8th US/ICOMOS International Symposium
Expressing Heritage Sites Values to Foster Conservation, Promote Community Development, and Educate the Public
May 5 – 8, 2005
Charleston, South Carolina
Hosted and co-sponsored and by the Historic Charleston Foundation and in partnership with the Getty Conservation Institute. With the support of the SamuelH. Kress Foundation and Institutional Sponsors the National Trust Southeast Regional Officer, Clemson University, The Fleming Charitable Trust II, and Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi.
Barbacci, Norma, and Mark Weber (USA – World Monuments Fund)
Experiences of the World Monuments Fund in Balancing Interpretation with Preservation (with Mark Weber)
The World Monuments Fund (WMF) is a private, not-for-profit, international organization devoted to on-site conservation of monuments and sites world wide. Established in 1965, WMF brings together public and private support to implement comprehensive preservation efforts, all of which are conducted in collaboration with local individuals and organizations.
At the present time WMF is working with over 250 archaeological and architectural conservation field projects in over 80 countries by means of advocacy, technical and financial assistance. In the course of this work, WMF has become increasingly aware of the importance of effective site presentation, and its role in assisting with the conservation goals of endangered sites and their long-term sustainability.
Barthulli, Kaisa (USA) (with Michael Taylor)
Interpretation of the Route 66 Cultural Corridor
The challenges of interpreting significant cultural corridors are many, and often include complexities of geographic distance, layering of history, and diversity of cultural themes. Historic Route 66 characterizes many of these challenges, as the corridor is more than 2,400 miles in length; spans a period of historic significance of over 50 years; and passes through hundreds of communities along the length of the route. An additional challenge is the corridors relationship to the recent past, a period of time that is often under-valued or little understood.
This paper will discuss how the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program (NPS) is working with stakeholders including private property owners, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies, to address issues of interpretation along the cultural corridor. The NPS program, established in 2001, is mandated by the US Congress to provide financial and technical assistance to stakeholders for historic preservation and interpretation of the corridor. The role of the NPS program is to encourage and support grassroots interpretive initiatives, in a deliberate effort to maintain the “idiosyncratic nature of the Route” (Public Law 106-45.) The diversity of interpretive medium and approaches such as wayside exhibits, on and off-site museums, oral history, and literature will be presented in the paper. The needs, strengths, and effects of these grassroots interpretive efforts will be discussed. The complexities of interpreting the routes historical significance will also be discussed as it relates to the route’s role in recent history.
Burgess, Joanne (Canada)
Understanding and Interpreting the Past of an Urban Commercial District:
Examining the Recent Experience of Old Montreal
[Also see Old Montreal, News Release, March 2005.]
This paper attempts to respond to three of the issues identified in the call for abstracts. It offers a case study of recent efforts to document and interpret the history and heritage of an historic urban district. It examines the use of various strategies and tools, including the Internet, to promote heritage education and, finally, it provides information on the diverse audiences targeted by these initiatives.
Montreal was founded in 1642 and, for more that a century thereafter, served an important religious, administrative and commercial centre for the French and then the British empires in North America. From the 1830s until the 1960s, the city was the commercial, financial and industrial metropolis of Canada. Over the decades, Montreal expanded to embrace, transform and urbanize its rural hinterland. At the same time, the town centre was constantly refashioned to meet the evolving demands of business, private and public institutions and individuals. The city’s historic core, known as Old Montreal, and its many-layered built environment bear witness to these changes.
Old Montreal was designated as a heritage district in 1964, in recognition of the district’s historical and architectural importance. However, the understanding of its historical significance and the interpretation of its heritage have undergone revisions and reconceptualizations during the past forty years. Over the past decade, under the leadership of the Société de Développement de Montréal, a para-municipal body responsible for the development of the historic district of Old Montreal, a multi-faceted heritage interpretation strategy has been devised. This strategy targets diverse audiences and makes innovative use of the Internet as well as traditional print media. It has also fostered close collaboration between academic and public historians.
This paper draws upon my own experience as an academic historian studying the Victorian warehouses of Old Montreal and working in partnership with the Société de Développement de Montréal. From this vantage point, I will examine the challenges and rewards that come from building a close relationship between fundamental and applied research. My paper will also analyse the impact of this relationship upon the dissemination of research results to audiences of scholars, heritage practioners and the general public. Particular attention will be paid to the development of content for the Old Montreal Website and its “Heritage in Detail” database. An online survey undertaken by the Société de Développement de Montréal provides valuable data about the audience which this database has attracted. I hope to demonstrate that the creativity, scholarship and resources invested in promoting the heritage interpretation of Old Montreal have yielded significant benefits.
Conlon, James (USA)
The Virtual Indian Ocean: Expressing the Significance of Tarim, Yemen, through new Media
Since its inception, the Tarim revitalization program has taken advantage of new media technologies to document, archive, and interpret the significance of this historic city. The application of scalable multi-media objects within professional and academic contexts as well as within the local Yemeni milieu has served pedagogical purposes and focused the interests of various stakeholder groups. The Hadhramaut Valley of eastern Yemen, where Tarim is located, has been linked to the Indian Ocean Basin for most of its history through dense social and economic networks. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Yemeni movements between South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Africa, and the rest of the Middle East intensified with this first wave of globalization.
Some Hadhramis abroad were simple laborers, others traveled to academic centers in pursuit of knowledge and would later serve as judges and educators for Yemeni expatriate communities. Particular families became extremely wealthy through their land holdings abroad and international trading companies. The al-Kaf family, for one, was second only to the city port as the largest property owner and taxpayer in Singapore at the turn of the last century. A cosmopolitanism arose from these interactions, mixing the modern and traditional across every avenue of cultural life. It is still common for Hadhramis to seek opportunities abroad. One may trace this transnational culture through the hybrid architectural fabrics of cities like Tarim. Hadhrami masons and plaster craftsmen incorporated the architectural languages of Neoclassicism, Rococo, Mughal, Art Nuevo and Art Deco into their tradition of earthen construction. In this way the architecture of Tarim, like its broader history, represents a dialogue between cultures both within and outside of contemporary Yemen. The local is really an entry point into a cosmopolitan society that has engaged the larger world in its own terms. This tradition lives on today, although the earthen architecture of the Valley faces the challenges of the changing urban realities of contemporary Yemen.
In this sense the significance of Tarim as an urban heritage site lies in a full range of cultural phenomena. We may begin with the material fabric of individual buildings and the traces of master craftsmen and informal designers, but must move on to unique urban topographies, the broader cultural and historical sphere of the Indian Ocean, and the individual narratives of the early modern era. The challenge only grows as Tarim and other Yemeni cities engage the current wave of global transformations. Our objective is, as Fairclough has put it, “…to reveal and sustain the great diversity of the interactions between humans and their environment, to protect living traditional cultures and preserve the traces of those which have disappeared” (“Cultural Landscape, Sustainability, and Living with Change:” Los Angeles, 2003). To this end, we have turned to video documentation, conventional and spherical photography, computer-aided design and animation, and database technologies to better organize and interpret Tarim’s rich significance. These materials have been embedded in a map-based website, but are also scalable as individual media objects to better complement the oral presentation of Yemeni social contexts. In this way we have reached out to the contemporary Yemeni Diaspora and served as a resource for students and educators alike. What is more, in their scalability, digital technologies may be reproduced in more conventional formats to better engage stakeholders in Yemen.
