Law and Heritage
Edited by Charlotte Waelde, Catherine Cummings, Mathilde Pavis and Helena Enright
Chapter 12: ICH and safeguarding: museums and contemporary ICH (let the objects out of their cases and make them sing)
The twenty-first century museum, as a social and civic space, has shifted and diversified its practice from being a gatekeeper of tangible cultural heritage to new inclusive practices of participation and collaboration that place an emphasis on community involvement and developing relationships and networks with communities: the museum as a cultural centre and the museum as a creative workshop. This chapter addresses the relationship between the museum, contemporary intangible cultural heritage and the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. It demonstrates how contemporary ICH, whether part of the authorised heritage discourse or not, has been implemented in many ways in museums: through collections research, exhibitions, through communication, workshops, outreach and education and in doing so has helped the twenty-first century museum become a contact zone in the sharing, dissemination, transmission and implementation of contemporary ICH, one of the most important recommendations of the 2003 Convention
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