Cultural heritage is a term used to describe the legacy of objects and intangible attributes that are unique and irreplaceable within a specific society, culture or region. Often containing a variety of elements including architecture, paintings, crafts, and written texts, it is cherished and protected for future generations to enjoy.
Preservation of Cultural Heritage
Several government ministries, national museums, archives and libraries, intergovernmental organizations (such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization [UNESCO]), and non-governmental organizations (such as the World Monuments Fund) work to conserve, preserve, and revitalize historical buildings, monuments, and cultural artifacts in order to protect and share them with the world. These agencies also promote awareness of heritage and provide resources and support for community preservation programs and outreach projects.
A key component of preservation efforts is ensuring that cultural heritage is managed sustainably for the long-term. This includes finding funding for projects, managing people from diverse disciplines, ensuring that the intended outcome is achieved, and planning for the preservation of cultural heritage for future generations.
It is essential to recognize the value of cultural heritage and to respect its enduring importance to humanity as a whole. It is a critical element in the fabric of civilization, and it is vital for the development of global human rights, democracy, and sustainability.
However, as well-meaning as cultural heritage initiatives can be, there are times when they can be mishandled and abused. It is important to be aware of these dangers, so that you can take action to avoid them.
One way to help preserve cultural heritage is to donate to or start a nonprofit organization that works to protect and share it with the world. Some examples include Save Ancient Artifacts and Environment (SAFE), the Cultural Heritage Alliance, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) International Committee on Museums and Collections.
Another way to contribute is by raising awareness of the threats to cultural heritage and encouraging others to act on this information. This can include creating videos and posting them online, starting fundraising campaigns, participating in events and conferences, and visiting and volunteering at cultural sites.
A final, and perhaps most important way to help preserve cultural heritage is by becoming an advocate. This can mean engaging with governmental and non-governmental agencies that are working to preserve and protect culture, or by refusing to participate in any activities related to illicit trafficking or questionable art auctions.
As a result, there is a growing need for training in heritage management and preservation. This involves understanding how to find and secure funding for heritage preservation efforts, manage people from diverse backgrounds, and plan for the long-term maintenance of heritage buildings and cultures in an increasingly globalized world. It also means developing and applying critical thinking skills, evaluating outcomes, and identifying new ways of improving the way we share cultural heritage with the world.