Politics of tangibility, intangibility, and place in the making of a European cultural heritage in EU heritage policy
Lähdesmäki, T. (2016). Politics of tangibility, intangibility, and place in the making of a European cultural heritage in EU heritage policy. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 22(10), 766-780. https://doi.org/10.1080/13527258.2016.1212386
Published inInternational Journal of Heritage Studies
© 2016 Tuuli Lähdesmäki. Published with license by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
The EU has recently launched several initiatives that aim to foster the idea of a common European cultural heritage. The notion of a European cultural heritage in EU policy discourse is extremely abstract, referring to various ideas and values detached from physical locations or places. Nevertheless the EU initiatives put the abstract policy discourse into practice and concretize its notions about a European cultural heritage. A common strategy in this practice is ‘placing heritage’ – affixing the idea of a European cultural heritage to certain places in order to turn them into specific European heritage sites. The materialisation of a European cultural heritage and the production of physical European heritage sites are crucial elements in the policy through which the EU seeks to govern both the actors and the meanings of heritage. On the basis of a qualitative content analysis of diverse policy documents and informational and promotional material, this article presents five strategies of ‘placing heritage’ used in the EU initiatives. In addition, the article presents a theoretical model of circulation of the tangible and intangible dimensions of heritage in the EU heritage policy discourse and discusses the EU’s political intents included in the practices of ‘placing heritage’. ...
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