UCL News


A reappraisal of conservation in Jerusalem

4 March 2009


Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities marque ucl.ac.uk/sustainableheritage/" target="_self">UCL Centre for Sustainable Heritage

Professor Michael Turner, UNESCO Chair in Urban Design & Conservation Studies, will speak on 'Poetry and Optimism in the Conservation of the Old City of Jerusalem', at a UCL event on 12 March 2009.

The event is organised by the UCL Centre for Sustainable Heritage and supported by UCL Grand Challenges. Professor Turner, of the Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design, Jerusalem, is also a member of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.

The conservation of cultural heritage in general, and of Jerusalem in particular, can be perceived either as the means of consensus or as the essence of the casus belli of the cultural and political reality of the city. The former has more to offer and with the need for sustainability - conserving the city of past, present and future generations - mutual recognition can transcend the barriers of conflict.

Professor Turner's presentation will look at the wider options for the definition of Jerusalem's multicultural significance and will present a possible scenario that employs the almost globally accepted UNESCO World Heritage Convention as the foundation of consensus building. While the significance of religious myth and symbolism is high on the list, it should be put into the spatial perspective to balance the sacred and profane.

This reappraisal might provide a focus for a clearer definition of the city's cultural significance, peeling the palimpsest, thus giving revised boundaries, relevant buffer zones and a mechanism for management. A dynamic interpretation demands a collective respect by all concerned citizens of the events in the city, thus allowing the shared historic score to be played with different emphases and different instruments by each of the players.

  • 6pm, 12 March 2009
  • Room 106, Roberts Building
  • RSVP Ben Glynn, UCL Centre for Sustainable Heritage