The Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (Faro Convention, 2005)

The Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (Faro Convention, 2005) was born out of the desire of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to create a framework that would show what kind of economic, social and cultural possibilities and resources cultural heritage can offer.

The Faro Convention emphasizes the important aspects of heritage as they relate to human rights and democracy. It promotes a wider understanding of heritage and its relationship to communities and society.

“Everyone, alone or collectively, has
the right to benefit from the cultural heritage
& to contribute towards its
enrichment.” 

(Article 4 of the Convention on the
Value of Cultural Heritage for Society – Faro Convention, 2005)

The Faro Convention was adopted by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers on 13 October 2005 and it entered into force on 1 June 2011. To date it has been ratified by 17 states and signed by 6 additional states. The implementation of the Convention is coordinated through the Faro Convention Action Plan, which is reviewed and adjusted biennially, based on specific societal challenges and set Organisational priorities.

Signatories to the FARO Convention recognise the need to put people and human values at the centre of an enlarged and cross-disciplinary concept of cultural heritage; they recognise that every person has a right to engage with the cultural heritage of their choice; and are convinced of the need to involve everyone in society in the ongoing process of defining and managing cultural heritage. Although not all member states have or will sign this Convention, it is nevertheless changing the way we all think about heritage, recognising that heritage should be inclusive not exclusive, and that the everyday and the ordinary has merit alongside the special and the iconic.

The Faro Convention is a “framework convention” that addresses a wide range of aspects and questions pertaining to cultural heritage. The Convention is based on the idea that rights relating to cultural heritage are inherent in the right to participate in cultural life, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. According to the Convention, conservation of and respect for cultural heritage have positive effects on the quality of life.

One of the key objectives of the Convention is to strengthen the connection between cultural heritage, quality of life, identity and sustainable development in society. The Convention emphasises the role of cultural heritage as a resource, the diversity of cultural heritage, and its significance as a resource for sustainable economic development.

The Convention is based on the idea that rights relating to cultural heritage are inherent in the right to participate in cultural life, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. One of the key principles of the Convention is that everyone, alone or collectively, has the right to benefit from the cultural heritage and to contribute towards its enrichment. This right also includes the responsibility to respect the cultural heritage of others.

 

The text of the Faro Convention can be downloaded at:
http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/EN/Treaties/Html/199.htm

The Faro Convention Action Plan Handbook for 2018 – 2019 can be downloaded at:
https://rm.coe.int/faro-convention-action-plan-handbook-2018-2019/native/168079029c

Additional material can be found at:
http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/cultureheritage/heritage/identities/beyond_en.asp