
for example, marketing has long capitalized on cultural economies
of the exotic and the primitive, each of which are to be discovered in the pre-modern, traditional. However, this does not mean
that local guides merely reproduce normative global templates.
Guiding is always to some extent improvised, creative and spontaneous, in this way defying complete standardization. In the interaction with tourists, local guides become themselves creative
producers of tourism rhetoric (Salazar, 2010).
Highly trained heritage guides not only benefit tourists but also
the local community, by preparing and instructing visitors to be
more sensitive and ethical, follow minimal impact or responsible
behaviour and encourage respect and proper consideration for
local traditions and customs. As of lately, also UNESCO has become aware of the importance of professional tour guiding and
the organization has taken a proactive role in benchmarking heritage interpretation, especially in Asia. Increased tourism activities
at heritage sites tend to overlook the importance of transmitting
knowledge about and learning the significance as well as the cul-
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tural value of such sites (Dioko & Unakul, 2005). The UNESCO
Asia and Pacific region office in Bangkok, Thailand, was among
the first to acknowledge this. In 2005, it proposed, together with
the Asian Academy of Heritage Management network, a regional based programme for heritage tour guide training (UNESCO,
2005). The Macao Institute for Tourism Studies is the first institution to offer a Cultural Heritage Specialist Guide Training and
Certification Programme for UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The
programme aims to address several important challenges arising
from the greater and more frequent interface between heritage
and global tourism and how on-site tour guides specially trained
in heritage guiding can play a central role in meeting these challenges. Noteworthy, this is an example of a ‘regional standards
of excellence’ practice, rather than an attempt to create a global
3. The case of Central Java, Indonesia
Java is the fifth largest and most populated island of the Indonesian archipelago. The central region of Java comprises of two
provinces: Central Java and the much smaller Yogyakarta Special
Province. The earliest signs of habitation in this fertile volcanic
area are prehistoric. From the seventh century, the region was
dominated by Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms, giving rise to the
eighth century Buddhist shrine of Borobudur, the ninth century
Hindu temple complex of Prambanan, and many other temples.
Islam, coming mainly via India, gained ground in the inner areas
of the island during the sixteenth century. The Dutch began to colonize the archipelago in the early seventeenth century. The British
established a brief presence on Java under Sir Thomas Stamford
Raffles (1811-16), but the Dutch retained control until Indonesia’s
independence 130 years later. When the Dutch reoccupied Jakarta
after the Japanese occupation of Java during World War II (194649), Yogyakarta functioned as the stronghold of the independence
movement by becoming the provisional capital of the newly declared Republic of Indonesia. In return for this unfailing support, the
first Indonesian central government passed a law in 1950 granting
Yogyakarta the status of Special Province and making its Sultan
Governor for life.
Organised tourism to the centre of Java first developed under
Dutch colonial rule, mainly through the Vereeniging Toeristenverkeer (Association of Tourist Traffic of the Dutch East Indies), which
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 283
opened an Official Tourist Bureau in Weltevreden (now Jakarta) in
1908. After independence, the new Indonesian government continued to promote international tourism, although President Sukarno’s political rhetoric was markedly anti-Western. Under Major
General Suharto’s New Order government (1966-98), long-term
planning and a relatively stable environment for business transformed the country’s tourism, and Yogyakarta became a major
gateway to central and east Java, both for international and domestic visitors. By the mid 1990s, tourism had become Indonesia’s
third most important source of foreign revenue and Yogyakarta
the second most visited destination after Bali.
While central Java offers a whole range of touristic activities, the
main product is cultural heritage. The three Indonesian cultural sites on UNESCO’s WHS List – the Prambanan Temple Compounds
(1991), the Borobudur Temple Compounds (1991) and Sangiran
Early Man Site (1996) – are all located in central Java. Four others
– the Yogyakarta Palace Complex, the Ratu Boko Temple Complex, the Sukuh Hindu Temple and the Great Mosque of Demak
– are since 1995 on UNESCO’s tentative list. The most common
tour package includes visits to Borobudur, the Yogyakarta Palace
and Prambanan. When time permits, tourists also have a chance
to experience central Java’s rich intangible cultural heritage, including performing arts (traditional court dances, Ramayana Ballet,
shadow puppet plays and gamelan orchestra performances), traditional craftsmanship (woodcarving, batik design, the silverware
from Kotagede and the pottery from Kasongan) and the occasional ritual or festive events (such as the annual Sekaten and Labuhan
‘[T]he cultural heritage of the Yogyakarta area has shaped the
international) images of Indonesia, as government propaganda has
used architectural structures like the temples and the sultan’s palace and expressions of art like the Ramayana dance to promote Indonesian tourism world-wide’ (Dahles, 2001, p. 20). This kind of
image building particularly happened during the New Order era,
when the central government (led by Javanese) strongly favoured
central Java in their (re)invention of Indonesia, promoting it as the
cultural heart of the nation. The current planning and development of heritage tourism in the area is in the hands of many authorities at various levels. Because policy makers at these different
echelons have widely diverging interests, decisions taken at one
level are often contested at another.
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 284
UNESCO has a long-standing history of involvement in central Java’s heritage. In 1972, it launched a 25 million USD safeguarding campaign to restore Borobudur, often listed as one of
the seven forgotten wonders of the world. Concurrent with the
elevation of Borobudur and Prambanan to world heritage sites in
1991, UNESCO collaborated with UNDP and the former Indonesian Directorate General of Tourism in the ambitious 1991-94
Cultural Tourism Development Central Java-Yogyakarta project
(UNESCO, 1992). Since the May 2006 earthquake, UNESCO has
been actively involved in the rehabilitation of the damaged Prambanan temple complex. Another influential global player in the
area’s heritage management is the non-profit World Monuments
Fund, which listed Kotagede Heritage District in Yogyakarta on its
2008 World Monuments Watch list of 100 most endangered sites.
Kotagede, which suffered severe damage after the 2006 earthquake, is also the current focus of the local Jogja Heritage Society.
It is no coincidence that sites such as Sangiran (prehistoric),
Prambanan (Hindu) and Borobudur (Buddhist) appear on UNESCO’s list of world heritage, whereas Sukuh temple or the Sultan’s
palace are not (yet) included. After all, the central government in
Jakarta proposes sites to UNESCO and it is in their strategic interest to nominate politically ‘safe’ monuments. Sukuh temple, for
instance is a beautiful Hindu temple tucked away in the highlands
of Central Java. It is unique, not only in overall design, but also in
decoration: it is the only known erotic temple on Java. Around the
temple, statues and reliefs of erected male members abound. Given
the moral sensibilities of the majority Muslim population (and the
increasing power of fundamentalists), Sukuh is not a site the Indonesian government would want to promote. The Sultan’s Palace,
on the other hand, is Muslim (or, at least, partly) but a place where
current politics are being played out instead of a ‘dead’ heritage
site, such as the Ratu Boko Hindu-Buddhist complex. The internationally little known Mosque of Demak, the historical place from
where Islam spread around Java, probably has more chance of
being reclassified as world heritage than the Sultan’s Palace. Such
politics of heritage serve as a reminder that, ultimately, a world
heritage site is the product of agency on the national level. Besides,
the Indonesian government has its own national list of cagar budaya (heritage conservation).
Central Java is not only passively undergoing outside influences
in its heritage management, but also acting as a symbolic location
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where broader heritage tourism agendas are being set. As a fashionable venue for conventions, Yogyakarta has had its share of key
conferences in this domain. In 1992, for instance, the International
Conference on Cultural Tourism led to the Yogyakarta Declaration
on National Cultures and Universal Tourism. This was followed
up in 1995 by an Indonesian-Swiss Forum on Cultural and International Tourism and in 2006 by an UNWTO-sponsored International Conference on Cultural Tourism and Local Communities,
leading to the Yogyakarta Declaration on Cultural Tourism, Local
Communities and Poverty Alleviation. In 1994, the city hosted the
APEC Tourism Working Group meeting and, in 2001, it welcomed
the East Asia Inter-Regional Tourism Forum. In 2002, Yogyakarta
housed the ASEAN Tourism Forum.
During the last decade, central Java’s tourism has suffered from
a whole series of unfortunate events in Indonesia and the wider
region (Salazar, 2010). However, 2006 dealt a fatal blow to the
already ailing industry. Between May and July of that year, the
area had to endure numerous natural disasters, including multiple eruptions of Mt. Merapi (one of the most active volcanoes in
the world), a minor tsunami (reminding Indonesians of the tragic
2004 tsunami in Aceh) and a major earthquake of 5.9 on the scale
of Richter, killing around 6,000 people and leaving an estimated
1.5 million Javanese homeless. Tourists massively cancelled their
trips to Java, exposing the fragility of the local tourism sector but
also bringing to light the resilience of its workers. Prambanan was
among those sites hit by the quake, along with parts of the Sultan’s
Palace. Borobudur did not suffer from the earthquake but had to
be cleaned because the monument was covered under dark grey
ashes from Mt. Merapi’s eruptions.
The disasters disclosed some of the local-to-global politics driving heritage tourism. It took almost a month before UNESCO
sent international experts to measure the damage to Prambanan.
During that time, the monument was closed to visitors. After the
assessment, a newly built viewing platform (very similar to the
ones erected after September 11, 2001 around Ground Zero in
New York) allowed tourists to see the main temple complex from
a safe distance, without being allowed to enter them. PT Taman
Wisata, the state-owned enterprise managing the park, decided not
to lower the entrance fees (10 USD for foreigners). Anticipating
tourist complaints, many local tour operators decided to suspend
trips to Prambanan. The few tourists who still came to visit did
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not want the service of a local guide (approximately 5 USD extra)
because they knew that they could not get near the main temples
anyway. This left the local guides in a very precarious situation.
Some of the security guards in charge of protecting the site offered
foreign tourists to enter the damaged main complex anyway, in
exchange for sizeable amounts of cash. The on-site guides knew
about these practices but preferred to keep quiet.
The calamities became the feeding ground for new interpretative narratives and imaginaries (Salazar, 2012b). The adversity precipitated a spontaneous revitalization of old Javanese myths and
mystical beliefs, including the legend of Loro Jonggrang. In the
weeks following the earthquake, the Prambanan guides blamed
UNESCO for keeping the main temples closed to the public (preventing them from earning their living). This translated in their
narratives containing much fewer references to the organization
or to the officially sanctioned interpretations of the site. Through
initiatives such as the 2008 Prambanan Camp for World Heritage Volunteers, the negative perception of UNESCO in Prambanan
was somewhat adjusted. This project, in collaboration with the
Archaeology Department and Provincial Tourism Office of Central
Java, enabled international volunteers to assist the experts with
the restoration of the temple and to increase the heritage awareness of local youth. The example of Prambanan illustrates how, in
times of change, the local meaning and function of heritage can
change too. The growing supralocal interdependence of heritage
tourism is irreversible but variously received (Salazar, 2010). The
global recognition by UNESCO, for instance, is used strategically
when guiding for foreign tourists, but local guides clearly sensed
and criticized the organization’s ‘distance’ in the period after the
earthquake –not recognizing that, often, national instances were
to blame rather than international ones.
4. What’s next?
As this paper has illustrated, heritage tourism is a double-edged
sword. One the one hand, it can be a positive force to retain cultural values and to help mitigate threats. On the other hand, global
tourism can itself become a menace to the sustainable management of heritage. Therefore, a good understanding of the tourism
sector, its markets and trends is instrumental to sustainable heritage management (cf. Pedersen, 2002). Those in charge of heritage
sites clearly need to pay closer attention to reconciling the needs of
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 287
the various parties involved, each with their own interests. Instead
of one universally accepted meaning, the significance of heritage
– be it natural or cultural, tangible or intangible – is characterized
by pluriversality. Viewing heritage and tourism as performative
practices involving relational forms of power, agency and dialogue
helps bridge the micro–macro divide. Heritage appropriation and
interpretation, for instance, are always enmeshed in complex webs
of meaning, variously cherished and expressed by shareholders at
different levels. It is imperative to understand how to develop heritage sites sustainably while protecting and conserving them for the
long-term. If not, irreparable and irreversible damage can be done.
Although often heralded as a likely solution to conservation and
community development challenges, local staff and communities
in poor countries do not always have the resources, experience or
training they need in order to use tourism as an effective instrument for achieving these goals. The tools to provide coherent and
sustainable heritage management are yet to be fully developed or
effectively applied.
To make local heritage workers more competitive in the current
landscape of international labour circulation, standardization seems to be the way to go. Even if there remain great local variations
in qualifications, there is a global tendency to standardize; reinforcing the idea that tourism is a global practice. I argue that thinking of globalization and local differentiation as being opposed
to each other is not very helpful in understanding and explaining
contemporary tourism. The constant (re)shaping of local heritage
is in many respects part of and simultaneously occurring with the
globalizing process itself. By studying the daily practices of local
guides and the way they (re)present and actively (re)construct local
culture for a diversified audience of global tourists, we can learn
a lot about how processes of globalization and localization are
intimately intertwined and how this glocalization is transforming
culture– through tourism and other channels. Such studies bring to
light that the processes of negotiation regarding the interpretation
and (re)presentation of heritage is highly complex, multifaceted
and flexible owing to the involvement of various parties with different interests in these interactions.
As global tourism continues to expand, heritage sites will be the
source of historically unprecedented numbers of tourists. Most indicators suggest there will be a huge increase in tourism worldwide
over the next ten years, virtually doubling the current numbers. It
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 288
is estimated that China alone will produce 100 million outbound
tourists by 2025. Interestingly, a large amount of the increased
travel for leisure will be intraregional (rather than global). At any
rate, the predicted growth of intraregional tourism will seriously change the global tourism landscape. For heritage tourism, the
challenges of global (and, ever more, regional) standardization
and local differentiation will take on new dimensions. While the
management of heritage is usually the responsibility of a particular community or custodian group, the protection, conservation,
interpretation and (re)presentation of the cultural diversity of any
particular place or people are important challenges for us all…
The material presented here is based on research supported by the
National Science Foundation under Grant No. BCS-0514129 and
additional funding from the School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania (for full details, see Salazar 2010). The 14
months of fieldwork in Indonesia (July-August 2003, January-December 2006) were conducted under the auspices of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences and kindly sponsored by Gadjah Mada
University. An earlier, longer version of this paper appeared as a
chapter, entitled ‘The glocalisation of heritage through tourism:
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chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 291
Organising for Success,
Exploring Factors that Facilitate
Tourism Cooperation and Branding
Peter Björk
[email protected]
HANKEN School of Economics,
Department of Marketing
Destination development and branding have been described as
complex processes in command of no single actor. Consequently,
success is dependent on how networks of actors those who substantiate destination promises communicated in marketing, are organised. Models for how to organise destination development and
branding are well elaborated in the literature. However, there are
few studies focusing on factors facilitating tourism cooperation
and destination branding. This article explores resources and strategic actions needed in an early phase of a destination development
process. Key actors enrolled in the process of developing tourism
in the World Heritage Site Kvarken Archipelago were interviewed.
Three aspects were listed as most critical in early destination development processes; resource development to fit tourism offerings,
to motivate tourism entrepreneurs, and to manage coordination.
The positive effects of tourism projects were also recognised.
keywords: Destination development, tourism networks, cooperation facilitators, destination branding
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 292
1. Introduction
This article explores resources needed and strategic actions to be
taken to facilitate destination development pertaining destination
branding processes. The World Heritage Site Kvarken Archipelago is used as an illustration. The empirical findings presented are
based on personal interviews with central tourism actors in the
region of Ostrobothnia, Finland.
Destination development, marketing and branding has been
analysed and discussed out of a large range of perspectives (Pike,
2009). Destination development has been analysed through the
lens of intra-destination (collaboration between actors on a destination) (Balakrishnan, 2009), and inter-destination collaborations
(Naipaul, Wang & Okumus, 2009). Destination marketing researchers have discussed bundling service offers, choice of marketing
channels, and positioning (Hartl, 2004). A particular focus has
been put on collaboration destination marketing approaches (Fyall & Garrod, 2004). The branding concept, developed within the
discipline of marketing, has also been applied to the field of tourism
(Kotler & Gertner, 2002), and the issue of co-creating destination
brands has been addressed (Hakala & Lemmetyinen, 2011). Destination branding and destination development have been described
as extremely challenging due to the characteristics of destinations
(Wang, 2008). Björk and Virtanen (2005), who studied the importance of project leaders for destination development, describe
destinations as multi-actor – multi-level phenomena. Destination;
a tourism product, comprises of services available to tourists on a
destination. It is documented that tourists need services of different type, such as, transportation, infrastructure, activities, events,
restaurants, and accommodation (Mill, 1990; McIntosh, Goeldner
& Ritchie, 1995).
