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The Silk Roads: A case study in serial transboundary protection and management of cultural heritage

Wang, Shaohan; (2021) The Silk Roads: A case study in serial transboundary protection and management of cultural heritage. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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In recent years nominations for UNESCO World Heritage status have started to utilise the concepts of cultural routes and cultural landscapes to justify and articulate inscription; increasingly used the approach of serial properties (multiple components linked by a theme); and embarked upon more ambitious transnational nomination projects, requiring international cooperation and coordinated management between nations. This thesis explores the successful 2014 Silk Roads serial transnational nomination, inscribed by China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, to examine both the theory and practise of nomination and subsequent management. Fifteen component sites were analysed in detail, through a combination of literature reviews (published and unpublished material) and fieldwork (including observational studies and semi-structured interviews with heritage professionals, at different levels, within the three countries), to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the current approaches, and the extent to which the nominated property satisfies the aspirations of the participants. On the positive side, there have been some significant advances in using the nomination to develop capacity building. However, the research exposed significant issues with the dialogue between participating countries, their lack of a shared understanding of the property (between but also within countries), and the differing agendas of the State Parties. The research also raised questions regarding tensions between local values and engagement in the process, and the state-led initiatives. The most extreme case was at Talgar in Kazakhstan, but the trend is more widespread. The complexity of a serial property, in terms of the stakeholders, social environments, and multi-sector participation in the management processes, means that coordinating management needs to pay much more attention to the collaboration between the partners, and between the partners and communities. The outcome of the research is that UNESCO and State Parties need consider, on a practical level, how benefits of serial and transnational projects should be achieved. This needs to understand what the scope of coordinated (as opposed to state-based) management should be, how the process will improve conservation and management, and how a broader serial transnational project benefits interpretation and access. It is suggested that UNESCO, ICOMOS, and intergovernmental bodies, need to take a stronger role in this process at the inception of the nomination process, and provide effective support in networking, education, training, and information sharing.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The Silk Roads: A case study in serial transboundary protection and management of cultural heritage
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10120562
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