Cultural heritage can be an object of attachment, admiration and recognition, a cement of identity but also a reason for exclusion, a target for destruction or a hostage of political conflicts and ideological controversies. For more than two centuries, it has also been a research subject.

Under the French presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Foundation for Heritage Science successfully organised, with the European Commission and in partnership with the French Ministry of Culture, the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the universities of Paris-Saclay and Cergy Paris, a symposium dedicated to heritage science in Europe. It focuses on heritage science, an interdisciplinary field that contributes to the identification, understanding, conservation and transmission of cultural heritage, whether tangible, intangible, natural or digital. Today, this field brings together the humanities and the social, experimental, digital, and engineering sciences.

During two days, the symposium was able to highlight heritage science, in all its diversity, in France and in Europe, consider its central role in responding to the major contemporary challenges – whether social, cultural, economic, political or environmental – as well as its articulation with various initiatives carried out by the European institutions.

The event was structured around four themes:

  • A reflexive heritage for a resilient society: heritage is a dynamic concept in a constantly changing world. This theme discusses its creation, interpretation, valorisation and its role for our societies.
  • Sustainable management of cultural heritage: which will deal with the tools, methods and technologies that foster knowledge and transmission to the future generations.
  • Cultural heritage in a changing context: which will address the challenges posed by the rapidly changing demographic, social, environmental, economic, political and cultural context.
  • Cultural heritage climate and environment change: which will focus on the impacts and the adaptation of heritage to climate change, as well as its capacity to be a resource for a more sustainable society.

Symposium 'Heritage for the Future, Science for Heritage'

Playback of the Symposium Recordings

Welcome Addresses & Plenary Session 1-2
Welcome Addresses

Plenary Session 1 – Preserving and mobilising cultural heritage in the face of climate change: the role of research and innovation in an emergency context

Plenary Session 2 – Heritage science and digital transformation: challenges and opportunities

Round Tables
Round Table 1.1 – The ever-expanding domain of patrimonialisation: challenges and perspectives

Round Table 1.2 – Digital modelling: development and application of complex tools

Round Table 1.3 – Towards new experience of heritage: reflections on innovative mediations

Round Table 1.4 – Preserving cultural heritage: new materials and innovative technologies in perspective

Round Table 2.1 – Building the future in the light of the past: the social, economic, political and educational value of cultural heritage

Round Table 2.2 – Urban transformation and heritage in the light of political and societal issues

Round Table 2.3 – Identity and social issues: identifying, interpreting, transmitting

Round Table 2.4 – Adapting cultural heritage to climate change: from risk assessment to the implementation of solutions

Round Table 3.1 – From decline to revival: cultural heritage and urban regeneration

Round Table 3.2 – When culture meets nature: cultural landscapes in question

Round Table 3.3 – Challenges and perspectives for the sustainable rehabilitation and renovation

Round Table 3.4 – Tangible heritage and green conservation: practices in question.

Round Table 4.1 – Towards inclusive and socially engaged heritage practices

Round Table 4.2 – Digital heritage: frameworks and practices for a sustainable management

Round Table 4.3 – Learning from the past: mobilising cultural heritage for a sustainable future

Plenary Sessions 3-5 & Closure
Welcome address by the official representatives & Plenary session 3 – Training heritage stakeholders: challenges and prospects

Plenary session 4 – Cultural and creatives industries, a new field of application for heritage science

Plenary session 5 – The contribution of heritage science to the New European Bauhaus

Summary of the key messages and closing session – Heritage science, what perspectives in France and in Europe?

*An event organised in the framework of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union. This event was not organised by the French Government. However, the French Government has authorised it to use the emblem of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union; Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed in the frame of this event do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union and the European Commission. The European Union nor the European Commission can be held responsible for them.