16 Pages

Empowerment and human rights

Comparing two cultural heritage cases in Xi’an, China
ByHarald Høyem

This chapter discusses whether human rights are respected during the designation, protection and development of cultural heritage initiatives in such historic dwelling areas. The involvement of local stakeholders, split into "right-holders" and "duty-bearers", is used as an analytical tool to compare and contrast the degree of empowerment of residents in two different heritage processes in Xi'an, China. The chapter deals with two cases, both in Xi'an. One is the development and conservation process of the Drum Tower Muslim District, where people of the Muslim Hui nationality are dominant. The other is the development of the Han Chang'an city as the terminus of the silk road, in the nomination process to be enrolled on united nations education scientific and cultural organization' world heritage list. The Drum Tower Muslim District was one of two areas within the city walls of Xi'an to be designated a "protection area" in the master plans of 1980–2000 and 1995–2010.