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Reconciling living religious heritage with value-based management: the case of Mount Athos, Greece

Alexopoulos, G.; (2010) Reconciling living religious heritage with value-based management: the case of Mount Athos, Greece. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

The concept of community participation in values-based Cultural Heritage Management (CHM) has taken on a currency that increasingly raises the expectation for reconciling the gap between the values of heritage professionals and the local communities and empowering the latter in decision-making processes. The World Heritage Site of Mount Athos in Greece offers an excellent opportunity for a case study-based research that critically reflects on the complex processes that create tensions among stakeholders and allows for a discussion of the application and improvement of existing CHM decision-making models – particularly for places of living heritage value. Drawing on a variety of methodologies and sources this thesis explores the issues raised by the concept of heritage and the practice of CHM at a living religious heritage place of recognised international significance. More specifically local problems and solutions that are widely relevant to the international heritage discourse are investigated in three key areas of CHM: the legislative and administrative frameworks; the tension created by the conservation process with regard tangible and intangible perceptions of heritage; the display and accessibility of collections in the light of the perceived threats of overt museumification and touristification. Particular emphasis is placed on the subsequent decision-making conflicts between various stakeholders. Consequently the strengths and weaknesses of an international model for values-based CHM (Australia ICOMOS Burra Charter) and of an Australian model for engaging local communities (the ‘Ask First: A guide to respecting Indigenous heritage places and values’) are critically examined along with certain project management principles (namely the “Gateway Review Process”). The resulting analysis leads to a suggested planning process model for Athonite CHM which has wider implications for the management of living religious heritage and merits careful consideration for the achievement of wider stakeholder participation and active local community involvement in decision-making.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Reconciling living religious heritage with value-based management: the case of Mount Athos, Greece
Language:English
Additional information:Permission for digitisation not received
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Institute of Archaeology

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