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"Shared Built Heritage" reconsidered

International Workshop

(Florence, 14 - 15 November 2014)


Conceptualized by
Michael Falser (Heidelberg University/ISC Theory & SBH)

In collaboration with
Siegfried Enders (President, ISC SBH)

Together with:
ICOMOS ISC Shared Built Heritage
ICOMOS ISC Theory & Philosophy of Conservation and Preservation
Chair of Global Art History, Heidelberg University
Institute of Art History, Max-Planck-Institute, Florence

Venue: Casa Zuccari, Via Giuseppe Giusti 44 (access via Via Gino Capponi 22), Max-Planck-Institute, 50121 Florence, Italy
Time: 14 November 1.30 pm – 6.30 pm / 15 November 9 am – 6.30 pm

This two-day workshop aims to discuss the challenges, approaches and methods, and the multi-layered value structures involved which are grouped around term that has given a specific ICOMOS Scientific Committee (ISC) its name: "Shared Built Heritage" (SBH). As a result of the debates within the four thematic sections (Part A), specific recommendations will be formulated (Part B), which are to be added to the Committee's actual Statutes.

Context and Goals

Originally named "Committee on Shared Colonial Architecture and Town Planning" up to the late 1990s, to cover the heritage of former European colonial structures in overseas Non-Europe from the viewpoint of today's post-colonial and globalized world, the Committee was renamed with its current name through a process of internal debate. As the Committee now defines this in its current statutes, "Shared Built Heritage includes historical urban and rural structures or elements, resulting from multi-cultural and/or colonial influence." From this larger perspective, inner-European heritage configurations resulting from the violent process of national frontiers changing and forced migration from North- and South America to Asia and Australia were additionally included in the Committee's agenda.

After the Committee's impressive series of international meetings around the planet to visit ex-colonial heritage sites from South America to Asia (see below), it is time now to sit down and summarize the insights and to define with new expertise the challenges of, and approaches to, this multi-layered heritage configuration from a more theoretical and methodological point of view.

Placed at the end of ICOMOS International's General Assembly (14 November 2014), this workshop is conceived of as a collaboration between the ICOMOS ISC "Shared Built Heritage" and the ICOMOS ISC "Theory and Philosophy of Conservation and Restoration", together with the Chair of Global Art History of Heidelberg University, and the Max-Planck-Institute of Institute of Art History at Florence, as the host of the event.




In Part A, participants are invited to comment with specific case-studies on one of the topics listed below with a more operational and practical hands-on approach, using short case-study presentations as a basis, concluding with primarily theoretical considerations and recommendations.

Registration: 14 November, 1.30pm

Welcome: Prof. Gerhard Wolf (Director MPI Florence), Eva Troelenberg and Brigitte Soelch (Project Leaders MPI Florence)

Introduction to the Workshop: Michael Falser (Heidelberg)


1     "Shared" – "Built" – "Heritage": Reflections of Difficult Terms


This section re-evaluates the internal development of the Committee as regards terms, definitions, workshops, and meetings; investigates the general issue of heritage "participation" in (inter)national doctrines, charters, and conventions; and discusses the crucial terms "Shared" (inclusive, pluralistic vs colonial, hegemonic, top-down?), "Built" (tangible vs. intangible?), and "Heritage" (who inherits, who is excluded before/during and after the changes of regimes and their ideologies?).

Session: 2-4pm

Chair: John Ward

ISC Shared Built Heritage – an overview and open questions

(RCT Enders, Darmstadt)


On Inheriting – A transcultural approach

(Monica Juneja, Heidelberg)


“Shared heritage” – a term in international heritage doctrines?

(Michael Falser, Heidelberg)


Shared built heritage from a non-European perspective: The case of Australia

(Sue Jackson-Stepoweski, Sydney)



Coffee Break


2     Negotiating Periods of Significance(s)


Not only on the national level, but also on the global level of UNESCO’s World Heritage guidelines, strictly assigned determinations of a so-called period of significance create especially heavy conflicts within "Shared Built Heritage" configurations. Is it the original (colonial) monument as a historic source of architectural history or this monument’s ongoing and dynamic increase in (various?) significance(s) through post-colonial appropriation and contemporary use values which should define protection and preservation guidelines?

Session: 4.30-6.30pm

Chair: Monica Juneja

The alien´s view on heritage?

(Wilfried Lipp, Linz)


Taking roots in unknown soil. The process of heritage-appropriation in German-Polish contact zones

(Irmela Spelsberg, Berlin)


Dealing with ‘baggages of memory’ in Macao, after the Portuguese administration

(Maria José de Freitas, Macau)


Sharing built heritage in Bangalore, virtually

(Rachel Lee, Berlin)


Dinner 8pm


3     Balancing Stakeholders' Interests


Especially within "Shared Built Heritage" structures and ensembles after regime/ideology changes, the different interests of local stakeholders, of regional cultural traditions and peculiarities, of national administration and (economic, touristic) exploitation, and finally (short-term) international expertise following globalized heritage doctrines all create a multi-layered and often heavily contested complex. Balancing these different interests is an enormous challenge and requires long experience of cultural and political mediation, such as community hearings to workshops and conferences. Do we need other, more subtle instruments in this specific case?