Destination branding is about communicating a coherent brand
profile, based on an agreed brand identity to earn a positive brand
image (Björk, 2013). Destinations with a positive brand image are
included in the evaluation set of the tourists when they make their
final decisions (Woodside & Lysonski, 1989). This is a strong argument for destination marketing organisations (DMOs) to focus
on branding issues. Branding as a process of intertwined activities
revolves around customer segment monitoring, communication
strategies, and brand identity development. Especially, destinations in an early development phase, find it most important to develop platforms for collaboration activities and decide on service
offerings (Pike, 2005).
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 293
Tourism projects have become a permanent feature of destination development in Finland. Projects are initiated to increase
the competitiveness of destinations by facilitating cooperation
between actors, advance knowledge transfer, and improve marketing efficiency. Björk (2009) studied small tourist firms located in
the region of Ostrobothnia, Finland, focusing on the level of cooperation. He concludes that the entrepreneurial spirit in tourism
firms is strong, but networks, which would merge actors together,
are almost non-existent.
It is argued that destination branding is dependent on an elaborated brand identity structure, including dimensions of cooperation, resource identification, and agreements on services to bundle
into tourism offerings (Hankinson, 2007). Consequently, central
research questions are; what strategic actions should be decided
on to advance cooperation networks on a destination level, what
resources identified in the World Heritage Site Kvarken Archipelago should be absorbed as Unique Selling Points (USPs) in tourism
products, and how the tourism service development process should
be arranged.
There are a limited number of academic studies focusing on
cooperation facilitators, despite their relevance for destination
development and branding. One exception is the study by Björk
and Virtanen (2005). They focused on cooperation facilitators
through the lens of project managers. This study, in response, focuses on key actors responsible for destination development and
their perspective on cooperation facilitators. People representing
destination marketing organisations (DMOs), tourism projects,
and funding organisations in the region of Ostrobothnia and the
World Heritage Site Kvarken Archipelago were approached. The
research method used in this study is presented and discussed in
section three. The theoretical framework presented in section two
is based on tourism network and destination branding theories.
The findings presented in section four are based on a content analysis of the semi-structured interviews. We conclude the empirical
discussion elaborating on factors claimed to facilitate destination
development and branding. Options for further studies are presented in the concluding section. The findings presented in this article
are based on the perspective of one set of actors in a complex
network of different types of actors. Especially, studies mapping
the thoughts of regional tourist firms, large and small ones, are
welcome in upcoming studies.
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 294
2. Theoretical background
Tourists determine vacation destinations based on their functional
and symbolic attributes (Sirgy & Su, 2000). The consideration set
of destinations is scaled down during the decision making process
to become the evaluation set used in a final decision (Woodside
& Lysonski, 1989). The importance of destination image as an
evaluation dimension is well documented in destination branding
literature (Tasci & Kozak, 2006). Destination image, is personal
and mostly subjective, founded on one’s own experiences, wordof-mouth, and the brand profile communicated (Prebensen, 2007).
Destination brand communication, used to attract new and
repeat visitors, must be founded on the available resources and
existing tourism offerings. The level of expectation on a destination is defined in the brand image of the tourists to be compared
with the experiences, i.e. brand identity, on a destination. Visitors
will experience service satisfaction when experiences meet or exceed expectations (Grönroos, 1990). Customer satisfaction theory
(Mohr, 1982; Tse & Wilton, 1988) applied to the field of tourism
asserts that tourists will arrive at a destination with more or less
elaborated expectations, which, during and after the journey, are
comparable to the services consumed in interactive processes.
The tripartite structure of branding proclaimed by Björk (2013)
highlights the importance of balancing three brand dimensions,
brand identity, brand profile and brand image.
Figure 1. Brand structure, three dimensions
Brand image
Brand identity Brand Profile
Source: Björk (2013)
Destination brand identity, the tourism product offered to visitors
has a large set of different services used on a destination (Trueman,
Klemm & Giroud, 2004). A critical issue in an early destination
branding stage is to create a viable structure for destination development, including platforms for meetings, discussions, interactions, and innovations among actors (Hjalager, Konu, Huijbens,
Björk, Flagestad, Nordin & Tuohino, 2011).
Destination development and branding analysed through lens of
networks constitutes people and structures, activities and resour-
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 295
ces (Håkansson & Snehota, 1995). Tourist firm and organisations
have to be identified, inspired, and brought together. Björk and
Virtanen (2005) identified ten co-operation facilitators based on
a literature review (Table 1), a structure they tested on tourism
project managers. Their findings declare how the content of the
facilitators are context dependent, and can be discussed on both
project and firm level.
Table 1. Cooperation facilitators and destination development
cooperation facilitator
Resources and interdependence
Tourism actors should recognize
the structure of tourism, as a multi-actor – multi-level phenomenon,
and accept the idea that they are a
part of a system. Resources of different type have to be integrated
and interdependence accepted.
Goal Compatibility,
commitment, and roles of actors
Tourism actors of different size,
with diverging strategies and
resources are to cooperate. It
is most essential for long term
commitment that they can agree
on common development goals,
decide on the roles to play (in the
system), and the tourism services
to be develop.
Real Benefits
Tourism networks should be based
on a win-win logic and add real
benefits to the actors involved.
Communication and
personal chemistry
It is most important that tourism
networks are based on an open
policy structure, not exclusive, and
encourage seamless communication. One should also notice the
importance of personal chemistry
for smooth running cooperation.
Organisation, project management,
and conflict resolution
Tourism systems composed
of large sets of actors must be
managed. Organisation, management and managers are important
factors in network development,
not at least in cases of conflicts.
In times of scare resources,
financing becomes critical. A fair
distribution of the scare resources
is to be guaranteed.
Source: Björk & Virtanen (2005), (modified by the author)
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 296
Cooperation facilitators listed in Table 1, applied to the field of
destination development can be used to highlight some of the most
critical aspects to be managed in an early destination development
phase. It seems to be of outmost importance for destination development and branding that;
Tourism actors recognise tourism as a multi-player – multi-level
phenomenon, accept that they are a part of a system, and there is a
joint agreement about how tourism service development processes
are arranged.
Tourism actors identify other actors they can and want to link
up with in terms of goal compatibility, and decide on the sources
to offer into the service system.
Tourism actors are committed to development and are motivated by the strategic actions decided on.
Linked to the discussion of destination branding, cooperation
facilitators are most vital for brand identity building and brand
communication in terms of brand profile.
3. Study setting
The setting for this study is the region of Ostrobothnia, located on
the West Coast of Finland, and the World Heritage Site Kvarken
Archipelago, which attained World Heritage status in 2002. The
characteristics of this area made it appropriate to study tourism
cooperation facilitators and branding. There are high hopes the
area can become a tourist destination. Tourism is in an early development phase, and there is an urgent need to develop a platform
to build cooperation networks and branding (Björk, 2009).
Finland as a tourist destination analysed through tourism statistics (number of visitors and overnight stays) portray a country
of four areas; high number of visitors are found in the south and
northern part of Finland, medium intensity in the east, Lakeland
Finland, and low on the West coast. The Northern part of Finland
attracts visitors interested in down-hill skiing, the Santa Claus Village, and trekking. Helsinki is no exception, located in the south,
is a hot spot for tourism. The eastern part of Finland benefits from
the lake system, the sauna culture, and more advanced well-being
tourism services (Björk, 2012). The West coast and the Finnish
archipelago have its own beauty, but are weak on flagship attractions (Nilsson, 2007).
UNESCO World Heritage sites around the world, such as the
Great Wall in China or Taj Mahal in India, have become major
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 297
tourist attractions. Therefore, tourism organisations and tourism
firms in the region of Ostrobothnia on the West coast feel new optimism by the inclusion of Kvarken Archipelago in World Heritage
sites. One can also notice that the Kvarken Archipelago is Finland’s
first, and only, nature heritage site. The earth’s crust rapid up-lift,
almost one meter every hundred years, is deemed globally unique.
The tourism business structure of the region is characterized
by a number of small, family-owned, tourism firms, mixed by a
few larger tourism companies, such as hotels and restaurants. The
small tourism firms offer services, such as, Bed and Breakfast, guiding, recreation activities, and boat charter. They act very independently, and their network of cooperation is narrow, sporadic and
most often based on informal agreements (Björk, 2009).
4. Research method
The informants selected for personal interviews in this study are
all central actors in the regional destination development process.
The first informant (informant 1) to be interviewed was manager
of the regional DMO; a position he held for more than ten years.
He does also have experiences from running his own tourism firm,
and know the area and business structure very well. The second
informant (2) has a long history of tourism project management.
He has been involved in four tourism related projects in the past
years. These projects have been considered by the city of Vaasa
and nearby communities as major investments in regional tourism
development. The third informant (3) is employed by the city of
Vaasa as communication and tourism manager. She has also a long
experience of being the director of Congress Vaasa, and knows
the regional tourism development projects very well. The fourth
informant (4) is a multi-tasking woman, running her own tourism
development projects. She is also very much involved in tourism
development in the World Heritage Site Kvarken Archipelago
through the many organisations she is a member of. The fifth, and
last, informant (5) interviewed was a representative for the government (Metsähallitus). The government is a central stakeholder
in the Ostrobothnia archipelago as a landowner, and the authority
responsible for the World Heritage Site Kvarken Archipelago.
All informants were first contacted by phone or e-mail to determine an interview date. The semi-structured interviews took about
an hour each to complete and were performed in the premises of
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 298
the informants. The interviews were recorded and transcribed for
analysis. This study applied a content analysis.
Based on the aim of this article to explore resources and strategic action to be taken by those involved in destination development processes pertaining destination branding, three central discussion areas were presented to the informants. Questions related to
resources needed to accelerate tourism development in the World
Heritage Site Kvarken Archipelago were first addressed. Strategic
actions to be taken linked to issues of cooperation were then discussed. A particular focus was put on identifying cooperation facilitators, and how to structure the development process. Finally,
questions linked to tourism planning in the region were posed.
Information about the informants was collected at the beginning of the interviews to create a relaxed atmosphere as a quality
criteria for qualitative studies (Eneroth, 1986). Therefore, probing
of questions did also come most naturally. The interview transcripts and findings have also been analysed by a second researcher
to check for inter-coder reliability (Kirk & Miller, 1986; Maxwell,
1996; Veal, 2011). The data was re-analysed in those few cases
where there were discrepancies in interpretations. Furthermore,
direct quotes from the interviews are copied into the text to bring
the reader close to the data.
5. Findings and discussions
The findings presented in this section copy the structure of the
interview guide. Resources and USPs to be used for developing
tourism in the World Heritage Site Kvarken Archipelago are first
discussed, then ideas on how to develop tourism networks and
branding are elaborated, and finally collaboration facilitators and
actions to be taken in early destination development phases are
5.1. Resources to utilize in tourism destination development
Identified resources and USPs of importance for tourism development in the World Heritage Site Kvarken Archipelago are grouped
into two inter-related categories. The informants discussed tourism
development out of many different perspectives, entrepreneurial,
managerial, and sustainability, just to mention a few. However, all
discussed key resources in terms of actors and activities. The strategic question identified as crucial for sustainable development was
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 299
“who is doing what”. Nature and culture were identified as basic
resources leveraged by the UNESCO World Heritage status. The
informants recognized the value of these resources as fundaments
for regional tourism development, “the beauty and the uniqueness
of our nature are our trumps” (informant 5). But, they also accepted the idea that these resources are of little value as such unless
they are refined and fully integrated in the tourism offerings.
Research findings revealed the importance of identifying highly
motivated entrepreneurs to drive the development. Nature and
culture resources were identified as existing, but not considered
sufficient to make the regional tourism system complete. The informants involved in tourism projects explain how “important it is
to identify different types of actors, some have to take care of boat
charter, meanwhile other is responsible for food. A mix of actors
is important” (Informant 5). The same issue was discussed by the
regional tourism manager (informant 1) who expressed the urgent
need to increase the bed night capacity in the area “people need
somewhere to sleep”.
Regional tourism systems are to be composed of actors representing different business areas such as, transportation, accommodation, restaurants, events, amusements, and guiding (Mill, 1990).
It is very obvious that the existing tourism system to host visitors
in the World Heritage Site Kvarken Archipelago is insufficient at
the moment, but “it is improving all the time” the regional tourism
manager claims. There are few new businesses in the region, but
the existing ones are enlarging their services. What the informants
claim as decisive for future success is updated and valid information about those tourism firms, which are active in the region, ”it
is most important that the local tourism firms know the other firms
in the area” (informant 3), and “that one manage to administer all
human capital that exist here” (informant 4).
All the informants agreed on how important it is that the actors
communicate, and coordinate their activities. The process of developing tourism in the World Heritage Site Kvarken Archipelago
should follow a bottom-up approach. Initiatives on business development must be a company issue. The manager of the regional tourism organisation explains “how important it is that those,
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 300
who run tourism firms take action”. The situation has improved,
he says, “this year there were few tourist firms who already last
autumn declared their intentions for the 2012 summer season.
This is good because then it is easier to take action for this season
and to plan different marketing campaigns”. Activities have to be
measured on two levels, intra- and inter-firm. Intra-firm development is mostly about service updates. Large investments are not
on the agenda of the entrepreneurs, because of the small size of the
tourism firms and the low level of risk willingness when it comes
to investments. Finance is a barrier for development, but there are
according to informant 4 “possibilities to ask for different kind of
Inter-firm activities are linked to communication and personal
chemistry (Björk & Virtanen, 2005). The informants assumed there is a good business climate with the entrepreneurs. However,
communication between the actors could be improved. Tourism
projects were explained as good tools for identifying and linking
different actors together. One can say that “projects have had a
function of a hub in a web of activities” (informant 3).
5.2. Tourism networks and branding
Branding as a process can become successful only if there is an
active local tourism network. Branding, the process of brand building, “has to be supported by all actors” (informant 5). To establish a brand “takes a long time, but we are not in a hurry”
says the manager of the regional tourism organisation, who also
claims that the brand image of the region has improved. There is
nowadays a more coherent brand communication and better the
cooperation between the entrepreneurs. Still, there is a lot to do in
terms of branding the World Heritage Site Kvarken Archipelago.
Especially, in this early development phase, there is an urgent need
to identify brand identity dimensions as a fundament for future
branding activities, such as service packaging and brand communication (Aaker, 1986). Informant 3 suggests that it could be wise
to focus on small niche segments in this initial phase, such as birdwatchers, anglers, and geologists.
The region of Ostrobothnia has a long tradition of tourism
projects. Networks have been established through projects, and
external resources have tapped into the region. These, externally
funded, projects have had a time span of one to three years, a relatively short period when it comes to managing the whole service
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 301
development process. Even though the region has hosted several
tourism projects their succession has not been guaranteed. The reason is that the funding organisations do not invest in projects
with the same objectives twice. New purposes, studies, and development areas have to be created. This is not an optimal system
for business sectors characterized by slow, long-term development
driven by small entrepreneurs, such as the tourism industry.
5.3. Collaboration facilitators and actions to be taken
Collaboration between different types of actors has, to some extent, proved to be difficult in the area of World Heritage Site Kvarken Archipelago. Three dimensions are highlighted in this paper.
First, one has to recognize the tourism business culture of the region. The entrepreneurs are, as Björk (2009) already noticed in his
study, very independent. They “cannot be forced into cooperation,
but have to spot the benefits themselves” (informant 1), and decide
on collaboration activities. Tourism firms are, according to the informants, open minded and want to be involved in co-operations
on condition there is something to get, real benefits (Björk & Virtanen, 2005). There seems to be an urgent need to further inform
the tourist firms about the logic of tourism and the necessity to
cooperate, and undertake joint marketing activities. Informant 3 is
a bit frustrated about the low level of cooperation among the tourist firms although “we have, in projects, created good platforms
for communication, but still, when a project comes to an end, all
the good communication seems to disappear”.
Nature preservation has, in a classic manner, been positioned
as an opposite to tourism development. The second dimension to
highlight is the one between tourist firms and the state enterprise Metsähallitus, the organisation which has the responsibility of
hosting the Kvarken Archipelago in line with UNESCO’s criteria.
