Статья 'Понятие объекта культурного наследия (терминологический обзор)' - журнал 'Философская мысль' - NotaBene.ru
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Philosophical Thought

The concept of a cultural heritage object (terminological overview)

Pilyak Sergey Aleksandrovich

ORCID: 0000-0002-8910-8741

PhD in Architecture

Associate Professor of the Smolensk State University

214000, Russia, Smolensk region, Smolensk, Bolshaya Sovetskaya str., 30/11

Other publications by this author










Abstract: Cultural heritage is a special phenomenon of human culture. There are definitions of heritage as a substratum of identity, evidence of the development of civilization, an artifact connecting the present and the past, etc. The actualization of cultural heritage, its return to spiritual and economic circulation can serve ideological tasks. Heritage can act as a symbol of the ideological foundations of society, demonstrate strategic priorities that are of particular importance for modernity. Cultural heritage, being a product of creative activity of generations, is formed by a unique combination of circumstances, and, as a result, is unique and non-renewable. All these factors demonstrate the special potential of the heritage, which should be recognized as practically inexhaustible. For this set of reasons, there is a difficulty in interpreting the concept of an object of cultural heritage. This field of scientific search remains an exclusively debatable space with many options for interpreting the key concept. The purpose of the study is to consider the interpretations of the concept of cultural heritage and to determine the specifics of its nature. Simultaneous reference to related concepts allows us to expand the idea of cultural heritage as a collective historical memory expressed in tangible and intangible artifacts. The interdisciplinary methodology based on the comparative method is designed to determine the most concise and capacious definition of heritage, which will reveal the features of its potential actualization in the interests of the state and society.


culture, interpretation of cultural heritage, identity, cognition, cultural phenomena, cultural heritage, heritage, transformation, interpretation, philosophy

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The actualization of cultural heritage as the realization of its potential, or the inclusion of cultural heritage objects in the socio-cultural context, is an important task of our time. The concept of cultural heritage is traditionally considered as a philosophical and cultural category. Methodological aspects of the implementation of cultural policy, the analysis of culture as an integral component of cultural and historical space and a determining factor of social development are considered in the works of O. N. Astafyeva, T. V. Belova, L. E. Vostryakov, G. A. Golitsyn, Yu. A. Lukin, V. M. Mezhuyev, V. M. Petrov, K. E. Razlogov, A. Ya. Flier, O. V. Khlopina et al . The issues of cultural policy implementation are reflected in the studies of Yu. A. Vedenin, M. E. Kuleshova, Yu. P. Shulgin, R. F. Turovsky, V. L. Kagansky and others. Yu. A. Vedenin made a significant contribution to the development and clarification of the concept of "cultural landscape", consideration of its historical, cultural and socio-cultural potential.

The knowledge and functions of cultural heritage in the socio-cultural development of regions were considered in the works of O. N. Astafieva, G. A. Avanesova and others. O. N. Astafieva is a leading Russian scientist who studies the implementation of state cultural policy in the regional refraction. M. L. Shub made a significant contribution to the study of the actualization of heritage. Based on the conceptualization of the image of the past as a cultural phenomenon, the researcher has identified its main characteristics, types and forms of representation of the image of the past in the modern socio-cultural space. A brief overview allows you to note the relevance of the topic.

The choice of research methodology is due to the complex nature of the subject of research, which requires consideration within the framework of an integrated philosophical approach. Cultural heritage and the horizons of its applicability have a complex nature and can be considered in the contexts of philosophy, epistemology, hermeneutics, cultural studies, anthropology, art criticism, history, and other sciences. For this reason, this study is distinguished by an interdisciplinary approach, as a methodology, the methods of various sciences will be consistently applied, in their entirety allowing to fully reveal the understanding of the phenomenon of cultural heritage, its interpretation and actualization.