Farneth, Stephen, and David Quan (USA)
Angel Island Immigration Station: International Place of Memory (with David Quan)
Nestled in a picturesque island cove, the collection of two-story buildings that make up Angel Island Immigration Station appear ordinary and undistinguished. However, hidden deep beneath its physical veneer rests a significant and little-known chapter in United States immigration history. It is an intriguing story that takes U.S. immigration laws, foreign policy, economics and upheaval in Asia and focuses them on one tiny port of entry located in San Francisco Bay.
The challenge in preserving and restoring this National Landmark immigration site is to make the story come to life. We must look beyond the mundane visual appearance and carefully balance aspects of conservation and interpretation. Our goal is to enhance interpretation of the site and create a draw, without sacrificing respect for the historic structures and cultural landscape.
The Angel Island Immigration Station project has proven to be a successful collaboration between heritage preservation and interpretation. We are already applying lessons learned through this collaboration to a different project on which we are currently working. We hope that these lessons inform and assist others in preserving heritage sites.
Fleming, Arlene (World Bank)
Heritage Interpretation in Projects Financed by the World Bank: Challenges and Complexities
As an international finance institution, the World Bank fosters cultural heritage conservation within the context of social and economic development. Through various types of assistance, including loans, credits and grants, the Bank responds to requests from its client countries in accordance with mutually-agreed strategies. There is a small but growing portfolio of Bank-financed projects which are wholly dedicated to, or include as a component, the conservation of cultural heritage. In addition, major infrastructure projects are preceded by an Environmental Impact Assessment, which, as appropriate, includes identification of and protective measures for physical cultural resources which may be affected. Analytical work, technical assistance and information sharing in fields bearing on heritage interpretation, including environmental protection, community development, education, stakeholder management and tourism are among the services offered by the Bank to its client countries and the world at large.
Investment projects of the Bank provide numerous examples of the challenges and complexities inherent in cultural heritage site interpretation. The Bank supports national and municipal governments and local communities in identifying, conserving and using heritage assets to stimulate economic growth and social well-being. Co-financing agencies and private sector investment are encouraged, which brings additional stakeholders and views into the equation. Thus, in identifying cultural heritage assets, defining their value, deciding on means for protection, use, maintenance and the economic beneficiaries, it is necessary to recognize and resolve competing views and interests.
Brief analyses of several Bank-financed projects will illustrate approaches – both modest and bold – taken to address various common challenges in interpreting cultural heritage assets. Pitfalls in failing to identify and respect heritage assets to the satisfaction of all stakeholders will be discussed. Cases will include: reconstruction of a historic bridge in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as an attempt to turn a destroyed icon of conflict into a symbol of reconciliation; education of local populations, including youth, regarding the value of ancient sites and historic infrastructure to stimulate interest, confidence and economic development in Lebanon and Eritrea; appreciation and preservation of historic urban enclaves within the context of urban infrastructure modernization in China; and respect for cultural significance assigned to natural features by indigenous peoples in Uganda.
Fleming, Ron (USA)
The Art of Place Making
Hall, Andrew (South Africa)
From Nationalism to National Identity: The Anglo – Boer South African War,
Reinterpreting Old Heritage for the New South Africa
The advent of democracy in South Africa has had many implications for the heritage sector which, like most aspects of national life, was distorted, in this instance by a primary focus on the heritage of communities of European origin and interpretation of the heritage of others from the perspective of the white sector of society. Since 1994 focus has changed and much is being done to identify the heritage of neglected communities and develop skills needed to shift emphasis to areas like intangible heritage. One of the more interesting aspects of change has been the reinterpretation of what was protected prior to 1994.
A major area of reinterpretation concerns the war of 1899-1902 (SA War, Anglo-Boer War, or in Afrikaner Nationalist terminology, the Second Liberation War) and its centenary provided opportunity for national introspection and debate on how recognition of colonial conflict should be dealt with in a democratic society and how it could play a role in creating a new national identity. The war is a particularly interesting case study as its distorted interpretation was a major component of the mythology on which Afrikaner nationalism rested. It was used to justify apartheid. In some ways similar to America’s Civil War, in that it divided white South Africans, the atrocities committed by British forces against the civilian population were a focus for proponents of Afrikaner nationalism and many subsequent actions were defended as ensuring that such things never again happened.
In order to ensure that interpretations of the war worked as an instrument of ideology, historians, museums and heritage authorities focussed only upon the effects thereof on the white, Afrikaner community, to the total exclusion of the role and impact upon black South Africans who worked for or lived beside Afrikaners, shared their hardships in British concentration camps, and made up almost 50% of those who died in the camps whilst British ‘scorched earth’ policies destroyed the homesteads, crops and livestock of black and white communities alike.
The reinterpretation of the war has involved much research on the impact of British policy on the black population and the suffering incurred is now a shared heritage of communities that until recently appeared to have no common experience of the past. The 16th of December, previously the day to celebrate Afrikaner nationalism, is now National Reconciliation Day and events take place on the sites of former concentration camps where communities come together to honour ancestors in whichever way their cultural perspective deems appropriate.
This paper focuses on the nature of such events; reinterpreting this conflict in a way that encourages emergence of a single national identity and the creation of national institutions that play a meaningful role in the reorientation of national heritage in a way that has meaning for all South Africans.
Henriquez de Fernandez, Diana, and Maria Eugenia Bacci (Venezuela)
Parque del Este , Caracas, Venezuela
Parque del Este is the most important urban park in Venezuela. Designed between the fifties and sixties by the Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx and associates, and has been since recognized as the most important public work of Burle Marx outside Brazil.
Parque del Este unites extraordinary design and scenic qualities, with exceptional environmental educational values. This park changed the perception of Venezuelans about landscape, ecology and conservation; developing a new environmental awareness within a high quality public space, accessible to all socio-economic groups in the city.
The recession in the eighties and nineties (due to descent in oil prices) caused profound decay in the prosperous and thriving nation, and affected the park through severe management and maintenance problems. The opening of a subway station at the main (of two) entrances allowed a visiting rate several times higher than its carrying capacity. Constant budget reductions, overloaded and reduced personnel, unskilled management and a general lack of awareness of the values of the park have caused serious damage, that up to this moment are still reversible.
In 1998 the park was declared National Heritage. In 2003 the Management Plan based on the heritage and cultural landscape aspects was commissioned by the park management to the authors of this paper.
In the actual situation of the country, the heritage values of the park are dangerously unrecognized or undervalued. The heritage values of this park are considered as sophisticated concepts that might be ignored even by its mamagement. Concepts such as recreational or ecological values are much more understood and valued by the public and personell in charge than the concept of heritage.The integrity of the park is at serious risk.
Civil society groups, private organizations and individuals with strong hold on the park¹s assets are fostering a defense and restoration movement based on the preservation of its heritage values are interested in promoting community involvement and the education of the general public and of the personal in charge of the park, most of them totally unaware of the losses at stake.
