Forget About ‘Heritage’: Place, Ethics and the Faro Convention

  • John SchofieldEmail author
Part of the Ethical Archaeologies: The Politics of Social Justice book series (ETHARCHAEOL, volume 4)


An ethical approach to heritage will be one that accords with moral principles—the principles of right and wrong. One might frame this in terms of either a utilitarian perspective, in which moral principles are guided by the edict ‘the greatest good for the greatest number’, or by a belief that individuals have ‘natural rights’ to life, liberty and property. These perspectives overlap of course. This chapter takes as its starting point the fact that there are moral principles and that a reasonable assumption is that they should be applied in a consistent manner. Using the related contexts of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (hereafter UDHR 1948) and the 2005 European Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (Council of Europe 2009) and accepting that the UDHR is over 60 years old and arguably in need of refresh, this chapter defines how the implementation of Faro can promote an ethical approach to heritage, not least in terms of widening participation across the full range of social and cultural diversity. Following a brief general discussion of heritage ethics as they relate to participation and ownership, three examples illustrate how heritage practice can be more inclusive than was previously the case. It is argued that part of the problem of heritage being viewed as ‘exclusive’ (at best, divisive at worst) rests with the very word ‘heritage’. In certain contexts, an alternative (e.g. ‘landscape’ or ‘place’) may be better.


Cultural Heritage Public Engagement Historic Environment English Heritage Heritage Community 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Anderson, J. (2004). Talking whilst walking: A geographical archaeology of knowledge. Area, 36(3), 254–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anon. (2008). European landscape convention: An extract. In G. Fairclough, R. Harrison, J. H. Jameson, & J. Schofield (Eds.), The heritage reader (pp 405–407). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Bonnici, U. M. (2009). The human right to the cultural heritage: The Faro convention’s contribution to the recognition and safeguarding of this human right. In Council of Europe (Ed.), Heritage and Beyond (pp. 53–58). Strasbourg: Council of Europe.Google Scholar
  4. Clifford, S. (2011). Local distinctiveness: Everyday places and how to find them. In J. Schofield & R. Szymanski (Eds.), Local heritage, global context: Cultural perspectives on sense of place (pp. 13–32). Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  5. Council of Europe. (2009). Heritage and beyond. Strasbourg: Council of Europe.Google Scholar
  6. Crouch, D., & Matless, D. (1996). Refiguring geography: Parish maps of common ground. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers New Series, 21(1), 236–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. English Heritage. (2000). Power of place: The future of the historic environment. London: English Heritage.Google Scholar
  8. English Heritage. (2008). Conservation principles: Policies and guidance for the sustainable management of the historic environment. Swindon: English Heritage.Google Scholar
  9. Farley, P., & Roberts, M. S. (2011). Edgelands: Journeys into England’s true wilderness. London: Jonathan Cape.Google Scholar
  10. Graves-Brown, P., & Schofield, J. (2011). The filth and the fury: 6 Denmark Street (London) and the sex pistols. Antiquity, 85(329), 1385–1401.Google Scholar
  11. Heritage Lottery Fund. (2012). Heritage lottery fund strategic framework 2013-18. A lasting difference for heritage and people. London: Heritage Lottery Fund.Google Scholar
  12. Kiddey, R. (2013). Punks and drunks: Counter-mapping homelessness in Bristol and York. In J. Schofield (Ed.), Who needs experts? Counter-mapping cultural heritage (pp. 165–179). Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  13. Kiddey, R., & Schofield, J. (2010). Embrace the margins: Adventures in archaeology and homelessness. Public Archaeology, 10(1), 4–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Langfield, M., Logan, W., & Craith, M. N. (Eds.). (2010). Cultural diversity, heritage and human rights: Intersections in theory and practice. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. Lashua, B., Cohen, S., & Schofield, J. (2010). Popular music, mapping and the characterization of Liverpool. Popular Music History, 4(2), 126–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Marquis-Kyle, P., & Walker, M. (2004). The illustrated Burra charter: Good practice for heritage places. Burwood: Australia ICOMOS.Google Scholar
  17. Palmer, R. (2009). Preface. In Council of Europe, Heritage and beyond (pp. 7–8). Strasbourg: Council of Europe.Google Scholar
  18. Pynchon, T. (2000). V. London: Random House. [1961].Google Scholar
  19. Read, P. (1996). Returning to nothing: The meaning of lost places. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Roberts, L., & Cohen, S. (2013). Unauthorising popular music heritage: Outline of a critical framework. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 19(1), 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Schofield, J. (Ed.). (2013). Who needs experts? Counter-mapping cultural heritage. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  22. Schofield, J., & Morrissey, E. (2013). Strait Street: Malta’s ‘red light district’ revealed. Malta: Midsea Books.Google Scholar
  23. Silverman, H., & Ruggles, F. (Eds.). (2007). Cultural heritage and human rights. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  24. Smith, L. (2006). The uses of heritage. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. Thomas, R. M. (2008). Archaeology and authority in the twenty-first century. In G. Fairclough, R. Harrison, J. H. Jameson, & J. Schofield (Eds.), The heritage reader (pp. 139–148). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  26. Zimmerman, L. J., Singleton, C., & Welch, J. (2010). Activism and creating a translational archaeology of homelessness. World Archaeology, 42(3), 443–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologyUniversity of YorkYorkUK

Personalised recommendations