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09.00  Heritage Challenges in the Era of Globalization versus a Smart Approach in Conservation

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9:00, Sunday 5 Jun 2016 (30 minutes)

Heritage, as something inherited from the past, is a document of ancient people and countries, survived thorough time, and transmitted from generations to generations. Continuous philosophical evolutions and new realizations about the histories, and the meaning of objects and places, have kept the heritage field very dynamic and active, which results, over time, in the concept of heritage to include the complex of physical artifacts, tangible, and the intangible attributes of a group or society. Parallel to the evolution of the "heritage" concept, accumulated experience in the field of conservation of the built environment, architecture and/or archaeology, has created a sophisticated complex of philosophical, aesthetics and technical parameters that constitute the modern culture of conservation, and the operational foundation of interventions in historic buildings. Considering the complexity of the definition of "heritage" in modern time, with particular reference to the historic built-environment, this paper will suggest that redefining the concept of "historicity" as an ongoing and in-evolution attribute, incorporated, through the time, within certain buildings—that once used to be normal buildings that served the community—transforms the process of comprehension of the historic buildings to an ongoing process that may never be completely achieved. 

The article will maintain the necessity of conservation practices as temporal solutions to guaranty the continuity of historic buildings in time, for involving them in their own full perception process. The paper will state that in the era of globalization, the most important risk of any intervention on heritage, due to the probable misunderstandings/misinterpretations of the principal concepts of intervention, is the loss of heritage value as a document, considering that each intervention on the heritage involves alterations in its intrinsic, embodied, and associated values as well as its potentialities and its continuity to be considered as a document. The paper will emphasize that integrity and authenticity are the two necessary characteristics of heritage that should be maintained and preserved by any conservation intervention, in order to guarantee its continuity in time. 

The paper will restate that the modern culture of conservation is based on the relativity of values as well as specific concepts of history and historicity and will argue that misinterpretations of the relativity of values may affect the integrity of heritage during the intervention. In this regard, the paper will cite certain kinds of interventions on historic buildings solely based on the relativity of values and argues that some modern strategies of the heritage conservation like adaptive reuse, radically alter the intrinsic characteristics of the heritage by finding new uses for the heritage, affecting directly/indirectly the intrinsic characteristics of the heritage, resulting a discontinuity in its perception process. Finally, the paper will emphasize the necessity of conservation of the heritage as a document, and will propose the necessity of implementation of an effective management system, a smart participatory, multi-stakeholder approach, in order to best guarantee the continuity of heritage in time.

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