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2006 | 18 | 129-147

Article title

Poland's policy on cultural heritage


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The starting point of the authoress' considerations is the thesis that cultural heritage performs a particular role in national identification, particularly in this day and age. It seems from her observations that most of society associates cultural heritage with huge buildings, museum-pieces, and monuments, with tangible objects, whereas in fact it consists of everything that surrounds us, from artefacts to religion, language, literature or music. Memory and its cultivation should also be regarded as a part of cultural heritage, because they provide a basis of every activity and without memory, political, historical or sociological manipulations deprive a nation of identity. The sooner we realise what cultural inheritance is, what the identity is, replying to such questions as: 'Who am I', and 'How do I differ from everybody else?', the sooner we will present ourselves to the world as a nation deeply rooted in history and culture. Differences among theorists who tackle the subject of cultural inheritance in the age of globalisation are outlined. Some regard it as being focused on 'the protection of folklore, own tradition, language or dialect'. There are also those for whom it carries the hope for both modernisation and the overtaking the most developed countries by implementing Western culture templates as symbols of advance or emancipation. One thing is certain, however, this process has not erased the symbols of cultural heritage but rather has consolidated it. States, regions, and cities are able to cultivate to perfection cultural heritage and tradition without rejecting modernism and innovation while they remain open to the world. So, instead of becoming indignant at globalisation, we should draw on, and assimilate those experiences, which could most effectively influence the way our heritage is protected. This process, however, should not be regarded as a threat, but rather as a means of understanding, what the heritage, culture and tradition really mean to the nation.


  • A. Chodorowska, ul. 3-go Maja 12/6, 55-200 Olawa, Poland


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