The online resource for the historic environment

1.09 Self-assessment questions

See BS 7913: 2013 to assist in understanding this Unit and its questions:
Section 4: "Heritage values and significance."
Section 5: "Using significance as a framework for managing the historic environment."
Section 6: "Significance as part of operational care and other interventions."
Section 8: "Heritage and project management."

1. Based on the information contained in the preceding pages re-evaluate your understanding of the meaning of Cultural Significance and its importance in the process of conservation intervention.

2. Ask yourself again why we need to assess cultural significance.

3. Choosing a building that you know that has recently undergone works of intervention, assess how the cultural significance of that building has been affected by the work.
Look at Yin Yu Tang house and evaluate the effects of the project on the site and building’s significance. You should pay particular regard to the effects of dismantling and relocation to the USA.

4. Prepare a statement of cultural significance for a project on which you have recently been involved. As an example of how a statement of cultural significance should be constructed and what it should contain see Calton Hill: Conserving a Cultural Asset

5. To assist your understanding of cultural significance you should read Conservation: Significance, Relevance and Sustainability. Staniforth, S. Forbes Prize Lecture, IIC Congress, Melbourne 2000. See also Informed Conservation Clark, K chapter 6 Conservation and Management Planning.

You should also visit and read the following web sites to improve your understanding of international response and interpretation of cultural significance:

Place Matters
Indian Seminar
Humanities Washington
International Council on Monuments and Sites

Consider the principles of conservation and how these are formulated with a Western World ideology – consider the view that different cultures may approach the subject with a different focus – Japan for example, cyclically may, dismantle, repair and replace components of historic structures in order to ensure longevity!