Legal and Institutional Protection of Cultural Heritage

Course Level: 
Course Open to: 
Students on-site
Academic Year: 
US Credits: 
Course Description: 

This course is the first of two dedicated to this topic. It is intended to introduce students to the major institutions and some of the major normative texts that regulate and guide the protection of cultural heritage at the international level. Students will also learn about the hierarchy of sources of law, the differences between binding and soft laws and the concept of statehood and territoriality. The course will focus in detail two of UNESCO’s main conventions in this field (on World Heritage, on intangible cultural heritage). Besides UNESCO, international organizations for the protection of cultural heritage (ICOMOS, ICOM, ICCROM) and of archaeological heritage will be studied. Through examples we shall also look briefly into how national legislations care for cultural heritage. The teaching is tailored to students without a background in law and to the needs of cultural heritage professionals.

Instructors: József Laszlovszky, Tamás Fejérdy, Boldizsár Nagy, Eszter Csonka Takács, Katalin Wollák

Learning Outcomes: 

- To gain a working familiarity with the international rules for the protection and preservation of the cultural heritage (‘international cultural heritage law’)
- To be able to analyze critically the various international legal instruments for the protection and preservation of the cultural heritage and their implementation
- To understand the role of national governments, institutional frameworks and national legal systems in the implementation of international cultural heritage law
- To understand the role of intergovernmental bodies in the implementation of International cultural heritage law
- To understand the role of cultural heritage professionals and non-governmental cultural heritage organizations in the implementation of International cultural heritage law
- To understand the basic role of international organizations for the safeguarding and protection of cultural heritage


Course requirement and assignment:

- class attendance and activity
- 2 presentations in class: 1.)
 each student should select one World Heritage (WH) Site and one Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH)  item - primarily from their own country and prepare two separate six minutes long presentation with six slides (per each presentation) focusing on the history and submission of the nomination; 2.)  each student should present the national heritage system of their own country according to the given criteria in 10 minutes (with appr. 10 slides) If there are more than one student from the same country they should make a 15 minutes long common presentation sharing tasks and presentation between themselves (tasks divided on the basis of legal and institutional frameworks).

Grading: class attendance and activity (20% of final grade); 2 presentations in class (40%+40% of the final grade)