Congress on Methodology, Definitions and Operative Aspects of Cultural Routes

IBIZA, Spain, May 1999




The Chairmen and representatives of the ICOMOS National Committees, as well as other specialists gathered together in IBIZA (Spain) on 21st-22nd may at the request of the International Committee on Cultural Routes (CIIC) and within the framework of the international congress on 'Methodology, Definitions and Operative Aspects of Cultural Routes', bearing in mind the quality and interest of the papers presented at this meeting, as well as in connection with the congresses on cultural routes held in Alicante (1997) and Tenerife (1999), on the route of 'the vine and the wine of Mediterranean countries' in la Rioja (1999) and on 'Hispano-Portuguese bastioned fortifications' in Ibiza (1999), believe that cultural routes:

  1. Constitute, thanks to the material, cultural or spiritual exchanges generated by the movement of mankind over long and continuous periods of time, a guiding thread which has produced, throughout its spatial journey, a cultural inter-fertilization among countries or regions.


  2. Must necessarily be supported by tangible elements which represent heritage and the physical confirmation of their existence. The intangible factors give sense and meaning to the various elements which make up the whole.


  3. Exist in a natural context in which they exert an influence and help to characterize and enrich with new dimensions, within an interactive process.


  4. Have a global significance and, within the latter, the value of their parts lies in the overall, shared interest. In this way, they constitute a channel for cooperation, solidarity, mutual respect and appreciation, and a fundamental contribution to dialogue and peace. They possess a symbolic value which give cause for hope and understanding among nations.


  5. Are a suitable instrument for highlighting the fact that cultural reality a multi-faceted, which requires a multi-disciplinary approach. They also help to achieve the most complete and rewarding assumption of one's own identity, bearing in mind that the latter forms part of a wider dimension, represented by shared cultural reality, and all of this within universal cultural links.


  6. Allow a plural and, therefore, more realistic and fairer interpretation of history.


  7. Are the result of peaceful encounters or disputes, and currently present a number of dimension which transcend their primitive function and offer the possibility of setting up a new dynamic of cultural and economic cooperation among nations.


  8. Renew scientific hypotheses and allow technical, artistic and cultural knowledge to increase.

Within the framework of the definition of objectives, of methodology and of the search for operativity, the participants in these conferences make the following recommendations:

  1. That the proposals be collected and a pre-inventory of cultural routes be established. To assign each one of these routes a multi-disciplinary coordination committee made up of experts appointed by the CIIC and in charge of selecting the scientific criteria on which the analyses must be based.


  2. To create, for each one of the routes defined, a network for carrying out the scientific studies and investigations.


  3. To identify groups and institutions which help to publicize, safeguard and highlight the value of the cultural routes, as well as the spreading of knowledge relating to them.


  4. To raise the awareness of governments about the importance of cultural routes and to attempt to integrate them in the framework of territorial planning and organization policies, in order to ensure the operativity of the actions which are undertaken.


  5. To urge international cooperation by means of durable development plans in the areas through which a cultural route passes, due to the fact that all of them constitutes an integral part of a shared common asset.


  6. To develop the methods of approach and analysis within an objective aimed at safekeeping, highlighting value and improving knowledge. To work towards increasing the precision of the vocabulary and the concepts.


  7. To investigate and spread conservation techniques adapted to the complexity of the elements and situations which the cultural routes entail.


  8. To identify strategies which locate and attract means of financing aimed at supporting the work to be carried out.


  9. To publish the results of the investigations.
Ibiza, 22nd May 1999