Intangible Cultural Heritage

Who owns Intangible Cultural Heritage?

The role of bearers, experts and the State in the safeguarding of ICH in Slovenia


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Adela Pukl and Anja Jerin 

Slovene Ethnographic Museum

MEMORIAMEDIA Review 3. Art.7. 2018


 photo: A. Pukl


In 2008, the Republic of Slovenia ratified the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003), and thus committed itself to its implementation which is partly carried out by the national Coordinator for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. During past ten years of the implementation of the Convention in Slovenia, experts have been continuously faced with challenges. The question which interrelate all stakeholders is: “Who is the owner of the heritage, or rather, who owns the heritage?” The Coordinator faces many professional challenges, especially at the preparation of proposals for inscription to the national register of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), when the Coordinator works closely with the bearers of the heritage, or at understanding the attitude towards the heritage, as some consider it as “authentic” and “unique”, while others think of it as an “ever-changing live organism” altering in time and space.



Keywords: legislation; promotion of the heritage, national inventory, Slovenia, UNESCO, safeguarding