Heritage values and valuation
This paper explores first the definition of values and related notions, such as relativity, absolute, universal, and the relationship of heritage values with human rights. This is followed by a survey on the evolution of heritage values from the Antiquity to the Present, taking into account some of the principal landmarks on the way, including reference to thinkers such as John Ruskin, Alois Riegl and Cesare Brandi. Reference is made to the international doctrine, and particularly to the definition of the Outstanding Universal Value within the World Heritage context. The question is raised whether it is possible to measure heritage value. The answer is that it is more appropriate to speak of measuring the impact of such values. It is noted, for example, that heritage value cannot be comparable to market value, even though these sometimes coincide. The relevant parameters in each case are different. One way of measuring the impact is to work with the groups of stakeholders aiming at communicating and learning shared values in a heritage community. This is also the basis for the so-called Public Value, which can justify initiatives by policy makers and administrations. The paper concludes that values are generated through continuous learning processes and the definitions change over time resulting in diversity. Measuring values is more appropriately expressed in terms of monitoring their impact.
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