World Heritage No.86: Reconstruction and Recovery
While conflicts continue to inflict damage – much of it intentional – on heritage sites, reconstruction becomes a critical topic for discussion. The recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction of damaged sites are complex. They involve questions that go beyond authenticity and integrity. As the architect Jad Tabet says in his introductory article to this issue of World Heritage, “No one could have imagined that the coming century would, in its early years, witness a new cycle of violence that would spread from Afghanistan and Iraq to Mali, Libya, Syria and Yemen and lead the world to this state of generalized latent warfare that we know today…”
In this issue, we look at the cases of intentional destruction of sites in Syria and of the Buddhas in the Bamiyan Valley of Afghanistan. We take into account the devastating impact on local communities and their identities, as well as the implications of different approaches to reconstruction. We look at the inspiring cases of Timbuktu (Mali), where the mausoleums were rebuilt after their destruction in 2012, and the Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina), where the rebuilt bridge has become a symbol of perseverance and unity among communities. We are also pleased to present an interview with heritage expert Christina Cameron, who explains the concept of reconstruction in the framework of the World Heritage Convention and considers the emotional and psychological consequences for the related communities…
p dir=”auto”>While it’s not exactly a comfortable read, we strongly recommend to you all that you should read these; it’s all too easy to slip into thinking of World Heritage as a sideshow for our entertainment, and lose sight of the communities that the heritage provides tradition and pride to. Enjoy, yes, but enjoy and preserve should be our goals!