Presentation on theme: "A Proposal Presented to His Royal Highness Prince Al-Hassan Bin Talal."— Presentation transcript:
A Proposal Presented to His Royal Highness Prince Al-Hassan Bin Talal
This proposal aims to define a vision for the future management of cultural heritage assets in Jordan. The purpose of this proposal is to affect a fundamental change in how heritage is managed and used to derive the full range of benefits for Jordan.
Jordans diverse legacy of cultural heritage attests to its rich history as a crossroads of civilizations, which witnessed the culture, art and genius of numerous great peoples, each leaving their own special mark behind. It is Jordans cultural heritage, which lends the country the unique characteristic of an open air museum, offers the potential for deeper multicultural and religious understanding and represents a great economic opportunity.
The vision for the future of the heritage management sector sees an increase in the national and international significance of Jordans rich and diverse cultural legacy. It also entails better interpretation of sites, and improved conservation and preservations in order to create sustainable tourism.
Weak awareness on the part of both the government and general public of the economic potential that Jordans archeological assets hold has resulted in an inadequate heritage management system that is severely affected by a lack of financial and human resources within this sector.
Antiquities Law, Tourism Law, and law for the Protection of Urban and Architectural Heritage Existing legislation is vague and confusing, and has resulted in unclear divisions of roles between heritage stakeholders, mainly between DoA and MoTA. This leads to the situation in which both the MoTA and the DoA assume responsibilities and perform tasks are not within their mandate and technical competency. A flagrant example of this role confusion and reversal is the DoAs taking responsibility for selling entrance tickets to tourists and the MoTAs performing conservation work at archaeological and heritage sites and establishing and running archaeological museums.
The overlap between the roles of DoA and MoTA in managing the cultural heritage stem from the ambiguity brought about by the two prevailing antiquities and tourism laws, and the fact that both organizations are mandated to manage archeological/tourism sites to ensure their preservation and to present them as tourism products. This split situation can lead to inefficient redundancies and fragmented expertise, competencies and heritage knowledge within the two organizations. Furthermore, there is a lack of defined modalities for cooperation and interaction between MoTA and DoA on issues of cultural heritage management.
One more aspect of split and conflicting responsibilities concerns the conservation and rehabilitation of historical places and buildings. Under current legislation, this responsibility is given to MoTA, which is charged with the care for locations and buildings of historical importance constructed after 1750 AD. Although the law was introduced and enforced in 1985, MoTA has not managed to develop the required technical capacity to deal with the huge task of the conservation and protection of Jordans architectural heritage. This led to the sad loss of a significant part of Jordans irreplaceable architectural heritage.
The DoA is understaffed, under-funded, and in need of more specialized and technologically qualified human resources. The shortage of funding for heritage is largely attributable to weak government recognition of the economic opportunities that Jordans heritage holds. As a result, this area has been gravely overlooked as evident in the low allocation of funds to the work of DoA.
Conservation efforts are limited; presentation and interpretation of heritage sites open for tourists are non-existent or poor; and tourism services are limited. As a result Jordans international and national tourism is negatively affected, the large number of jobs that tourism should generate is not being created, and Jordans cultural identity has not received the recognition it deserves in an increasingly globalized world.
The enhancement of the effective management of cultural heritage in Jordan will require changes to procedures and governance mechanisms at both national and site levels. It is quite essential that the institutional set up of DoA and MoTA must be addressed alongside creating a modern legal framework that refines the heritage management system and clarifies roles and responsibilities with regards to it.
To overcome the systemic failures a number of Important Strategic Initiatives need to be put in place. legislation changes Institutional restructuring, Capacity building at DoA.
The key requirements of the legal revisions are as follows: Amend legislation to remove gaps, overlaps and ambiguity. The laws that need careful revision and amendment are: the Antiquity Law, the Tourism Law, and the Law for the Protection of Urban and Architectural Heritage. Support guidelines for management and conservation of heritage. Grant DoA more independence in hiring staff to meet its needs. Allow DoA to retain earnings from its activities, such as the sale of literature it produces, DoA branded souvenirs, fees for loaning objects, and fees from foreign archaeological teams.
Once the proposed amendments in the legislations are finalized, the Department of Antiquities will have under its jurisdiction the management of the cultural heritage of Jordan. Its main responsibilities will include the conducting of excavations and archaeological surveys, the operation, organization and foundation of archaeological museums, as well as the conservation, rehabilitation, protection and promotion of the ancient monuments, archaeological sites and traditional architecture.
In order to empower and enable the Department of Antiquities to effectively fulfills its obligations, a Supreme Commission (Higher Council) for Cultural Heritage is proposed as the highest authority to look after all cultural heritage affairs in the Kingdom. It embraces representatives of different ministries, NGOs and private sector concerned with the archaeology and heritage protection and conservation.
The purpose behind establishment of this organ is to pool as much experience as possible into a unified channel for ensuring realization of the targeted objectives of the Department of Antiquities. The Supreme Commission will be the governing body of Jordans Cultural Heritage. Commissioners provide expert advice and guidance on heritage matters and have corporate responsibility for establishing the overall strategic direction of the organization and for monitoring its performance against strategic objectives and targets.
For DoA to carry out its mission, the human and financial resources necessary for this must be in place. The reformulation of roles within the heritage sector will require that new skill sets are built up within DoA, more staff are employed and necessary instruments and equipment are provided to meet the demands of the new mandate, with the availability of more funding.
DoAs numerous relationships with NGOs and international academic institutions should be tapped for more research funding or research staff. Ensure that the required human and financial resources are in place for DoA to carry out its missions by securing more funding from the Treasury, collaborating with national and international concerned institutions, and by retaining earnings from commercial activity.