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

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


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There are 1,121 UNESCO World Heritage designated sites representing the cultural, natural, tangible, and intangible heritage of outstanding universal value to humanity. Over the last fifteen years, there has been a major shift in the ‘meaning of heritage’ from the representation of heritage in its material form as monuments, buildings, and sites to a more integrated approach, which considers the cultural layers of a site as well as its intangible heritage qualities. 

Through virtual visits to selected UNESCO World Heritage sites, we will take a closer look in this seminar at these new developments including recently designated UNESCO sites representative of Cultural Diversity, Intangible Cultural Heritage, Historic Urban Landscapes, and Cultural Landscapes. Amongst the notable sites, we will visit virtually are the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka, Pimachiowin Aki of Canada, Le Colline del Prosecco in Northern Italy, the Historic Centre of Florence, and the Art of the Glass Bead, the most recent addition to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

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 will discuss the significance of a UNESCO World Heritage site designation and explore the meaning of ‘Outstanding Universal Value’ and seek to explain how sites are selected.

Photo credit: Arcangelo Piai

Diane Archibald holds a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies in Architecture. Her research, teaching, and publications intersect architecture, urban studies, landscape, and cultural heritage. Dr. Archibald is an appointed International Heritage Expert with ICOMOS, an advisory body to the UNESCO World Heritage Council. She has worked on numerous historic sites both in Italy and Canada. For over ten years she was engaged in an ongoing research project with the Faculty of Architecture, University of Rome, ‘Sapienza’ on the influence of antiquity on Renaissance architecture and urban planning and is currently writing a substantial publication as a culmination of this research project.

This course is not suitable for children under age 16

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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