Since 2005, Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) is the standard by which United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) evaluates world cultural heritage site suitability. The sites worthy of UNESCO preservation as well as the parameters used to demonstrate OUV are diverse. Our study focused on the uniquely distinguished rural landscape sites and the OUV parameter of integrity. Integrity however, is an elusive concept for which UNESCO provides no definitional protocol, and for which the scientific community objects to a static or pure historical interpretation. Given this, our work aims to analyse the concept of integrity and how it can be used to preserve the heritage of rural landscapes. After reviewing the UNESCO approach, we focused on the international scientific debate on the meaning and application of integrity. We designed and conducted a comparative study of UNESCO rural landscapes selected from the 2011 World Heritage List. Documents describing the historical, rural, and agro-ecological features of each of the fourteen rural sites were analysed. From this, several historical and ecological parameters were chosen as “values to have” and several socio-economic and management parameters were chosen as “values to maintain” to assess the integrity of each landscape. Our results found integrity to be a value of both cultural and natural landscapes and that it is key to site identity. We demonstrated that UNESCO assigns a high value to the following parameters: historical features, traditional crops and local products, land-use and agricultural practice permanence, and the presence of architecture related to agricultural activity. Finally, we found the relationship between culture and nature to characterize best the integrity of a rural landscape, rather than nature or culture alone.

Integrity in UNESCO World Heritage Sites. A comparative study for rural landscapes

GULLINO, PAOLA;LARCHER, Federica
2013

Abstract

Since 2005, Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) is the standard by which United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) evaluates world cultural heritage site suitability. The sites worthy of UNESCO preservation as well as the parameters used to demonstrate OUV are diverse. Our study focused on the uniquely distinguished rural landscape sites and the OUV parameter of integrity. Integrity however, is an elusive concept for which UNESCO provides no definitional protocol, and for which the scientific community objects to a static or pure historical interpretation. Given this, our work aims to analyse the concept of integrity and how it can be used to preserve the heritage of rural landscapes. After reviewing the UNESCO approach, we focused on the international scientific debate on the meaning and application of integrity. We designed and conducted a comparative study of UNESCO rural landscapes selected from the 2011 World Heritage List. Documents describing the historical, rural, and agro-ecological features of each of the fourteen rural sites were analysed. From this, several historical and ecological parameters were chosen as “values to have” and several socio-economic and management parameters were chosen as “values to maintain” to assess the integrity of each landscape. Our results found integrity to be a value of both cultural and natural landscapes and that it is key to site identity. We demonstrated that UNESCO assigns a high value to the following parameters: historical features, traditional crops and local products, land-use and agricultural practice permanence, and the presence of architecture related to agricultural activity. Finally, we found the relationship between culture and nature to characterize best the integrity of a rural landscape, rather than nature or culture alone.
JOURNAL OF CULTURAL HERITAGE
14
389
395
http://www.elsevier.com/journals/journal-of-cultural-heritage/1296-2074
Cultural heritage,; Parameters; agriculture; management
Gullino P.; Larcher F.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/135736
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