Values > Definition

"Many values may be associated with heritage resources. Those that are deemed significant will provide justification for its protection and conservation. Such values range from historical to commercial, and a single resource may possess conflicting values that make management decisions sometimes especially difficult. Value judgments may also change over time. Two groups of values can be taken into consideration:

a) cultural values;
b) contemporary economic (use) values.

The presence or absence of these values will affect the safeguarding and preservation of a heritage resource or, in other instances, its neglect and destruction."

Jokilehto, Dr. Jukka. Management and Presentation of Cultural Heritage Sites. [Download as a document file archived at CultureLink, APRCCN (Asia-Pacific Regional Centre of the Culturelink Network).]

"The amendments to the Burra Charter in 1999 overtly recognize that heritage value and significance may be embodied in the uses, meanings and associations of a place, in addition to the physical fabric of a place or structure. This represents a significant shift towards integrating the tangible and intangible heritage."

Education and Training Needs for the Conservation and Protection of Cultural Heritage: is it a case of 'one size fits all'?, Workshop 2 Key Note Presentation by May Cassar, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Heritage, University College London, Cultural Heritage Research: a pan-European Challenge, Cracow, 16-18 May 2002.

"Conservation of a place should identify and take into consideration all aspects of cultural and natural significance without unwarranted emphasis on any one value at the expense of others."

Article 5.1, Australia ICOMOS Burra Charter, 1999, Australia ICOMOS

"...managing historic structures involves making choices.

"The first choice is: 'Which buildings deserve to be looked after and at what level of care?' This may seem like a strange question for a conservation agency. Nonetheless, our experience shows that we do make these choices all the time. We have several designation mechanisms for assigning value to our cultural resources, so that we focus on those of greatest heritage significance and leave aside others."

"Determination of heritage value reflects the cultural values of societies in points of time and space, and may require re-adjustment when new information is available or society's values alter appreciably."

Cameron, Christina. "Managing Heritage Structures in the 1990s Current Issues Facing the CPS," CRM Volume 15, No. 6, p. 3. National Park Service.

"Values in our historic sites have steadily changed over time, reflecting the perceptions of different contemporary observers. In recent years this process has accelerated and values have become more complex. Today our professional staff require greater effort both to sort out historic value and to integrate it into the planning and delivery of conservation programs.

Three value trends are evident:

  1. an increase in the diversity of values at any one site;
  2. a focus on the contextual value of built heritage; and
  3. an emerging consciousness of the value of historic structures as they relate to commemoration history...."

"The enhanced values of our National Historic Sites then are stimulating new questions about the neglect and the care of historic structures. That care will relate directly to the clarification of the values at each site. The challenge will be to avoid the entrenchment of existing values inherent in the assessment of individual historic structures. Only by redefining the significance of the entire site, will levels of care respond adequately to changing conceptions of value."

Cullen, Mary. "The Impact of Enhanced Values in the Care of Historic Structures," CRM Volume 15, No. 6, p. 10, 13. National Park Service.

"Values and authenticity

9. Conservation of cultural heritage in all its forms and historical periods is rooted in the values attributed to the heritage. Our ability to understand these values depends, in part, on the degree to which information sources about these values may be understood as credible or truthful. Knowledge and understanding of these sources of information, in relation to original and subsequent characteristics of the cultural heritage, and their meaning, is a requisite basis for assessing all aspects of authenticity.

10. Authenticity, considered in this way and affirmed in the Charter of Venice, appears as the essential qualifying factor concerning values. The understanding of authenticity plays a fundamental role in all scientific studies of the cultural heritage, in conservation and restoration planning, as well as within the inscription procedures used for the World Heritage Convention and other cultural heritage inventories.

11. All judgments about values attributed to cultural properties as well as the credibility of related information sources may differ from culture to culture, and even within the same culture. It is thus not possible to base judgments of values and authenticity within fixed criteria. On the contrary, the respect due to all cultures requires that heritage properties must considered and judged within the cultural contexts to which they belong.

12. Therefore, it is of the highest importance and urgency that, within each culture, recognition be accorded to the specific nature of its heritage values and the credibility and truthfulness of related information sources.

13. Depending on the nature of the cultural heritage, its cultural context, and its evolution through time, authenticity judgments may be linked to the worth of a great variety of sources of information. Aspects of the sources may include form and design, materials and substance, use and function, traditions and techniques, location and setting, and spirit and feeling, and other internal and external factors. The use of these sources permits elaboration of the specific artistic, historic, social, and scientific dimensions of the cultural heritage being examined."

Nara Document on Authenticity, ICOMOS, Nara, Japan, 1994



  © 2002-2012 Heritage Stewardship     contact