Together with a significant number of researchers and methods in this field, the number of interpretations of the concept of cultural heritage, which can be considered infinite, is also increasing. For a culturologist, these are manifestations of material and spiritual culture formed by ancestors, which have passed the test of time and are passed on to descendants as a valuable rarity with a special status. Cultural heritage is also interpreted as the main form of cultural preservation [13, 135]. For a museologist [14] cultural heritage is a collection of objects illustrating the evolution of social relations. For this reason, in the public consciousness, heritage is perceived as a value subject to museum preservation and actualization. Practically every sphere of scientific knowledge has acquired an expressive set of its own author's definitions over time. However, the general meaning remains unchanged: in the historical perspective, heritage objects acquire the status of a symbol and evidence of past eras. The value of heritage lies in the fact that individual monuments are able to tell about civilizations and historical and cultural images of the past [7, 210], organize the connection of times and generations. The words of D.S. Likhachev sound relevant that "it is extremely important to feel yourself in history. Cultural and historical monuments help this feeling" [10, 451].

The authors of the generalizing publication "Analysis of the practice of involving volunteers in the preservation of cultural heritage (on the example of Russia, Great Britain and France)" give their definition of cultural heritage, interpreting it as a phenomenological category that records the results of the transfer and inheritance in society of certain objects of the past [2, 17]. However, in our opinion, a more concise and at the same time voluminous definition of heritage should be recognized as its understanding as a substrate of national identity [18; 19]. The important role of identity – local, regional and national – is undeniable. Heritage symbolizes the meanings and meanings that unite peoples and cities. Therefore, it is logical and fair to present cultural heritage as the main tool for the implementation of the state cultural policy. Note that there are other interpretations of the fundamental terms. Among others , the following definition stands out: "Inheritance is what the past leaves us; heritage is what we take from the past and use as property, and the value of cultural heritage is what we ourselves choose from cultural heritage for use and storage for the future" [20].

As a result of the above, we note that cultural heritage is a special group of cultural values. Accessible to perception in modernity and at the same time excluded from the realities of the present day, heritage unites in culture what needs to be preserved for heirs, i.e. subsequent generations. "The preservation and accumulation of cultural and natural heritage is the duty of those living today to those generations who have not yet come to this world, although they should, according to the logic of history, enter into inheritance rights" [19].

Due to the involvement of heritage in past eras, it needs to be actualized – the transformation of historical and cultural potential into reality. As modern researchers note, "... the public representation of collective identity is usually dominated by one of the three components of sociocultural time: past, present or future" [11, 74]. At the same time, the object of cultural heritage is involved in all three of these areas. The object is part of the past as created in past epochs, interpreted in the present taking into account the modern environment of the interpreter and is a legacy for future generations. One of the leading Russian cultural scientists Kirill Razlogov, asserting the thesis of unity in diversity, proposed "to give every cultural community the opportunity to find those ideas that are closest to it" [12, 85]. In the context of this study, it is possible to use this thesis in the actualization of cultural heritage. As you know, "... in a work of art, the truth is comprehended, unattainable in any other way" [4, 40]. However, nevertheless, in order to make this truth clear, certain efforts must be made.

According to modern researchers, there is currently an increasing interest in what is associated with the commemoration and preservation of cultural heritage. Naturally, in many ways this interest concerns, first of all, the perception of heritage and awareness of its value. Depending on a number of circumstances, "... different parts of the heritage turn out to be "unequal", in the eyes of descendants, a different understanding (interpretation) of the same phenomena develops" [8, 135]. It is possible to draw an obvious conclusion that a special issue in this area is the study of the controllability of this process.

At the same time, a commemorative theory of museum activity has been developing in recent years, considering the museum as a space for preserving historical memory [15]. "Commemoration is usually understood as a series of practices or singular events aimed at updating the "content" of "cultural memory", as well as its updating or assimilation" [15, 22]. In a certain sense, within the framework of this theory, museums can be called centers of ideological work. The construction of national-state identity through the formation of thematic expositions and the presentation of objects of special origin dates back to pagan temples, which housed trophies illustrating the culture and history of defeated enemies. Consequently, the commemorative theory, like others, only considers in a special context the processes that have been taking place for a considerable time. "... assessing the role of Russian museums in the system of commemorative culture, we can note that the potential of the museum in this area is not fully used" [3, 77].

