Heritage after FARO

Closing time at the Egyptian Queen, Valletta (Malta).

Conservation/Heritage Management; Medieval and Historical Archaeology

The FARO Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (2005) is changing the way practitioners and others think about heritage. Signatories to the FARO Convention recognise the need to put people and human values at the centre of an enlarged and cross-disciplinary concept of cultural heritage; they recognise that every person has a right to engage with the cultural heritage of their choice; and are convinced of the need to involve everyone in society in the ongoing process of defining and managing cultural heritage. Although not all member States of the Council of Europe have or will sign this Convention, it is nevertheless changing the way we all think about heritage, recognising that heritage should be inclusive not exclusive, and that the everyday and the ordinary has merit alongside the special and the iconic. Two particular projects are exploring these principles and their implications for two communities who consider themselves marginal to society: the people of Due-Balli, in Valletta (Malta), and in particular those that inhabit the once notorious Strait Street (or 'The Gut'); and the homeless community in Bristol.

The text of the Faro Convention can be downloaded at http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/EN/Treaties/Html/199.htm.

Additional material can be found at:

http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/cultureheritage/heritage/identities/beyond_en.asp (a book, 'Heritage and Beyond' and at http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/cultureheritage/heritage/identities/colloque-beyond_en.asp (the proceedings of a colloquy in 2009).