“cultural Heritage And Preservation: Benefits Of Lawyers In Art And Antiquities” – Digitization efforts for cultural heritage are standard practice for institutions of all sizes, from simple metadata records to elaborate 3D renderings of ancient sites. Although the discussion on digital preservation of cultural heritage is significant, the intersection of intangible cultural heritage and digitization methods needs special recognition. This includes understanding intangible cultural heritage and its value to society. This article examines the emerging and evolving landscape of intangible cultural heritage, its global impact, and current efforts to preserve these intangible items.

Cultural heritage has a long line of recognition through laws and policies at national and international scales. UNESCO’s 1972 World Heritage Convention classifies cultural heritage as monuments, sites, and groups of buildings of universal value determined through historical, artistic, scientific, aesthetic, anthropological, or anthropological lenses. As the term developed, it grew into a collection of objects and developed through the distinction between tangible and intangible cultural heritage. The 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage defined this distinction, as opposed to the traditionally recognized tangible cultural heritage, ICH as “practices, representations, expressions, knowledge and skills transmitted from generation to generation”.

“cultural Heritage And Preservation: Benefits Of Lawyers In Art And Antiquities”

As such, this “living heritage” values ​​the immaterial creative process behind a cultural expression, not just the manifestation itself. It also promotes the continued development of ICH practices by recognizing the importance of the home community in identifying, practicing and transforming the subject through community use.

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Proposals for extension of intangible heritage elements are ongoing. Currently, ICH-led initiatives often adopt UNESCO’s five generalized categories for individual use. These domains are:

Although these are often adopted by organizations, they are often adapted or extrapolated within specific categories. For example, Abu Dhabi uses six declared domains and Thailand uses seven.

In addition to classification, there is a growing basic understanding of what intangibles can be considered ICH. For example, some scholars advocate the inclusion of acoustic measurements of cultural heritage sites. These measurements serve as a record to aid in the reconstruction of a building or recreation of how audio sounds within a space. It also offers an overlooked component of spatial ICH, recognizing the specificity of an enclosed space and its influence on how sound is produced and experienced. Following a fire that destroyed the roof of Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral, authorities took measurements of the space’s unique and iconic acoustics to determine the best methods for reconstruction. Workers were able to make data-informed choices by analyzing building material selections within virtual models of the space and its pre-fire acoustic measurements.

Although intrinsically valuable, protecting ICH represents a movement to address important societal issues. Partly due to globalization and partly to modernity, cultures merge and diverge. As the world becomes more homogenized, ICH elements are likely to be lost or forgotten. Similarly, the history of colonization around the world elevated the culture of the empowered nation and sought to eradicate the tangible and intangible culturally unique features of the dominant culture. This effectively reduced the ability of the dominant culture to transmit ICH between generations and resulted in the loss of ICH. But protecting ICH can lead to benefits that directly counter these problems. According to UNESCO, these include maintaining cultural diversity, supporting cultural dialogue, promoting mutual respect, and promoting social and economic development. The communal nature of conservation in which this occurs, rebalancing power dynamics to promote respect and empower minority communities.

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Unfortunately, ICH continues to face imminent risks of loss. Language and traditional crafts are two examples. Of the 7,139 known languages, 3,018 are threatened with extinction, and research shows that one language is dying every 40 days — an increasing trajectory of loss of 16 languages ​​per year by 2080 and 26 languages ​​by the middle of the coming century.

In the United Kingdom, a 2021 assessment of 244 traditional crafts identified four endangered crafts, 56 endangered and 74 threatened.

As of July 2020, 180 countries have ratified the UNESCO ICH Convention. However, many countries besides UNESCO are involved in ICH conservation and protection activities. As of the publication date of this article, the United States has not ratified the Convention, but the federal government is involved in several ICH projects. Also, this work is done by non-governmental organizations. The number of actors working in ICH can result in large unknowns regarding alignment with international standards. While distribution among various actors preserves data, it also makes it difficult to collect, discover, and share information and assets.

Given the scale of ICH efforts globally, identifying a common process is helpful in understanding how these efforts are conducted. For the vast majority of nations that are party to UNESCO’s convention, its proposed safeguards guide how hundreds of projects are conducted internationally. The main task is to identify and inventory the incidence of ICH in collaboration with communities and their constituents. From there, the UNESCO Convention proposes seven different measures for conservation. For countries that have signed the Convention, the necessary steps include inventory work with full community support, policy creation, institutions specializing in ICH care, emphasis on research, implementation of additional safety practices as needed, and regular submission of reports on the status of national ICH components. . Nominations for internationally recognized elements are subject to a nomination and consideration process and are voted upon annually. As of publication, UNESCO has approved 584 ICH components from 131 countries

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The effect of inscribing ICH elements on these lists is to increase the international audience’s appreciation of the diversity, importance and need to protect these events.

