UNESCO World Heritage Explained: The Changing Meaning of Heritage with Dr. Diane Archibald

UNESCO World Heritage Explained: The Changing Meaning of Heritage with Dr. Diane Archibald


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UNESCO was founded on November 16, 1945, in response to the devastation and erasure of cultural heritage during World War II. Its founding mission is to advance peace, sustainable development, and human rights by facilitating collaboration and dialogue among nations through education, science, and culture. This seminar will explore the significance of UNESCO World Heritage sites in safeguarding the cultural and natural heritage of humanity with an emphasis on the diversity of World Heritage sites.

In 1972, UNESCO adopted the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage sites. There are now 1,121 UNESCO World Heritage sites spread over 167 countries representing the cultural, natural, and intangible heritage of outstanding universal value to humanity.

In this seminar, we will discuss the significance of a World Heritage site designation. What is ‘Outstanding Universal Value’? How is a site selected? Who selects a World Heritage site? Through virtual visits, we will examine selected sites that traditionally represent the three main World Heritage designations; cultural heritage, natural heritage, and mixed heritage. This will be followed by a discussion of designated sites that are representative of a major shift over the last fifteen years in the ‘meaning of heritage’ including sites representing cultural diversity, cultural landscape, heritage urban landscapes, and intangible cultural heritage.

Led by Dr. Diane Archibald Ph.D., an appointed International Heritage Expert with ICOMOS, Advisory Body to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. This interactive seminar is designed to provide the participant with a more in-depth knowledge and understanding of the significance and unique characteristics of UNESCO World Heritage sites that will inspire future travels to these remarkable sites representative of our collective humanity.

Photo credit: Arcangelo Piai

Diane Archibald spent over 10 years engaged in an ongoing research project with the Faculty of Architecture, Sapienza, Rome on the influence of antiquity on the Renaissance. She has an expert-based in-depth knowledge of the architectural and historical significance of Hadrian’s Villa. Currently, she is in the process of writing a substantial publication as a culmination of the research project.

This course is not suitable for children under age 16

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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