First, one has to notice that Metsähallitus has an interest in making the area available to all types of visitors. They build information stands, trails and picnic areas, and invest in marketing campaigns. These are activities the tourism industry definitely benefits
from. However, Metsähallitus is very restrictive when it comes to
accepting new tourism ventures in the area, and the number of
visitors is closely monitored. There is according to the informants
only one way ahead, an open dialogue. One can also notice that
the organisations which manage (and also takes responsibility for)
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 302
the Kvarken World Heritage Site. Archipelago is much better organised and the regional tourism industry.
A third dimension, not discussed in depth in this article, is the
contradiction between the land owners and Metsähallitus. This
discussion has revolved around what the land owners can and
cannot do on their own land. There is also another dimension linked to the issue of contradictions. In line with the theory of Doxey (1975) tourism development may cause conflicts between the
local society and the tourists and tourism industry, a phenomenon
which informant 1, 2 and 5 have seen some tendencies.
There are entrepreneurs, who have a passion for their work and
business. There must be policies and practices in support of these
real enthusiasts. There is an obvious danger that the “crazy ideas of the entrepreneurs” are not accepted by local policy makers,
and the good entrepreneurial spirit is demolished says the regional
tourism manager. What are needed are an open dialogue, longterm planning, and a positive attitude between all actors. Activities
to be taken in support of an open dialogue are to recognize the
importance of tourism projects, and to push the idea of tourism
branding. Furthermore, tourism development is a complex process. It will take time before the World Heritage Site Kvarken Archipelago will become a tourist destination. The current lack of a
tourism plan for the area must be taken care of. Metsähallitus has
produced the “Nature tourism plan” using their vision, goals and
perspectives (Meriruoho, 2011). The tourism sector should mobilise their resources to have a voice in this matter.
6. Conclusions
The aim of this article was to explore resources needed and strategic actions to be taken to facilitate destination development pertaining destination branding processes of the World Heritage Site
Kvarken Archipelago. This study adopts the idea of developing a
platform for cooperation in an early development phase of a destination to facilitate collaborative approaches. Specifically, the focus has been directed at identifying resources, actors in networks,
branding criteria, cooperation facilitators, and central actions to
be taken in the next step in the development process.
The study collected empirical data through semi-structured interviews of five informants. All defined as key actors in the regional tourism development processes. They have long experience
of tourism development, and have been very much involvement
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 303
in co-operation and branding activities of the region during the
last years. The informants listed three types of resources; nature,
culture and the image of a World Heritage Site. However, these
resources are not tourism resources unless they are integrated in
tourism offerings. The tourist firms, or more precisely, the drive
of the entrepreneurs, were also recognised as most important for
tourism development, as well as, a good coordination (Figure 2).
Figure 2. Factors that facilitate tourism cooperation and branding
Tourism development in the World Heritage Site Kvarken Archipelago must be based on nature resources, and nature and culture based activities, driven by entrepreneurs, and coordinated by a
third party. Forming networks and cooperation was deemed problematic. However, there were also potentials identified in the current situation on condition planned activities will be put in work.
Much of the discussions with the informants encircled the importance of taking the first step, to get the process rolling. Branding,
as a platform for resource integration, was suggested. Discussing
brand elements and brand profile might be the activities needed to
advance tourism development processes in the area.
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 304
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chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 306
Knowledge and Recruitment
in Destination Development:
Starting Points of a Study
Kajsa G. Åberg
[email protected]
Department of Geography and Economic History,
Umeå University, Sweden
During the last two decades, tourism has been both introduced
and established as a tool on the agenda for regional development
in the Botnia-Atlantica region. Strategies and projects aiming at
creating sustainable touristic destinations have been discussed in
all three countries, with different implementations. At the same
time, the nature and scope of tourism is ever expanding leading
to a change in needs of knowledge in many vital aspects of destination development. The study presented here is the first step in a
research activity focusing on the relation between knowledge and
destination development.
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 307
1. Research Context
The Botnia-Atlantica Institute is a transnational research institute
within the LUBAT project, embracing Ostrobothnia in Finland,
Västerbotten (West Bothnia) in Sweden and Nordland in Norway.
It is financed by the regions and the EU Botnia-Atlantica Interreg
program together with the University of Nordland, University of
Vaasa, Umeå University and Åbo Akademi,.
During the period 2011-13, developing destinations is set as one
of four research activities under the overarching concepts of regional development and transnational learning. The main objective
of the research is to identify factors explaining success as well as
hindrance in developing tourism on a local level.
2. Points of Departure
Focus will be set on management of destination organizations created through cooperation between private and public actors (Private Public Partnership, PPP) within the geographically designated
area. Such Destination Management Organizations (DMO:s) can
be seen as an illustration of the changes in governance that have
a direct impact on selection of strategies as well as on the outcome through the legal framework and casting of actors involved
in tourism. Therefore, network and organizational theories presented in prior research will be one point of departure (e.g. Elbe,
2002; Grängsjö, 2006; Hoppe, 2009; Scott et al, 2008).
Insight in hierarchical theories and intra-organizational communication may be stated as crucial not only when evaluating
but also in operationalizing destination development. Combined
with the technological development such as web-based information, booking platforms and social media this calls for new requirements concerning knowledge on the managerial level. The study
aims at charting what skills are asked for when recruiting destination managers by looking at how different aspects of knowledge
are perceived, prioritized and neglected.
Measurement and valuation of knowledge is a vast field and
this study will work with theoretical cornerstones to create a valid context. Most dominant will be the division of skills that can
be communicated and knowledge referred to as tacit (e.g. Dahlbom, 1986; Gustavsson, 2002). In order to find explanations to
the current state of affairs questions regarding the participants’
background, gender and social abilities need to be asked based on
works such as Bourdieu, 1998 and de los Reyes & Molinari, 2005.
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 308
3. Outlines of the Study
In this stage of the planning phase of the study, it is formed by
qualitative material collected through semi-structured interviews.
The structure of the interviews will include both broad themes
and more specific questions, researching what skills are demanded, prioritized respectively not considered as needed in advance
and include aspects of self-image and expectations. The selection
of cases is regulated by the geographical area designated by the
Botnia-Atlantica Institute and include DMO:s and related organizational structures, preferably based on PPP.
4. Anticipated Results
This is a presentation of the basic starting points of research witch
will be in progress 2011-2013. When performed, it will generate
material to be used in the further work with analyzing destination
development in the Botnia Atlantica region.
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Umeå: Umeå University.
De los Reyes, P. & Molinari, D. (2005). Intersektionalitet: kritiska reflektioner
over (o)jämlikhetens landskap, Malmö: Liber.
Elbe, J. (2002). Utveckling av turistdestinationer genom samarbete, Uppsala:
Department of Business Studies, Uppsala University.
Gustavsson, B. (2002). Vad är kunskap?: en diskussion om praktisk och
teoretisk kunskap, Stockholm: Myndigheten för skolutveckling.
Grängsjö, P. (2006). Om Organisering av Turism: Studier av Turismens
Samarbetsorganisationer i Sverige, Göteborg: Department of Business
Administration, University of Gothenburg.
Hoppe, M. (2009). Myten om det rationella flödet, Åbo: Åbo Akademi
University Press.
Scott, N., Baggio, R., & Cooper, C. (2008). Network Analysis and Tourism:
From Theory to Practice, Clevedon: Channel View.
chapter 8 world heritage and tourism 309
The Falun Copper Mine
World Heritage:
Historical Aspects
The Copper Mining Town of Falun
as a Challenge for the Church 1687–1713:
A Key to a New Mentality?
Urban Claesson
[email protected]
Högskolan Dalarna, Sweden
In this article changes in the organization of mine production in
the Swedish town of Falun around the year 1700 are related to alterations of official Christian belief. As social relations connected
to the mining industry became more abstract, it is interesting to
notice that a more individualistic form of Christianity was introduced. The local vicar Olof Ekman (1639 – 1713) was a main figure in this development. As the social relations got more abstract – a
more intense and personal form of religion was needed. Probably
this can be seen as a way to counteract development and to uphold
local communities
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 311
1. Introduction
This text will present the main outlines of a project dealing with
the earliest forms of pietism in Sweden. The project was financed by The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation. Pietism can
very simply be seen as the introduction of a new form of individualism within the Lutheran church. This modern individualism was
introduced in the Calvinist churches as Puritanism, in Catholicism
as Jansenism, and in Judaism under the name of Chassidism.1 Falun was one of the first places in Lutheran Sweden where pietism
got a hold.
2. The collapse of the mine in 1687 – a starting point for a new mentality?
During the 17th century the copper mine of Falun was very important for the finances of the Swedish state. For a period in that
century Falun provided a great part of the world’s total production
of copper. The Swedish authorities often visited the area to supervise all production.
However, at midsummer in the year of 1687 all hell broke loose
in the Mine. The result you still can see today. I speak here about
the so called “Great Pit” (Stora Stöten) – a big hole in the ground
that is very wide, about 100 meters deep and still vividly affects
the perception of the mining area in Falun. The Great Pit was a
result of mining being all too exhaustive, too intense, and at the
same time lacked central planning. The mountain had come to
resemble a Swiss cheese. The big collapse was an inevitable effect
of this.
At the same time it was for the believer apparent that God had
shown mercy. Not one single worker got hurt, as all people were
at home on a Sunday.
Some years later – in the autumn of 1693 – the mine collapsed once again. This time the collapse was not as devastating as
the earlier one, but it was big enough to terrify the mine master
(bergmästaren) Harald Lybecker (1649 – 1714). Most important
though: the miracle had happened again. Not one single worker
was killed or hurt. As the collapse of the mine occurred late on a
Saturday evening the workers were all at home. In the eyes of the
believer the merciful hand of God was visible again.
Lehmann 2003, pp. 23-24.
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 312
This caused the pious Harald Lybecker to ask for a prayer particularly composed for the so-called Great Copper Mountain (Stora Kopparberget). With the support of King Charles XI (1655 –
1697) and the mighty Swedish Board of Mines (Bergskollegium)
a prayer was written by the bishop of Västerås. The aim was to
improve the spiritual life of the workers, as a way to give thanks
to a merciful God. The miners had from now on to walk more
consciously in the protecting presence of the Lord as they worked
in the mine.
It is very interesting to note that the mining prayer was re-written before it was put in use as a local prayer. It was changed by the
vicar Olof Ekman (1639 – 1713). In the local version of the prayer
the miners themselves were more poignantly encouraged to trust
the protection of God.
The reason for the subtle difference between the local version of
the prayer and the one the bishop had written was that the vicar
and the bishop belonged to two different schools of theological
thought. The bishop Carl Carlsson of Västerås (1642 – 1707) was
a typical representative of the old official and established school
of Lutheran orthodoxy. To simplify very much it is possible to say
that he mainly defended a program that was focused upon keeping
the Lutheran dogma pure from heretical influences.
Olof Ekman on the other hand represented something new. He
was among the very first people to introduce the thoughts of pietism to Sweden. The pietistic movement wanted more to stimulate
a higher degree of pious behavior in the population, rather than
to check its orthodoxy in faith. This is why Ekman changed the
words in Carlsson’s prayer. Ekman also complained that the texts
from the bible that Carlsson had suggested for preaching about
the Mine were worthless for the situation in Falun. According to
Ekman they did not affect the general will for better behavior.
Ekman had been recruited to Falun in 1688 - one year after
the big collapse of the copper mine. The two congregations of
the town wanted him as their vicar as he was well known for a
book he had published with the support of Queen Ulrika Eleonora
(1656 –1693). His book had been published in 1680, and had the
peculiar title A Promise from a Misery at Sea (Sjönödslöfte). The
book was influenced by the very first pietistic program called Pia
Desideria that had been published by the German pioneer of pietism: Phillip Jacob Spener (1635–1705). Ekman’s book was like a
Swedish counterpart to Spener’s well-known manuscript. Ekman
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 313
had survived a shipwreck in the year of 1679, as he was on his
way home to Sweden after his duties as a superintendant of the
Swedish Army in the Swedish region of Livonia in the Baltic. This
explains the title of his book. Ekman stayed in Falun until his death in 1713.
3. Introducing pietism in Falun
In Livonia Ekman probably had met the great general-superintendent of the Lutheran Church of the region: Johann Fischer
(1636 – 1705). He was a friend of Spener and was at the time
very successful in establishing a system of basic schooling for the
broad population in Livonia. Fischer had strong support from the
Swedish King Charles XI, and his project was very unique at the
time. In no other place in Europe was a state supporting mass
education on this scale. This attempt to establish schools in every
parish has been linked by the historian Alexander Loit to the abolition of serfdom in Livonia that the Swedish state decided on in
the year 1680. The peasants then became “liberated” from their
noble lords, and needed internalized values in order to cope with
their new situation. A system of basic schooling could make the
new society work.2
It is very interesting that these “peasant schools” in Livonia
used a new type of catechism that was edited by Johann Fischer,
also in the year of 1680. This catechism was not like the common
Lutheran orthodox catechisms – as they mainly focused upon delivering an account of the pure Lutheran dogma. Fischer’s Catechesis rather tried to affect its readers to become more devout and
pious Christians.
Ekman’s book A Promise from a Misery at Sea promoted a mass
schooling of the Swedish population in order to raise the level of
pious behavior. He has been considered the very first Swede to
argue for mass schooling in this sense. As he started working for
the education of the local population in Falun around the year of
1690, he used his own text about the basic essentials of Christian
belief. Ekman was heavily influenced by the catechism edited by
Johann Fischer. Ekman was also inspired by a similar catechism
written by Spener. The congregations of Falun were the first in
Sweden to experience education based upon the more individualistic Spenerian theology.3
Loit 2000
Warne 1929, p. 61, Lilja 1947, pp. 67-68, 228-229.
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 314
4. Why pietism in the mining town of Falun?
Why was pietism introduced so early in this mining area? I have
already focused upon the obvious. The collapse of the mine led the
local elite to work for an increase in local piety. But let us take one
step further.
One of the reasons behind the collapse of the mine in the year
1687 was a lack of central planning. The so-called master miners
(bergsmän) owned the mine. They were organized as a corporate
body and owned different parts of the mountain. They were not
so centrally organized and sought copper in different places. As a
result of the collapse of the mine the organization of production
started to change character. The need for centralized organization
was apparent. A process started that made the mine master (bergmästaren) a managing director of the copper mine like a more
modern company. In this process the master miners also started
to become shareholders of a more modern kind, not needing to
visit the mine personally. One of the early well-known examples
of the effects of this centralization was that the mine master Harald Lybecker could invite the famous technological genius Christopher Polhem (1661–1751) to introduce centralized mechanical
constructions for more efficient use of the mine. In this process the
miners also started to resemble modern wage laborers. The transformation caused them not to feel very well taken care of by the
different master miners, as was shown in a strike that took place
in Falun in May 1696.
The changes can be summarized as a process that made social
relations more abstract. The era when a miner was part of a master miner’s household was now something gone in the distant past.
My hypothesis is that the new pietism can be seen as a way to
cope with this. The Lutheran orthodoxy mainly relied upon older
collectivistic structures. This collectivism often meant that social
discipline was upheld by the threat of social shame. The new pietism was more individualistic. The Christian individuals should
experience the Holy Spirit in their hearts, which would change
their characters. They ought to be new creatures. In situations
when the external order was breaking down, pietism was an attempt to create order within the minds of the individuals. These
new humans should be governed by guilt, not by shame.
More than 100 years ago Max Weber wrote his famous The
Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. There he put forward the thesis that Calvinist ethics and ideas influenced the de-
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 315
velopment of capitalism. What can be seen in this example of Ekman is a counterpart to this development in a Swedish area that
was affected by capitalism and its more impersonal forms of social
relations very early. The difference is that the local striving for a
more emphasized form of individualism was formulated within
the theological framework of a Lutheran Church.
In secularized versions the early form of individualism that was
introduced in the proto-industrial town of Falun was later destined
to become more widely accepted in a new industrialized Sweden.
Lehmann, Hartmut (2003) Engerer, weiterer und erweiterter Pietismusbegriff.
Anmerkungen zu den kritischen Anfragen von Johannes Wallmann an
die Konzeption der Geschichte des Pietismus. In Pietismus und Neuzeit.
Ein Jahrbuch zur Geschichte des neueren Protestantismus 2003. Band 29.
Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht.
Lilja, Einar (1947) Den svenska katekestraditionen mellan Svebilius och
Lindblom. En bibliografisk och kyrkohistorisk studie. Samlingar och studier
till Svenska kyrkans historia utg. av Hilding Pleijel, Lund 16. Stockholm:
Svenska kyrkans diakonistyrelses bokförlag.
