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Cultural heritage is the legacy of physical science artifacts and intangible attributes of a group or society that are inherited from past generations, maintained in the present and bestowed for the benefit of future generations. Cultural heritage includes tangible culture (such as buildings, monuments, landscapes, books, works of art, and artifacts), intangible culture (such as folklore, traditions, language, and knowledge), and natural heritage (including culturally significant landscapes, and biodiversity).
The deliberate act of keeping cultural heritage from the present for the future is known as preservation (American English) or conservation (British English), though these terms may have more specific or technical meaning in the same contexts in the other dialect.
Objects are a part of the study of human history because they provide a concrete basis for ideas, and can validate them. Their preservation demonstrates a recognition of the necessity of the past and of the things that tell its story. In The Past is a Foreign Country, David Lowenthal observes that preserved objects also validate memories. While digital acquisition techniques can provide a technological solution that is able to acquire the shape and the appearance of artifacts with an unprecedented precision in human history, the actuality of the object, as opposed to a reproduction, draws people in and gives them a literal way of touching the past. This unfortunately poses a danger as places and things are damaged by the hands of tourists, the light required to display them, and other risks of making an object known and available. The reality of this risk reinforces the fact that all artifacts are in a constant state of chemical transformation, so that what is considered to be preserved is actually changing – it is never as it once was. Similarly changing is the value each generation may place on the past and on the artifacts that link it to the past.
Classical civilizations, and especially the Indian, have attributed supreme importance to the preservation of tradition. Its central idea was that social institutions, scientific knowledge and technological applications need to use a "heritage" as a "resource". Using contemporary language, we could say that ancient Indians considered, as social resources, both economic assets (like natural resources and their exploitation structure) and factors promoting social integration (like institutions for the preservation of knowledge and for the maintenance of civil order). Ethics considered that what had been inherited should not be consumed, but should be handed over, possibly enriched, to successive generations. This was a moral imperative for all, except in the final life stage of sannyasa.
- Burra Charter
Heritage Overlay in Victoria, Australia
- Heritage conservation in Canada
- National Monuments Council (Chile)
- State Administration of Cultural Heritage
- Supreme Council of Antiquities
- Ghana’s material cultural heritage
- Secretary of State for Culture, Arts and Sports
- Heritage conservation in Hong Kong
- Ministry of Culture (India)
- National Archives of India
- Archaeological Survey of India
- Anthropological Survey of India
- Culture of India
- National Museum Institute of the History of Art, Conservation and Museology
- List of World Heritage Sites in India
- Indian Heritage Cities Network, Mysore
- Heritage structures in Hyderabad
- Cultural Heritage, Handcrafts and Tourism Organization
- Cultural Properties of Japan
- Institute for Protection of Cultural Monuments
- The National Heritage Act
- National Heritage Council of Namibia
- National Monuments Council
- New Zealand Historic Places Trust
- Pakistan Pakistan Monument
- South African Heritage Resources Agency
- Provincial heritage resources authorities
- Amafa aKwaZulu-Natali
- Heritage Western Cape
- Northern Cape Heritage Resources Authority
- National Monuments Council
- Historical Monuments Commission
- Conservation in the United Kingdom
- English Heritage
- English Heritage Archive
- National Trust
- National Register of Historic Places
- National Monuments of Zimbabwe
- Michael Falser. Cultural Heritage as Civilizing Mission. From Decay to Recovery. Heidelberg, New York: Springer (2015), .
- Michael Falser, Monica Juneja (eds.). 'Archaeologizing' Heritage? Transcultural Entanglements between Local Social Practices and Global Virtual Realities. Heidelberg, New York: Springer (2013), .
- Barbara T. Hoffman, Art and cultural heritage: law, policy, and practice, Cambridge University Press, 2006
- Leila A. Amineddoleh, "Protecting Cultural Heritage by Strictly Scrutinizing Museum Acquisitions," Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal, Vol. 24, No. 3. Available at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2467100
- Paolo Davide Farah, Riccardo Tremolada, Desirability of Commodification of Intangible Cultural Heritage: The Unsatisfying Role of IPRs, in TRANSNATIONAL DISPUTE MANAGEMENT, Special Issues “The New Frontiers of Cultural Law: Intangible Heritage Disputes”, Volume 11, Issue 2, March 2014, ISSN 1875-4120 Available at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2472339
- Paolo Davide Farah, Riccardo Tremolada, Intellectual Property Rights, Human Rights and Intangible Cultural Heritage, Journal of Intellectual Property Law, Issue 2, Part I, June 2014, ISSN 0035-614X, Giuffre, pp. 21–47. Available at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2472388
- Dallen J. Timothy and Gyan P. Nyaupane, Cultural heritage and tourism in the developing world : a regional perspective, Taylor & Francis, 2009
- Peter Probst, "Osogbo and the Art of Heritage: Monuments, Deities, and Money", Indiana University Press, 2011
- Constantine Sandis (ed.), Cultural Heritage Ethics: Between Theory and Practice, Open Book Publishers, 2014
Zuckermann, Ghil'ad et al., ENGAGING - A Guide to Interacting Respectfully and Reciprocally with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, and their Arts Practices and Intellectual Property, Australian Government: Indigenous Culture Support, 2015
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