The Meetings for the “Definitions and Concepts of Heritage Interpretation and Presentation Working Group”

26 Jun 2023

- International heritage Specialists gather to discuss new paradigms and approaches

The Meetings for the “Definitions and Concepts of Heritage Interpretation and Presentation Working Group”

The Research Office is working on the definitions and concepts of Heritage Interpretation and Presentation for its new approaches and paradigms since 2022, which is a long-term research project that aims to develop practical guidelines. As part of this research, the Research Office coordinates Definitions and Concepts of Heritage Interpretation and Presentation Working Group and operates discussion meetings. The working group consists of over ten heritage specialists who have been researching heritage interpretation, presentation, and World Heritage in diverse regions worldwide. They participated in the group last year and continue to be actively involved this year as well.

Until last year, the working group recognised that the existing definition of heritage interpretation was quite limitedly understood by heritage communities. They discussed that the boundary of actions and understanding of 'heritage interpretation' needs to be changed in line with the different concepts and approaches to heritage presented in the fields of World Heritage and heritage studies. In response, they acknowledged 'heritage interpretation' as a process of meaning-making that involves communication, participation, and experience. They emphasised the importance of establishing a relationship between people and heritage through interpretation, with the primary goal of enhancing understanding and fostering a deeper connection to heritage.

This year, as the second year of the research,  we are working on developing a new draft definition for "heritage presentation" alongside a new draft definition for "heritage interpretation" from last year. We are reviewing the approach that has traditionally perceived heritage interpretation as a form of communication and also we are discussing how heritage presentation can be effectively conducted, what the ultimate goals should be, and what elements are necessary for an ideal process of heritage presentation.

These discussions are expected to lay the groundwork for the future establishment of principles for heritage interpretation and presentation, leading to change and development within the practices by developing guidelines for the practical use of heritage interpretation and presentation on site. 

International Centre for the Interpretation and Presentation of World Heritage Sites

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