The contents of our paper:
1- Description of Parque del Este and its main heritage values.
2- General Approach of the Management Plan towards conservation and related issues.
3- Dangers involved in existing situation.
4- Proposed Strategies for its protection, through the development of public awareness and involvement in maintenance and conservation projects. Fund recollection towards specific projects.
5-Strategies for involving park personell and officials in the concept of Heritage Protection
Hurd, John (UK)
Towards a Regime for the Sustainable, Ethically, Regionally Maintainable Conservation of Large Archaeological Sites on the Silk Road
Across the world are hundreds of huge archaeological sites in a better or worse state of preservation.This speaker will draw from examples on the Silk Roads of Central Asia, Otrar. Kazakhstan, Krasnaya Rechka and Ak Beshim, Kyrgyzstan, to demonstrate the problems of the conservation of earth cities in Central Asia which have received a great deal of archaeological excavation and almost no conservation during the Soviet period.
Since peristroika, the regional stakeholders, trying to improve the status of the monuments from the World Heritage tentative list, are confronted by a constantly developing and changing financial and political situation leading to instability in the discipline of the preservation and interpretation of historic sites. The true culture of these various Turkic nations is still emerging from a Soviet past which did not encourage ‘cultural separatism’; ethnic groups were Imported and exported especially in the Stalin era. In the Confederation of Independent States these sites become semi Islamic/Sufi/pagan places of pilgrimage as well as an educational and tourist environment. A large proportion of visitors walk or even ride horses over the archaeology, light fires and pursue a very separate cultural celebration.
Part of the attraction of the tobes [mounds] is their dramatic statement as raised places within the endless flatness of the Kazakh Steppe. Confronting these problems has lead a UNESCO conservation team to evolve a philosophy of conservation aimed at maximum long-term preservation through backfilling while also leaving ‘windows’ in the excavated contexts to satisfy, educational, didactic and tourism needs. In a city like the 200 square kilometre Otrar Oasis, on an important ancient route, becoming the interface between Nomadism and Urbanism in the Kazakh steppe, seven citadels and numerous other areas have been excavated in the last 80 years.
In the years that have followed these intensive Soviet scientific investigations, the excavated areas are slowly melting back into the landscape. Within the budgets available for conservation projects, it will, for the foreseeable future be impossible to conserve all of the excavated contexts within these sites. The UNESCO team has, supported by regional experts, designed a process of careful site documentation followed by a stabilisation and backfilling programme for everything in an unstable state. This, to some extent, returns the view of these cities to a series of earthworks and canals within the Steppe landscape.
Special areas of focus are left in the excavated state and receive detailed conservation attention which, in the extraordinarily harsh Steppe environment, further worsened by global climate change, may involve shelter structures both as protective covers or as local climate baffles. A safe and reversible visitor path is then established to lead the visitor from window to window, and the route is supplied with didactic signage, focussed on each individual window. This signage also contains material on reburied contexts each side of the path using historic plans, images and interpretation juxtaposed with modern documentation. The windows are selected to represent different periods of activity and at different social strata.
The importance of leaving only windows lies in the fact that the backfilled areas will remain stable at low maintenance for long periods, while the size and frequency of windows can be tailored to present a sustainable target for management and maintenance within the limitations of manpower and budget in any given region or Country. Each Culture has its own standards and purposes for interpretation of sites and the establishment of windows allows for local interpretation while leaving the mass of archaeological material buried for reinterpretation and more sophisticated research in future generations.
Kaufman, Ned (USA)
Using Historic Sites to Interpret Racially Diverse Experience: Proposals Drawn from a National Study
Although the need for greater racial and cultural diversity in heritage practice is widely recognized, the practice and benefits of historic preservation remain heavily skewed towards the racial majority. One result is an interpretive picture that is less complete and less interesting than it might be.
Solving this “diversity deficit” will require preservationists to identify and interpret new historic sites that can support narratives of racially diverse experience. In 2002, the National Park Service (through its National Center for Cultural Resources) retained this author to study the heritage needs of African, Latino, and Asian Americans and present recommendations to meet them. The study, completed in 2004, emphasized in-depth interviews with Mexican, Filipino, and African American heritage leaders and amateurs. One product was a typology of sites supportive of the historical interpretations respondents sought from historic preservation. This typology reflects respondents’ understanding of historic sites as places that offer important opportunities not only to educate the public but also to negotiate a relationship with mainstream society by supplementing or correcting accepted narratives.
The study identified nine types of site and key narratives:
Points of origin – the entry of groups into the U.S.;
Routes of migration – internal migrations and the founding of immigrant communities;
Places of experience – the texture of life for hard-pressed and socially marginalized groups;
Places of suffering and struggle – stages in the struggle for rights and recognition;
Places of achievement – successes of the group’s illustrious representatives;
Places of interaction – cooperation among different racial groups;
Spiritual places – aspects of the group’s shared cultural identity;
Milestones of international relations – the U.S.’s relationship with the group’s homeland;
Places of education and presentation – educating the public about the group’s historical presence and contribution.
This paper introduces the typology of historic sites as a tool to assist preservation professionals and agencies in creating an interpretive story that represents the nation’s racially and culturally diverse experience. It sets the typology in the context of respondents’ attitudes to history and their expectations of historic sites. It illustrates these concepts with examples of specific sites, drawing directly on respondents’ words to explain their significance.
Ketz, Anne (USA)
Dakota Stories and Places: Collaborations with and New Interpretations of a Neglected Community
The Dakota, like many Native peoples in North America, have been made invisible within Euro-American society for over 100 years. Their experience on the land has long been poorly understood and their stories have been largely unheard by non-Native ears. As we enter the 21st century, however, exciting changes are afoot. Signs of hope and interpretive opportunities are emerging as the Euro-American community begins to work with Dakota people to learn how to collaborate in telling their story – to learn how to better educate an increasingly interested public.
Five different places and projects will be discussed that show how partnerships and collaborative efforts are leading to exciting and meaningful interpretation of places that hold great cultural, historic, archaeological and/or spiritual significance to the Dakota people.
These places include a sacred cave, an ancestral village, a shoreline rich in archaeological sites, an inner city riverfront, and the Minnesota River Valley. Although diverse, each place is receiving equal and renewed interest. The sacred cave known to the Dakota as Wakan Tipi, once contained stunning petroglyphs and is now part of a proposed nature reserve on the banks of the Mississippi River. The ancestral village of Chief Sakpe is now the location of a recreated 19th century pioneer village on the banks of the Minnesota River; while a beautiful area called Spring Lake Park Reserve, home to some of Minnesota’s most spectacular archaeological sites presenting an 8,000-year history of human occupation, will be the location of a new cultural center. The Minneapolis Riverfront contains remnants of the city’s proud milling history, yet it also presents a substantial challenge for Native American interpretation: the place symbolizes to some the decimation of a people – even the legends of the waterfalls reflect a controversial early European interpretation of a traditional people. Combining the importance of many places, a map of significant Dakota villages and sacred sites in the Minnesota River Valley was created and has heightened awareness of the strong presence of Native Americans not only among the Euro-American community but for members of today’s Native community as well.
