Draft ICOMOS-Ename Charter on Heritage Interpretation

Following the discussions at of the ICOMOS Advisory Committee in Bergen, Norway in September, 2004, we are now seeking input from all members on the draft ICOMOS-Ename Charter on Heritage Interpretation. The text of the draft Charter will be available shortly via the Australia ICOMOS website – www.icomos.org/australia – look in the ‘news’ section. The editorial group from the International ICOMOS Executive Committee has been Vice-President Sheridan Burke, Vice-President Gustavo Araoz, and the Treasurer-General Giora Solar. They have worked with a small group from the Ename Centre in Belgium. During 2004,the draft ICOMOS-Ename Charter was circulated for comment, first to all International Scientific Committees, and later, to all National Committees. A group of international experts was also consulted, as was the full Executive Committee of ICOMOS. Prior to the Bergen meeting, Australia ICOMOS submitted detailed comments on the previous draft based on input from a number of members (thanks!). Quite a few of those comments have been incorporated in the current draft.

The draft was the subject of very lively discussion at Bergen, and there was a surprising diversity of opinion expressed. It has become clear to the ICOMOS International Executive Committee that more discussion within ICOMOS is needed, starting with comment on the ‘Bergen Draft’ by National Committees. Although it was envisaged that the Charter could be submitted for approval by the General Assembly in China next year, the editorial group has decided to engage in a longer and more engaging international process. Following this round of comment, there will be other opportunities for members to participate in the discussion of the Charter- with the aim of submitting it for consideration by the 2008 General Assembly in Quebec, Canada.

The next draft, based on the comments received by the end of this year – will be the basis for further international dialogue – so if there are important comments to make, now is a very opportune moment.

At this stage, we are very keen to hear from as many members as possible.Comment is requested by 31 December 2004. It is a busy time for us all!To assist the Australia ICOMOS Executive Committee to meet this request, could you please:
1. Immediately let us know if you are planning to comment on the draft – send an email to the Secretariat (austicomos@deakin.edu.au).
2. Send your comments no later than 15 December 2004 to the Secretariat, and also copied to Kristal Buckley (kristal@bigpond.net.au).

This is an important process for ICOMOS, and is planned to be a remarkably inclusive,exciting and interactive process. To realise this possibility, we need everyone’s input – now and in the coming few years. Don’t miss it!

Kristal Buckley

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