Loit, Aleksander (2000) Den politiska bakgrunden till bondeskolornas
upprättande i Östersjöprovinserna under svenska väldets tid. In Jansson,
Torkel – Eng, Torbjörn (Eds.), Stat - kyrka - samhälle : den stormaktstida
samhällsordningen i Sverige och Östersjöprovinserna. Studia Baltica
Stockholmiensia 21. (pp. 167-184) Stockholm : Almqvist & Wiksell.
Warne, Albin (1929) Till folkskolans förhistoria i Sverige. Stockholm: Svenska
kyrkans diakonistyrelses bokförlag.
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 316
Fortune Telling, Gambling and
Decision-Making at Stora Kopparberget
in the Early 17th Century
Iris Ridder
[email protected]
Dept. of Arts and Languages
University of Dalarna, Sweden
In the early 17th century, when the city of Falun was among the
largest cities in Sweden due to its important copper mine, Gisle
Jacobson, a local mining clerk, became the author of a small book
which was published in Stockholm in 1613, entitled Ett litet Tidh­
fördriff/ Der medh man kan fördröye Tidhen (A small pastime,
wherewith one can delay time). A small pastime is a moral-didactic
oracle book intended to be used while playing dice, and is based
on the so-called “dobbel”, a game of dice the miners in Falun used
to play on New Year’s Day to settle the mining order and to share the ore among them. Reports suggest that this ritual was conducted annually at the Copper mine ever since the Middle Ages.
Besides moral advice and various rules for how the miners should
conduct their lives, Gisle Jacobson’s book also includes a short
section where the senior miners’ special way of playing the game
of “dobbel” is described. In my paper I will describe the miners’
way of using and playing the game of “dobble”, its function in
relation to Gisle Jacobson’s book and give an insight into how this
game was used to make important decision concerning the inner
organization of the mine.
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 317
1. Introduction
Working as a miner has always been and still is a dangerous and
risky profession. The life of the miners during the 17th century
was perceived of as being frequently exposed to the unpredictability of this dangerous work where mine accidents were a constant
threat. During the Middle Ages and the early modern period, the
miners’ accidents and misfortune as well as success and wealth
were expressions of divine judgment and people often turned their
faith into religious or magical strategies in their effort to protect
their lives. In this context an interesting question is how the miners were thinking when it came to decision-making in connection
with this dangerous work. When it comes to medieval mentality
we may think that decision-making was more about rituals and
superstition than rational choices, especially in situations which
we today would consider as risky. It is obvious that the people at
Stora Kopparberg during the medieval and early modern time put
their trust in different kinds of games. There was particularly one
game, called the “dobblet” which is unique in relation to the mine
as a place of work. This game, played with the use of three dice,
had a major role for centuries in both the internal organization of
the mine and the taxation of the mine’s yield. With the help of this
game the miners at Stora Kopparberg decided the order in which
the different working cooperatives should access and work in the
mine. With the help of this procedure they would let faith decide
and thereby give God the chance to intervene in the decision-making and thus ensuring a good outcome. This fact throws an interesting light on their way to justify the sequence of events, that
is, when certain events are justified as causal or transcendental.
Questions of interpretation or justification arise, when the result
of a decision is considered either as a coincidence, a miracle or as
the intervention of God.
How the miners interpreted and related to the omnipotence of
chance in the form of a throw of dice can be studied further in an
oracle book, specifically written for miners in the beginning of the
17th century. This book based its conception upon the “dobblet”
and the discrepancy between the observation of contingency and
the expected providence in each lot which is based on the throw of
dice can be examined. In this article I will present the book itself,
the genre it belongs to and its connection to the miner’s dice game
called the “dobblet”. After this I will illustrate how this game was
played and explain its role in the organization of the work at the
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 318
mine during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. Finally
I will briefly describe the attitude to games of chance and fortune
during that time and briefly mention the similarities between this
fortune-telling book and a medieval game by the name of Ludus
regularis seu clericalis, a dice game developed by a pious monk
in the 10th century which has strong similarities with the miner’s
oracle game.
2. Gisle Jacobson’s fortune telling book for miners
Gisle Jacobson was a mining clerk, employed at the Falun copper mine in the early 17th century. Several contemporary sources
provide us with some information about the author and tell us
that he was working as a clerk in Stockholm before coming to
Falun (De Brun, 1924, pp. 822-823. Ingelsson, 1716, p. 16). It
was during his time in Falun that he became the author of a small
book which was published in Stockholm in 1613, entitled A small
pastime, wherewith one can delay time and get rid of evil thoughts,
which can easily come when one has nothing to do and to be used
when time allows. A small pastime is a moral-didactic book intended to be used while playing dice, and is based on the so-called
“dobblet”, a dice game that the miners used to play once a year
around New Year’s Day to settle the mining order and to share the
ore among them (Boethius, 1965, p. 116. Forsslund, 1936, p. 48.
Lindroth, 1955, p. 32 and p. 95. Söderberg, 1932, p. 142). The
book provides moral advice and various rules for how the miners
should conduct their lives, and ends with a short section describing
the senior miners’ special way of playing the game of dobblet, in
addition to a pious admonition to the junior miner-hands.
Unlike most publications of this period, which were usually
written for the wealthy and noble layers of society (Hansson,
1997, p. 427), A small pastime is something rare as a book written
for the common people combining both moralization and entertainment, in this case intended for the miners, perhaps even the
junior miner-hands, which the last part of the book, the pious admonition to the junior miner-hands, indicates. The text is not a
translation nor a compilation of any other contemporary writings
in the same genre, thus providing us with unique information into
the mindsets of the working class people of Falun, in particular
the miners’ both rational and apparently highly emotional way of
thinking (Ridder, 2012).
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 319
It is postulated in the beginning of the text that a number of
miners will pass the time with a game of dice. After the traditional title, a short education and then introduction for the reader
follows. After a heading with the image of three dice, showing the
combination 1 1 1, the text proceeds with a rimed stanza of six
verses: “Ah, you throw very high eyes. I don’t think your throw is
good enough. Therefore throw the dice in a better way, to succeed
better. In this case luck cannot happen to you, even if you think
so” (Jacobson, 1613, fo. Aivr). The text continues with the combinations 1 1 2, 1 1 3 and so on, and each combination is combined
with stanzas of diverging lengths, as for example the combination
1 1 3: “For if many proud foreheads bleed, my words shall for
certain be found true”, and the longest, for the combination 4 3
2 contains 18 verses, including a rather long moralizing comment
on greed: “To live a long life is the greedy man’s pain, for he cares
not for what to dare. Yes, his soul and his life are not as dear to
him as the property of his neighbour, for what that is worth, and
so forth” (Jacobson, 1613, fo. Aivv and fo. Biijr).
In the part concerning the education of the reader, the context
for the use of the text is clarified. One or more miners shall pass the
time, and to “drive away bad thoughts, that can come easy when
there is nothing to do” they should fetch this little book and use
it, together with three dice, in order to wish for something “that
can bring the best of honour” (Jacobson, 1613, fo. Aiir). Then
the wishes shall be tested through the throwing of the dice and
through the moral-didactic stanza linked to each of the possible
combinations of eyes. To play this oracle game you have to use
three dice, each with six sides, numbered from one to six. Accordingly, the text is an instruction for a kind of prophecy game, and
it can be categorized as a medieval book of lots (Boehm, 1932/33.
Stöllinger-Löser, 2004). This genre belongs to “mantic” literature and became very popular during the late medieval period. The
starting-point is thought to be old oracle customs, connected to
love and marriage. By way of the applications as described in these texts, preferably carried out during Christmas or New Year,
each man could find answers concerning the future, without being
an expert at soothsaying. Research about the history of games in
France has shown that the last days of December and the first
of January had traditionally been the main season for games of
dice. Mehl outlines a connection between old folk customs like
the pagan ritual of saturnalia or other customs in connection with
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 320
the turn of the year and an increased interest in fortune telling
(Mehl 1990, p. 230). Thus, A Small Pastime can be said to be a
kind of easygoing, entertaining oracle book with obvious moral
There are not that many art-historical and literary studies of
books of lots and in those that exist, efforts are made to categorize
them by delimiting different formal and motivic features from each
other (Sotzmann, 1850. Bolte, 1925). For my study it is important
to note that A small pastime was not considered as having any
serious intentions. Serious oracle books were prohibited by the
church and were regarded as both magical and superstitious (Harmening, 1979, pp. 179-204). On the other hand A small pastime
is not just playful and satirical either. It seems like Gisle Jacobson
wanted to reach out to the miners by entertaining them with moralizing wisdom combined with practical advice in the form of an
entertaining game. (Ridder 2012) To which extent the miners took
this advice seriously is at this point unknown, presumably this was
left to the gambling miner to decide for himself.
3. Decision-making, gambling and the organizational structure of
the mine
Through Biographia Cuprimontana we know that Gisle Jacobson
himself owned a half fourth share in the mine. Consequently, to
have luck on their side at the New Year’s drawing of lots was crucial for the successful mining of the individual shareholder, and
considering that Gisle was a miner himself, he was aware of this
when he wrote A Small Pastime. Ever since the 14th century the
work of the miners at the copper mine of Falun was characterized
by the so-called “omgången”, meaning the exact order in which
the work was done in the mining areas. You had to stick to a
predetermined mining order, where pair-leaders cooperated with
shareowners. The organizational structure of the mine was highly
developed, where independent miners owned shares in the organization, proportional to their possession of a shift in a smelt-house.
To handle the copper ore, furnaces were erected along the watercourses in Falun which were driven by bellows, constrained by
water power. For one furnace two bellows were required, which
is why they were called a “pair”. The system of share-owning was
related to the ownership of a part of the pair, commonly divided
into “fourth parts” and from the latter part of the 16th century
and onwards, the ownership was split in even smaller parts, defi-
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 321
ned as “half fourths”, and “fourth fourths” and so on. “Pair” was
also the name for the different mining cooperatives which alternated in different work shifts. (Boethius, 1965. Forsslund, 1936
Söderberg, 1932) The outcome of the game of “dobblet” decided
in which order the various pairs should get the opportunity of
using the mine, and there are reports suggesting that these customs were in use at the mine ever since the Middle Ages. The most
detailed description of this custom was made by Olof Olofsson
Nauclér in his academic treatise Description of the mine at Stora
Kopparberget (Beskrivning över Stora Kopparbergs Gruva) from
1702. To illustrate how the “dobblet”- game was played, I quote
a translation of this source:
This (the “dobblet”) usually takes place in the mining cottage at a meeting of
the Kopparberg’s group at the end of the year, and is held after public notification. This gathering is called “dobblet”. When the mining court has taken
its place at the table in the miners’ presence, the notary recites from the pair
numbers book every pair according to last year’s order, for example the first
pair in the first shift. Thereafter appears the “rot”-master or another member
of the pair and throws three dice, then the number, which he had thrown, is
written down. (...) After the final act the pairs are reordered according to the
numbers they received at the lottery, and the pair who chance has given the
highest number, gets the first (mining-) room assigned to them. Anyone who
throws a 3 or 4 gets the last room assigned to them.
The organization of the work in the mine, the »omgången«, determined the succession in which the miners got the right to use
the mine. The highest score at the “dobblet” gave the team access
to the first mining room, and then the second highest score admitted the team to the second room and so on, while the team with
the lowest roll was assigned to the last room. The fact that this
practice had been carried out at Stora Kopparberg since medieval
times is documented in King Magnus Eriksson’s Mining Statute of
1360. In this statute the king defined the organization of the work
as follows, ”each one of you thereafter work and mine his share in
due order. Nor shall anyone dare to pass over or neglect any part
of these working places, but shall work the mountain uniformly,
in the afore-mentioned manner and order, whether it be good or
bad” (Wessén, 1947, p. 44). The phrase »in due order« is a translation of the Latin »ordine sicut cadit« which clearly illustrates the
connection with the roll of the dice. If you roll with three six-sided
dice, numbered from one to six, one can at most get the number
18 and at lowest the number three. In the case where some teams
throw equal numbers, they had to roll the dice several times. For
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 322
example, if three teams rolled the number 12, their result was noted down between 11 and 13 and after that they had to roll the
dice once again to determine the order between them (Nauclér,
1702/1941, p. 41).
To comprehend the function of the dice game in connection
with the organization of the work during the Middle Ages, one
has to consider the working conditions at that time. When you
read the Swedish kings’ mining statutes (Wessén, 1947) you realize
that from early on the work was organized as a cooperative. By
comparison we can turn to the German mine Rammelsberg in the
Harz Mountains near Gosslar, a mine that the Swedish kings in
the early modern period used as a reference for their own mining
organization and to acquire technical ideas and a work force. Unlike Stora Kopparberg the ore deposit in Rammelsberg was located
within a mountain, which meant that you could build shafts both
from the top and from the side of the mountain. The situation at
the Falun copper mine was much more complex, as the ore deposit was completely underground and required more complicated
shafts and pump constructions than Rammelsberg. The complex
work in the mine required teamwork, which early on led to the
development of a mining association that proved to be a well-functioning coalition.
The fact that this game was developed at Stora Kopparberg is
not only linked to the special working conditions there, but also
to the mine’s specific conditions of ownership. Above all there was
the king’s so-called regal right, the right of the crown to unexploited natural resources, associated with administrative power and
fiscal claims. Beside this, there was no miner who owned a mine
or a part of it. Instead every miner had, due to his ownership of a
share in a smelt-house, the right to utilize the mine. The question
of who belonged to which mining team was determined by the
different smelt-houses and their needs for ore (Boëthius, 1965, pp
116-119). Thus a miner at Stora Kopparberg was not a person
who owned a mine or a share of a mine, but who owned a share of
a smelt-house and thereby also a miner’s estate. The miners were
also called »master-men« and were the region’s upper class. According to King Magnus Eriksson’s charter of 1347, they were permitted to carry »swords, shields, iron helms and iron gauntlets«.
The peasantry were fined three marks in case they wore »dagger,
bow, club, spear, sword, or broad-axe”, they were »at most« allowed to wear a food knife. The master-men did not participate
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 323
directly in the mining at the mountain but hired a workforce, such
as mine cutters (Wessén, 1947, p. 32).
The medieval way of extracting the copper ore was carried out
with the procedure of heating the rock with the help of fire, called
the fire-setting. A fire was lit in the mine and when it burned out
and the rock was cooled down, it became fragile and easier to
process. Usually the fire was lit after the first mining shift in the
afternoon, and when it had finished burning the next morning, the
first team began their work in the second room, the second team in
the third room and so on. Since they could not know in advance in
which room they would find the valuable ore, each team got access
to every mining room in turn, regardless of whether the room was
profitable or not.
In the Middle Ages, it was not uncommon that disputes were
settled with the help of dice. Walter Tauber describes in his book
The dice game in the Middle Ages and the early modern period
(Das Würfelspiel im Mittelalter und in der Frühen Neuzeit) that
decision-making was made by chance, facilitated by dice. “The
dice game was to be found in many areas of life and even played
an important role in the commercial and legal life “, he writes and
illustrates how legal disagreements and even disputes about ownership of land were settled with the help of dice (Tauber, 1987, p.
19). As an example, Tauber describes how merchants in Cologne
used the dice to distribute the wine deliveries, which came encumbered by boat on the river Rhine from Alsace. The retailers were
divided into teams of four and took turns to throw the dice. The
team that got the highest score secured the rights for the first buy.
This procedure is remarkably similar to the miners’ dice game at
Stora Kopparberg. If you compare the “dobblet”- procedure with
Tauber’s example from the wine merchants in Cologne, you are
struck by the remarkable fact that the advantage of throwing a
high number at the “dobblet” and thereby gaining access to the
first mining room was levelled by the principle of frequent rotation. Access to the room was actually not crucial for the success of
a mining team. The key factor for profit was more luck and craftsmanship. When a mining team found the valuable ore, they needed
as many talented mine cutters in their team as possible, also given
the fact that a mining room accommodated a maximum of eight
workers at the same time (Nauclér, 1702/1941, p. 53). In my opinion the important point here is that by letting the roll of the dice
decide the mining order, the miners would, according to the medie-
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 324
val mind-set, give God the chance to interfere in the game and let
him predetermine the mining order, potential success or tragedy.
Since chance did not exist in medieval times only providentia dei,
the success of a team would always be described as God’s will.
