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Cultural heritage is the legacy of physical artifacts and intangible attributes of a group or society that is inherited from past generations. Not all legacies of past generations are "heritage", rather heritage is a product of selection by society.[1]

Cultural heritage includes tangible culture (such as buildings, monuments, landscapes, books, works of art, and artifacts), intangible culture (such as folklore, traditions, language, and knowledge), and natural heritage (including culturally significant landscapes, and biodiversity).[2]

The deliberate act of keeping cultural heritage from the present for the future is known as preservation (American English) or conservation (British English), which cultural and historical ethnic museums and cultural centers promote, though these terms may have more specific or technical meaning in the same contexts in the other dialect. Preserved heritage has become an anchor of the global tourism industry, a major contributor economic value to local communities.[1]

The ethics and rationale of cultural preservation


Objects are a part of the study of human history because they provide a concrete basis for ideas, and can validate them.

Classical civilizations, and especially the Indian, have attributed supreme importance to the preservation of tradition.

What one generation considers "cultural heritage" may be rejected by the next generation, only to be revived by a subsequent generation.

Types of heritage


Cultural property includes the physical, or "tangible" cultural heritage, such as artworks. These are generally split into two groups of movable and immovable heritage. Immovable heritage includes building so (which themselves may include installed art such as organs, stained glass windows, and frescos), large industrial installations, residential projects [32] or other historic places and monuments. Moveable heritage includes books, documents, moveable artworks, machines, clothing, and other artifacts, that are considered worthy of preservation for the future. These include objects significant to the archaeology, architecture, science or technology of a specified culture.[2]

Aspects and disciplines of the preservation and conservation of tangible culture include:

"Intangible cultural heritage" consists of non-physical aspects of a particular culture, more often maintained by social customs during a specific period in history.

Aspects of the preservation and conservation of cultural intangibles include:

"Natural heritage]" is also an important part of a society's heritage, encompassing the countryside and natural environment, including flora and fauna, scientifically known as biodiversity, as well as geological elements (including mineralogical, geomorphological, paleontological, etc.), scientifically known as geodiversity. These kind of heritage sites often serve as an important component in a country's tourist industry, attracting many visitors from abroad as well as locally. Heritage can also include cultural landscapes (natural features that may have cultural attributes).

Aspects of the preservation and conservation of natural heritage include:

World heritage movement


Significant was the Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage that was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO in 1972. As of 2011, there are 936 World Heritage Sites: 725 cultural, 183 natural, and 28 mixed properties, in 153 countries. Each of these sites is considered important to the international community.

The underwater cultural heritage is protected by the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage. This convention is a legal instrument helping states parties to improve the protection of their underwater cultural heritage.[9]

In addition, UNESCO has begun designating masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights sitting as part of the United Nations Economic and Social Council with article 15 of its Covenant had sought to instill the principles under which cultural heritage is protected as part of a basic human right.

Key international documents and bodies include:

National and regional heritage movements


Much of heritage preservation work is done at the national, regional, or local levels of society.

  • Australia:
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Egypt
  • Estonia
  • Ghana
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Iran
  • Japan
  • Kenya
  • Macedonia
  • Malaysia
  • Namibia
  • New Zealand
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • South Africa
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Zimbabwe

Issues in cultural heritage


Broad philosophical, technical, and political issues and dimensions of cultural heritage include:

Management of cultural heritage


Issues in cultural heritage management include:

See also


Digital methods in preservation

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