Analyzing commemorative practices, Professor A. Smirnov notes their difference from the instruments of ideological influence. According to the researcher, museums "... "broadcast" no longer information, but a certain social experience, experience of experience and experience of involvement in the event. One of the forms of acquiring such an experience is a visit to a museum, considered as an attempt by an individual to identify himself with the past, to be involved in it" [15, 23].

The ideological content of cultural policy is traditionally perceived as the main vector of manipulation in the field of culture. "The rejection of ideology is also a rejection of universal principles, due to which the organization of the political space takes place. In reality, such principles always exist" [17, 66], says I.M. Ugrin. The Constitution of Russia, proclaiming the highest value of human rights and freedoms, simultaneously renounces ideology and forms it. With this in mind, it is possible to simplify the definition of ideology to the formed priority of some values over others. As the researchers note, "the trick of ideology lies in its mimicry – it adapted to the scientific nature and turned out to be a special qualitatively new industry that stands on the border of culture" [5, 163]. From the modern point of view, cultural policy is the object of theoretical research, which aims to define and interpret concepts, typologize models, identify structural and functional relationships, etc.

It is generally agreed that national differences in the conditions of accelerating globalization will gradually be eliminated. Nevertheless, as V. notes. Egorov, "... globalization and information technologies "erase the boundaries" between local civilizations, but do not cancel the fact that in the general civilizational field of modernity, various cultural-mental, national subjects of history implement the laws of its development in their own way" [6, 22].

Identity, including ideological identity, is felt exclusively in comparison with the values of other societies. Geographically, mentally, temporally, the border space is simultaneously a zone of interpenetration and transformation of cultural traditions. This invariably leads to an ideological struggle that can manifest itself in different ways.

In addition, modern researchers have repeatedly noted that "... the struggle of ideological centers takes place not so much at the economic or political level (although, of course, at each of them too) – the confrontation takes place in the sphere of meanings, at the level of the formation of social reality, a single cultural universe <...> It is obvious that in such a struggle cultural affinity becomes a fundamental resource facilitating ideological advancement, on which the main stake is placed" [9, 123]. Despite the obvious potential for the ideological use of cultural heritage and the practical experience gained over the years, a full-fledged theoretical understanding of this process and the development of a detailed methodology of actions is still a promising scientific task.

Large-scale work on the actualization of cultural heritage in order to create and strengthen its own ideological platform requires considerable resources and can only be done by the state that has the greatest tools to influence cultural life. In this case, the tools of the state are the management of science, art, religion through the development and broadcasting of state ideology through the education system and mass media. In domestic practice, the concept of state cultural policy or state policy in the field of cultural development is fixed by the Federal Law of the Russian Federation dated 09.10.1992 No. 3612-1 "Fundamentals of the legislation of the Russian Federation on culture": "State cultural policy (state policy in the field of cultural development) is a set of principles and norms that guide the state in its activities for the preservation, development and dissemination of culture, as well as the state's activities in the field of culture" [1]. Accordingly, the immutability of the heritage, its enormous potential as a substrate of identity, should be used.

Consequently, the heritage has a huge creative force that can be used to form a worldview platform capable of solving, among other things, ideological tasks. It is difficult to overestimate the significance of heritage as a symbol of both strictly observed traditions and innovations necessary for society. The consolidation of society, assistance in resolving existing contradictions, the formation of a positive attitude to modernity – the solution of all these tasks can be accessible thanks to the actualization of heritage. Heritage has a kind of "credit of trust", because it belongs to other eras. Authenticity, as well as the ability to survive its epoch, is the most important characteristic and unique property of cultural heritage, in most cases belonging to the past and removed from the environment of existence. Returning to the interpretation of heritage as a "substratum of identity", we mention the most concise and capacious definition, simultaneously declaring the peculiarities of the nature of heritage and the prospects for its actualization in the interests of the state and society.