4. The king’s interest in the miners’ game
A further look at the medieval mining documents that mention
this game shows that the “dobblet” was more than a medieval
curiosity for decision-making. The miners also annually determined a register of the different mining teams, which could increase
or decrease, depending on how profitable the mine was at that
time. At the beginning of the 16th century, when production had
intensified and was profitable, a bailiff report illustrates that the
king wanted to expand the number of pairs in the register, which,
according to this document, also was regulated in connection with
the annual “dobblet” (Söderberg, 1932, p. 188). After the usual
dicing to determine the mining order, the miners included four new
pairs by dicing them into the register. When the mine was most
profitable, the number of teams, however, exceeded 18, which is
the highest score to get when you throw three dice with six sides.
Nauclér, for example, describes in his thesis that the number of
teams at the turn of the 17th century was 25. If the mine was in
good condition and the profits were high, several miners competed
to get hold of a mining share. But more often the mine was not
so profitable because of different kind of mine disasters, like mine
collapses. In these cases the teams had to deal with waste rock or
water filling the mine, which made the work dangerous and unprofitable. Under these circumstances the Crown had to use both
persuasion and threats to fill the pair-register.
The pair-register that was determined by the annual “dobblet”
was also the basis for the king’s financial claims. Special regulations applied to this mining district, located north of Lake Mälaren, called Bergslagen, or “mountain’s laws” and which, besides
the famous copper mine at Falun, also included the silver mine in
Sala and various iron mines. This region’s particular legislation benefitted the area’s mining capacity and led to a unique political status and autonomy for the region, which is illustrated by Sweden’s
oldest preserved mining charters demonstrating the era’s advantages concerning taxes, business and legislation (Wessén, 1947).
The king claimed his right to income from the kingdom’s natural
resources and a “tithe” from the iron produced was sent from
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 325
the iron mines to the Crown. Even at Stora Kopparberg a “tithe”
of the copper ore was paid as well as a special payment from the
refined copper called “avrad”, some kind of lease. It was this lease
that was linked to the pair-register that was established by the
New Year’s “dobblet” (Boëthius, 1965: 181-183).
The medieval mining documents concerning the “dobblet” also
illustrate that the game in fact was the issue for strong conflicts
of interest. It was crucial for the power-play between miners and
numerous groups of miners. (Söderberg, 1932: 189) We know that
even the composition of the mining teams was sometimes decided
by throwing the dice at New Year. The purpose was to avoid the
risk that some teams got too strong and became a power factor
of their own. This is why mining teams were sometimes split and
reorganized with the help of chance. Some authors from the early
modern period also describe that the miners used the throwing of
gloves to distribute the ore among them. (Söderberg, 1932: 185186) This again reminds us of the merchants of Cologne, who used
the dice to distribute the wine deliveries. After the mining shift the
pair’s ore was brought together and divided into equitable bunches. Then the ore was divided between the members of the team,
proportional to their mining shares, by lot, or more specifically, by
throwing each member’s glove on one of these bunches. An interesting fact is that the medieval mining records show a large difference in the production volume between the members of a team,
although this procedure actually ensured a level of fairness be­
tween them. This indicates that some cheating probably occurred,
and that this was most likely in connection with the “dobblet.”
Since the pair-register was the basis for the miners’ lease to
the Crown, cheating at the annual “dobblet”, would affect the
Crown’s profit. Not surprisingly, you can find documents that
show the king’s or the regent’s interest in this game and its usage.
As an example I want to refer to a letter from Arvid Siggesson, a
priest from the town Mora in the county of Dalarna, which is a
part of Bergslagen. Arvid Siggesson was a strong supporter of the
Sture-family, an influential family whose members had served as
regents during the Kalmar Union. This letter was written December 16, 1504 to the regent Svante (Sture) Nilsson, a few weeks
before the annual “dobblet” was to take place. At this historic
moment we find ourselves in the middle of a war between Sweden
and Denmark, where the peasants of Dalarna played a crucial role.
The people of East Dalarna, where the town of Mora was the cen-
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 326
tre, were numerous and easy to mobilize, which is why they were
regarded as a power factor. From Svante (Sture) Nilsson’s time
as regent, three letters are preserved as well as the above mentioned bailiff report that demonstrate the significance of the game
of “dobblet” and how the regent was interfering in the mining’s
inner organization. In the letter from December 16, 1504, Arvid
Siggesson informed the regent of fraud at the annual “dobblet”.
The problem he addressed was that even if the teams had received
the same scores at the “dobblet” and thus received the same mining shares and amount of lease, a few of them were very rich and
the majority very poor. This letter illustrates that there had been a
leading number of four or six miners, who due to their power and
wealth were able to go against the rights of other poorer miners in
connection with the annual “dobblet” (Gamla papper, 1932, pp.
The same situation occurred again in the 1570s, when the production of copper ore after a long period of difficulties was increasing again. The rich miners wanted to limit the number of
teams in order to reserve the profits of the increased production
without sharing the profit with the poorer miners. To increase the
pair numbers would allow more miners’ teams to be diced into the
register. A higher number of pairs would also increase the Crown’s
income. This is why King Charles IX, who by the way was very
interested and engaged in the development of the Falun copper
mine, turned against the wealthy miners and increased the number
of pairs at Stora Kopparberg at that time (Boëthius, 1965, pp.
5. Gisle Jacobson’s A small pastime and the Ludus regularis seu clericalis
It was also King Charles IX who actively worked for the reorganization and technical renewal of the mine during the early 17th century, investments which in return helped finance Sweden’s era of
great power. To improve the organisation of the mine, new offices
were set up, among others the office of the mining clerk. One of
the first clerks who ever held that position was Gisle Jacobson, the
author of the above-mentioned oracle book for miners, A small
pastime, a medieval book of lots, where the lot was drawn in the
same way as the miners’ used to play the annual “dobblet”.
The moral claims of A small pastime can in some ways be said
to contrast with the dubious reputation of the game of dice in
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 327
older times (Tauber, 1987). During the Middle Ages and the early
modern period this game had an reputation of being a game invented by the devil, who was called the father of the dice (Mehl, 1990,
p. 314) and had a reputation for using it to play for souls (Herold,
1987, p. 1015). Tauber quotes a medieval German gnomic poet
Reinmar of Zweter (1200-1260) who claimed that the devil, by
inventing the numbers one to six on the die, wanted to ridicule
God, heaven and earth, the holy trinity, the four gospels, the five
senses and the six-week fast (Tauber, 1987, p. 56). But actually,
there was a clear moral difference between games of luck (ludus
fortunae) and games of strategy, with the latter not as much to be
condemned as the former (Schädler, 2009, p. 203). But the game
of dice was undoubtedly lowest in status, even socially. When the
game of cards (ludus chartarum) gained ground in Europe during
the 16th century, it too was counted among the socially and morally reputable games, no doubt because of the decisive role of
chance. Highest in rank were clear-cut strategy games like chess
(ludus scaccorum), while games characterized by both chance and
strategy, for example some kinds of backgammon which included
the throwing of dice, was situated in a social and moral limbo.
Nevertheless dice games were connected to sinful behaviour such
as blasphemy and violence: “According to religious commentators
the gambler was a model version of an immoral man, prone to
blasphemy, idolatry and superstition” (Walker, 1999, p. 42). This
idea was illustrated during the late medieval period in paintings
depicting the Passion of Christ, where the Roman soldiers play
for Christ’s clothes and behave sinfully and aggressively (Mann,
1994). This situation from Matthew 27: 35 and in more detail
from John 19: 23–24, describes how the soldiers, who nailed Jesus
to the cross, used a game of dice to decide who would get Jesus’
Obviously, games that made demands on human intelligence contrasted with games that rested on chance, an attitude that
spread into the 17th century by way of the humanist movement.
This, in turn, depends on the problems in the medieval period with
the connection between fortuna and providentia, that is between
ordinary arbitrariness or contingence and divine providence
(Haug, 1995. Fichte, 1996). As formulated by Walter Haug, fortuna “should not have been in existence during the Middle Ages.
It had no role for itself in a world where not even a sparrow falls
from heaven without the will of God” (Haug, 1995, p. 1). The
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 328
problem was solved by putting fortuna entirely in the service of
providentia, and the functioning of this relation is of course especially obvious in connection with aleatorial games (Haug, 1995,
p. 7). As to the relation between the absolute haphazardness of
the game and the principal demand for truth regarding the world
in connection to the omnipotence of God, every single event, even
the seemingly aleatorial throw of dice, was interpreted as a will
of God. Thus, bad luck in connection with the playing of games
could be interpreted as a sign of vanitas, and the player, by losing,
should be made aware of the vanity of life and the importance of
a pious existence.
However, gambling was officially prohibited and from the fourth
Lateran Council in 1215, a general ban was validated on all kinds
of games. Clerics were not allowed to play any games of chance
or to be present when such games were played, not even if these
served the purpose of relaxation. Throwing dice or drawing lots
were regarded as challenging God’s authority because the gambler
by tempting his faith shows that he would rather follow devilish
temptation by trusting in fate, than believing in God’s plan. The
ban on gambling, especially gambling with dice, was repeated
through­out the Middle Ages and early modern period (Müller,
2001, p. 61). To circumvent the inevitable moral problems connected with playing dice, a bishop from northern France named
Wibold of Cambrai (around AD 970) justified this by inventing
a special kind of dice game for monks with edificatory purposes
(PL 134, pp. 1007—1016). The game, which was called Ludus
regularis seu clericalis has astonishingly strong similarities to the
game Gisle outlines in A small pastime. Wibold’s game is played
by using three dice, each with six sides, numbered from one to
six. A particular virtue is linked with each potential throw: for
example, 1 1 1 with charity, 1 1 2 with faith, 1 1 3 with hope and
so on. The purpose was that the monks could roll the dice, and yet
remain devout. This implicates basically the same approach used
in A Small Pastime. In Wibold’s Ludus regularis seu clericalis each
throw was combined with a special virtue. The monks took turns
in throwing the dices and the throw that showed the number of a
virtue obtained it if the virtue was not already drawn. When all the
virtues were distributed the monk who had the highest number of
virtues was the winner of the game.
The system of combing different throws with a specific virtue
is not possible in A Small Pastime in the same way. This is why
I cannot discern a direct connection between the content of Wichapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 329
bold’s pious dice game and Gisle’s oracle game for the miners. The
resemblance concerning the conception of these two games is quite
obvious, at the same time as it is impossible to say if Gisle knew
of Wibold’s game. In a publication from Arno Borst, The Battle
of the Numbers, (Das mittelalterliche Zahlenkampfspiel), about
the Rithmomacy, an interesting conclusion is that Wibold’s game
was still known at the beginning of the 18th century (Borst, 1986
and 1996). But on the other hand there is a remarkable aspect of
Wibold’s game which is not included in the concept of A Small
Pastime: In Wibold’s game the value of the virtue is related to the
difficulty of the throw. The more unlikely it is to get a particular
throw, for example three similar numbers, the more important the
virtue is. You will not be able to find this kind of subtly influencing
which even involves speculations about calculating probabilities in
A Small Pastime. This emphasizes the fact that Gisle’s oracle game
is, contrary to the intellectual game of the scholarly monks, a game
intended for ordinary people working at the copper mine.
Nevertheless the inventio of the book is the game of “dobblet”
at the beginning of the New Year, where the mining order and the
sharing of ore were decided. The starting-point for the text is the
idea that a miner, who wants to know if a certain wish will be
fulfilled, will fetch some dice, together with a book of lots, such
as this one. The wish will be pronounced, the dice will be thrown,
and the answer will be sought-up in the stanza for the combination
in question. But neither Gisle nor we can know what kind of wish
is at stake. For the oracle of dice to be able to answer the various
wishes of the miners, the sayings and advice given must have a very
general and universal character. Bearing in mind the relation of the
text to its function in reality, we understand that really important
problems could be at stake, and that the miners really needed luck
to get the answer they wanted.
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 330
Boehm, F. (1932/1933). Losbücher. Handwörterbuch des deutschen
Aberglaubens 5, (pp. 1386-1401). Hanns Bächtold-Stäubli & Eduard
Hoffmann-Krayer (eds.). Berlin: de Gruyter.
Boehm, F. (1932/1933). Losen. Handwörterbuch des deutschen Aberglaubens
5. (pp. 1351-1386). Hanns Bächtold-Stäubli & Eduard Hoffmann-Krayer
(eds.). Berlin: de Gruyter.
Boëthius, B. (1965). Kopparbergslagen fram till 1570-talets genombrott.
Uppkomst, medeltid, tidig vasatid. Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksell.
Bolte, J. (1925). Zur Geschichte der Punktier- und Losbücher. Jahrbuch für
historische Volkskunde 1, (pp. 184-214).
Borst, A. (1986). Das mittelalterliche Zahlenkampfspiel. (Supplemente zu
den Sitzungsberichten der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften,
Philosophisch-historische Klasse 5), Heidelberg: Winter.
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chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 332
The Mine Spirit in the Copper Mine of Falun:
Expressions of a Social Counter Strategy?1
Torsten Blomkvist
[email protected]
Dalarna University, Sweden
In this article, legends about the mine spirit are discussed from
social and historical perspectives. In earlier research, the legends
have been interpreted as expressing systems, notions or world
views, which the mine workers reacted to in a more or less passive
way. In line with theories of religion presented by William Paden
I will discuss the legends from a reverse perspective, i.e. to see the
mine workers as active rather than reactive in the reproduction of
the legends. Based on a few examples of legends tied to the copper
mine of Falun, Sweden, I will argue for the hypothesis that the
mine workers could use the mine spirit symbol as a way of communicating with mine executives. The mine workers were subordinated to punitive laws and disciplinary punishments, and had few
possibilities to affect their working conditions. By referring to the
mine spirit symbol, they could call attention to dangers or other
problems in the mine without disobeying or breaking laws. A local
context relevant for this interpretation is the great reform of the
copper mine of Falun performed by the mine master Swab during
the beginning of the 18th century. This reform led to a distancing
between mine workers and their executives and may have caused
the mine workers to develop new strategies of negotiation.
This article can be seen as a frame to a larger forthcoming project. Every part of
the article is in need of developments and elaboration.
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 333
1. Introduction
This article will focus on some folklore legends about the mine
spirit2 related to the copper mine of Falun in Sweden. There are
plenty of Swedish folk memories about mine workers meeting the
mine spirit, mostly in the shape of an elegantly dressed lady. The
legends about the mine spirit contain a number of different expressions and themes. According to the legends, the mine spirit was
the ruler of the mine. She watched over the mining practices and
could punish mine workers who didn’t do their job correctly. She
checked that the mine workers didn’t break taboos in the mine,
like killing animals or whistling. She could also test the morals of
the workers and punish them severely if they failed her tests. On
the other hand, she also protected the mine workers from dangers such as falling rocks or collapses. The mine spirit could also
guide people to ore deposits. A certain cluster of legends within
the broader mine spirit tradition, foremost tied to the Falun mine,
is the so-called lion’s share legends (brorslottssägnerna). In these
legends the mine spirit refers to a richer “lion’s share” somewhere
else. Therefore, the mine spirit could, in a complex way, be seen
as a benefiter, a protector and at the same time a danger for the
mine workers. Although the main themes in the legends have been
mentioned here, it’s important to state that there exists a great
variation in the legends as regards the relation between the mine
spirit and the mine workers.3 In this article I will argue in favor
of a hypothesis concerning a certain theme in the legends, namely
when the mine spirit shows up in relation to collapses or other
disturbances in the mine. I will discuss this theme based on a few
examples from the copper mine of Falun.
The phrase mine spirit is used to resemble the Swedish phenomena commonly
termed gruvrå, bergrå or gruvfrun. However, there exists a great variation of
names including plenty of local variants. (Cf e.g. Forslund 1924, pp. 3-4 &
Tillhagen 1981, p. 121). A more correct English translation of gruvrå would be
ruler of the mine, but I use the term mine spirit to make the study more compatible with other similar research.
For comprehensive overviews about the content of the mine spirit legends, see
foremost Forslund 1924 & Tillhagen 1961.
