PERCEPTION AND INTERPRETATION

The outstanding universal values of World Heritage, and above all authenticity, have been quite challenged in recent years. The people’s perception studies developed for our research in some WH cities show a very instrumental vision of what being World Heritage means: it is related to site cleanings, tourism wealth, accessibility, but not so much to the cultural, historical, aesthetic and artistic values... That is, a very traditional approach on perception continues to exist in relation to WH properties; they are lived and visited ignoring or reinterpreting the reasons for which UNESCO considered them World Heritage and we would rather like to find a different approach. Neither the tourist experience nor the studies published seem satisfactory on many occasions.
To our mind, a high percentage of conflicts are related to this lack of knowledge about what people think, feel or consider regarding Heritage within the specialized world. Proposals of studies regarding this issue will be welcome to be presented at the Conference.

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