The identification of heritage objects, the attitude towards them and their actualization not only demonstrates the maturity of the state and society, but also visibly shows the creative guidelines characteristic of the era. By working with heritage, it is possible to show what is important for the development of society at the moment.


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This article is devoted to a well-developed topic, but it is constantly considered from different points of view, depending on the cultural and historical situation and circumstances. And in this regard, new aspects and nuances are emerging. Cultural heritage is the most important foundation for the development of an intellectual, spiritual, moral and creative personality, as well as for national self-esteem. It permeates literally all aspects of human life and activity. Cultural heritage is understood to mean the material and immaterial part of culture created by past generations and perceived as something valuable and revered. Cultural heritage has two important aspects. The first is the creative aspect – living culture - folk art and crafts, continuously developing and updating. The second aspect of cultural heritage concerns its historical value – architectural and historical monuments, museum exhibits reminiscent of the past. These objects give people a sense of the continuity of their identity. History has the unique property of saturating the present with semantic content. It helps to understand how we became who we are and what is important to us. The term "cultural heritage" has appeared relatively recently. For the first time, a detailed justification of the concept appeared in the Convention on the Protection of the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage of 1972. In the Convention, the "cultural heritage" includes places of interest, ensembles and monuments that have outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art, aesthetics, ethnology, anthropology or science. Thus, "cultural heritage" is a multifaceted concept, and despite all the variability of existing definitions, it is still not fully unambiguous. Despite the general theoretical elaboration of its definition and structure, in practice the boundaries between the above-mentioned approaches, objects and types remain unclear. The centuries-old civilizational development of mankind has shown the need to preserve and enhance cultural heritage. This is one of the most important aspects of the company's activities, which is a continuous process that requires activity, dedication and manageability. The distinctive features of cultural heritage usually include: 1. anthropogenicity (cultural value is the result of human creative activity); 2. possession of a certain, as a rule, great cultural significance (historical, artistic, scientific, etc.) for society; 3. authenticity (in the absence of authenticity, an object or object loses its significance). Cultural values as objects of cultural heritage, due to their diversity, can be classified depending on the purpose for various reasons: ? connection with the land (movable, immovable), ? turnover, ? material, ? time and place of creation, ? protection regime, ? uniqueness, etc. Academician D. S. Likhachev draws attention to the information-time component as a basic component of heritage. He identifies the following components of cultural heritage: language, ideals, traditions, customs, rituals, holidays, memorable dates, folklore, folk crafts and crafts; works of art, museum, archival and library collections, collections, books, manuscripts, letters, personal archives; monuments of archeology, architecture, science and art, memorabilia signs, structures, ensembles, places of interest and other evidence of the historical past; unique landscape zones and areas of archaeological, historical and scientific significance, joint creations of man and nature, modern structures of special value from the point of view of history, art or science, as well as other objects and phenomena of historical and cultural value. According to the Federal Law "On Objects of Cultural Heritage of the Peoples of the Russian Federation" of 2002, the main types of cultural heritage objects include: ? Monuments – historical buildings and structures with established territories, as well as objects of science and technology; ? Ensembles – groups of monuments clearly localized in historically established territories, as well as works of landscape architecture and landscape art; - Places of interest – monuments created by man, or joint creations of man and nature related to the history of the formation of peoples on the territory of Russia, historical events. This issue has not only a terminological significance, but also a significant hermeneutic content associated with the uniqueness of cultural objects, with their historical and national value. The article is based on a lot of factual material, there are references to various points of view, including an appeal to opponents, and a fairly large bibliography is used. The work is written in clear language, with clear reasoning. It seems that the article will be of interest to a certain part of the magazine's audience.
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