Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Cultural heritage - particularly important in a recession?

Articles on the value of the arts and cultural heritage are useful at the best of times, let alone when funding to the sector is being squeezed.  From the New Statesman, Looking back to go forward:
In looking at, visiting and absorbing culture and heritage, we are doing more than simply finding things out and enjoying them. Certainly, these are vital and thoroughly justifiable parts of the equation, but we also need to think about how heritage is presented and what role it plays. Culture and heritage are spaces in which we encounter different values: the objects in museums, the results of our creativity and the fabric of our buildings are the material signs of our beliefs and values. Our cultural and heritage institutions can help us interpret and make sense
of these.

...

Certainly, if culture and heritage can distract from graver issues, then that in itself is a reason to support them. However, they also provide spaces in which we can confront, approach, discuss and renegotiate the many values that make up our society, and this is what we need as our worldview has been shaken to the core.

Hat tip: I only spotted this article because the link was tweeted by Bridget McKenzie.

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