Each of these projects has experienced their own set of challenges and successes, all of which will be shared and discussed in an open and honest way. Lessons learned while working with the Dakota in the Upper Midwest can be applied in any place where a formerly dominant society wishes to begin to tell – and sincerely listen to – the story of a traditional people who have been neglected through the effects of colonialism and political domination.
Klausmeier, Axel (Germany)
Commemorating the Uncomfortable: the Insecure Future of the Relics, Remnants
and Traces of the Historical Landscape Formerly Known as the Berlin Wall
Amidst scenes of extraordinary jubilation, the Berlin Wall fell on 9th November 1989. It was a defining moment in twentieth-century history: for twenty-eight years this seemingly immutable structure had snaked malevolently through and around Berlin, separating families and friends, dividing people of one nation and culture. As the very image of the Cold War, it split Europe into two hostile factions where, at the least provocation, nuclear war might erupt at any moment.
When Communism fell, the swift and efficient dismantling of the border fortifications had its own rationale: As a symbol of the long and bitter division of the German people and indeed of a failed ideology, the general consensus was that the Wall must disappear quickly. From the first day of its destruction, souvenir hunters, soon known as “wallpeckers”, had been hacking incessantly at the frontline wall, carrying away millions of fragments to keep or to sell. While the bulk of the dismantled elements was being removed to be crushed down for sale as road building material, many of the more flamboyantly graffiti’d segments were auctioned and realized high prices in the international art market. Other sections were sold or given away by the troops. Many found their way to the forecourts of political, military and educational institutions all over the world. Only very view elements were kept and put under conservation law.
At present innumerable – often frustrated – Berlin-tourists from all over the world wonder where the wall once stood. They look for the poor remains of the former Iron Curtain, but there is not much to be found for an untrained eye. Even many Berliners have already forgotten where the borderline once stood. In 2001, however, the Berlin Senate showed a new awareness and commissioned a documentation on what was remaining of the cities’ former most famous building in order to preserve more from further destruction. As a result the chair of Conservation Studies of the University of Cottbus produced a comprehensive documentation, listing all physical remains and traces of the 43 kilometre long borderline between former East and West Berlin. This was turned into a book in 2004.
Though its result caused wide public attention, the question of how one can deal with the often ugly and poor, but authentic remains of e.g. decaying concrete, cut off steel girders and rusty iron fences of all kinds in future is a political one and has not yet been solved. It seems that now – fifteen years after its fall – Berliners are able to take up discussions about their painful past with the structure simply known as “The Wall”. There is no doubt that the successful conservation of small parts of this political landscape is entirely dependent on how the heritage values of the Berlin Wall will be transported on the one hand and understood and accepted by the Public on the other.
This paper will not only describe characteristic remains and traces of the former border fortifications and the problems concerned with their preservation, but will also present current discussions and efforts on how this border-landscape can be commemorated in future.
Lamei, Saleh (Egypt)
Heritage for Peace
The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) established its programme Management Unit in Cyprus in 1998. Its role is to implement the Bi-Communal Development Programme aimed at promoting the peace-building process in Cyprus by encouraging Greek and Turkish Cypriots to work together in the preparation and implementation of projects in areas of common concern. The ambitious plan involves Hala Sultan Tekke, a Muslim shrine located in the Greek Cypriot south- Larnaka, and the Apostolos Andreas Monastery, a Christian shrine in the Turkish Cypriot controlled North. Hala Sultan Tekke was built in a series of stages by the Ottomans in the late 18th and early 19th centuries at the burial site of Umm Haram, a close follower of the Prophet.Located in a scope of trees by a salt lake.
The Tekke of Hala Sultan has a total site area of 6.3 Hectares. It is located about four miles from Larnaca, on the west bank of the Salt Lake; it is composed of a mosque , a mausoleum , it has two ancillary buildings (guest house for men and women) to the west direction behind the main entrance gate.The mausoleum of Hala Sultan is detached to the south wall of the mosque. An open cemetery is located to the south of the mausoleum of Hala Sultan.
These restorations are a very good opportunity to bring people together. As an Egyptian I look at peace as a profitable experience; the two projects are a bridge for peace to bring the two community together to emphasize the tolerance and the deep relation of the two main religions in Cyprus: Christianity and Islam. The inherent potential of this cooperation will become even stronger in the next phase when local contractors and experts begin to work together. This will be a very good opportunity for new Turkish and Greek Cypriots to have contact with each other.
We do strongly appreciate establishing a heritage for peace committee to spread such activity in conflict areas all over the world in order to bring together different ethnic religious groups toward a peaceful globalize world. This bi-communal restoration of a Muslim mosque and of a Christian monastery is what UN Secretary General Kofi Anna’s termed: “ a constructive step forward.
Langenbach, Randolph (USA)
Ruins of Piranesi – Ruins over Time: The Presentation and
Interpretation of Ruined Monuments
Rarely do tourists in the present day consider the fact that the archeological ruins that they may be looking at are not as “timeless” as they seem. Rarely at modern archeological sites is there any interpretation of what changes the site has undergone after it had become ruinous, except for the excavation work undertaken by the archeologists in the modern day. The idea that this archeological work itself may have originally been controversial – with writers and artists protesting the changes wrought to great ruined icons by digging around standing remains or by stripping them of layers of vegetation – will probably surprise many people today, so accepting are we now of the presentation of ruins devoid of vegetation and layers of fallen debris.
Ruins have a particular emotive power that complete buildings rarely have. They are incomplete – allowing for imagination, and there is little to interfere with the message they convey about their past. However pure they may seem to the viewer at any one time, there is a long history in the deliberate manipulation of ruins. From the demolition of most of Berlin’s war damaged Anhalter Bahnhof, where much of what remained was dynamited during the 1950’s leaving a fragment of the front façade as what then became a false memorial to the war, to the deliberate creation of “follies” in English country gardens during the 19th century. In the United States, there has often been an overwhelming tendency to clean up ruins, removing the effects of the passage of time to make didactic museums of the sites – but in so doing stripping the artifacts of the kind of emotive power that had stimulated the creation of the museum in the first place. The recent restoration of Ellis Island is a case in point, and the current discussions on what should be done with the contiguous hospital complex deals in part with this issue. This paper will explore this history by focusing on a few examples, and discuss the theoretical issues that are raised by looking at the treatment and interpretation of ruins in recent centuries.
This paper will also discuss the making of the Piranesi Project, a Stratigraphy of Views of Rome, a 50 minute video juxtaposing the engravings of Giambattista Piranesi with photographs of the same views today. This presentation thus covers a 250 year period in the existence of some of the most famous ruins of all time in the archeological districts of Classical Rome. This presentation, through the use of historical quotations and the overlaid images, deals with the changes that have occurred, not so much in the ruins themselves, but in the way they have been presented and interpreted over time.
de Marco, Luisa (Italy)
Heritage Interpretation and Authenticity in the Perspective of Time
In the last decades, heritage interpretation has acquired a growing importance and has now become a key factor in the conservation process. In the heritage field, interpretation today is an articulated process, which encompasses a range of activities, and aims to strengthen conservation effectiveness, promote social cohesiveness, improve education. In this sense, interpretation is often intended as a parallel activity in respect of conservation, but, in fact, it is at the base of our modern attitudes toward the relics of the past, and influences heritage itself, and its safeguard, conservation and management, from the general policy to the single concrete action. This centrality raises a number of questions, that require an in-depth reflection on the notion of interpretation and on our ‘interpretation practice’.
