2012 | 3-4 | 3-4
Article title

Szanowni Państwo!

Title variants
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Languages of publication
Heritage preservation is a process. A process of identifying, researching, documenting, maintening, monitoring, documenting, etc. The process is a timely ordered sequence of changes or conditions occurring one after another. Each process is a function carrier, and functions make up the system. The heritage preservation is not a process that occurs in isolation. Instead, it plays a function important from the perspective of the human environment understood as a system in cultural, environmental, social and economic terms. Caring for the correctness of the protection of monuments, one cannot forget the context, causes and consequences of this process. This edition of “Ochrona Zabytków” (“Protection of Monuments”) reflects upon this. Traditionally, you can find precisely described examples of research and conservation works regarding a number of historic monuments. However, the theme of this edition is the heritage value from the economic perspective. It’s not about a commercial approach to monuments, but about perception and description of the importance of monuments for the modern socio-economic processes. An intelligent usage of heritage resources by man does not have to mean compromising their values. On the other hand, assigning social and economic context to the heritage values significantly increases chances for its preservation. An important voice in the debate on the economic potential of the cultural heritage was the 4th European Heritage Forum which took place in Wrocław in 2011 under the slogan “Value your heritage! The European heritage and economic development”. The conference, which was co-organized by the Council of Europe, the European Commission and the National Heritage Board of Poland, brought together more than 250 experts from dozens of countries around the world. It was one of the official events of the Polish Presidency over the Council of the European Union. It also became a turning point in the European debate on the importance of the heritage to the European economy, especially in times of crisis. At the end of its work, the 4th European Heritage Forum adopted a final declaration which reads as follows: The participants in the 4th European Heritage Forum, held in the city of Wrocław, Poland, on 10-12 October 2011: • recognising the value of heritage to society in this beautiful, historic and multicultural city and in all cities and territories throughout Europe; • noting a continued need in all sectors for a greater understanding of the potential which heritage can offer for quality of life and the needs for its integration in planning for an economically sustainable future; and • fully conscious of the current pressures upon resources, both public and private recommend, in the context of European Heritage Days activities, that: 1. all relevant actors should seek to balance the potential social, cultural and economic benefits when using heritage as a resource; 2. strategies should be developed for evaluating and demonstrating the positive economic and social benefits to local communities of conservation and access to the heritage; 3. a community-focussed approach has the potential to mobilise resources for sustainable heritage development, conservation and access; 4. the EHD programme should focus resources on increasing the European dimension, encouraging exchange, collaboration and cross-border event development, with the object of promoting a vision of a common European heritage. And, finally, recommend that future European Heritage Days be taken forward in the positive spirit and on the basis of our discussions here in Wrocław in a truly collaborative manner, emphasising diversity as a source of strength and not of division and highlighting our shared European heritage as well as our rich local, regional and national heritages. Declaration of Wrocław has become a corner stone laying the foundations for projects at local and European level, the common denominator of which is the search for answers to questions about how we should sustainably use the potential of the historic monuments, as nobody will dispute that it’s well worth doing it. Also the National Heritage Board of Poland has since launched a number of activities in this field: social studies, development of a model of heritage impact on the economy, and many more. A lot of work is still ahead of us, but today I encourage you to read the texts which are a major breakthrough in the way the process of historic preservation is perceived in a broader context, in accordance with the requirements of the twenty-first century.
Physical description
  • Dyrektor Narodowego Instytutu Dziedzictwa
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Publication order reference
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