Session: 9-11am

Chair: Michael Falser

“Respecting stakeholders’s interests”: a neo-colonial topos in heritage policies? Experiences from Pakistan

(Michael Jansen, Aachen)


When the ‘other’ does not want to speak. The discourse between Jewish and Palestinian heritage elite

(Michal Firestone, Tel Aviv)


Shifting cultural ethics in shared heritage: from ours in place to that of place

(Vassilis Ganiatsas, Athens)


Casablanca or the shared pragmatism

(Romeo Carabelli, Tours)


Coffee Break



4     Building Strategies – Structural Interventions – Long-term Effects


Session: 11.30am-1.30pm

Chair: Siegfried Enders

Local knowledge, regional traditions of craftsmanship, the user's site-specific strategies of use and ongoing structural add-on interventions are increasingly acknowledged in internationalist 'living heritage' policies, but in reality often clash with museological 'embalming' strategies of historic monuments. Additionally, commercialization and 'heritagization' processes (especially in declared National Protected Monuments up to the level of World Heritage Sites) often create social segregation on site. Do "Shared Built Heritage" monuments and sites need a specific sensibility and an open-process mentality with regard to structural interventions and long-term effects?

The effect of changing frontiers: Transformation of a medieval German city into a French border fortification

(Hans Caspary, Mainz)


Shared built heritage in war? The Israel-Palestine conflict

(Giora Solar, Jerusalem)


Colonial cities: glocal perspectives on the multiple processes of cultural and physical synthesis

(Manuel C. Teixeira, Lisbon)


From Cape Town to Wuhan - shared built heritage at the larger scale

(Fabio Todeschini, Cape Town)






Final Session: 3-6.30pm (Coffee Break 5pm)

Open Discussion, chaired by Monica Juneja, Siegfried Enders, Wilfried Lipp, Michael Falser

In this section, we intend to discuss and summarize the findings of Part A of the workshop, and formulate concrete recommendations regarding the above-listed topics and sub-themes. These recommendations are planned to be added to the existing Statutes of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee "Shared Built Heritage", and will therefore be placed online. Additionally, the presentations and texts can be placed on the Workshop’s homepage for further discussion.





• Registration (closed, waiting list).
• Registration and information at:

PDF-Download of the original CfP is here.

PDF-Download of the final programme is here.

About the Organizers

Dr. Michael Falser (personal homepage) is an architect and art historian by formation, is member of the ICOMOS Scientific Committees "Shared Built Heritage", "Theory & Philosophy of Conservation and Preservation" and of ICOMOS Austria. He works as Project Leader at the Chair of Global Art History at the Cluster of Excellence 'Asia and Europe in a Global Context – The Dynamics of Transculturality' at the University of Heidelberg/Germany. His current research is on the question of colonial building styles in the Euro-Asian contact zone. His recent two edited volumes are: "Kulturerbe – Denkmalpflege transkulturell" (Transcript 2013), co-edited with Prof. Monica Juneja, discusses different case-studies about transcultural heritage formations, such as former colonial architectures in their actual postcolonial and globalized status. As a result from his last research project on "Heritage as a Transcultural Concept" (2009-2013) the edited volume "Archaeologizing Heritage - Transcultural Entanglements between Local Social Practices and Global Virtual Realities" investigates what has constituted notions of "archaeological heritage" from colonial times to the present, including case studies of sites in South and Southeast Asia with a special focus on Angkor, Cambodia.

Prof. Dr. Siegfried RCT Enders is a retired State Conservation Officer of the State Conservation Office of Hesse, Germany and a practicing Heritage Consultant at Darmstadt/Germany, adjunct professor of National Research Centre of Cultural Industries at the Central China Normal University and President of the ICOMOS Scientific Committee "Shard Built Heritage". In the past he co-organized a series of international meetings together with local Universities, ICOMOS National Committees and other ICOMOS Scientific Committees.


Previous Workshops of ISC "Shared Built Heritage"

Siegfried Enders has organized a series of "Shared Built Heritage" workshops between 2008 and 2014:

25-27 January 2008 (Wiesbaden, Germany)

International meeting of the ICOMOS Committee on Shared Built Heritage

13-15 October 2009 (Gdansk, Pasłęk and Marianka, Poland)

Annual Meeting – ICOMOS ISC on Shared Built Heritage, International Scientific Conference, Urban Conservation Issues in Pasłęk and Frescoes and Wall Paintings in the Gothic Church in Marianka – the present condition and future perspectives. ICOMOS NC Poland, University of Gdansk

17-24 October 2010 (Paramaribo, Suriname)

SBH Conference on Shared Built Heritage in Historic Cultural Landscapes and Annual Meeting, ICOMOS NC Netherlands, ICOMOS  NC Suriname.

3–9 July 2011 (Cape Town, South Africa)

SBH Conference on Shared Built Heritage in Africa, ICOMOS NC South Africa

25-28 August 2011 (Seoul, South Korea)

Shared Industrial Heritage in Asia, International Conference, ICOMOS NC South Korea, mAAN Modern Asian Architecture Network, TICCIH

20–27 October 2012 (Gulangyu, Xiamen, Wuhan and Beijing, China)

SBH symposia, meetings on Shared Built Heritage in China and Asia. ICOMOS NC China

5-10 November 2012 (Manila & Vigan, Phillipines)

ICOMOS International Conference on Cultural  Tourism, ICOMOS NC Phillipines, ICOMOS  ICTC

11-15 February 2013 (Havana and Santiago de Cuba, Cuba)

The Americas Fortifications; Research, Preservation, Assessment and Management, International Conference, ICOMOS NC Cuba, ICOMOS International Scientific Committees on Fortifications and Military Heritage (ICOFORT)

11-22 April 2014 (Melaka and George Town, Malaysia; Bandung, Indonesia)

ICOMOS SBH South East Asia Study tour and Symposia, reflecting the treatment of SBH in UNESCO WH cities in SE Asia, Melaka and George Town, Malaysia, Bandung, Indonesia, ICOMOS NC Malaysia, ICOMOS NC Indonesia