In an environment characterized by cultural diversification and globalization, the cultural heritage faces new challenges which, beyond the issue of returning objects to their country of origin, make a new "cultural heritage pact" imperative. Read More
Born long ago of an essentially aesthetic approach, the notion of cultural heritage has, in recent decades, undergone considerable international evolution and is now, in an environment marked by the cultural diversification of societies and globalization, confronted with new challenges.
The explosion of mass tourism, with its corollaries of uniformization and mercantilism, as well as the diminishing role of the State and the supremacy of the economy, represent new risks for the integrity of cultural works, material or immaterial. They must also be protected from the dual threat of communitarianism and identity fall-back, in order to retain their value as objects of communication and sharing.
Hence the author's appeal for a new 'cultural heritage pact’ in each society and in relations between countries, while the thorny question of returning cultural treasures to their countries of origin –treated here in militant tone - hangs in the balance.