Highlighting Relationships between Cultural Heritage and Human Rights | Law

Highlighting Relationships between Cultural Heritage and Human Rights

Pictured from left to right: Professor Sarah Williams, Dr Lucas Lixinski, Annmaree O'Keeffe AM, and Professor Andrea Durbach.

Do we value heritage because of what it is, or because of how we relate to it? And are we entitled to care about what happens to buildings and monuments we have never seen live, in far-away countries? Those were some of the questions discussed on May 15, 2017, in an event organized by UNSW Law’s Australian Human Rights Centre.

The double-billed event was a discussion of the award-winning documentary The Destruction of Memory, followed by a launch of the book Heritage, Culture and Rights: Challenging Legal Discourses, edited by Professor Andrea Durbach and Dr Lucas Lixinski. Annmaree O’Keeffe, Chair of the Australian National Commission for UNESCO, launched the book. In her remarks, she highlighted the importance of connecting two types of cultural heritage: tangible (monuments, buildings, sites) and intangible (songs, stories, dances). This connection, she suggested, is the pathway to holistically protect our heritage, and to connect peoples across the world.