Since the beginning, in modern care for the past, recognition of special qualities has driven the selection and conservation of monuments and works of art. Today the heritage family has extended its boundaries, but how much of this selective approach is still alive, and influence our attitudes and actions? How does interpretation activity relate to and influence the meaning of heritage resources? How can interpretation of the new ‘categories’ of heritage help improve understanding of more traditional forms of heritage?
Authenticity has always played a central role in giving certain objects the heritage status, and interpretation is a crucial moment of this process. But, since there can be innumerable interpretations of the same heritage item, according to the various historic and cultural situations, and to each individual as well – and all of them should be considered equally legitimate – authenticity would result multilayered and complex in nature. Which should be the theoretical bases for further interpretations to prevent the loss of this complexity?
Interpretation is partial by definition, there cannot be any fully complete interpretation of the reality, we can only hope to build reliable visions, that serve our goals. This is true, if referred just to the present, but becomes more evident, when put in the perspective of time flow. What is valid today, cannot be any longer tomorrow. This consciousness has oriented certain branches of conservation theory. Today, one of the main challenges is perhaps posed by the pervasive idea that, while conservation works ‘for the future’ – and on this base the criteria of minimum intervention, reversibility, recognizability, have been developed – interpretation is ‘for the present’. This approach has influenced the development and application of criteria like consensus, inclusiveness, accuracy. Which are the consequences on heritage of a present-oriented interpretation? Is the gain of consensus around certain interpretations of heritage resources enough to consider them accurate and to be materialized? How can interpretation be temporally oriented, while still serving the present? Should it change its scope, and, in case, how?
These questions will be explored through the analysis of the recent reform of the Italian heritage protection legislation and management policy, and of some positive and negative examples, which illustrate the consequences of an inclusive or selective interpretation on the meanings and the fabric of heritage.
Moon, Karen (UK and Tanzania)
Ownership Conflicts and Heritage Interpretation in Uganda and Tanzania
An ambiguity about “ownership” of heritage in a national context can lead to the neglect of sites which are of considerable significance not only to groups within the community but to the nation as a whole. Interpretation of the heritage offers a vital opportunity to address this issue by exploring origins and influences, recognizing overlooked contributions, by allowing different “voices” to speak, and by presenting alternative perspectives in an unbiased way.
The paper will discuss two examples from the East Africa region which highlight specific instances where ambiguity about ownership has put heritage at risk and where interpretation has an important role to play:
1. Uganda – the uncertain status of colonial-influenced sites in a post-colonial society.
2. Tanzania – the neglect of sites perceived as belonging to outsiders due to past misinterpretation of their origins.
Interpretation can contribute to changing current conceptions of heritage value – whether through official means (for example, display panels set up by Government on the site) or in a more informal context (the efforts of local conservation societies to raise public awareness by various means). Recent activities in Uganda and Tanzania are attempting to implement such change through both these channels.
In Uganda: the historic buildings of Kampala received international recognition when they were included on the World Monuments Fund’s 2004 List of 100 Most Endangered Sites, yet on the ground, a concerted effort to conserve one particularly significant building recently foundered due to both political and public indifference, a lack of appreciation of the building’s worth. Efforts to provoke dialogue on the value of European-influenced but nevertheless indigenous expressions in a post-colonial African society has met with varying degrees of success.
In Tanzania: in comparison with the attention (and funds given) to natural heritage sites and those relating to Early Man, the early sites of the Swahili civilization on the mainland have been relatively neglected. British colonial attitudes helped to convince the majority of the population that the sites were not theirs, but those of Arab immigrants. The current interpretation project at the World Heritage Site of Kilwa Kisiwani is concerned not just with presentation of the heritage for tourist visitors but to redefine ownership of the sites in a national context.
In its broadest sense, interpretation plays a part in many activities which have an impact on the community – in the design of visitor routes, the training of guides and community information campaigns, as well as the response to community beliefs and traditions. Here it can contribute both to healing and to fostering conservation, on the one side by encouraging a sense of ownership and pride and, on the other, by showing a sensitivity to local community concerns.
The symposium presentation will be well-illustrated with photographs to assist audience appreciation of these little-known and little-visited sites.
Morton III, W. Brown (USA)
The Memorial of Moses at Mount Nebo, Jordan: Facing a Difficult Future
The on-going conservation, protection, and interpretation of the Memorial of Moses on Mount Nebo in Jordan presents a dramatic challenge for international historic preservation in the Middle East. Seventy years of success are now gravely threatened by rapidly shifting economic, social, political and geophysical factors. These factors must be confronted in a comprehensive and integrated manner if this place of outstanding importance to three major world religions is to survive and retain its integrity.
Mount Nebo is identified in the Old Testament in Deuteronomy, Chapter 34 as the site of the death of the prophet Moses in view of the full expanse of the Promised Land, which he, himself, would never enter. On Mount Nebo, today, are located significant portions of the 4th to 8th century A.D. Christian basilica and surrounding monastery complex known as the Memorial of Moses. The site appears to have been gradually abandoned, commencing in the 9th century. Then, in 1932, with the consent of Amir Abdullah ben Hussein, the great-grandfather of the present King of Jordan, the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, through the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum of Jerusalem, was permitted to acquire the property.
Under the direction of archeologist, Father Sylvester Saller and the assistance of Brother Jerome Mihaic, an exacting program of archaeological excavation and discovery began in 1932. In 1963, an extensive shelter was constructed over the basilica to protect the outstanding mosaic floors and to return the structure to active liturgical use. This shelter, covered in now-deteriorating asbestos panels, is environmentally unacceptable and requires replacement. Since 1976 continuing conservation and interpretation work has been advanced under the supervision of Father Michele Piccirillo, Director of the Franciscan Archaeological Institute at Mount Nebo and author of The Mosaics of Jordan. In the year 2000, the Memorial of Moses at Mount Nebo received over 260,000 visitors, including His Holiness Pope John Paul II.
This case study will identify and evaluate the critical conservation and interpretation issues facing this outstanding site and explore options for local, regional and international cooperation that might insure an appropriate future for Mount Nebo and also serve as models for protecting other historic sites caught in the maelstrom of current events.
Munjeri, Dawson (Zimbabwe)
Expressing them as it should be: Welcome Them Aboard
During my recent visit to the proposed world heritage site of Taung Skull in the North-West Province of South Africa, I had the privilege and opportunity to meet Abram Sefadi a one time limestone miner at the now abandoned mining site. He lamented the low profiling of the history of mining at this national heritage site. Pointing to the dilapidated labour mining “compound” he stressed that but for the exploitative labour system of which he was a victim, the Taung Skull, now focus of attention because of its palaeo-anthopological significance in the human evolution story, its significance would have remained unknown to the world. Sefadi’s message was clear: look yonder for other voices and other players for the full picture; as you preserve that palaeo-anthropological heritage also conserve the physical fabric of the mining compound (the tangible) and capture the voice of the unsung heroes (the intangible).
