Cultural heritage is the tangible and intangible heritage assets that have been passed on by generations to the current generation. Cultural heritage is the product of selection and inheritance by society. The heritage of previous generations has different characteristics from the cultural heritage of contemporary generations.
In recent years, the complexity of cultural assets has been increasingly highlighted. This has led to an increased emphasis on the need for multidisciplinary approaches to study, conserve and manage these complex heritage resources.
A multidisciplinary approach to the recovery of modern heritage requires a wide range of skills and interdisciplinary knowledge. It focuses on the recovery of artifacts, structures, landscapes and the materials, processes and technologies that they are made of.
A multidisciplinary approach is also essential when it comes to the identification of the intrinsic value of a building or landscape. Archaeometry is a good example of this. An archaeometry study uses a combination of different analytical techniques, such as stereomicroscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, to identify and understand the nature of a site.
Another multidisciplinary approach involves the use of digital technology. This type of research involves the design, creation and dissemination of electronic documents, images, videos, software and web pages. These can be created from physical objects or from digital scanning.
Objections to reparation-based repatriation
Restitution-based repatriation of cultural heritage has become a global issue, but the debate often engages a host of personal and national identity sentiments. Objects that are stolen or illicitly removed are often returned, but the question of whether this is a fair and equitable process is not a straightforward one.
A large number of repatriation claims have been made over the years. This number is estimated to be in the millions. However, the vast majority of objects that are stolen are likely to remain lost forever.
Repatriation of cultural heritage can be seen as a form of reparation for both the victims and the communities of the former colonies. Yet, repatriation of objects is difficult to achieve. It is also costly and time-consuming. There are many obstacles to achieving a successful repatriation, including the absence of personnel in the source country to receive repatriated materials.
In recent years, several former colonial powers have begun to take steps toward large-scale repatriation. For example, the National Museum of World Cultures of the Netherlands has pledged to return all of its looted colonial artifacts.
Objections to moral cultural property claims
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