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Title: Living sites : the past in the present : the monastic site of Meteora, Greece : towards a new approach to conservation
Author: Poulios, Ioannis
ISNI:       0000 0004 2675 0942
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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This work deals with the complexities in the operation and management of living heritage sites. It attempts to reconcile their process of creation, which continues today, with the protection of their heritage significance. The monastic site of Meteora, Greece (a World Heritage site) is used as the case study, while comparisons are drawn with sites from different parts of the world. After reviewing existing definitions of the concept of 'living sites', this work presents a new interpretation of such sites. Living sites are sites whose process of creation continues today in accordance with their original function ('functional continuity'). Emphasis is also placed on the way the nature of functional continuity changes over the course of time. On this basis, this research explores the functional continuity of Meteora, rooted in the Orthodox monastic tradition, and examines the way its nature changes over the course of time. Meteora is a monastic site that is increasingly gaining significance also as a tourist destination and a heritage site, influenced by changing wider circumstances. It is then demonstrated that the current theoretical framework and practice of conservation (as best epitomised in 'values-based' approaches) and the World Heritage concept in particular, is based on discontinuity created between the monuments considered to belong to the past and the people of the present, thus seemingly unable to embrace living sites. Thus, a new approach is suggested for the operation of living sites. The living sites' approach concentrates on communities as the creators of the sites, viewing communities and sites as an inseparable entity. The ultimate aim is to shift the focus of conservation from 'protection' towards a continual process of 'creation' in an ongoing present, attempting to change the way heritage is perceived, protected and, more importantly, further created.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available