Protecting the protected: World Heritage Sites and collections; defining, recognising and protecting Outstanding Universal Value in its entirety
thesisposted on 05.08.2020, 11:14 by Samantha Fabry
World Heritage protection has been subject to social influences and therefore displays differences in philosophical thought and variations in perspectives which have been built over many decades. The way that we perceive the world and create value around immoveable and moveable cultural heritage is largely socially constructed and as a result is manifested through the policies and laws which have been written to protect cultural heritage. This research sets out to question whether material culture of national significance should be recognised and protected through the 1972 Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (or 1972 Convention) in conjunction with a World Heritage Site or museum. Drawing on memory studies and the role of built structures and moveable material culture in the formation of our individual and collective memory, the research builds the case for a review of the 1972 Convention towards the protection of objects and collections deemed as having national and international significance. Through including highly significant objects in a site’s nomination application for World Heritage Listing, they will be documented and protected under the 1972 Convention against environmental and manmade threats and disasters. The research has been supported through three World Heritage museums as case studies. Each museum encompasses an archaeological collection that marks significant periods in history and are nationally and internationally recognised. These include: The Hyde Park Barracks - Sydney, Australia, The Ħal-Saflieni Hypogeum - Paola, Malta and Vindolanda – Hadrian’s Wall - Northumberland, Great Britain.