Cultural Heritage

cultural heritage

Cultural heritage refers to a wide variety of tangible and intangible aspects of culture. It includes artefacts, monuments and sites with historic or artistic value; and beliefs, values, languages and traditions that help define a particular community and give it a sense of identity and continuity.

Cultural heritage also encompasses the activities and connections people have to these objects and natural environments. These connect them to a shared past and future.


When talking about cultural heritage, one immediately thinks of art (paintings, drawings, prints, mosaics and sculptures), buildings, monuments and archaeological sites. However, the concept is much broader, and includes intangible aspects of society such as music, traditional practices and social customs.

These intangible aspects are often shared by different communities, even when they belong to distinct cultures that differ far in time and place. This is evident, for example, in the influence of Japanese prints on Paul Gauguin’s paintings, or of African masks on Pablo Picasso’s work, or of neoclassical architecture on Liberian homes built by freed enslaved people in America.

Most cultural heritage organizations focus on promoting and supporting local culture in the form of festivals, fairs, parades and other public events; community arts centers and native language schools; and the use of expressive forms that encourage understanding of ethnic, cultural, racial, regional or religious groups or traditions. Unfortunately, they face many challenges. These include a lack of funds and expert assistance; conflicts between stakeholders and inappropriate conservational methods.


Cultural heritage is a complex concept with many functions. It is a vehicle for identity formation, community building, and the transmission of values and skills. It is also a tool for achieving social cohesion and tolerance between groups with different traditions.

People value their heritage, and from this comes a desire to care for it. It is therefore important to preserve cultural heritage objects and natural environments, and to educate people about them. Cultural heritage is a living thing that can continue to evolve as new cultures emerge and replace old ones.

In addition to cultural heritage preservation and education, organizations use cultural heritage as a way to promote themselves by sponsoring activities that celebrate culture. For example, a number of organizations with human services and community improvement and capacity-building programs incorporate cultural heritage programming, especially those that serve African American, Hispanic and Native American ethnicities and cultures.


There are many methods of preserving cultural heritage. These include inventory, conservation and digitization. Digitization is a process of photographing or scanning a material and converting it into a digital file which can be easily shared on websites, social media platforms and Google search engines. This method of preservation reduces the costs and energy involved in bringing a visitor to a heritage site and also allows a wider audience to access it.

Another method of preserving culture is through cultural heritage management and promotion. It involves creating a system that values the cultural heritage of minorities and encouraging communities to care for their own culture. However, this can be difficult as many people do not view their own culture as worth preserving. In addition, cultural heritage may be seen as a hindrance to accessing modern society and economic wealth. This can lead to conflict between private and public rights to heritage. Furthermore, it can lead to conflicts between different sections of a community.


Cultural heritage preservation is a critical aspect of society. It contributes to tourism, education and community cohesion. It also provides a unique identity for a region and a nation. It is a major global industry, generating significant economic benefits for countries and regions. However, private investment in cultural heritage preservation lags far behind public expenditure.

Despite the benefits of cultural heritage preservation, there are a number of challenges that need to be overcome. These include a lack of proper funding, lack of support from government agencies and stakeholders, natural catastrophes, illegal trafficking and poor destination management. This study has contributed to the understanding of these challenges through a multi-method approach to data gathering: survey questionnaire, interviews and site observations. In addition, a statistical model has been developed that accounts for some of the predictors. The model explains 7.9% of the variation in the practice of cultural heritage conservation. This is a promising result for future studies.

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