Cultural heritage is not simply about monuments, artefacts
in museums, or even skills and traditions. In an increasingly cosmopolitan
society, culture and heritage are about identity. They are indispensable
tools to find innovative solutions to the problems of our societies.
But to do so, culture and heritage must be part of mainstream thinking
regarding social and economic change. The report highlights seven
challenges which underpin the present and future relationship between
the value of cultural heritage and democracy.
Together, the Council of Europe and the European Union should
raise the level of activities in the cultural field to ensure that
culture and heritage are viewed from a human rights perspective.
For these are powerful ways to address the social and economic challenges
of today, with a huge potential to integrate people who feel marginalised,
and to encourage public debate and common projects among people
with very different lifestyles, ways of thinking, value systems,
traditions and beliefs.