Aiming at furthering the understanding of the relationship between cultural heritage – tangible, intangible, digital and natural – and major societal issues through transnational research projects, the European Joint Programming Initiative on Cultural Heritage and Global Change (JPI CH) launched the call for proposals “Cultural Heritage, Society and Ethics” in March 2022.

Applicants were invited to address two complementary themes. The first one explored the tensions between how cultural heritage can contribute to the development of sustainable experience-based economies without being put at risk and, concurrently, how the non-utilitarian value of cultural heritage can be promoted in the context of its growing commercialisation. The second explored the relationship between cultural heritage, democratic values, and politics in a historical perspective, with a particular emphasis on the construction of conflicting narratives resulting from the use and misuse of cultural heritage, and on the contribution of cultural heritage to sustainable and ethical behaviours and policies.

The two-step call received 62 eligible proposals at the pre-proposal stage and 41 at the full proposal one. Six projects have been elected for funding, their subject matter varying greatly, thus reflecting the multiplicity of the relationships between cultural heritage, society, and ethics. The research projects to be funded are (countries involved):

  • ArcHeritage: Arctic Heritage: Commodification, Identity, and Revitalisation in the Anthropocene (Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom)
  • CUMET: Cultural Heritage in the Metropolitan Peripheries (France, Spain, United Kingdom)
  • DECOPE: Destructive Exploitation and care of Cultural Objects and Professional/Public Education for Sustainable Heritage Management (Norway, Spain, United Kingdom)
  • HerlnDep: Heritage in Depopulated European Areas (Czech Republic, Lithuania, United Kingdom)
  • MalLHoC: Museums and Industry: Long Histories of Collaboration (France, Spain, United Kingdom)
  • PERCOL: Perverse Collections: Building Europe’s Queer and Trans Archives (Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom)

The transnational consortia that implement the projects will collectively receive funding worth about € 3,6 million from the funding agencies involved in the JPI CH CHSE call. The countries participating in this call were Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Lithuania, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and the United Kingdom.