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 334
2. Positioning and theoretical outline
Earlier research on the mine spirit legends in Sweden is dominated
by the publications of the ethnologist Carl-Herman Tillhagen.4 He
presents several interpretations and explanations concerning the
different expressions of the mine spirit legends. In this article I will
not discuss Tillhagen’s or other researcher’s interpretations in detail. Instead I will try to problematize the assumptions which these
interpretations are based on. Tillhagen sees the mine spirit legends
as superstitions that can be explained through the mine workers’
lack of education.5 He also suggests that the taboos together with
other features in the legends could be seen as a “primitive security
system”. By avoiding breaking taboos and by “listening” to the
mine spirit the workers could be safe in the mine.6 Another researcher who has written about the mine spirit legends is Karl-Erik
Forslund. He emphasizes the legends as sources with a great cultural historical value, expressing the beliefs, notions, conceptions
and emotional worlds of the forefathers.7 Also Mats Åmark has
discussed the mine spirit legends in connection to Christian activities occurring in and around the mine. He sees the mine spirit
legends and other similar ones as “powers” being a living reality
for the mine workers in older times. As protection against these
powers, the mine workers could pray or sing psalms.8
These interpretations include, more or less emphasized, an assumption that the legends could be seen as a “reality”, a “world­
view”, “notions” or a “system” which the mine workers had to,
in some way, react to. The problem with these perspectives is that
they make the mine workers “passive” in relation to the legends,
legends that they have in fact produced. Instead, inspired by William Paden’s theories of religion, I will see them as expressing a
certain type of activity. Paden states that religious activities can
be defined as “world-making”. In this world-making process symbols are produced and reproduced, and it is these symbols that
build up different religious worlds. These symbols are connected
with emotions and ideas that of course can vary according to time,
The most important publications are Tillhagen 1961 & 1981. Cf. also Tillhagen
1965 & 1976. The mine spirit legends in Sweden have also been thoroughly
discussed in Forslund 1924 and to some extent in Åmark 1951.
Tillhagen 1981, p. 10 f, cf. also Åmark 1951.
Tillhagen 1981, pp. 134-136.
Forslund 1924, p. 37.
Åmark 1951, pp. 129 & 138.
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 335
space and down to each and every individual.9 When in the following text I refer to “the mine spirit symbol”, I do that in line with
Paden’s ideas about world-making. While Paden primarily seems
to be interested in “religious worlds” as such, I am more interested
in the contexts where religious symbols are produced. In this case
I’m influenced by Kim Knott’s theories about religion and locality.
According to her it’s necessary to consider the local context in
order to fully understand religious expressions. Through that she
wants to problematize generalizing models of religion.10 The mine
area in Falun can be seen as a locality where very specific conditions prevailed, and in order to understand the world-making occurring there, it’s necessary to understand these conditions, both
from a social and a historical perspective.
3. Sources and problems
The sources relevant for research on the mine spirit are mainly folk
memories. The majority of these memories were collected during
the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century.11
However there are also some notes in older literature and reports
indicating that the mine spirit symbol was produced, appearing
from the 17th century onwards.12 In this study I will concentrate
on one report from the middle of the 18th century and two later
memorates13 collected by John E Wilhelmsson.14 Since memorates claim to be self- or second-hand experiences, they are usually
considered to have a higher source value than other folk memory
categories.15 Despite that, there are of course plenty of critical problems related to the use of memorates as sources. It’s impossible
to estimate whether the described events actually occurred as they
Paden 1996 & 1994.
10 Knott 1998 & 2009. Cf. Blomkvist 2010.
11 A majority of the folk memories are available in the archives of the Nordic museum and The Institute of Language and Folklore. These institutions have also
been active in the collection of folk memories, e.g. by sending out question lists
to former mine workers, cf. Gruvminnen 1960.
12 For a review of occurrences of the mine spirit in older literature, see Tillhagen
(1965, pp. 140-143).
13 The category memorate (Swe memorat), introduced by the Swedish folklorist
Carl Wilhelm von Sydow aims to describe self experienced memories, but can
also include second-hand experiences. For a critical discussion about the concept, see Dégh & Vázsonyi 1974.
14 The report is set out in Forslund (1936) and I will use his publication in this
article. The memorates are published in Wilhelmsson 1976.
15 See e.g. Almqvist 1984, pp. 5 &176.
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 336
are presented in the memorates, or if the events have occurred at
all. It’s also very difficult to discern the memorates’ dependence on
general ideas or genres. On the other hand, the memorates discussed here are very detailed. They give information on names and
titles of the people involved and precise information regarding the
course of events. It’s also important to state that I’m not interested
in whether the mine workers actually “saw” or believed in the
mine spirit. What I’m interested in is if they communicated about
the mine spirit, i.e. produced the mine spirit symbol according to
Paden’s theory, and in which contexts this production occurred.
On these issues, I would say, the memorates could give strong indications, either directly or indirectly.
4. The mine spirit of the copper mine of Falun: three examples
The oldest reference to the mine spirit in Falun mine goes back
to 1755. At a dinner with the mayor of Falun in January 1755,
the assessor, Samuel Troili, told the guests that some mine workers in the Western district (Västerorten) had met the mine spirit
in the form of a ghost. The ghost made noises that sounded like
crying and sighing, reminding them of a mine worker trapped in
the mine, causing the mine workers to become terrified. They interpreted this as either a warning of a forthcoming accident or as
a sign of better luck with ore-finding. Furthermore, a mine worker
had told the mine executive (stigare) Jöran Sohlberg that he had
heard someone moan pitifully but also low like an ox. Close by,
he had also heard noises that reminded him of a crying infant. The
Geschworner Lars Schultze thought this was a clever invention by
the mine workers and thought that they had made this up to get
a certain shaft closed due to strong heat and the risk of collapse.
However the mining executive saw the appearance of the mine
spirit as a good sign and decided to continue to exploit the shaft.16
Later memorates indicate that the mining executives took the
worries of the mine workers more seriously. In a memorate collected by John E Wilhelmsson17 concerning the great mine collapse
in 1876, we are told that the mine workers in a certain shaft were
worried. The mountain creaked and snapped and the torches went
out due to air-streams from the mine passages. The mine execu-
16 These events was written down by the geschworner Lars Schultze. My presentation is based on Forslund 1936, p. 92. Cf also Tillhagen 1965, p. 142 f.
17 This is a long memorate, here shortened and summarized.
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 337
tive saw discipline disappear and got more and more frustrated.
One day later a mine worker came running out from a small mine
room. He was very frightened and said that a big troll had been
chasing him. The worker, with others following him, quickly went
up from the mine.
After that two more similar occurrences took place. After that,
the mine executive then decided to go down and check out the
shaft himself. Together with a mine worker he went down to the
shaft. Halfway down a strong draught made their lamp die out. In
the disappearing light they saw a lady dressed in white very close
to them. “Did you see her?” shouted the mine worker. “Be quite
and light the lamp” said the mine executive. When the light came
back, the mine spirit was gone. However they continued their investigation and the mine executive saw that a collapse was not far
away. He got the 35 workers out of the mine and soon after that
the shaft collapsed. 18
These two memorates illustrate the production of the mine spirit symbol in relation to a fear of mine collapses. They are also
two different examples of how the mine executives reacted to the
reports from the mine workers. In the first example the report was
dismissed as an invention, but later on the appearance of the mine
spirit made the mine executive decide to keep exploit the shaft.19 In
the second case the mine executive actually checked out the shaft,
and by doing that saved 35 people. It is worth noting that both the
mine executives took the reports seriously, but in different ways.
The third example has a different character. In the mine there
was a working room called the chapel because of the existence
of a natural formed rectangular altar by one of the walls. That
altar was beautiful and the plain surface showed yellow, green and
red colors. One day the mine executive decided to fire the altar
away for a new passage. When the workers prepared the fire, the
mine spirit appeared in the shape of a beautiful woman dressed
in expensive clothes. She commanded the men to stop their work,
which they did immediately. The workers went to the mine executive and said that they didn’t want to continue with the fire and
asked him to be replaced. The mine executive replaced the men but
18 Told by Verner Hedman, Gustaf Boström & Gustaf Utterström. Wilhelmsson
1976, pp. 8-10.
19 Tillhagen sees this circumstance, that even the mine executive made allowance
for the mine spirit in this decision, as a sign of that a belief in the mine spirits
connection to ore was strong. Tillhagen 1965, p. 143.
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 338
send six other workers down to the shaft. When they lit the fire the
mine spirit appeared again and told the frightened mine workers
that “now you have lit a fire that will burn for a long time”. The
sulphur in the mountain took fire and burned for two years.20
In this case the mine workers produce the mine spirit symbol
when the mine executive wanted to destroy a beautiful rock formation. What is interesting is that the mine workers, by referring
to the symbol, actually are replaced, although the situation in itself
was not dangerous. In this case the mine workers probably wanted
to protect an artifact that meant something for them, and this example shows the complexity of the legends.
5. Contexts relevant for understanding the mine spirit in the Falun
My hypothesis is that referring to the mine spirit symbol could
be seen as a means of communication between mine workers and
mine executives. For the mine workers, referring to the mine spirit
symbol could have functioned as a strategy to affect their working
Historically, mine workers have been forced to work in the mine
and obey their superiors through laws, regulations and disciplinary punishments. In his comprehensive work, Gruvornas folk, Bertil Boëthius shows how laws, regulations and punishments, from
the Middle Ages to the 18th century, have been used both to secure
the labor supply and to tie the workers to the mine. During the
Middle Ages, the asylum right given to mine workers was stated
in the medieval royal charters. In the case of the copper mine of
Falun, such a charter was issued in 1347. The Asylum right gave
criminals the possibility to avoid punishment while working in the
mine. At the same time these people were bound to the mines in an
effective way.21 Forced labor and the laws against vagrancy might
have been even more important. This law, which has appeared
in different forms until the 21st century, functioned effectively to
ensure the labor supply in the mines.22 A factor that also historically contributed to securing the labor supply has been exemptions
from military service. This must have been very effective from the
master miner’s perspective, since the threat of being called in to
20 Told by Gustav Boström (b. 1866). Wilhelmsson 1976, p. 13.
21 Boëthius 1951, pp. 58 f.
22 Boëthius 1951, pp. 58 f, 144 ff & 264.
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 339
the army must have prevented the workers from leaving the mine.
At the same time, this threat made it easier for the master miner
to keep wages down.23 Another effective way of keeping the workers in the mine would have been indebtedness. According to the
law, the indebted worker could not leave his employment. A liberal system of credit in combination with payments in kind made
indebtedness frequent among the workers.24 In addition to these
factors, it is also necessary to mention the punishments given to
mine workers who misbehaved within the mine. Although these
punishments got milder from the Middle Age and on, they still
prevailed into the 19th century. The hardest and most brutal punishments were directed against theft or risking the mine through
negligent behavior. Disobeying or showing disrespectful behavior towards a mine executive could also lead to severe and brutal
punishments. However, negligence of work, like not showing up,
showing up late or leaving work when not finished, were also sanctioned with, for example, severe penalties or jail.25 Boëthius shows
in a convincing way that the mine workers from the Middle Ages
into the 18th century were more or less totally in the power of
their executives. This must be considered an important context for
analyzing the production of the mine spirit symbol. All together,
these laws, regulations, sanctions and so on gave the mine workers
very limited possibilities to affect their working conditions.
By referring to the mine spirit symbol, the mine workers might
have been able to make their point without disobeying or being
disrespectful. The above-mentioned examples indicate that the
mine executives might have looked more kindly on the delinquencies of mine workers referring to the mine spirit, for example running out from a shaft. By referring to the mine spirit, they referred
to a symbol that the mine executives could not ignore. That symbol was also important to them in many different ways. As said
before, the mine spirit symbol could have disciplinarian functions
for the mine workers, so even the most superstitious-free mine executive must have seen the advantage of keeping the symbol alive.
An interesting historical context related to the copper mine of
Falun is the reform carried out by the mine master (bergmästare)
Swab, during the years 1715 and 1716. The reform, however, was
23 Boëthius 1951, pp. 157-159.
24 Boëthius 1951, pp. 213-216.
25 Boëthius 1951, pp. 79-85 & 360-390. About disciplinary issues in the Falun
mine during the 17th and 18th century, see pp. 376-380.
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 340
not completely implemented until the middle of the 18th century.
According to Sten Lindroth, this reform meant the end of an individualized organization of the mine. Due to the reform, the mine
was organized in a more collective way, like a more modern company. Before the reform, the mine workers were employed by a
part-owner in the mine, a so-called master miner (Bergsman). Together they formed a tight group working in allocated rooms for
the benefit of the master miner. More or less tied to these groups
were also so-called guardians (väktare) whose function was to
control several aspects of the work. These guardians worked close to the mine workers and sometimes misused their position for
their own benefit. In some cases they obtained a lot of power and
became a problem to the mine master. The guardians were abolished in 1754 and replaced by so-called stigare, or mine executives. They were fewer and had large areas of control. No doubt, the
mine workers were to a great extent dependent on their relation
to the master miners and the guardians. After the reform the mine
workers became employees of the company. The mine workers
were no longer tied to the part-owners in the same way. Instead
of following the master miner from one shaft to another, the mine
workers, to a higher degree than earlier, got tied to a certain shaft.
Instead of being tied to a master miner, the mine worker got tied
to a shaft.26
It is interesting to notice that the earliest reference to the mine
spirit occurring in Falun is dated to 1755, i.e. not long after the
Swab reform had finally been implemented. The fact that mine
workers became tied to certain shafts could have actualized occurrences like the descriptions in the above mentioned memorates.
Before, the mine workers, in general, worked closely together with
master miners who had the same knowledge of the conditions of
a shaft as did the mine workers. Since the executives also shared
the risks with the mine workers, the need for referring to the mine
spirit symbol might have been limited. The reform lead to more
distance between the mine workers and their closest executives.
The mine workers were, more or less, left alone in their shafts.
In this case it is reasonable to believe that the mine workers had
greater knowledge of the shafts than their executives. In addition
to that, the executives did not, as before, share the risks with the
mine workers. This might have led to a need for the mine workers
26 This process is described in detail by Lindroth 1955, pp. 358-376.
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 341
to change their strategies for negotiating with the mine executives.
In these negotiations, references to the mine spirit symbol might
have been of importance, especially in case of dangers or other
disturbances in the mine.
6. Conclusion
To sum up, I think it is reasonable to believe that the mine spirit
symbol in some cases could function as a means of communication
between mine workers and mine executives. Because of the mine
workers’ limited possibilities to affect their working conditions,
the mine spirit symbol could help mine workers in negotiations
with their executives, for example in the case of danger. This is
of course a hypothesis that has to be tested more thoroughly than
has been the case here. However, it should be enough to question
the earlier way of seeing the mine spirit legends as abstract systems
or notions. By seeing the mine workers as active rather than passive in relation to the mine spirit legends, and by taking the local
historical context into consideration, I believe it is possible to use
this fascinating material to say something about the people that
actually worked in the mine.
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Stockholm: LTs förlag.
Wilhelmsson, J. E. (1976). Vita damen i kårarvsskogen och andra gruv­
berättelser från Falun. Dalarnas museums serie av småskrifter 13. Falun:
Dalarnas museum.
Åmark, M. (1948). Gud wälsigne grufvan. Med hammare och fackla, 17, 7-32.
Åmark, M. (1951). Gruvskrock och gruvböner. Med hammare och fackla 19,
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 343
The Music Salon in Falun
During the 19th Century
Juvas Marianne Liljas
[email protected]
Dalarna University, Falun, Sweden
The aim of the project is to examine the music salon in Falun
as a part of the mining community and in the historical context
of European salon culture. A specific goal is to develop a deeper
understanding about the salon when it comes to education and
pedagogic ideas. Of a certain interest is Johan Henrik Munktell’s
(1804-1861) education travelling (bildningsresor). Inspired by
Mendelssohn’s music salon in Berlin and the early salons in Uppsala he created his own salon in Grycksbo. A letter collection from
J.H. Munktell to his father J.J. Munktell in 1828-30 can be considered a unique historical material, which places the salon in Falun in a continental context of culture, education and industrial
pretensions. The results have potential to extend the knowledge of
Nordic salon culture and how it has influenced general pedagogy
and music education.
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 344
1. Introduction
The Munktell salon is part of a historically interesting environment. During Sweden’s time as a superpower, Falun was ranked
as the country’s second city and contributed to the development
of the Swedish constitution (Hildebrand, 1946 del I, pp. 99-125).
