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Intangible Heritage and Museums: New and Old Challenges?

In August 2017, CIDOC – ICOM's International Committee for Documentation – published a recent article by UNESCO Chair team member Ana Carvalho on its blog:

Intangible Heritage and Museums: New and Old Challenges?

Intangible heritage has become a buzzword nowadays, in part due to the visibility of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage (2003), which called our attention to the need of giving awareness to a living heritage, in constant modification, that is part of the identity of groups and communities and is transmitted from generation to generation. While many actors are called to take a stand on this matter, museums are among the heritage community organisations that can or could contribute to the safeguarding of intangible heritage because museums are places of tangible and intangible heritage that safeguard our identity, our collective memory, our past and our present, and museums are about how we envision our future. Furthermore, museums are spaces of knowledge, where we can celebrate our cultural diversity: they are spaces of encounter and dialogue. Museums also have an educational function and a social role. Therefore, intangible heritage is embedded in the whole definition of museums; it is at the heart and essence of what museums are or should be.

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Published on 23 August 2017