Six years earlier, a former Robben Island prison inmate (now turned guide) had led me to a neglected dilapidated, off the beaten-path section of the notorious prison. He equally lamented, “People will never know the true Robben Island”. Pointing to the neglected Section he said, “This is the real Robben Island” and to stress the fact, he pointed to the famous “B-Block” where Nelson Mandela and others were incarcerated [now focus of attention and tourism] and said, “we referred to that section as the Grand Hotel to us it was the luxury wing”.
Based on such scenarios as portrayed above, the paper advocates centering heritage interpretations on those concerned most rather than on those to whom it may concern. “Until lions have their historians, the story of hunting will always be about the exploits of the hunter”, goes the adage. The consequences of that include issues of plausibility/credibility; authenticity; perceived as opposed to real values; the seemingly obvious read against the hidden meaning; the encoded as opposed to the expressed messages; the implicit vis-à-vis the explicit; the clearly defined contrasted with the indiscernible; the tangible read against the intangible. Allowed to go its own way it becomes a dichotomy of THEM vs US, epitomized in the hunter/lion narrative. The implications for conservation and presentation of heritage are implicit in the dichotomy of the B-Section vis-à-vis dilapidated Section and Mining compound vis-à-vis the Taung Skull palaeo-anthopological heritage: a testimony to resultant conservation and promotional policies and strategies.
In the book, Managing tourism at World Heritage Sites [Pedersen, 2002: 38], the author illustrates issues of stakeholder involvement using the Great Zimbabwe world heritage site as an example. Here, a living museum intended to enable visitors to comprehend the site and the indigenous culture has instead alienated the locals. “Local people thought the living museum misrepresented the site; the site was inappropriate and reduced the sites historical and cultural importance.”
Contrast this with the upbeat site manager who wrote, “the living museum presented the site better and was a condensed ethnographic recreation of village life in Zimbabwe.” How these dialectic opposed positions have been resolved at that site illustrates the messages, codes, modes, strategies and methodologies necessary to turn the THEM/US confrontational scenario into one of SYNERGIES. It is through such synergies that heritage values that foster conservation and promote community development and educate the public can become a reality.
Parnell, Geoffrey (UK)
The Tower of London and the Creation of a Victorian Myth
The Tower of London is an iconic ancient monument and World Heritage Site that occupies a special place in the history of the English Nation. Popular images of ravens, Yeoman Warders and a morbid fascination with the notion of a grim prison-fortress bring 2½ million visitors inside the castle’s walls each year and an unknown number to view them from the outside. The history of the Tower, including its buildings and institutions, is a vast, fascinating and complex story. However, much of the fabric we see today, externally at least, is the product of 50 years of frenetic rebuilding that followed a catastrophic fire in 1841.
The great ‘remedievalisation’ of the Tower falls into three phases. The first, including the construction of the Waterloo Barracks and Officers’ Block and the repair of the surrounding curtain defences, was supervised by Major Alexander Hall of the Royal Engineers and was completed by 1850. Beginning in 1852, the restorations were directed by the imminent architect Anthony Salvin. By 1870 Salvin had completed major repairs and alterations to the Beauchamp Tower, Salt Tower, White Tower, St. Thomas’s Tower and Wakefield Tower (in that order). Throughout the remainder of the 19th century the Office of Works architect, John Taylor, directed operations. These included some rather savage repairs and alterations to the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula and the riverside defences. However, Taylor is best remembered for his controversial recasting of the Inmost Ward that included demolition of the 14th-century eastern annex to the White Tower and part of Henry III’s private lodgings attached to the Wakefield Tower.
Most of the rebuilding works at the Tower during the 19th century were associated with the castle’s transformation from a great collection of official stores, workshops and offices into a mass tourist attraction. This development is clearly reflected in visitor numbers that rose from 10,200 in 1837 to over half a million by the end of the century. Accompanying and supporting these changes was the manufacture of a romantic interpretation of the site that found expression in the guidebooks and literature of the day. Of these, Harrison Ainsworth’s The Tower of London: A Historical Romance, first published in 1840, was by far the most influential and helped determine the way that parts of the site were physically presented and how the Yeoman Warders described the function and development of the fortress to the visiting public.
The mythical fortress that the 19th-century guides and writers created, with its grossly distorted tales of torture and punishment, with its invented execution site and with its resident ravens, still represents the Tower of London that most visitors expect to find. It is clear, therefore, that as far as a more factual and accurate account is concerned the Tower of London is a victim of its own success. That said, the challenge confronting the custodians of the fortress today is how to place the 19th-century mythology in context in order to move on.
Porcher, Cynthia (USA)
Low Country Gullah Special Study (paper not available)
From 1999-2004, I was privileged to spend over 300 days in Gullah/Geechee communities along the coasts and Sea Islands of Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. Grassroots organizations within these communities are hard at work on local preservation projects, but their monies often come from bake sales, festivals, and the like. Gullah language, like the culture, is at a critical point for its survival. The elders, traditional teachers of the language and cultural traditions, are dying, and as their numbers dwindle, concern for preservation of the language and traditions has surged. Gullah/Geechee must find broad financial support on the national and international level in order to ensure the survival of their living American language and culture.
Gullah/Geechee people are descendants of enslaved Africans who were brought by force to the southeast coast. Their enslaved ancestors left an indelible mark on the Low Country landscape. It is nearly impossible to look out over a coastal waterway and not see lingering images of rice fields – imprints of unique patterns of forced human labor. Gullah/Geechee people of today, many of whom are landowners, are ready to take on the task of sharing their language, traditions, and contributions with the world. The urgency of protecting the Gullah/Geechee culture and landscape cannot be overstated.
Gullah/Geechee people have a rich and distinctive cultural heritage – a culture born of African roots, yet, shaped and developed in America – a people who came by force, yet have made and continue to make significant contributions to American history and culture.
Romey, Peter (Australia)
Interpreting the Cultural Palimpsest at Port Arthur, Tasmania
Port Arthur operated as a convict prison for secondary offenders from 1830 until 1877, a period of 47 years. It was also a large and productive industrial complex that utilized convict labour to produce a vast array of goods and material for the young colony of Van Diemen’s Land, from leather shoes to wooden ships of 300 tons. The primary cultural significance of the place is a product of this period of its history.
Port Arthur has been a historic site in public ownership (to varying degrees) from 1916 until now, a period of 88 years. Even before 1916 visitors were coming to Port Arthur. So it has been a place of cultural pilgrimage, a tourism “must see” for far longer than it was a prison. The decaying walls and manicured lawns are not only a memorial to those unfortunate souls who were sent to Port Arthur. They are also a testimony to evolving attitudes of visitors and managers throughout much of this period.
Decisions about what to conserve, how to conserve it, and what stories should be told were often determined by a populist response to what the visitors wanted to see and hear. The bricks and mortar ruins and extant buildings met visitor expectations as evidence of the romantic “gothic horror story” interpretation of history, whilst the bucolic parkland in which they were set provided a pleasant and serene environment for picnics and a day spent exploring the site.
