Cultural Heritage is the collection of material and non-material attributes of human society. It includes practices and beliefs, musical styles, social customs, and artistic expressions. These are the things that give a sense of identity to a culture. The use of these aspects is passed on from one generation to the next. People learn from others of different cultures and they often use these aspects to develop their own ways of doing.
In many cases, cultural heritage is represented through artifacts, buildings, and monuments. These objects are considered irreplaceable. However, they are only a part of the overall story of a culture. Culture also includes the experiences, knowledge, and traditions of the people who have lived there. As such, there is a strong need for preservation. Several countries have taken measures to protect their cultural properties. Some have passed laws to protect their indigenous heritage, while others have made efforts to safeguard their cultural heritage through international co-operation.
Although it is a common idea, the definition of cultural heritage can be contentious. There are arguments as to whether it is a universal value, or a cultural group’s specific way of thinking. Despite this, some people argue that it is important to preserve both.
UNESCO has recognized the role of the people in intangible cultural heritage. Their convention stipulates that there should be an interdependence between intangible and tangible cultural heritage. This includes traditional craftsmanship, religious rituals, languages, social customs, arts, dances, and music. A variety of factors influence the preservation of intangible cultural heritage, including UNESCO’s role as a global leader in preserving and promoting the protection of this kind of cultural property.
Some have pointed to the importance of culture in forming a sense of belonging to a community, and have argued that a sense of home is necessary for a group to survive. However, it is unclear how much of a connection can be found between cultural heritage and identity.
Historically, the concept of cultural heritage has been limited to historical monuments and buildings. Today, it extends to all evidence of human expression. With the growing availability of information technologies, it is no longer possible to limit the scope of cultural heritage to tangible objects. Consequently, scholars have come to distinguish between official and unofficial heritage.
When a country is involved in a conflict, it is essential to monitor cultural heritage sites. In addition, if damage has been done to the cultural properties, a country needs to assess the situation. Attempts to deny the diversity of a culture, in order to maintain power relations or prevent a post-conflict reconciliation, can negatively affect the recovery of this heritage.
Various kinds of conflicts are fueled by the unlawful destruction of cultural property. Some are economic, while others are environmental. For example, the trade in illegally traded cultural items has become linked to money laundering and terrorism. Other threats include smuggling and conflict.
As the world continues to evolve, it is clear that there is a need for an updated understanding of cultural heritage. This need has led to new sources of funding, such as casinos in the United States, and new museums that actively promote Indigenous perspectives.