Blog from B’nai B’rith UK Jewish Heritage Committee, on the future of heritage.
Shared in the lead-up to The Heritage Alliance’s Heritage Debate 2022: Heritage in 20 years.
Heritage in 20 Years: what will matter most?
During the last twenty years, there has been a considerable burgeoning of interest in Heritage. The twentieth and twenty-first centuries have witnessed unbelievable developments in almost every aspect of life and even today we are still living with the effects of the two World Wars. Alongside the advances of modernity as well as the impact of climate change, care of the environment and sustainability. Against this backdrop of history, there is a growing consciousness of the role of heritage in our lives and how important it has become in understanding the role it plays.
As we have progressed through the ages, so each generation leaves its mark on buildings and traditions, enabling us to gain an insight into that particular period ranging from the smallest object to the magnificence of churches and palaces. Today appreciation has grown and museums have become far more welcoming, their interactive displays encouraging children to enjoy and learn about their heritage too. Historic buildings have become ever more accessible and act as instruments of education in the understanding of the period in which they were built.
In the aftermath of the destruction during World War II, people wanted to preserve what was still left and, gradually, as countries began to recover, restoration proceeded apace and modern buildings emerged creating their own inimitable style ranging from the beautiful to the brutalistic.
Over the past twenty years, Heritage Open Days across Europe have made an enormous impact, enabling people to access buildings not usually open to the public. Heritage organisations have sprung up, some independent, some under the umbrella of the Council of Europe, within its ’Europe – A ‘Common Heritage’ campaign, and grants became available for innovative projects, whilst major cultural routes were established across Europe.
In addition, the development of AI (Artificial Intelligence) points the way forward. As an example, AI will make it possible to recreate scenes from history as though they were happening today. The possibilities are infinite.
The role of Heritage Open Days cannot be underestimated in helping to further knowledge, mutual understanding and goodwill. In twenty years’ time, building on what has already been achieved, Heritage will continue to matter, as in a modern context, it will reflect the life of the country through its architecture, history, tradition and culture and with the importance of its contribution to the economy and its channels of communication with government.
– B’nai B’rith UK Jewish Heritage Committee
Explore other perspectives on ‘Heritage in 20 Years: what will matter most’ over on our event page for Heritage Debate 2022.