What is relevant for the study is that the Great Copper Mountain
is a paradigm of Swedish industrial history whose mentality can
be seen as having an effect on the direction of pedagogy in Sweden (Ödman, 1995 del I, pp. 271-280). The pedagogical debate
during the first decades of the 19th century has great consequences
for education reformation in Sweden and places the Falun salon
in an interesting position regarding changes in pedagogy at that
time (Lindroth, 1976, p. 142-143). Conversations at Grycksbo
were lead by the foremost pedagogical reformers of the time in
the school and education worlds, which can be related to the greater influence of mercantile nobility on society, but most likely
also to the historical significance the copper mine in Falun had on
Sweden’s development (Liljas, 2013; Lindroth, 1976, pp. 146-148;
Ödman 1995 del II, p. 485). Works patron Johan Henrik Munktell (1804-1861) also demonstrates a connection with a unique
music-historical heritage that was established during his educational trips to the continent during the 1820s.
In the following study I want to draw attention to the pedagogical role of the salon. The study was carried out with a focus on
the pedagogical and educational heritage on the Munktell salon,
and entails a link to the World Heritage site of the Falun copper
mine and the Great Copper Mountain regarding its significance
in changes in pedagogy and the modern nation state that broke
through during that time period.
The salons as spatial phenomenon is based on Jurgen Habermas’ culture-theoretical observations where the terms private and
public take on a special significance (Habermas, 1984, pp. 49-61).
Habermas’ spatial attribute shine a light on the inter-disciplinary
position of the salons, but also on the canonization. The salons
have earlier been investigated from the perspective of different
spatial dimensions which in short have focused on the room as
a centre of taste and opinion-formation, architectural inner and
outer space, mental and social room, as well as the aesthetic room
centered around the salon’s classical genres (Scott Sørensen, 1998,
pp. 10-11). But can the salon also be seen as a room for learning? Can you talk about the pedagogy of a salon? And can the
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 345
salon be seen as a possible starting-point to investigate pedagogy
during earlier historical points in time? These are questions I am
asking under the framework of this project. With the »pedagogical
room« as a starting-point, a new perspective will thereby be created different from earlier research.
The project consists of three sub-projects where the first deals
with Johan Henrik Munktell’s educational trips during the early 19th century. The project’s second part investigates how the
Grycksbo salon was formed, and how the connections between
Scandinavia and continental Europe were formed. The project’s
third part focuses primarily on the salon’s pedagogical functions
and the education Munktell’s daughters Emma and Helena got at
the salon.
A common theme of the three sub-projects is the pedagogical
side of the salon. The project is based on German education theory with its relevance for the romantic, neo-humanist education
ideal (Brylla, 2008; Kant, 1803; Schleiermacher, 1799). The Swedish education tradition from the beginning of the 19th century
is discussed in relation to German education heritage (Burman &
Sundgren, 2010, pp.13-17; Lindroth, 1976, pp. 148, 184). A central term is immanent pedagogy, i.e. the individual’s inherent possibility for self-realization in a given social context (Ödman, 1995
del I, p. 466). Inspired by the idea of immanent pedagogy, I test the
learning taking place in the salon. This concept can be linked to
education discourse and the narrative memory of Berlin’s Jewish
salons (Wilhelmy, 1989). The method is based on Paul Ricoeur’s
hermeneutics and builds on the idea that the narratives are qualified on different levels of interpretation that together can be seen
as newly describing or redescribing the historical material (Liljas,
2007; Ricoeur, 1984).
2. Earlier research
Petra Wilhelmy’s work from 1989 – „Der Berliner Salon im 19.
Jahrhundert (1780–1914)” – is one of the most important in this
field of international research. Wilhelmy builds, with great importance for the following research, a historically and scenically
theoretical fundament concerning the manner of saloons. Beside
the French saloons during the 17th century, the Jewish saloons of
Berlin are considered as have been a highlight in the manner of saloons during the 19th century (cf. Klitgaard Povlsen, 1998, pp. 2831). The saloons of Berlin were a mix of the aristocratically ones
and the significantly more modest tea saloons of the bourgeoisie.
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 346
The early saloons of Berlin were characterized by Jewish women
of well-educated families from the upper class, who developed the
manner of saloons into becoming an art in itself. In their saloons,
classes and gender were mixed in a way which otherwise wouldn’t
have been possible. The way of discussing which occurred was the
one of an emancipating character and took its point of departure
in literature, art and music (Holmqvist, 1998b, pp. 253-255, cf.
Wilhelmy, 1989, pp. 25f, 38-41, 49-50, 114-120).
According to Anne Scott Sørensen, the environments of the saloons have been described but also paled through recoiling perspectives which haven’t benefited their historical significance.
Sørensen’s aim in –”Nordisk salonkultur: Et studie i nordiske
skonåndner og salonmiljöer 1780–1850” – is to gather the northern saloons into a context of musical and literal saloon, as well as
to construe a theoretical study of the concept of saloon. Thereby
Scott Sørensen and her ten companying authors create an important base for the type of research in saloons which constitutes by
the saloons of Falun, and also creates more favourable conditions
for these to be placed in a historical and theoretical context and to
be related to the manner of saloons in a Scandinavian and European perspective.
Not unexpectedly, there is an imbalance between countryside
and town. The middle class salons were established in an urban,
pre-industrial environment and bear the demands from pre-industrial towns for publicity and education. As a source about the unresearched provincial salons, Munktell’s travel letters can be seen
as making an important contribution to Scandinavian salon culture during the 19th century. Klitgaard Povlsen maintains; ”Brevene er den bedste kilde til salonerne” (Klitgaard Povlsen, 1998,
p. 32). (”The letters are the best source of information about the
3. Letters and depiction
Through Johan Henrik Munktell’s letter home to his parents, a
living picture is created of German cultural life in the early 19th
century. Above all, the salon is depicted as an important part of
what we understand today as public musical life. Munktell’s depictions of the salons’ environment and interior give a new perspective where the proportions of music and discourse are what form
the grounds of Europe’s new musical life (cf. Öhrström, 1998, p.
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 347
The main purpose of Johan Henrik Munktell’s education trips
was to study new methods in paper production which automatically place salon life into a bigger perspective of the history of ideas. Munktell not only describes the continental culture and salon
environments, but describes industrial, above all in Germany but
also in other countries like Italy, Switzerland and France at the
beginning of the 19th century.
His daily itinerary includes different study visits where he very
often was met with scepticism from factory workers who did not
want to mess with their methods. The repeating question;”Bist du
fabrikant?” lead to him disguising his mission more and more. As
a sign of the competition that was building up on the continent,
Munktell describes in a letter how an upset paper factory worker
reacted when he”tricked some information out of him regarding
chlorine bleaching. Shortly thereafter […] he became suspicious
and I almost thought he would come at me”. The incident meant
that Johan Henrik Munktell would “do a Walraff” to a great extent to get information. In a letter from Berlin on 26th September
he writes;”Maybe the road of women would be the safest way into
Johan Henrik Munktell is also often visible in public culture and
music life. The 1820s reflect a time of expansion in Berlin’s salon
culture and Johan Henrik Munktell’s resume opened the door to
important social events where he excelled as a musician (Boëthius, 1942, p. 292; Wilhelmy, 1989, pp. 151-242). His social success is based on aristocratic career choices with personal contacts
which was also used by miners and mining nobility. Johan Henrik
Munktell’s visit to the Mendelssohn salon is of particular interest.
The Mendelssohns belonged to the Jewish elite of Berlin who had
great influence over salon culture. Mendelssohn’s was a meeting
point for Berlin society and was one of Europe’s most important
salons (Wilhelmy, 1989, pp. 146-150; Öhrström, 1998, p. 65).
4. Ars apodemica – the art of travelling
The letter collection by Munktell could be placed in the genre of
travel diaries and travel letters common for the epoch (Sjöblad,
2010, p. 187). I establish that the letters have the characteristic
form of documentation as can be compared with literary travel
diaries known from the time. The most famous one, from a Swedish point of view, are the travel diaries of the scientist Carl von
Linné (1707-1778). His special travel in the province in 1734 gives
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 348
us a great of knowledge about this area (Casson & Jacobsson,
2007, p. 24).
Like Linné, Munktell makes daily notes with great precision.
He visits a lots of German paper factories. While reflecting on the
Industrial progress he observers, the letters talk a lot about Falun
and the industrial conditions of the province in the beginning of
the 19th century. The letters of Munktell’s express in a genuine
and refreshing way the expectations of the new century.
According to Hodacs & Karlsson, travel writing is an early form
of historical writing that mirrors attitudes at the time in a positive
way. The most common method of comparing new places and phenomena to one’s native district is a method where the otherwise
uninhibited subjectivity is turned to the advantage of the historian
(Hodacs & Karlsson, 2000, p. 9). Besides, travel literature can be
seen as an important contribution to the pedagogical debate where
the genre is a part of the general method of child-rearing that developed out of the personal instructions parents wanted to give their
children before trips (Winberg, 2000, p. 112).
Educational travel was inherited from aristocracy and was a
way of qualifying yourself before up-coming jobs. The aim was to
study modern languages and build up a network for your up-coming mission for society. The pattern of making educational trips
was taken over during the age of the middle class and was seen
as a good way of completing your education. This was also the
intention of Johan Henrik Munktell’s education journey. Before
you went off, it was usual to read other people’s travel writings.
Ars apodemica – the art of travelling – was a way of travelling that
would guarantee that the trip would be of use (Hodacs & Karlsson, 2000, p. 11).
During a stay in Berlin, a network was created that today in seen
as one of the most important for Western music history. Munktell
also took the opportunity to invest in what would be useful for him
musically and educationally, and reveals in letters to his father; “I
have made two investments here in Berlin, one is: all of Mozart’s
operas in transcription, an expensive work, but of great value and
interest for the future”. Johan Henrik Munktell’s enthusiasm can
be explained by the fact that before the middle of the 19th century
people almost only ever played from hand-written notes (Ling,
2009, p. 16). In the letter he also tries to convince his father to
order a Viennese grand piano for their home in Grycksbo. “They
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 349
have a beautiful touch and a ringing sound. Crusell1 has recently
got one of them, and it is the best I have played”.
A phenomenon that increases our understanding of the young
Munktell’s intellectual capacity and thirst for knowledge is the interest he shows in literary salons. Among others he was recommended to Amalia von Helvig’s salon in Berlin. She was educated
by Goethe and Schiller and was a great female author. She was
also a model to the most famous salonniére in Sweden at the time,
Malla Silfverstolpe in Uppsala (Holmqvist, 1998a, pp. 210-212).
Munktell prefers the salons that use satire for textual criticism.
He does not like to miss the “Classical German Tragedies” that
are only performed in Germany and which “should preferably be
heard in their original language”, which can likely be connected
to the influence of the German romantic school in Uppsala (Knös,
1881, p. 3; Mansén, 1998, pp. 377, 380).2
5. The Uppsala salons
The Berlin salons which developed in the late 18th century are a
base for middle class salon culture, important for the Scandinavian
variant. They are of great importance for how salon culture spread
to Scandinavia. The history of the salons related to a great extent
to the connection between national and continental perspectives.
Scandinavian salons that blossomed from the end of the 18th century and during the first half of the 19th were inspired by French
and German culture. An example of this is the early Uppsala salons (Scott Sørensen, 1998, p. 9).
The Uppsala salons were at their height during the time Johan
Henrik Munktell studied in Uppsala. Thekla Knös fixes this period to 1816-30 and most of the greatest names in Uppsala society
are in the guest book at Grycksbo manor (Grycksbo’s guest book
1802, Knös, 1881, p. 2). Johan Henrik Munktell was part of the
Geijer - Atterbom - Knös circle during his student years when he
was in the company of, among others, the composer Adolf Fredrik
Lindblad (1801-1878). In a letter from Uppsala in 1826 he tells his
father; “For a week I have not been home for a single evening since
Bernhard Crusell (1775-1838). A clarinet virtuous and music composer.
“The love that prevailed at that time for the German romantic school in literature had a great influence over Uppsala and that relationship made many impressions. [...], music and reading poetry grew based on what you collected from one
person or another in the circle, and they finally started, after the German fashion, so-called ”reading evenings”, where once a week we met to read a newly
published work of poetry or prose” (Knös 1881, p. 3).
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 350
there are always music performances which I have contributed to
as both Singer and Violin and Grand Piano Player” (Letter 1939,
p. 175).
Adolf Fredrik Lindblad’s view of advanced music education
may have influenced the pedagogy that created the music room at
Grycksbo. Lindblad criticized the teaching at the Music Academy
based on his desire for “a music college above and not under the
country’s general level of music education” (Morales & Norlind,
1921). The environment for music education he and other leading
cultural personalities created at Grycksbo manor can therefore
have great significance for understanding and evaluating the music
environment where Helena Munktell was taught. Helena Munktell (1852-1919) became one of Sweden’s first female composers.
She was inducted into the Société nationale de musique in Paris in
1891 (Lindén, 1968, p. 9; Öhrström, 1999, pp. 322-323).
Erik Gustaf Geijer’s (1783-1847) importance is of interest when
it comes to Johan Henrik Munktell’s successful contacts in Berlin and the literary salons that influenced the educational level at
Grycksbo. Geijer was a spokesman for the Romantic education
ideal in Uppsala and was the most important person at the university (Lindroth, 1976, p. 183). Literary expression would become
significant for the Munktells alongside musical expression. One of
those who indirectly became significant to Swedish literature was
Valborg Olander (1861-1943), grandchild of Johan Henrik and his
wife Augusta Munktell. Due to Olander’s literary skill, long-term
cooperation began with the writer Selma Lagerlöf (1858-1940).
This inheritance came in the long run from salon culture and the
classical ideals of education that were offered at Grycksbo manor.
Many of the Nobel Prize-winning author’s best-known stories also
developed during her stays in Grycksbo (Edström, 2002, pp. 216217, 364; Olander, 1920, pp. 29, 39).
6. Pedagogy of the salon
The first salons in Berlin were created by educated Jewish women
with the ability to put educated conversation in focus. Some of
these hostesses were Rahel Levin von Ense, later married to Varnhagen (1771-1833), and Henriette Hertz (1764-1847). In their salons came thinkers like the brothers Alexander and Wilhelm von
Humboldt and Friedrich Schleiermacher. Here are also the roots
of the pedagogy that can be traced to the salon and that become
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 351
the norm for the Scandinavian salons. The concept of education
that formed the culture of Berlin University (1810) was not the
only part of our image of the ideal salon. Out of the pedagogical philosophy of the Berlin salon developed hermeneutics as a
modern method of interpretation (Holmqvist, 1998b, p. 256-258;
Wilhelmy, 1989, pp. 83-95, 133-139).
Most interesting for this study are the aesthetic and didactic
perspectives connected to these elder salons. By high cultivated
salonniéres the discourse of philosophy, literature, art, and politics
was central. A young visitor could be treated by an older mentor in order to develop autonomy in thinking. This pedagogical
conversation was built on the pre-romantic neo-humanistic literature of Sturm und Drang and the moral philosophy dedicated by
Philosopher Immanuel Kant. This pedagogical conversation, inspired by the Socratic Method, lightened the diversity between the
analytical and the continental school of philosophy and summery
the romantic ideal of education and individuality. The key-word is
self-understanding (Wilhelmy, 1989, pp. 83-95).
The idea of the pedagogy of the saloon objects an all too single-minded Enlightenment thinking which, in accordance with the
diplomat Carl Gustav von Brinkman, ”leads to the hearts common
flu” (Holmqvist, 1998b, p. 253). The state of being, at the same
time, sharp and high-spirited was shaped by an ideal where the
ideas of the Enlightenment and the Romantic Movement run side
by side. The integration of these two systems of thinking has its
roots among great German poets and philosophers whose literary
ideology shapes didactics which were practised in the early saloons
of Berlin (ibid).
Based on the early Jewish Salon didactics, Schleiermacher
constructed a hermeneutic perspective of the salon by comparing
the members with the hermeneutical circle. The motivation was to
create a theory of “Die Geschellschaft als kunst” (Schleiermacher,
1799). In the literary salons of Berlin, Johan Henrik Munktell
came in contact with high-brow literature. He also was deeply
impressed by Friedrich Schleiermacher and his speeches, and he
writes home to his parents;” I wish you could hear this man; his
lectures are probably the best one I ever heard” (Berlin d. 16 december 1829).
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 352
6. Salon conditions
The salon as a cultural phenomenon grows out of the tension between the aristocracy and middle class. In Strukturwandel
der Öffentlichkeit (1962) Habermas characterises the salon as
semi-public. According to Habermas, the salon defines itself as
an expression of a middle class construction at the crossroads
between the private and intimate, and the public. The historical
line is drawn to French salons, English coffeehouses and German
enlightenment societies during the 18th century. Salon culture has
been seen to reflect the idea of modernity in its importance for the
development of middle class society (Habermas, 1962).
