by Janet Blake
Published: 30th November 2006
This book provides both a general introduction to UNESCO’s 2003 Convention on the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and its historical development, as well as a detailed article-by-article analysis of the Convention’s provisions. The general introduction to the Convention sets out the historical background of normative and operational activities within UNESCO relating to safeguarding intangible cultural heritage, the relevant activities of other intergovernmental bodies especially the IP-related work of the World Intellectual Property Organization, the wider legal context within which the Convention has been developed and other general questions such as the treatment of indigenous heritage and traditional knowledge. The drafting history of the Convention is also presented, along with a brief overview of the instrument that includes discussion of its approach to safeguarding and the mechanisms it employs. This section also looks at the key notion of ‘safeguarding’ as opposed to the more traditional usage ‘protection’ and considers the significance of this choice of terminology. The article-by-article analysis covers also the drafting history of each article as well as a close comparison with the equivalent articles of UNESCO’s 1972 Convention on the Protection of the World’s Cultural and National Heritage that served as a model for the 2003 Convention noting, in particular, the significant departures of this more recent text to take account of the special needs of intangible cultural heritage. The centrality of the key notion of safeguarding and, where appropriate, questions relating to implementation and anticipated future developments in the law and practice related to this Convention are also considered.
The author: Janet Blake is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Shahid Beheshti in Tehran and a member of the Environmental Science Research Institute of the University. Since 1999, she has worked closely with UNESCO on the development and drafting of the 2003 Convention and acted as Rapporteur to the two Restricted Drafting Group meetings that developed the First Preliminary Draft of the Convention in 2002.
Commentary on the UNESCO 2003 Convention on the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage is available at a cost of £35 plus £2 postage & packing within the United Kingdom or £17.50 for members of the Institute of Art and Law
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