18 April - The International Day for Monuments and Sites

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About the Theme of 18 April 2009: Heritage and Science

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greenwich-royal-observatoryThere are two major streams to the theme of Heritage and Science that has been chosen for International Day for Monuments and Sites 2009: one being the role that science (and the scientific process) has played in the creation of heritage, and the other being the contribution that science (and technology) offers to the study of heritage. It is now difficult to separate science and technology; whilst science (as a system of processes and a body of knowledge about the physical world) can often exist without technology, the converse is not true. Technology is a system of tools and procedures concerned with modifying the physical world, and to a great extent is based on science. The bulk of the World’s tangible heritage, excluding perhaps completely natural landscapes, is the result of this practical application of knowledge.

Last Updated on Monday, 20 April 2009 15:51

The Scientific Heritage: some introductory remarks

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18April_Ulugbek_outsideThe issue of scientific heritage is today placed before the international community. It appears as a relatively new challenge, both for its definition and for its assessment criteria. It has become commonplace to recall that this heritage is today under-represented on the World Heritage List. Indeed, few cultural properties explicitly acknowledge this dimension as being dominant or simply even present in the analysis of their outstanding universal value. In fact, for ICOMOS, the concept of scientific heritage has so far only been one of the cultural dimensions associated with a cultural property, often a minor, even implicit, dimension.

Last Updated on Monday, 20 April 2009 16:33

Belgium: The Thermo Technical Institute - An example of industrial and scientific heritage

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The Thermo Technical Institute at the KU Leuven (Belgium)The Thermo Technical Institute of the Catholic University of Leuven (K.U.Leuven, Belgium) was constructed for the technical education of its engineers. During the erection between 1926 and 1931 the Institute accommodated a lab for mechanics, electricity and thermal machines. The didactic machine collection served during fifty years for the preparation of many engineer students for the industry. Since some decades the Institute lost its educational meaning but now functions as a ‘Museum of Historical Engines’.
During eighty years the Institute developed into a monument of industrial archaeology and at the same time as a surprising part of the scientific and academic heritage of the University of Leuven.

Last Updated on Friday, 17 April 2009 15:47

Greece: The Metallurgical Region of Lavrion

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greece_lavrio_200The name of Lavrion, attributed to the mountainous mass of this metallurgical region, seems to have prevailed after the age of Homer. It most probably derives from the word lavra or lavri, meaning a narrow paved road and, for Homer, the corridor, the transversal road.

Xenophon himself, the historian of Lavrion par excellence, narrates:

"Ότι πάνυ παλαιά ενεργά εστί, πάσι σαφές• ουδείς γάρ ουδέ πειράται λέγειν, από ποίου χρόνου επεχειρήθη..."

...These routes had existed long ago.

Last Updated on Monday, 20 April 2009 09:32