A large part of the participants of the conference "quo vadis conservation science" have jointly developed and signed the following appeal entitled "Future needs home - research program for the preservation of cultural heritage". The appeal is available here(173.3 KB, 3 pages), along with a list of signatories, as a PDF:
Cultural heritage1 creates identity. It is an indispensable backbone and intergenerational storehouse of knowledge for all. Our cultural heritage promotes public spirit, encourages reflection and strengthens democratic society.
Our cultural heritage is not a renewable resource. It is increasingly threatened by climate change, societal changes and increasing disengagement, conflict and natural disasters, pollution and material aging itself.
The sustainable protection of our cultural heritage is a challenge for Germany and Europe as a whole, as already decided in the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations in 2015.
In times of social disintegration, the European Year of Cultural Heritage reflects a new dimension of sharing. Cultural heritage preservation research is a powerful tool for cohesion. Facing the current challenges of global migration, digital transformation with its advantages and disadvantages, it contributes to understanding and integration. Transdisciplinary research on cultural heritage preservation must be recognized and implemented as a national task.
There has been no national research program on cultural heritage preservation for over 20 years: Germany, a cultural and economic nation, must once again become a pioneer in Europe in research on cultural heritage preservation. Sustainable research strengthens the scientific and economic competitiveness of Germany as a location for innovation. It contributes to general education, participation, inclusion and integration.
Research on the preservation of cultural heritage is based on cultural, natural and social sciences and is also supported by educational institutions, business enterprises and citizen participation.
Research questions include:
- how can the impacts of climate change be quantified?
- how can threats to cultural heritage be better assessed and reduced?
- what is a good museum climate?
- who owns cultural heritage today and tomorrow?
- how do we measure the economic importance of cultural heritage?
- how do we harness the potential of the 4th Industrial Revolution?
We therefore call for:
- a 15-year national research framework program for the preservation of cultural heritage amounting to EUR 1.3 billion [equivalent to 1 euro per citizen per year]
- a separate unit for research on cultural heritage preservation in the BMBF
- a national, transdisciplinary platform for research on cultural heritage preservation.
1 "Cultural heritage is composed of a set of resources inherited from the past that people identify as a reflection and expression of their constantly evolving values, beliefs, knowledge, and traditions, regardless of ownership. It encompasses all aspects of the environment that result from the interaction between people and places over time." Faro Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage 2005.