Heritage has a dual character whereby it can, at the same time, be celebrated for its outstanding universal value while having a special meaning and value for local and, in particular, bearer communities. Basing protection on the former notion of heritage as a universal, global value has been the dominant approach in international law-making since the second half of the twentieth century. More recently, the significance of heritage to local actors has become much better understood and recognised. The tensions associated with this duality have in recent times become evident with the adoption by UNESCO in 2003 of the International Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. In this treaty, international cultural heritage law-making has shifted from a paradigm that gives value predominantly to the material heritage – monuments, sites, artefacts and other objects – to one that celebrates a living heritage that is primarily located in the skills, knowledge and know-how of contemporary human beings. This article examines the aforementioned shift from an emphasis on global to local heritage and the role museums can play in this with regard to safeguarding intangible aspects of heritage.
Intangible Cultural Heritage and the Role of the Museum
Narratives of Meaning, Use and Development
. Townend , S. and K. Whittaker ( 2011 ), ‘ Being Accounted For: Qualitative Data Analysis in Assessing “Place” and “Value” ’, in J. Schofield and R. Szymanski (eds), Local Heritage, Global Context: Cultural Perspectives on Sense of Place
The Second World Museologies Workshop, National Museum of Ethnology (MINPAKU), Osaka, December 2019
Laura Osorio Sunnucks, Nicola Levell, Anthony Shelton, Motoi Suzuki, Gwyneira Isaac, and Diana E. Marsh
as local heritage is associated with a sociopolitical and human rights agenda that museums could embrace more widely. Gonseth's and Yamanka's presentations exemplify later readings of Foucault's concept of heterotopia, inasmuch as they expose and