Since the Second World War, European governments have enacted numerous official protections of cultural heritage sites. The Faro-Convention (2005) was one of few to include citizens as key players in the implementation of heritage protection measures. The EU-funded VALOGLOB (UE cultural policy and intercultural dialogue in time of globalization: A comparative study of values concerning cultural heritage for civil society (Faro-Convention, 2005)) project investigated. The study compared two main texts (by Unesco and the Council of Europe) against major impacts worldwide, particularly in European peripheral territories (Kosovo). One focus was on documenting community well-being through active participation of all stakeholders. Additional goals included examination of local dynamics using an innovative methodology, including semiotic analysis of the Faro-Convention. The two-year project concluded in early 2015. Major research steps included assessment of cultural heritage and social values in a heritage area, plus identifying relevant qualitative and quantitative indicators. Additional work included developing and field testing a top-down methodology, and assessment of gaps between current standards and local implementation. The study field-assessed complex concepts mentioned in the respective standards, such as heritage communities and common heritage of Europe. VALOGLOB improved understanding of the various approaches linked to community participation in cultural heritage, and collected data illustrating the needs and tensions of such communities. The project advanced the concept of an observatory on cultural heritage and social values. Other outcomes include project members undertaking study tours, liaising with other research projects and institutions, and attending conferences. Researchers also developed their research skills. The VALOGLOB project helped develop understanding of the gaps between heritage protection conventions and local initiatives in Kosovo. The result was improved protection.
Heritage protection, cultural heritage, Faro-Convention, Kosovo, cultural policy, intercultural dialogue