ABSTRACT

The idea of protecting sites as examples of ‘world heritage’ developed during the twentieth century but had its antecedents in the nineteenth century. We are now familiar with the idea of ‘world heritage’; and the inter-governmental World Heritage Committee which was formed after the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention) (1972, enacted 1975) designates sites of World Heritage.1 This formula has proved successful; there are currently almost one thousand World Heritage Sites in one-hundred-and-fifty-one countries, inscribed for their ‘cultural and natural’ interest. While it has been accepted that the idea of international cooperation in preservation became established in the nineteenth and earlytwentieth century, there is little understanding of how this actually happened; the phenomenon of ‘world heritage’ has been neither adequately examined nor explained.2 This volume explores and explains the contexts for the emergence of ‘international heritage’ during the important formative period from 1870 to 1930 when the protection of specific places, or sites, moved from a cause of national and imperial concern to one of international concern.