Law and Heritage
Edited by Charlotte Waelde, Catherine Cummings, Mathilde Pavis and Helena Enright
Chapter 10: ICH and authority: the Welsh language and statutory change
This chapter explores the symbiotic relationship between authority and intangible cultural heritage (ICH) through the lens of Welsh ICH and legal authority. The impact of ICH on law in economically developed countries is difficult to assign numeric value and, due in part to this amorphous nature, is an under-acknowledged influence on the statutory legal framework. Welsh language and cultural practices like the Eisteddfod have been subject to legal regulation over several hundred years within the UK, and the reclamation of Welsh ICH by practicing communities in contemporary times has resulted in statutory changes, such as the equal treatment of the Welsh language in public bodies in 1993. This chapter highlights the importance of ICH safeguarding, regardless of economic development; the complications of laws regulating language and cultural practice under a partially autonomous legal structure; and the under-recognised, reciprocal influences of law and ICH.
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