Cultural Heritage in Israel: a never-ending story in the Middle East
Relatore: Yaacov Schaffer
Former Director of Israel Cultural Heritage Dept.
The Israel Antiquity Authority - Haifa University
Presidente della Scuola Superiore di Catania
Claudio Di Benedetto
Coordinatore della Divisione collezioni e servizi delle Gallerie degli Uffizi
ABSTRACT: My lecture will deal on cultural heritage in Israel by looking at very complex geographical, political, physical, cultural and religious issues. This 21,000 km2 thin strip of land has been called in different names during history such as Canaan, Israel and Judea, Judea Capta, Provincia Palestinae, Holy Land, Shams Al Gianub, South Syria, Palestine, Israel. This tiny piece of land caused and it is still causing huge religious, historic and political turmoil with "waves" reaching every corner of the world. I will analyze whether the cultural heritage in Israel is part of the Middle East uproar. Then I will discuss how to deal in Israel with almost any important cultural heritage site, being this issue always leading to political and religion discussions, to emotional outbursts and even to fights. Furthermore, I will cover how the conservation authorities (la Sopraintendenza) act and react to all these kinds of topics. This by considering the known and the hidden efforts made to save and conserve for the future the Built Cultural Heritage of Israel, being several of them part of the World Cultural Heritage.
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