Deficiencies in Legislation on Cultural Heritage Protection in Local Communities

Kovač, Mojca Marjana (2014) Deficiencies in Legislation on Cultural Heritage Protection in Local Communities. In: International Legal Standards for Heritage Protection in a Period of Economic Recession and Tools for Safeguarding Protection Standards. Monographic publications of ICOMOS Slovenia (1). ICOMOS/SI, Ljubljana, pp. 67-71. ISBN 978-961-281-627-8 [Book Section]

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Abstract (in English)

The Cultural Heritage protection Act, passed in 2008, was meant to modernize the sphere of cultural heritage preservation. Regretfully, the new regulations – which should enable better preservation of cultural heritage in practice – have not been implemented on the level of local communities. The law entails a new and different organization of the public service in the field of immovable cultural heritage preservation; division of work is conceived in such a way that expertise has lost its basic significance. Since regional variety is of essential importance for Slovenia, negative consequences of such a decision are perfectly clear. The service is certainly bound to carry out priority bureaucratic tasks (entering items in the Register of Cultural Heritage; giving the status of cultural monuments; issuing preservation conditions and approvals), but the issue remains unclear of how the expertise by different disciplines, participating in the service, is integrated in these tasks; in addition, the disciplines are not treated equally. Experts from different fields are employed, since the work to be done on the monuments of cultural heritage is interdisciplinary as a rule. Such a division of expert work unavoidably leads to the impossibility of successful research work in individual disciplines. Namely, priority is given to investigations of underground immovable heritage, while completely neglected is the research into above-the-ground built constructions and other units of cultural heritage. The new law, introducing division of work in public service’s regional offices, gave rise to poorer protection of local monuments, regarding the implementation of expert work, such as documenting, investigating, and preparing the necessary expert reports (conservation plans). Because local communities do not employ experts, they cannot carry out this expert work efficiently in their areas. As a rule, interventions into local monuments and heritage are planned by municipal officials who have no adequate professional qualifications. Local communities do earmark funds in their budgets for the protection of immovable cultural heritage, but, regrettably, the money is not used in accordance with the interventions planned so as to guarantee adequate protection of monuments and heritage. Following the possibilities of the law, a local community could establish a service on a local level, assigning it certain tasks which are basic for the protection and preservation of cultural heritage; the practice is widespread in the EU. Unfortunately, this is an acute problem which has become more clearly expressed in recent years, when a general crisis has arisen, and funds for the protection and maintenance of immovable cultural heritage have been lesser and lesser. Exceptionally, the municipalities publish tenders for co-funding the maintenance of cultural heritage, so that the owners get financial help. The state, however, does not offer financial help to owners, which is certainly a unique case in the EU. Elsewhere, the owners are encouraged to invest their own means, since this means a tax relief for them. Protection of cultural heritage is an important economic branch in the EU countries. It entails appropriate training programs for vocations at all levels, from traditional craftsmen’s skills to highly educated experts. Protection of cultural heritage is a value which helps to save the identity of a nation for future generations.

Item Type: Book Section
Kovač, Mojca Marjana
Stokin, Marko
Ifko, Sonja
Languages: English
Keywords: National legislation; Legal protection; Local communities; Community participation; Heritage at risk; Expertise; Funding; Economic crisis; Immovable cultural heritage; Co-funding; Public-private funding; Slovenia
Subjects: E.CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION > 09. Social and economic aspects of conservation
E.CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION > 11. Legal protection and Administration
K.LEGAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE ISSUES > 03. National/Regional legislations
Name of monument, town, site, museum: Cultural Heritage protection Act, Slovenia
National Committee: Slovenia
ICOMOS Special Collection: Monographic Publication of Icomos Slovenia
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 1
Number: 1
Number of Pages: 77
ISBN: 978-961-281-627-8
Depositing User: ICOMOS DocCentre
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2019 13:51
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2023 09:21

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