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Cultural Heritage

Cultural heritage is defined as follows:


“Inherited assets which people identify and value as a reflection and expression of their evolving knowledge, beliefs and traditions, and of their understanding of the beliefs and traditions of others” (English Heritage,

2008, p.71)


This recognises the importance of personal involvement or attachment to an asset, and the integral notion of belief and value, because “the interpretation of cultural heritage is rooted in person–place narratives and other texts, which reveal the discursive, contingent, and contested nature of human activity over time” (Cunningham, 2010, p.198). This type of discussion is well illustrated through considering a sacred site which is used for many different purposes including worship, education and tourism (Sinha, 1991), or the level of attachment to a place produced by feelings of attachment from nostalgia (Bonnett and Alexander, 2013).


City of culture bids can include “arts (including visual arts, literature, music, theatre and dance), architecture, crafts, creative industries, design, heritage, historic environment, museums and galleries, libraries, archives, film, broadcasting and media” (DCMS, 2017, p.4). This research considered definitions used by key organisations which were most relevant to a Scottish UK City of Culture bid (DCMS, 2017, p.4, Creative Enterprise Office, 2018, Creative Scotland, 2018), for use within the cultural asset mapping (see chapter three for further discussion), however cultural heritage is a globably recognised concept, enshrined within the guidance and operational perinciples of bodies such as UNESCO (Pietrobruno, 2013, Rodzi, Zaki and Subli, 2013, UNESCO, 2014).