Jes Wienberg

World Heritage Convention The focus of the inquiry will now shift to World Heritage and to the temples of Abu Simbel and other sites. Focusing on World Heritage means that the inquiry’s questions about the past and its history, memory, and heritage will now be given precise coordinates: why, then, identify, examine, document, protect, preserve, mediate, and also develop World Heritage? Is it not a Sisyphean – an absurd or meaningless – task to try to protect and preserve World Heritage for the unlimited future? So, why even bother to define a special category

in Heritopia
Jes Wienberg

discussed in this concluding chapter in order to round up my inquiry, but they will be reviewed in the reverse of the order in which they were first presented. It was noted that World Heritage, with Abu Simbel as an example, does not at first sight fit in with a postmodern interpretation of the present, since World Heritage is a category for protection and preservation geared to creating structure, unity, wholeness, and universalism. World Heritage as a phenomenon is one of many expressions of a globalisation; but it includes national and local places, where diversity

in Heritopia
Open Access (free)
World Heritage and modernity
Author: Jes Wienberg

Heritopia explores the multiple meanings of the past in the present, using the famous temples of Abu Simbel and other World Heritage sites as points of departure. It employs three perspectives in its attempt to understand and explain both past and present the truth of knowledge, the beauties of narrative, and ethical demands. Crisis theories are rejected as nostalgic expressions of contemporary social criticism. Modernity is viewed as a collection of contradictory narratives and reinterpreted as a combination of technological progress and recently evolved ideas. The book argues that while heritage is expanding, it is not to be found everywhere, and its expansion does not constitute a problem. It investigates the World Heritage Convention as an innovation, demonstrating that the definition of a World Heritage site succeeds in creating a tenable category of outstanding and exclusive heritage. The book introduces the term “Heritopia” in order to conceptualise the utopian expectations associated with World Heritage. Finally, it points to the possibilities of using the past creatively when meeting present-day and future challenges.

Open Access (free)
Jes Wienberg

2005 film). Consequently, the campaign has generated both technical innovations and existential reflections. Abu Simbel and the campaign also play a prominent role in the story of the adoption in 1972 of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage , or, in short, the World Heritage Convention (WHC 1972; cf. Lutyk 1987 : 6ff; Säve-Söderbergh 1987 : 220f; 1996: 217f; World Heritage Information Kit , 2008: 7f). Here, for the first time, traces of the past are recognised as a universal heritage and therefore a common

in Heritopia
Open Access (free)
Jes Wienberg

” in the 1980s (Huyssen 1995 : 14, 20, 25ff). In Sweden, Svante Beckman noted rapid growth in aesthetic and entertainment use of history and heritage, with an ever-larger number of museums and antique markets (Beckman 1993a : 28f). Referring to the rising number of countries that had ratified the World Heritage Convention and the increasing number of World Heritage sites, Thordis Arrhenius concluded that “[t]he inflation of heritage is today a fact” (Arrhenius 2003 : 162). And Rodney Harrison discusses a “heritage boom” and “crisis of accumulation” in late

in Heritopia
Jes Wienberg

as a chance to demonstrate international solidarity with countries that had been at the centre of many conflicts over the centuries (Veronese 1960 : 7). Veronese described heritage in a way that pointed towards both material and intangible world heritage: Wondrous structures, ranking among the most magnificent on earth, are in danger of disappearing beneath the waters. … These monuments, whose loss may be tragically near, do not belong solely to the countries who hold them in trust. The whole world has the right to see them endure. They are part of a

in Heritopia
Open Access (free)
Jes Wienberg

one another? And can correlations be observed in time and space between changes and traditions, in this case between modernity and World Heritage? Does nostalgia thus arise in periods of radical change, irrespective of whether the changes are experienced as progress or as decline? Chronic nostalgia In the film Nostalghia , the poet Andrei Gorchakov wanders around in a Tuscany full of ruins and decaying buildings. He is pathologically affected by his longing for his family and home in Russia. But after a symbolic act, when he succeeds in carrying a lit candle

in Heritopia
Open Access (free)
Jes Wienberg

transformation of a factory into heritage and the reuse of premises with new functions such as arts centres, museums, offices, or housing have attracted attention in many studies, with World Heritage sites such as Ironbridge Gorge in England (WHL 371, 1986) and Zollverein in Germany (WHL 975, 2001) as already classic examples (e.g. Storm 2008 ; Willim 2008 ; also Alzén 1996 ). This is a narrative of the successful transition from the industrial to the post-industrial society – a narrative of success, in which defeat is transformed into victory. Alternatively, abandoned

in Heritopia
Open Access (free)
Melanie Giles

lake, the spring and watering hollow, even the damp ditches of enclosures – if we are to properly understand the reasons behind the association of human remains and bodies of water in later prehistory. Finally, it will resituate the apparently horrific violence meted out to many bog bodies within wider evidence for violence in the Iron Age and Roman world. The book follows Redfern’s ( 2016 : 4) use of World Heritage Organisation definitions to draw wherever possible, a distinction between violence and trauma; the former implies the intentional use of physical force

in Bog bodies
Open Access (free)
Lorenzo Ferrarini and Nicola Scaldaferri

, journalistic inquiries, and literary and cinematic works. Basilicata began to feature in the national media at the end of the 1940s, as a result of the coverage of the struggles of peasant groups for agrarian reform and the visits of politicians to the city of Matera. During the post-war reconstruction effort this city – which in the 1990s would become a UNESCO World Heritage site on account of its neighbourhoods carved in the rocky walls of a canyon – was described by Alcide De Gasperi, then prime minister, as a ‘national infamy’ and by Palmiro Togliatti, leader of the

in Sonic ethnography