Port Arthur is however a much more complex place than picturesque ruins in a romantic landscape would suggest. The place is a cultural landscape where the low-maintenance lawns conceal the evidence of a complex overlay of vanished buildings, agriculture, gardens, walls, fences and other lines of demarcation that were the manifestations of a complex industrial prison, a palimpsest of changing uses and fabric. Even the existing Memorial Garden and the shell of the former Broadarrow Café, developed to commemorate the tragic events of 28 April1996 when a lone gunman murdered 35 people at and around the Port Arthur Historic Site, are constructed over the archaeological remains of important convict-period workshops.
The existing arcadian landscape is nevertheless greatly appreciated by visitors and the local community alike, creating a tension between its historic values and related interpretive potential and the social value placed on it by its users. The challenge for the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority therefore is to reveal to visitors the complex history of the place, to “drill down” through the layers in the palimpsest without compromising any of its values.
During the last five years the Authority has developed a suite of strategic planning documents for the conservation, interpretation and management of the site. Based on the Australia ICOMOS Burra Charter, an overall Conservation Plan identifies the cultural values of the place and establishes broad policies designed to conserve and reveal these values. Below the conservation plan sit a number of secondary plans, including the Landscape Plan and the Interpretation Plan, which provide more detailed policies for managing and interpreting the cultural landscape of Port Arthur. These plans however provide guidance – the do not provide solutions.
In this paper I will discuss the evolving philosophical context within which the Authority is moving from a bricks and mortar approach to conservation towards one of revealing and interpreting the complex cultural landscape of Port Arthur. I will also describe a number of completed* and planned cultural landscape projects, and how these projects demonstrate that interpretive methodology.
Silberman, Neil (US and Belgium)
Keynote Speaker – Digesting the Past: Interpretation and the European Heritage Industry
Over the last twenty-five years, as intellectual debates have raged within academia over issues of conservation and interpretation, the physical structures of public presentation at major archaeological sites throughout the European Union have been transformed. Borrowing design concepts from theme parks and interactive museums, many local and regional governments, the European Commission, and private design firms have collaborated in transforming important archaeological and historical sites into leisure-time venues that can serve as “sustainable” engines of local and regional economic development. In this effort, the raising of visitor revenues—rather than any particular interpretation—is often the key. Is this trend really sustainable? Are the economic projections justified? And if they are, what is the social effect?
This paper will briefly trace the history of the public presentation of archaeological and historical sites in Europe, and will highlight the role that Cultural Heritage IT is now playing in enhancing visitor experience. It will identify some clear trends that have become increasingly problematic in European heritage programs: the increasing emphasis on “edu-tainment” through virtual environments and interactive applications; the economic role of sites and monuments as holiday and leisure-time venues; the subtle pressures on interpretation to attract visitors rather than to educate or inform; and the consequent disproportionate selection of interpretive genres that thereby limit the range of interpretive possibilities.
The trend toward commercialism and entertainment has been challenged in broader circles of heritage studies. Alongside a growing scholarly literature on the anthropology of tourism and touristic messages, various heritage groups have drafted international standards of site management in which the interests of a wide range of stakeholders are considered and in which sensitivity for coexisting historical traditions are stressed. Yet many questions specific to archaeological interpretation remain to be studied. Does the social transformation of archaeological sites from public monuments to entertainment venues—through the expanding use of New Technologies—necessarily privilege certain forms of interpretation? What are the ethical and professional implications of archaeologists’ and historians’ participation as “content providers” for design firms and tourist promotion projects in the quest for economically “sustainable” heritage?
This paper will examine some of the most common contemporary scenarios for the “production” of public archaeological sites. Taking examples from the procedures of the UNESCO World Heritage List and the programs of the European Comission, it will suggest that the physical structures of presentation—circulation paths, multimedia applications, and narrative presentations—subtly transform the medium into the message, no matter how sophisticated the intellectual rationale. It will further suggest that a major ethical challenge for archaeological interpretation lies in direct engagement with the deeper material structures of the emerging “heritage industry” in Europe and at major heritage sites across the world.
Slater, Mary (USA)
Interpreting Native American Ruins in the Southwestern United States:
Perceptions of Significance and Value in a Post-Romantic Age
Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the interpretation of Native American ancestral architecture has been driven by the archaeologists who first excavated and displayed these sites. The structures were presented as ruins in order to preserve their integrity as educational displays and as repositories of archaeological data. The problem of preserving ruined sites, roofless and exposed to environmental degradation, is the inevitable loss of original material leading to the preponderance of replacement material, resulting in reduced integrity and authenticity. This paper explores the challenges of preserving and interpreting ruins within changing cultural perceptions of significance and value. Insofar as ruins stabilization supplants original materials with repair materials, how sustainable is it with respect to site authenticity? As we move away from romantic notions elicited by ruins to a broader appreciation of differing values and meanings associated with these sites, how must our approaches to preservation and interpretation change?
Archaeological ruins in the Southwestern United States come with the requisite Euro-American baggage: the contrived setting is created by excavation and partial reconstruction to articulate rooms and enclosed spaces, and the interpretive emphasis is on the tangible values of architectural space, original materials, and anthropological data-transmitting capability. These romantic and scientific values give primacy to the outsider culture, and depend somewhat on the notion that the originating culture is lost to history and unable to participate in the interpretation and understanding of the site.
As constructed ruins, presentation and interpretation of exposed sites depends heavily on preservation treatments applied regularly to keep up with damage inflicted by environmental and human agents. With each maintenance cycle, the authenticity of a site is incrementally reduced as stabilization material replaces original material. The dilemma of site stabilization centers on the question of sustainability: when does the degree of intervention unacceptably compromise site integrity and authenticity? The question is further complicated when deferred maintenance contributes to site deterioration. Faced with inadequate funds to maintain ruins, federal managers are already backfilling or reburying portions of sites. There is a growing recognition that federal agencies cannot preserve all constructed ruins in perpetuity; stabilization must be justified within the context of a site’s many values. Treatment strategies such as backfilling that reduce the square footage of architecture available to the public eye create the potential to interpret these sites in ways which de-emphasize physical immediacy and open up avenues for exploring other values of sites and their cultural landscapes. As we re-evaluate treatment and interpretation strategies for ruins, there is an opportunity to represent the cultural values associated with ruins from the perspective of Native Americans.
In the past few decades, the values of aboriginal cultures in relation to their ancestral sites have gained importance in the conservation and interpretation of these sites. Many Southwestern Native American groups emphasize intangible over tangible values, regarding an “archaeological site” as a spiritually inhabited village containing the memory and essence of their ancestors, rather than a physically abandoned ruin. In recognizing these values, federal managers must engage Native American stakeholders in establishing new interpretive themes and techniques for ruins. Interpretation strategies, including alternative methods from high-tech virtual reality reconstructions to traditional oral histories, must respond to cultural, environmental, historical, scientific, and aesthetic values of a site. Ultimately, cultural resource management decisions regarding Native American architectural heritage must be a blend of preservation and interpretation strategies that identify and speak to these values.
Szmygin, Boguslaw (Poland)
Interpretation as a Factor Altering Conservation Doctrine: The Case for Reconstruction and Rebuilding
The contemporary conservation doctrine (Venice Charter doctrine) has been established in order to serve mostly the European heritage. This doctrine was a manifestation of euro-centrism; therefore it limited the broadening of the notion of the heritage (for the heritage of other cultures) and the progress in the field of conservation science as well. That is why, the term “the conservation doctrine” is a synonym to lack of progress and discrimination of other cultures in many regions of the world.
