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Can less be more? Heritage in the age of terrorism.

Holtorf, Cornelius LU (2006) In Public Archaeology 5(2). p.101-109
Abstract
Western civilization has no particular good track record of saving cultural heritage from destruction, but in recent centuries it has surrounded itself with a rather firm ideology of conservation and preservation. This paper is meant as a caution against a fundamentalist ideology of heritage-preservationism. I am discussing some inherent contradictions of how heritage is treated in the modern world, some mutually exclusive ways of consuming heritage involving both destruction and preservation, and some double standards regarding the appreciation of drastic destruction in the past and the condemnation of vandalism and iconoclasm in the present. I argue that the current appeal of preservation is more a product of history than the appeal of... (More)
Western civilization has no particular good track record of saving cultural heritage from destruction, but in recent centuries it has surrounded itself with a rather firm ideology of conservation and preservation. This paper is meant as a caution against a fundamentalist ideology of heritage-preservationism. I am discussing some inherent contradictions of how heritage is treated in the modern world, some mutually exclusive ways of consuming heritage involving both destruction and preservation, and some double standards regarding the appreciation of drastic destruction in the past and the condemnation of vandalism and iconoclasm in the present. I argue that the current appeal of preservation is more a product of history than the appeal of history could be said to be a product of preservation. Destruction and loss are not the opposite of heritage but part of its very substance. Not the acts of vandals and iconoclasts are challenging sustainable notions of heritage but the inability of both academic and political observers to understand and theorize what heritage does, and what is done to it, within the different lived realities that together make up our one world. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
terrorism, perservation, conservation, Cultural heritage, destruction
in
Public Archaeology
volume
5
issue
2
pages
101 - 109
publisher
James & James
ISSN
1465-5187
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e0072c92-e2e6-428b-bda0-44b4bbf78d3d (old id 607334)
date added to LUP
2016-04-01 15:57:26
date last changed
2018-11-21 20:37:39
@article{e0072c92-e2e6-428b-bda0-44b4bbf78d3d,
  abstract     = {Western civilization has no particular good track record of saving cultural heritage from destruction, but in recent centuries it has surrounded itself with a rather firm ideology of conservation and preservation. This paper is meant as a caution against a fundamentalist ideology of heritage-preservationism. I am discussing some inherent contradictions of how heritage is treated in the modern world, some mutually exclusive ways of consuming heritage involving both destruction and preservation, and some double standards regarding the appreciation of drastic destruction in the past and the condemnation of vandalism and iconoclasm in the present. I argue that the current appeal of preservation is more a product of history than the appeal of history could be said to be a product of preservation. Destruction and loss are not the opposite of heritage but part of its very substance. Not the acts of vandals and iconoclasts are challenging sustainable notions of heritage but the inability of both academic and political observers to understand and theorize what heritage does, and what is done to it, within the different lived realities that together make up our one world.},
  author       = {Holtorf, Cornelius},
  issn         = {1465-5187},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {101--109},
  publisher    = {James & James},
  series       = {Public Archaeology},
  title        = {Can less be more? Heritage in the age of terrorism.},
  volume       = {5},
  year         = {2006},
}