INTERNATIONAL CIIC/ICCR SEMINAR. GUANAJUATO, Mexico. October, 1999


 

CONCLUSIONS

In keeping with the contents of the documents prepared by the CIIC/ICCR in previous international meetings, and as a result of the papers submitted made and the debates held in this seminar, the following conclusions were adopted:

To recognize the universal multi-dimensional nature of cultural routes since: 1) They are a testimony of the encounters and confrontations between peoples and of the transfer of knowledge and cross-fertilization of cultures in space and time. Their testimonial nature is the result of the interaction between their physical, material and spiritual components. After centuries mankind has evaluated this result, its overall significance and its anthropological, ethnographic, structural, architectural, environmental and intangible components which are today unquestionable universal values; 2) They harmoniously combine different cultural heritage preservation disciplines internationally recognized by ICOMOS such as archeology, cultural landscapes, historic cities, vernacular architecture, building materials, cultural tourism and legal issues, among others. Based on the above, the following statements are made:

  1. Given the value of cultural routes for solidarity between peoples and cultures, the need to involve and gain the assistance of governments in their practical recognition must be stressed.

     

  2. Cultural routes imply a profound modification in the way cultural heritage is evaluated and recognized. Through them, the identity of different peoples reveals a dimension that transcends their local, regional or national significance and may be reflected in a universal context. This translates into a new broader concept of cultural heritage, and offers the opportunity to regard their varied components and overall meaning from a perspective of solidarity, thanks to the new elements of dynamics and mobility they contain. This is particularly important nowadays for all cultures along their path in view of the confusion and loss of awareness of historic authenticity that can be brought by the negative effects of an unprecedented process of globalization. In addition, by offering the possibility of overcoming negative aspects of history and converting them into positive aspects for the future, they fulfil an integrating function acting against incomprehension, lack of solidarity and individualism.

     

  3. Cultural routes are one of the most important contributions of culture and history that can improve understanding between peoples. It should therefore be insisted on the need for them to serve as instruments in integrated plans aimed at improving quality of life in all the areas they cross. Their value is not merely scientific. In practice, the exchanges they are capable of generating should lead to a better world and improved quality of life for human beings.

     

  4. Cultural routes comprise a community that can show cultural continuity between peoples, regions or continents. Their interest does not lie only in their value as heritage from a traditional point of view, but in that they also entail the study of spiritual, social and economic values significant for the history of mankind and the development of the societies concerned.

     

  5. The CIIC/ICCR is a universal and scientific body suitable for studying and defining the methodological principles related to cultural routes. This task, without detriment to the non- governmental nature and advisory function of this Committee, should be carried out in collaboration with governments, academic and university institutions, foundations, supranational organizations and other entities with impact on aspects related to cultural routes. It is particularly important to educate young people and foster their participation in the tasks to promote and protect cultural routes.

     

  6. The CIIC/ICCR may consider the possibility of setting up working groups from among its members to carry out specific tasks when so required for the implementation of certain projects.

     

  7. It is insisted on the advisability of creating a basic, reasoned inventory of cultural routes for future study and of setting up ad hoc multidisciplinary groups to submit results for evaluation by the CIIC/ICCR. For this purpose, the following guidelines and considerations will be taken into account:

     

    • The objective of the CIIC/ICCR is to identify, protect and preserve cultural routes, which may be regional, national or international in scope. This involves locating and researching the routes that have ideal or outstanding values, as well as offering assistance and advice with regard to promoting their preservation.

       

    • For the above purpose, the identification of the different cultural routes and the principles involved in defining them should be clearly determined in practice as well as the specific policies related to their preservation, judicious use and management. Those cultural routes that are deemed worthy of protection and preservation should be put on a list. It is also necessary to clarify the criteria for designating and classifying some items as world-level cultural heritage, putting them on a specific list. Methods to establish the relevant categories and protection of the routes will be determined only through discussion and examination by the CIIC/ICCR.

       

    • The CIIC/ICCR will prepare records that will be the basis for a pre-inventory of the routes that should be included in the above lists, and other specific records to provide a detailed inventory of the items making up each route.

       

    • The collection of heritage properties of diverse nature comprising cultural routes has been created by interactions or close relations that have produced different structural configurations such as line-like, belt-like, corridor-like, cross-like, network-like, etc.

       

    • Items making up cultural routes can be identified in different areas sharing similar objects and typologies of both tangible and intangible cultural heritage, as well as a process of reciprocal influences in the formation or the evolution of their cultural values over a long historical period.

       

    • The following items derived from historical reciprocal influences can be considered among the criteria for evaluation of a cultural route:

       

      • Items which embody and express a dynamic process of social and cultural changes as a consequence of the evolution and exchanges occurring in a closely related historical area
      • Items which embody and express the distinctive and shared characteristics of an area that is connected by historical and cultural links;
      • Items that express mobility and relationships between peoples or ethnic groups of two or more different regional or national cultures;
      • Items that demonstrate that areas inhabited by different peoples or ethnic groups are connected as a result of cultural and historical links;
      • Items that reveal common historical and cultural links reflected in special cultural features rooted in the traditional life of different communities;
      • Ceremonies, festivals and religious celebrations and gatherings having strong common characteristics and offering a unique representative value because they are characteristic and exclusive of different interrelated communities within a specific cultural and historical area.

     

  8. After examining specific proposals of some of the paper submitted and debated in this international seminar, the following recommendation were agreed:

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. To recommend that the ICOMOS 12th General Assembly take interest in the preservation of the Inca Route to prevent its degradation and especially due to the potential threat to the Historical Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, inscribed in the UNESCO's World Heritage List, posed by the cable car project and other large-scale tourist facilities. To urge that the UNESCO be consulted, that its recommendations on this project be followed, and that an in-depth study be conducted on the possible consequences of environmental and tourist impacts, in which sustainable development capable of preserving the intrinsic values and environment of the site is addressed.

     

  2. To recommend that the ICOMOS 12th General Assembly take interest in the study and promotion of the Slave Route in collaboration with the UNESCO, as well as suitable institutions of the countries concerned and other international organizations and entities that can cooperate on this project.

 

www.icomos-ciic.org