UNESCO TO BLAME: Reality or Easy Escape?

Anna Pereira Roders, Anna Beatriz Grigolon

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26687/archnet-ijar.v9i1.681


“UNESCO to blame” is a trend often observed in scholarly works. In those studies UNESCO is accused to privilege Eurocentric standards on heritage conservation. Is this reality or an easy escape? Can this trend be noted in other UNESCO reference texts? This article seeks to answer this question by studying the two main inscription-based conventions and their contribution to heritage management, while performing a data analysis on the countries behind these conventions, and their roles over time. The 1972 World Heritage Convention and the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage are, therefore, taken as case studies. Based on the results, this paper elaborates on a critical analysis, distinguishing what UNESCO, as well as, Europe can eventually be blamed for and what may be used by the countries as an easy escape. This paper ends setting a research agenda to raise awareness and generate factual knowledge on the role of supranational governance in setting standards in global ethics, in particular, to guideline heritage conservation.


UNESCO; supranational governance; conventions; world heritage; intangible heritage

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