National Laws Related to Intangible Cultural Heritage: Determining the Object of a Comparative Study

Anita Vaivade,

Noé Wagener

Abstrakt
This article is part of a collective research that focuses on studying various national legal tools elaborated for implementing the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), adopted in 2003. Instead of presenting the first results of this comparative law research project still in progress, the purpose of this article is to question the object of such a comparative study – before comparing and even before defining the scope of the study in terms of countries to be studied. It is certain that a comparative study on ICH law cannot be carried out simply based on a database gathering national laws using the term “ICH”. The pitfall is twofold: on one hand, it would be an error to think that one starts from nothing, and that ICH law remains still to be written in the vast majority of States; while on the other hand it would also be an error to create artificial continuities, with more or less assumed political implications, made up of legal regulations of yesterday and today which, nevertheless, do not claim to concern ICH. It is in the interval between these two extremes that legal continuities, as well as disruptions of the legislative histories may be observed, and all of these would enrich our understanding about the contexts in which the term “ICH” has been incorporated into national legal systems.
Słowa kluczowe: intangible cultural heritage, cultural heritage law, national law, legal history, comparative analysis
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