chapter  6
26 Pages

Intangible heritage and cultural landscapes

In previous chapters I have outlined the emergence of a late-modern understanding of heritage as a set of state-led practices concerned with the preservation of historic objects, places and practices (official heritage) as well as a broad set of public attitudes towards the past (unofficial heritage). This late-modern ‘phase’ of heritage was the third in what I identified as a series of historical phases. The first developed over the course of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in Western Europe, the UK and North America, and was dominated by private individuals and the demonstration of individual or familial philanthropy. It is associated with the emergence of the notion of the public sphere and a response to processes of industrialisation, in which objects from the past could be preserved for the future by being held in trust for public edification and benefit. In the second phase, throughout the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, heritage became increasingly controlled and defined by the state, and the practice of conservation and preservation became progressively more professionalised and driven by issues of compliance. This period also saw nation-states invest heavily in heritage as part of the project of nation-building.