The Scope and Definitions of Heritage: From Tangible to Intangible

By Yahaya Ahmad

  • This article focuses on the scope and definition of heritage as promulgated by the various charters across the globe.
  • The term ‘historic monument’ used in the Venice Charter 1964 was reinterpreted by ICOMOS in 1965ICOMOS. 21–22 June 1965. Report on the Constitutive Assembly 21–22 June, Warsaw, , Poland as ‘monument’ and ‘site’; and by UNESCO in 1968 UNESCO. 1968. Recommendation Concerning the Preservation of Cultural Property Endangered by Public or Private Works. 15th Session of the General Conference. 1968, Paris. as ‘cultural property’ to include both movable and immovable. The different terminology between the UNESCO and ICOMOS was reconciled at the World Heritage Convention 1972. At national and regional levels the scope of heritage was broadened to include gardens, landscape and environment, and later reinterpreted and defined quite differently in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and China.


  • he most significant guideline was the International Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites, commonly known as the Venice Charter 1964, 1 [1] Congress of Architects and Technicians of Historic Monuments (CATHM), the Venice Charter 1964. which set a remarkable benchmark for principles governing architectural conservation and restoration.
  • Since its adoption internationally in 1964, the Venice Charter has been used as a reference point for the development of a number of other conservation documents around the world.