In this, its 50th anniversary year, ICOMOS-UK (the UK National Committee of ICOMOS: International Council on Monuments and Sites) has called for a new approach to the way we all sustain, promote and benefit from cultural heritage in its Cultural Heritage Manifesto.
The ICOMOS-UK Cultural Heritage Manifesto considers cultural heritage to be a major part of resilience in society that should be embedded in all aspects of sustainable development. It is calling on government, universities, and the built environment professions to support and campaign for strategies, plans and development initiatives to be ‘cultural heritage proofed’. It also proposes that cultural heritage should be at the centre of decision-making about our society, communities and the environment.
The Manifesto was launched at the major international conference ‘Mainstreaming Cultural Heritage: Global Approaches’, held at the London offices of the engineering and design consultancy Arup, on 22 October.
The Keynote Speaker, His Highness the Aga Khan, explained the importance of an integrated, multi-sector approach to cultural heritage and development as reflected in the work of the Aga Khan Development Network, an approach which is a key theme of the ICOMOS-UK Manifesto.
Other leading heritage speakers included Dame Fiona Reynolds, Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and Erminia Sciacchitano, Policy Officer, Culture, Heritage, Economy of Culture at the European Union. The conference was opened by HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO, Patron of ICOMOS-UK.
Susan Denyer, Secretary, ICOMOS-UK, commented:
“Cultural heritage is part of who we are, both individually and collectively, and has a profound impact on lives; but to deliver its full potential in guiding sustainable development, cultural heritage must be a cross-cutting theme, embedded in all the plans and policies that guide that development”.
UKNC Culture Director, Helen Maclagan participated in the launch and said:
“It was good to hear so many perspectives on heritage globally”.
During the conference, delegates debated actions to implement the Manifesto’s aims over the next five years.