Cultural Heritage Ethics: Between Theory and Practice - cover image



Published On





  • English

Print Length

228 pages (xx + 208)


Paperback156 x 12 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.48" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 14 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.56" x 9.21")


Paperback721g (25.43oz)
Hardback1100g (38.80oz)



OCLC Number





  • JFC
  • HBTB
  • GM


  • ART056000
  • POL038000
  • SOC002010


  • CC135


  • Cultural Heritage
  • Curation
  • Preservation
  • Cultural Heritage Management
  • Ethics
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Cultural Heritage Ethics

Between Theory and Practice

  • Sandis Constantine (editor)
Theory without practice is empty, practice without theory is blind, to adapt a phrase from Immanuel Kant. The sentiment could not be truer of cultural heritage ethics. This intra-disciplinary book bridges the gap between theory and practice by bringing together a stellar cast of academics, activists, consultants, journalists, lawyers, and museum practitioners, each contributing their own expertise to the wider debate of what cultural heritage means in the twenty-first century.

Cultural Heritage Ethics provides cutting-edge arguments built on case studies of cultural heritage and its management in a range of geographical and cultural contexts. Moreover, the volume feels the pulse of the debate on heritage ethics by discussing timely issues such as access, acquisition, archaeological practice, curatorship, education, ethnology, historiography, integrity, legislation, memory, museum management, ownership, preservation, protection, public trust, restitution, human rights, stewardship, and tourism.

This volume is neither a textbook nor a manifesto for any particular approach to heritage ethics, but a snapshot of different positions and approaches that will inspire both thought and action. Cultural Heritage Ethics provides invaluable reading for students and teachers of philosophy of archaeology, history and moral philosophy – and for anyone interested in the theory and practice of cultural preservation.


Sandis's gathering of thirteen thoughtful contributions across a range of disciplines vindicates his decision to consider the puzzles of cultural heritage ethics in both theoretical and practical terms . . . This rich collection of essays includes voices from the developing as well as the developed world.

Ivan Gaskell

"Cultural Heritage Ethics: Between Theory and Practice". The Philosophical Quarterly (0031-8094), vol. 65, no. 260, 2015. doi:10.1093/pq/pqu099

Full Review

Additional Resources

[image]Constantine Sandis, Culture, Heritage, and Ethics(ERZY BOHDAN SZUMCZYK/AFP/Getty Images.)

Image from the GettyImages archive, referenced in chapter 1.

This undated photo made available by Polish artist Jerzy Bohdan Szumczyk on October 16, 2016 show the sculpture he made featuring a Soviet soldier raping a pregnant woman in Gdansk, Poland. The life-size sculpture was installed without authorization in the night from Saturday to Sunday near a monument dedicated to the Red Army and was removed by the police within a few hours.

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors

Preface and Acknowledgments


I. Meaning and Memory

1. Constantine Sandis, Culture, Heritage, and Ethics

2. James Fox, Poppy Politics: Remembrance of Things Present

3. Benjamin Ramm, The Meaning of the Public in an Age of Privatisation

II. History and Archaeology

4. Nira Wickramasinghe, History as Heritage: Producing the Present in Post-War Sri Lanka

5. William St Clair, Looking at the Acropolis of Athens from Modern Times to Antiquity

6. Sudeshna Guha, South Asian Heritage and Archaeological Practices

7. Geoffrey Scarre, The Ethics of Digging

III. Ownership and Restitution

8. Sir John Boardman, 'National' Heritage and Scholarship

9. Tom Flynn, Fear of Cultural Objects

10. Sir Mark Jones, Restitution

IV. Management and Protection

11. Michael F. Brown, The Possibilities and Perils of Heritage Management

12. Geoffrey Belcher, Values in World Heritage Sites

13. Marie Cornu, Safeguarding Heritage: From Legal Rights over Objects to Legal Rights for Individuals and Communities?


Links to Selected International Conventions and Charters on Cultural Heritage


Sandis Constantine

Professor of Philosophy at University of Hertfordshire