Session: #164

Theme & Session Format

3. The new normality of heritage management and museums in post-Covid times
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Constructive Conservation: Making Monuments Useful
Following a successful first session at the 2020 Virtual Meeting we continue the debate surrounding the challenging task caring for heritage assets whether as archaeological sites, ancient landscapes, or historic buildings. It is a debate that is even more pressing in a post COVID-19 world where adjustments to a new normality will take many forms. Public authorities do not have the capacity or resources to deal with more than a very small fraction of what we now know exists, and increasingly look for public value in what they support. Private bodies and individuals are under pressure to realize financial value from the places they own during the course of development and redevelopment. Conservation as the sustainable and ethically sound management and maintenance of heritage assets needs new and innovative approaches to match these challenges. One such approach is ‘constructive conservation’ which encourages positive, well-informed, collaborative engagements with heritage assets; a flexible process that helps people understand their historic environment and then use that perspective to manage change. Especially important is recognizing, protecting, drawing out, and enhancing the significance of historic places. Creativity is important too, especially in finding new uses for old places in order to give them a secure future. And including elements of the intangible cultural heritage including tradition skills and beliefs can be relevant too.
This session aims to provide a forum in which to illustrate and discuss constructive conservation as an innovative paradigm in contemporary heritage management. Papers are invited on the emergence and development of the idea of constructive conservation; case studies of successful (or unsuccessful examples); and considerations of the ethical and legal implications of constructive conservation in various jurisdictions. It is hoped that the session will range widely, including contributions on buildings, monuments, and landscapes, or combinations of all three. .
Conservation, Constructive conservation, Heritage management, Archaeological resource management
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Main organiser:
Timothy Darvill (United Kingdom) 1
Robert Sutton (United Kingdom) 2
Sophie Hüglin (Switzerland) 3
1. Bournemouth University
2. Cotswold Archaeology
3. University of Basel