Cultural heritage management

Cultural heritage management (CHM) is the vocation and practice of managing cultural heritage.[1] It is a branch of cultural resources management (CRM), although it also draws on the practices of cultural conservation, restoration, museology, archaeology, history and architecture. While the term cultural heritage is generally used in Europe, in the USA the term cultural resources is in more general use specifically referring to cultural heritage resources.

CHM has traditionally been concerned with the identification, interpretation, maintenance, and preservation of significant cultural sites and physical heritage assets, although intangible aspects of heritage, such as traditional skills, cultures and languages are also considered. The subject typically receives most attention, and resources, in the face of threat, where the focus is often upon rescue or salvage archaeology. Possible threats include urban development, large-scale agriculture, mining activity, looting, erosion or unsustainable visitor numbers.

The public face of CHM, and a significant source of income to support continued management of heritage, is the interpretation and presentation to the public, where it is an important aspect of tourism. Communicating with government and the public is therefore a key competence.

The Newport ship in the foundations of the Riverfront Arts Centre in Newport, Wales, in 2002

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