A viewpoint on the reconstruction of destroyed UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Sites

Khalaf, Roha (2016) A viewpoint on the reconstruction of destroyed UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Sites. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 23 (3). pp. 261-274. ISSN DOI: 10.1080/13527258.2016.1269239 [Article]

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Abstract (in English)

The destruction of UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Sites (WHS) in conflict zones is devastating and continues to spark heated debate on reconstruction. Craft skills and construction materials can reinstate lost physical fabric. Communities who identify with WHS can ascribe meanings and values to the new fabric, thereby reclaiming their heritage. However, it is difficult to retrieve Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), including authenticity and integrity after irreversible damage has been done. ‘If a World Heritage property is destroyed and later reconstructed, could it still be recognized as World Heritage?’ is a critical question, open to debate. It was raised during a colloquium on ‘Post-Trauma Reconstruction’ held at ICOMOS Headquarters in March 2016. A participant commented that ‘it is not possible to punish the State Party if a disaster or a war occurred’, but ‘there was no further exchange on this aspect’. In this paper, I argue that the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention may need to shift the spotlight from ‘exceptional circumstances’ to the contemporaneity of heritage. An oxymoron, perhaps, but it may sustain the culture of World Heritage inscription in conflict and post-conflict zones. A new category, in concert with three qualifying conditions, is proposed.

Item Type: Article
Authors:
AuthorsEmail
Khalaf, Roharoha.khalaf@gmail.com
Languages: English
Keywords: World Heritage; Outstanding Universal Value; Authenticity; Integrity; Reconstruction; Continuity; Compatibility; Distinction
Subjects: C.ARCHITECTURE > 01. Generalities
E.CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION > 02. Theory and doctrinal texts
E.CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION > 03. Monuments
E.CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION > 04. Groups of buildings
E.CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION > 05. Sites
M.WORLD HERITAGE CONVENTION > 04. World Heritage in Danger
M.WORLD HERITAGE CONVENTION > 06. Operational guidelines
O.INTANGIBLE HERITAGE > 01. Generalities
Volume: 23
Number: 3
ISSN: DOI: 10.1080/13527258.2016.1269239
Depositing User: Dr Roha Khalaf
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2017 12:57
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2017 12:57
URI: http://openarchive.icomos.org/id/eprint/1745

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