The conservation doctrine is the set of rules, which defines the proper way of protection and conservation of the historical monuments. However, the conservation rules should not be created in isolation; they should result directly from the definition of heritage. For example, if the heritage is defined on the basis of values or features, the conservation rules should indicate the way to protect these values or features (e.g. during the conservation process). Thus, the alteration of the heritage definition should generate the alteration of the conservation doctrine.
Over the last thirty years the heritage notion (definition) has been expanded to a high degree (cultural landscapes, intangible heritage, vernacular architecture, etc.). However, the conservation doctrine has not been progressing significantly. The traditional rules of conservation are still in force – that’s the reason for many problems. Therefore; it is necessary to adapt the conservation doctrine to the contemporary notion of the heritage.
The contemporary notion of the heritage is subjective in its character. It means, that everyone (e.g. each ethnical, cultural, national, regional group) has the right to indicate his own heritage. It means, there exist many (local) sets of heritage. It also implies, that there could exist many (local) conservation doctrines – subordinated to the local heritage sets and local context. Therefore, the interpretation is so important.
The interpretation within the contemporary heritage protection includes four processes at least:
Firstly, it is the process of indicating (defining) the heritage within the particular societies. The process of indicating; which historical values (features) are important and worth protection (for these societies).
Secondly, it is the process of indicating “the carriers” (material and non-material ones), which could serve the protection of the previously selected values.
Thirdly, it is the process of establishing the rules and means of conservation of these “carriers” – it is the conservation doctrine.
Fourthly, it is the process of communication with the society for and in the name of which the heritage protection is done; the process of explanation, persuasion, promotion, etc.
Summing up, the interpretation plays the key role in the contemporary heritage protection.
The issue of the rebuilding and the reconstruction of the historical buildings ruined during the catastrophes (wars, fires, earthquakes) is a good example of the interpretation playing a significant role in the altering of the conservation doctrine. This issue exists in many places all over the world (recently Mostar, Bamyan); especially, it is of a great importance to the Polish conservators of historical monuments. The historical cores of a dozen towns in Poland have been destroyed during the II WW. Some of them have been not rebuilt so far. The historical areas have been totally ruined. Therefore, the only form of protection of the historical values of these towns (historical urbanism, architecture, landscape, identity) was the rebuilding of the historical structures. Therefore, conservators conducted the process of rebuilding. The process of rebuilding has been carried out in many forms; one can indicate at least four conservator’s programs.
The paper will be illustrated with examples of 4 rebuilt historical towns: Wroclaw, Warszawa, Elblag, Kazimierz. It means, that interpretation (what the values of the heritage are; in which material form these values should be enhancement; which rules are conservation ones, etc.) was also carried out in many ways. The Polish conservators are convinced that the decision concerning rebuilding of the historical districts was proper. The process of rebuilding has been still continued in some historical towns. This example shows, that interpretation could lead to the altering (under particular circumstances and context) of the conservation doctrine.
Voskova, Katarina (Slovakia)
A Training & Education Centre for Improving the Preservation and Better Interpretation of Banska Stiavnika, a World Heritage Town
The historical town of Banská Štiavnica, together with the technical mining monuments located in its vicinity, was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993. The city continues today to struggle with the poor physical condition of many of its historical buildings. The problem comes as a consequence of the deep changes in the social-economic structure of he town that occurred over the last decades. The relationship of the town´s inhabitants to their architectural heritage shows a lack of community consciousness towards the importance of safeguarding this irreplaceable treasure. The present situation threatens the safeguard of the original fabric of the historic buildings of Banská Štiavnica, many of which are beginning to loose much of their intrinsic value because of poorly executed restoration work, incompatible use of some heavily advertised new building materials and unappropriate new technologies.
The situation called for the immediate adoption of suitable measures to build awareness and sensitivity among community members. Therefore the civic Association for Banská Štiavnica´91 and the National Board for Munuments and Sites Preservation together with the Architectural Faculty of the Slovak University of Technology organized 1st international expert´s workshop and training centers exchange program in May 2002 in the effort to educate and train mid-level crafts-persons as well as the wide public in an appropriate use of materials and techniques in built heritage conservation.
ICOMOS Slovakia, experts from Banská Štiavnica together with the internationaly reknown experts articulated the needs for improving the heritage preservation and then interpretation at their first meeting on “Banská Štiavnica Appeal on Materials, Techniques and Technologies in the Preservation of the Built Heritage”. “The Appeal” recognizing the ICOMOS charters as well as the Slovak law for heritage protection recommended to Slovak authorities e.g. following:
“…the establishment of the training-education center in Banská Štiavnica to provide training with appropriate certification for mid-level crafts-persons and technicians; as well as advise property owners,
… the encouraging and advising property owners to request the support of qualified crafts-persons and skilled technicians, seeking the advice and coordination of a competent conservation architects,
…the building a documentation and information center designed to support training activities by means of setting up archives of historic building material, by recuparating and exhibiting physical examples of traditional techniques,..
… the encouraging collaboration between the training centres in different countries, and the organization of joint projects,…“
Over the 2 years of the Appeal implementation we met many problems, failures as well as some successes. The project shows a great importance for crafts-persons, local people, involved institutions, schools, etc. All the activities come from the experience that even the most intensive effort of professional conservationists cannot be successful without the support of well trained and skilled craftsmen and wide public.
Zierden, Martha (USA)
Archaeology and Heritage Interpretation in Charleston, South Carolina: Case Studies
Charleston is well known for preservation and interpretation of its many historic buildings and features. But Charleston is also a living city, and the buildings and landscape reflect the needs and values of current occupants, as well as those from the past. Difficult to comprehend by viewing historic cities, or historic sites, is the evolving nature of their appearance and function. Archaeology is one of many disciplines that has been used to explore historic house museum properties in Charleston and to refine interpretation to include all in residence there. Case studies from historic house museums, private dwellings, and public sites are used to discuss the role of archaeology in interpretation, and methods used to present archaeological findings.
Nearly three dozen archaeological studies are relevant to interpretation of Charleston’s landscape. These may be divided into three general categories. First is the pre-1740 city, for which there is virtually no surviving above-ground evidence. Here, archaeology has been the primary tool for discovering architectural elements, landscape features, and the material culture of daily life. A lack of architectural sites, though, makes it challenging to interpret these features in a visual manner, outside of a museum setting. Second are historic house museums of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Here, architectural survival is extensive, though the properties contain layers of changes made throughout their history. As part of an interdisciplinary project, archaeology has provided details on the sites, and their occupants through time, that can be incorporated into architectural restoration, period furnishings, and general interpretation of social history. Third are projects on private property, for restoration of historic buildings or construction of new, adapted to the needs and wants of 21st century occupants.
Archaeology has contributed new information on all of the sites studied, and on urban life in general, through these projects. The archaeological information has been incorporated into interpretation through a variety of means. But interpreting what cannot be seen remains challenging, and open to discussion.