…the term ‘safeguarding’ recognizes the dynamic nature of ICH and emphasizes transmission of the subject matter to ensure future expressions.

The continued growth of ICH, both in recognized iterations and public attention, includes the vocabulary used and the expansion of what the field can encompass. Vocabulary addressing this area still flows with the contradictory use of ‘safeguarding’ and ‘preservation’. UNESCO argues that the term ‘safeguarding’ recognizes the dynamic nature of ICH and emphasizes the transmission of the subject to ensure future expressions. In contrast, the EU uses ‘conservation’ to recognize the transitory nature of ICH and the process of copying repetitions of old or existing expressions.

Given the variation and development in the vocabulary of ICH’s recognized elements, the field needs to incorporate digitization standards and create digital heritage. In the Charter on the Preservation of Digital Heritage, UNESCO observes digitization practices of preservation and conservation values, while combating decay, ensuring the integrity and continuity of digital content, and maintaining complex infrastructure. Terminology can determine the digitization methods chosen, affecting collection and curation practices. For example, if an instance of ICH is the focus of conservation, this will dictate that digitization efforts focus on collecting and transmitting ICH to other community members for iterative learning practices. Conversely, ICH subject to preservation wants digitization tools suitable for capturing and distributing subject matter for the benefit of appreciation, education, or entertainment of other communities. Tools and platforms for obtaining and disseminating ICH information may vary as the purposes and audiences of the collected materials differ.

Issues In Preservation Of Digital Cultural Heritage

Navigating ICH represents an evolving interdisciplinary and cross-convention field of inquiry. But understanding its context is essential to understanding the decisions organizations make to protect and preserve. Identifying the aspects surrounding ICH influences the activities carried out by organizations and the tools chosen to digitize the works.

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Carpenter, Daniel. 2021. “Handicraft Skills with 27 Additions to HCA Red List of Endangered Handicrafts” Heritage Crafts. July 23, 2021. https://heritagecrafts.org.uk/craft-skills-under-threat-with-27-additions-to-the-hca-red-list-of-endangered-crafts/.

“Charter for Safeguarding Digital Heritage – UNESCO Digital Library.” 2009. UNESDOC Digital Library. 2009. https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000179529.page=2.

World Heritage Centre

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Mahfoud, Hajar, and Shadia Alhashmi. 2020. “Protecting Intangible Cultural Heritage through UNESCO Partnership.” 2nd International Sustainability and Resilience Conference 2020: Technology and Innovation in Building Designs (51154), 1–5. https://doi.org/10.1109/IEEECONF51154.2020.9319941.

“Preserving the Invisible: New Technology for the Visual Arts | Anyage Project | RESULTS IN BRIEF | H2020 | Cordis | European Commission.” 2020. CORDIS | European Commission. 24 Aug. 2020. https://cordis.europa.eu/article/id/421862-preserving-the-intangible-new-technology-for-the-visual-arts.

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European Cultural Heritage Green Paper

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“യുനെസ്കോ – അദൃശ്യമായ സാംസ്കാരിക പൈതൃകം സംരക്ഷിക്കുന്നതിനുള്ള കൺവെൻഷന്റെ പാഠം.” എൻ.ഡി. യുനെസ്കോ അദൃശ്യമായ സാംസ്കാരിക പൈതൃകം. 2021 നവംബർ 30-ന് ആക്സസ് ചെയ്തത്. https://ich.unesco.org/en/convention.

“യുനെസ്‌കോ – അദൃശ്യമായ സാംസ്‌കാരിക പൈതൃക സംരക്ഷണത്തിനുള്ള കൺവെൻഷന്റെ കക്ഷികൾ (2003).” 2020. യുനെസ്കോ അദൃശ്യമായ സാംസ്കാരിക പൈതൃകം. ജൂലൈ 27, 2020. https://ich.unesco.org/en/states-parties-00024. 2019-ൽ, മൈക്രോസോഫ്റ്റ് അതിന്റെ AI for Cultural Heritage പ്രോഗ്രാം പ്രഖ്യാപിച്ചു, ഇത് സംരക്ഷിക്കാനും നിധി സംരക്ഷിക്കാനും ലക്ഷ്യമിടുന്നു.

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