The concept of cultural heritage dates back to antiquity. The work of philologists, archaeologists, ethnographers, archivists, and antiquarians resulted in the development of museums, libraries, and a world order based on cosmopolitanism and tolerance. Today, we focus on the importance of cultural heritage to a nation’s economy, history, and traditions. While the material aspects of heritage are important, there is also a strong emphasis on immaterial aspects of heritage.
Although the term cultural heritage conjures up images of one cohesive society, such as a nation, it is not always so simple. Rather, many people, including scientists and artists, learn from different cultures. Picasso, for example, was inspired by African masks, while freed African-American slaves fashioned their homes after neoclassical plantation mansions. Similarly, a community’s lifeways and traditions are shaped by its history and cultural traditions.
As a result, cultural heritage can be a source of conflict and can even be used as a healing tool for war victims. For example, General Douglas MacArthur helped the Japanese after World War II by supporting the preservation of their culture. Similarly, after the Holocaust, Auschwitz was turned into a memorial and museum. Despite the stigma and the fear of being deemed ignorant, cultural heritage is a valuable part of the world and should be protected.
However, in recent years, there have been some significant changes in the way cultural heritage is treated. Often, the concepts are used to promote economic and social benefit, and that may not be the case. There are several aspects to cultural heritage, and it is important to note that the definition of culture is often controversial. In some cases, misguided assumptions about cultures have led to conflict, and there is no universally acceptable definition of culture. If we are unable to identify the roots of a conflict, we should acknowledge that the past is part of the present.
The concept of cultural heritage is a multifaceted concept, which encompasses all types of heritage. It isn’t limited to historical monuments or collections. It can include living expressions that are inherited from our ancestors. These include performing arts, oral traditions, social manners, rituals, and festive events. Intangible cultural heritage includes knowledge and practices related to nature and the universe. These are examples of the intangible aspects of culture.
Intangible cultural heritage is defined as “artifacts, buildings, and sites that are physically present in the physical environment.” This includes monuments, artifacts, and other objects of symbolic and aesthetic value. The latter category includes movable and immovable cultural assets. It is also a part of tangible cultural heritage, which is not easily replaceable. If it isn’t, we can’t save it.