The Right to [World] Heritage (2014)

Conference “The Right to [World] Heritage”
BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg – October 23-25, 2014

The International Association of World Heritage Professionals e.V. (IAWHP e.V.)  organised a World Heritage Studies Alumni Conference on “The Right to [World] Heritage” to be held in BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg from 23rd – 25th October 2014.
Supported by the German Acadamic Exchange Service (DAAD), the conference aimed to bring together a wide range of academics, professionals and practitioners (WHS Alumni and other experts alike) specialising in World Heritage as well as other associated fields to contribute to the ongoing discussion about the role of the World Heritage Convention in promoting sustainable development.


The conference “The Right to [World] Heritage” discussed pressing questions and to the possibility to find new solutions with regards to [World] Heritage as human rights in the context of existing international agreements and conventions.
The role of [World] Heritage in the struggle between modern political systems is of central importance to this topic.

Amongst others, the significance of the objects listed by UNESCO for democracy and its promotion around the world will be analyzed.  More recently, the question whether the symbols of old totalitarian regimes such as the royal palaces of Abomy in Benin, the Giza pyramids in Egypt or the ruins of Hatra in Iraq are as “valuable” as “democratic” World Heritage properties, such as the Independence Hall in the U.S.A., New Lanark in the United Kingdom, or the Berlin Modernism Housing Estates in Germany. This includes a discussion about whether the status of a World Heritage property should be dependent on its political background.

Furthermore, the aspects of heritage in areas of conflict as well as the heritage of minorities and the inclusion of local communities will be highlighted, which is often particularly endangered and needs effective protection.