Different from the aristocratic salons, the middle class salon included people from different social levels. The salon is a room
which unites the public and the private sphere and Habermas places the salon at the intersection point of private life, working life
and public debate (Habermas, 1984, pp. 49-51). These conditions,
which occur to a great degree, are found in the Munktell salon.
Beside science and technique the salon of Munktell became a
central place for conversation and dialogue about organizing education and culture music-life. In the guest list great musicians,
famous actors and politician appears along with aristocrats, the
society of Uppsala University and scientists. The person gallery
illuminates the mixture of competence that is significant for the elder salons. Hence, the salon in Grycksbo constitutes an important
source to restore the original intensions for salon activity (Liljas,
2010: 2013).
8. The salon at Grycksbo
Inspired by the Berlin salons and the early salons in Uppsala, Johan Henrik Munktell created a salon with great importance for industrial and cultural development in Sweden. A preliminary study
which was started in 2009 suggests that the patron Johan Henrik
Munktell tried to drive industrialization forwards at the same time
as the cultural transformation process together with the mining
nobility. An example of cultural ventures linked to Grycksbo is
the Falun Music Society of 1843 (Liljas, 2010, pp. 13-16). According to Öhrström (Öhrström, 2007, p. 37) it was usual that
salons were rebuilt into music societies. This rebuilding can also
be partly said to have happened to the Munktell salon. The music
salon in Grycksbo is linked to the public concert scene that was
built up in Falun during the 19th century (Moberg, 1942; Arn-
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 353
berg, 1947: 2008). The Grycksbo salon can after that be said to
have gained international attention through his daughters Emma
Munktell (1851-1913) and Helena Munktell (1852-1919) who
achieved professional status in the art and music worlds, respectively. The aesthetic upbringing of the Munktell sisters points back
to the education the salon promoted. They used different forms of
artistic expression in parallel and also cooperated in their respective art traditions (Liljas, 2010, p. 17).
The salon as narrative
From the impression that Johan Henrik Munktell’s educational
travel makes in the cultural context, there is a pattern that should
be interpreted. Here there are his own travel letters but also the
historical memory that lives through physical and spatial practices. The theoretical ground is based in the fact that historical
memory is reproduced through stories and forms a theoretical understanding of the collective memory of 19th century salon culture
(Ricoeur 1984: 2005). In the domain of this memory, the sisters
not only shared the sound memory of their father’s piano playing,
but also the narrative memory of Berlin’s musical salons.
Johan Henrik Munktell not only visited the famous Sunday salons of Mendelssohn’s at Leipziger Strasse in Berlin. Together with
Swedish composer Franz Berwald (1796-1868) he was invited into
the family solidarity and allowed to celebrate Christmas and other
family festivals along with them. His description of the Christmas
celebrations is a document that increases our understanding of the
prosperity of Grycksbo factories during the early 19th century. In
the letters he compares the rooms, the food, the decorations, and
the Christmas presents with the Christmas tradition at Grycksbo.
He also compares his pianoforte playing with Felix Mendelssohn
(1809-1847). His reflections about the discrepancy are of certain
interest. While admiring Felix Mendelssohn’s unique art of interpretation, Johan Henrik Munktell describes himself as a well-educated amateur with extensive capacity to evaluate music. Johan
Henrik Munktell later became a member of the Music Academy
in Sweden (Cassel d. 10 Januarii 1830, Letter collection, Royal
Liberary; Svenskt biografiskt handlexikon, 1906, pp. 153-154).
In the letters he also expresses his dream; to be a “Musicus by
profession”. Definitely, the eclectic salon at Grycksbo helps him
to realize this dream. In the salon he combines his business enterprise with chamber music of highest class. His hostship reminds
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 354
us of what Wilhelmy names “Hofhaltung”, a patriarchal salon.
Furthermore Johan Henrik Munktell seems to define the concept
“Verbindungsman”, a man who unify different salons in Sweden
and Europe (Wilhelmy, 1989, pp. 25, 74).
The salon and industrialization
The Munktells belonged to the circle of officials who took an ever
stronger grip on society during the 19th century. It also became
the university’s task to educate this middle class elite. The idea was
that an academically schooled middle class would take over important functions in society from a theoretical perspective (Lindroth, 1976, p. 143). During his travels he gained an impression of
modern business practice and the liberal. Munktell also contributed to infrastructure through, among other things, his interest in
railways and banking and healthcare (Svenskt Biografiskt lexikon
nr 126 1989, p. 21).
Back home Johan Henrik Munktell installed the first paper machine in Grycksbo. The same year (1836) he married the daughter of
the Gesworner of Falu copper mine, Augusta Christina Munktell
(1818-1889). Together they had nine children. One of his guests
was Lars Johan Hierta (1801-1872) a humanist and society reformer and the founder of a newspaper in 1830 that still remains
in Sweden, called Aftonbladet. The newspaper, which was closed
down many times because of its radical content, was supplied with
paper from the paper mill of Munktell’s. Important people for the
mining county and also relatives of Munktell’s were Johan Gottlieb Gahn (1745-1818) and Henrik Gahn (1747-1816), brothers
and members of a family of prestigious scientists. The most important person at Grycksbo was unhesitatingly, Jöns Jakob Berzelius (1779-1848), a prosperous chemist with great importance
for the technical development of the paper process production. He
contributed to the successful export of the paper factory but for
the chemical process of the copper mine as well (Boëthius, 1942,
pp. 238-241, 260-262).
The pedagogical discourse
The salon has an interesting historical background. At Grycksbo
there collected members of the”genius committee” among others
who had the task of reforming secondary grammar school in Sweden. Participants included, among others, Erik Gustav Geijer, Esaias Tegnér, Johan Olof Wallin, Jöns Jakob Berzelius, August von
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 355
Hartmansdorff and some of the best qualified reform pedagogues
of the time, Gustaf Abraham Silverstolpe, Carl August Agardh and
Johan Peter Lefrén (Grycksbo’s guest book, 1802; Lindroth, 1976,
p. 146-150; Ödman 1995 del II, p. 485). The growth of the new
school politics entailed a paradigm shift for Swedish schools and
tells us at the same time that discourse in Grycksbo was characterized by representatives of a more progressive pedagogy and modern schooling in Sweden (Burman & Sundgren, 2010, pp. 53-54).
Gustaf Abraham Silfverstolpe did not limit himself to school questions alone, but was also deeply engaged in the debate surrounding
music pedagogy. Together with his brother, Fredrik Samuel, he seemed to raise interest for German tonality in Sweden (Kjellberg &
Ling, 1991, pp. 128-130).
Johan Henrik Munktell was schooled in the German subdued,
restrained music and his travel companion, Franz Berwald, who
was composing his own opera, asks him for advice before he adds
something to the partiture.3 They meet in the afternoon and see
how far he has come so that they can then “go out into society”
together or alone. In a concerned tone he reflects on German music aesthetics. Munktell thinks that opera has become somewhat
popular and that the cultural heritage has been besmirched (Berlin
d. 3 November 1829, Letter collection, Royal Library).
Female education in the salon
Inspired by Berlin’s Biedermeier the salon of Munktells was restored into an informal school for the youngest daughters, Emma
and Helena Munktell. The professional musicians and artists
staying for weeks at the Grycksbo residence, and were considered
as teachers of the girls in different aesthetic subjects. One of the
teachers recruited for the girls was Prof. Lars Gabriel Branting
(1799-1881), father of one of Sweden most important politicians,
Hjalmar Branting (1860-1925) (Olander, 1920, pp. 21, 25). These
home studies alternated with private music institutes in Stockholm
where their mother, Augusta Munktell, had a winter salon of great
importance (Öhrström, 1999, p. 322).
The Munktell girls were schooled early into the artistic circle of
the salon. This schooling can be compared with the neo-humanist
ideal of education that sees education as an active process where
talent is to be cultivated. According to the education tradition,
The opera Franz Berwald was composing was Der Verräther.
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 356
this is a difficult process that at the same time has the character of
a game (Kant, 1803:2003, pp. 273-279; Nordin, 1995, p. 406).
There is also an emancipatory character to the salon’s immanent
pedagogy. By focusing on their careers, Emma and Helena Munktell broke with the conventions and ideals of the time. They broke
at the same time with the canon and the gender codes that historically shaped salon music (Axelsson, 2007; Öhrström, 1987,
pp. 19, 88, 187-190). The salon as an educational environment
therefore has a double-edged effect. At the same time as the salon space’s closer effects shut them out of public spaces, they are
the ones that make them grow into independent artists (Klitgaard
Povl­sen, 1998, p. 18).
9. Reflections
The immanent pedagogy of the salon
Regarding the significance of the Munktell salon in Grycksbo and
is geographical location, Hildebrand’s depiction of the business
culture at the Great Copper Mountain can be used to explain it.
Instead of describing the early history of the Copper Mountain,
Hildebrand has concentrated on business development. The relevance is linked to the fact that before the breakthrough of industrialization, the company in the classical iron and forestry industries was incomparably bigger. Hildebrand describes a paradigm
in Swedish industrial history where Falun and the Great Copper
Mountain play a decisive role and where Bergslaget as a representative of Swedish industry in the 19th century reflects a break between the old and new worlds (Hildebrand, 1977, pp. 7-14). This
synthesis coincides with Per-Johan Ödman’s analysis of pedagogy
at the same time.
”It is a strange society that met us in this area, where people
want both the old and the modern. They think in old patterns although they at the same time proclaim new ones” (Ödman, 1995
del II, p. 413). To describe the term immanent pedagogy Ödman
makes use of characters and moods in Bellman’s poetry.4 What
Ödman aims for is a mentality that comes out in Bellman’s characters and heralds the paradigm shift that the start of the 19th
century entailed (cf. Eriksson & Frängsmyr, 1992, pp. 134-137).
Immanent pedagogy nurtures self-control and advocates the pos4
Carl Michael Bellman (1740-1795). A poet and royal musician.
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 357
sibilities individuals have in relation to the collective thinking of
earlier ages. ”What distinguishes this pedagogy is that it finds itself
in a contradiction of forward- and backward-looking expressions
of will” (Ödman, 1995 del II, p. 413).
In the pedagogy at Grycksbo there are traces of the old ideals
but also of the newly developing tendencies. As representatives of
the mercantile nobility of the age and its more and more dominant position, they have an interest in pedagogical issues – a mixed
ideology of progressive ideas and a classical ideal of education (cf.
Englund, 2002, pp. 50, 243; Eriksson & Frängsmyr, 1992, p. 145;
Lidman, 2010, p. 383-384).
In Hildebrand’s depiction of mining culture and part ownership
as a representation of the mine’s forms of ownership and organization, he creates at the same time an understanding of the pedagogy
that is the basis of middle class entrepreneurship that is distinctive
of the age. It is a pedagogy with great significance for the development of industry in Grycksbo and for the salon that was formed
at the manor.
The heritage of Immanuel Kant
Through the pedagogical demands of the elder salon, we understand more easily how the Munktell salon can be seen as a room
where teaching takes place. Emma and Helena Munktell’s artistic
joint productions can be seen as a consequence of the salon’s pedagogy. It is a pedagogy that implements both intellectual freedom
as well as critical and creative thinking. In the spirit of Kant, cooperation reflects a process with its roots in the elder salon which
means that from the ideas stage they can imagine “the possible”.
The exchange represents learning which develops through being
tested in the meeting with the other and which touches on the hermeneutic demands of the elder salon.
During their upbringing, the Munktell sisters seem to have a
creative and almost playful relationship with art and music. This
suggests freedom but at the same time a pedagogical view that is
linked to Kant’s theory of art as play. It is of note that almost the
same choreographical metaphors that Ödman uses in his analysis
of pedagogy are used to describe Immanuel Kant’s philosophy;
“The falseness and ambiguity in Kant’s philosophy have close connections with this distinctive scheme of movements, this choreography where every step is both a retreat and a step forward”
(Nordin, 1995, p. 403). The education ideals that are founded on
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 358
classical languages and aesthetic subjects are formed in the philosophical border between enlightenment and romanticism, but at
the same time are based on the natural sciences. Together with
emancipation, it is a pedagogical, humanistic ideal that values a
conscious growing of aesthetics and that sums up the meaning of
Berlin’s Biedermeier culture. At its own point in time, it is meant
to create a more open cultural climate, something that paradoxically starts in the salon and whose mechanisms are summarized in
Ödman’s clarifying use of the term.
The internal education journey of the salon
The salon’s pedagogy can be compared with an inner educational journey where the road to new insights and knowledge go via
”the other” (cf. Gustavsson, 1999, pp. 80, 262f). The other is a
hermeneutic transcription of the unknown or new, and is relevant,
for Schleiermacher, for both individual members and the whole
group in the salon. Inspiration was found from the Jewish Berlin
salons where Johan Gottfried Herder’s ideas of organic education
were practiced (Brylla, 2000, p. 98). In the Jewish salons where
Rahel Levin founded a school, self-understanding was central. An
important criterion was to direct your senses towards literature,
art and music which in the pre-romantic philosophical landscape
were treated as a neutral territory free of the determining discourse
of working life and the limited sphere of the private life (Klitgaard
Povlsen, 1998, p. 31). The goal was to be freed from authority and
to learn to trust one’s self. In Kantian terms this lays the grounds
for the view of art’s importance for human emancipating development where the music salon has a special place.
According to Ricoeur (1984), self-understanding is a demanding
task that takes place in relation to the surrounding world through
which we interpret and understand ourselves. Our understanding
increases through the varied meetings with the known and unknown. Educational travel includes both testing yourself, analysis
and self-education which encompasses both Ricoeur’s philosophy
and Ödman’s conceptualization of the immanent pedagogy of the
time. Self-understanding is also an on-going theme in the salon’s
mix of perceptive enlightenment and romantic aesthetics as the
theoretical basis and practical application.
chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 359
10. Conclusion
Salon culture in Falun during the 19th century is a part of the
world heritage of the Great Copper Mountain and the Falun mine
that have not received attention. Through the project, the picture
is broadened of miners and the cultural way of life at the Great
Copper Mountain during the 19th century. The study contributes
to the scientific elucidation of the Falun salon as a cultural centre
and which exposes the pedagogical heritage which in the Falun
region was nourished economically and in the long run culturally
through mining.
Through the Falun salons, Scandinavian salon research can be
broadened. In connection with the internationally known history
of the Falun mine, we find information about the salon that was
not known in earlier research. Through the project we describe the
conditions that contribute to changes in the landscape of education
history. Research shows that the elder salons rest on pedagogical
grounds that have great significance for Western education and
the Western school system. The results shine light at the same time
on the significance of hermeneutics as a modern scientific method
of interpretation. The music salon can also be seen because of its
private organized structure as a possible starting-point for investigating music pedagogy during earlier historical points of time. The
displacement of music as a subject not only reflects the hegemony
of Western music as an art form but also as a school.
Salon culture is artistic by nature and reflects a paradigm in a
culture of learning at the border between private education and institutionalization. At the border between private and public, German education thinkers are emphasized who have great influence
over modern schooling in Sweden. Through recognizing the salon
as a place of education, we have the possibility to study pedagogical systems and their journeys from informal and semi-formal
perspectives. Furthermore Johan Henrik Munktell reflects the core
of the middle class cultural project during the 19th century and the
view of life as a career. The construction of the Munktell salon therefore defines the aesthetics and morals of the elder salon as well
as the romantic education ideal to “make life into a work of art”.
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chapter 9 the falun copper mine world heritage: historical aspects 363
his anthology contains papers presented at two
international conferences on World Heritage
organized by WHILD (= The World Heritages:
Global Discourse and Local Implementations) – a
Scandinavian network for the development of knowledge
in the fields of research, education and tourism related to
World Heritage. The network is hosted by Dalarna University, Falun, Sweden.
The first of the two conferences – The Significance of
World Heritage: Origins, Management, Consequences – was
held in Falun December 8th–10th 2010 under the direction of Professor Bo G Jansson and Dr Cecilia Mörner.
The latter of the two conferences, a follow up to the first
one, was held in Vasa, Finland December 13th-16th 2011
under the direction of an organizing committee consisting of Professor Emeritus Erland Eklund (Åbo Academy),
Doctoral student Kristina Svels (Åbo Academy), Dr Jan
Turtinen (Swedish Heritage National Board), and Senior
Adviser Barbara Engels (Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Germany). The two conferences are, taken
together as a unit, the first of their kind in Scandinavia.
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