Cherishing our Cultural Heritage - How to make the most of the public’s passion for their cultural heritage

22-23 May 2018 | Dijon, France

With a steady increase in museum visits and attendance at cultural heritage related events, it is safe to say that the general public loves their cultural heritage more than ever. The public regularly support restoration projects and volunteer to be involved in safeguarding and enhancing cultural heritage to a higher extent. To capitalise on this public enthusiasm is of gain for everyone; from the general public to culture professionals. NEMO, ICOM France and ICOMOS France wanted to add to the discussion and contribute with knowledge about ways to involve a passionate public in cultural heritage work and decided to co-host the conference “Cherishing our Cultural Heritage - How to make the most of the public’s passion for their cultural heritage”

The goal of the conference was to identify and acknowledge the role played by public enthusiasts in the valorisation of our cultural heritage. Involvement of an enthusiastic general public can be very beneficial to the cultural sector, but only when the professionals know how to work with committed citizens. The organisers set out to propose guidelines for a constructive relationship between the public as well as to discuss questions such as:

  • How can we validate public expertise?
  • What basic skills are required before any concrete action in the field of cultural heritage can be envisaged?
  • What training do museum professionals need to supervise the participation of members of the public?
  • How can we bring the resources of the public to bear on private initiatives and how can we characterise their participation?
  • How can we exercise our scientific and legal responsibilities?

This event was awarded with the European Year of Cultural Heritage Label 2018, showing that the event supported the role of Europe’s cultural heritage and its importance to cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue. Learn more about obtaining the label from NEMO here.