The focus of the inquiry will now shift to WorldHeritage and to the temples of Abu Simbel and other sites. Focusing on WorldHeritage 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 WorldHeritage? Is it not a Sisyphean – an absurd or meaningless – task to try to protect and preserve WorldHeritage for the unlimited future? So, why even bother to define a special category
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 WorldHeritage, with Abu Simbel as an example, does not at first sight fit in with a postmodern interpretation of the present, since WorldHeritage is a category for protection and preservation geared to creating structure, unity, wholeness, and universalism. WorldHeritage as a phenomenon is one of many expressions of a globalisation; but it includes national and local places, where diversity
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
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 WorldHeritage Convention (WHC 1972; cf. Lutyk 1987 : 6ff; Säve-Söderbergh 1987 : 220f; 1996: 217f; WorldHeritage Information Kit , 2008: 7f). Here, for the first time, traces of the past are recognised as a universal heritage and therefore a common
” 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 WorldHeritage Convention and the increasing number of WorldHeritage 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
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 worldheritage:
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
one another? And can correlations be observed in time and space between changes and traditions, in this case between modernity and WorldHeritage? Does nostalgia thus arise in periods of radical change, irrespective of whether the changes are experienced as progress or as decline?
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
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 WorldHeritage 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.
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 WorldHeritage Organisation definitions to draw wherever possible, a distinction between violence and trauma; the former implies the intentional use of physical force
, 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 WorldHeritage 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