Architectures and monuments from medieval and ancient history are perhaps the most important pieces in the culture and identity of a geographical location. These monuments do not just reflect not the history and experiences of their people. They are also very relevant in the study of the scientific prowess and advancements made in the days of yore.
However, up until fairly recently, the evaluation of these historical monuments was never given much of a priority in the countries belonging to the European Union and other countries with a history of being involved with the USSR. The general consensus of most Government entities on the subject of historical monuments seemed to be that they are more of an economic liability than a taxpayers’ asset.
The public mandate indicated that historical monuments do not have any large role to play in contributing to the GDP of the country. There was this persisting idea that the sector of cultural heritage, which entails all the historical monuments, art, and architecture, did not have the scope to generate a lot of employment.
Thus, it was deemed to be a burden on taxpayers’ money. This, of course, turned out to be far from reality. The tourism industry in so many countries has skyrocketed exponentially in the last few decades. In India, the Taj Mahal alone was visited by over 4 million people in the pandemic-stricken year of 2020. This reveals to us a larger prerogative of historical monuments in the context of the national economy.
These monuments help the tourism industry of a country reach new heights, and in doing so, they impact the global market in radical ways.
The Steps To Secure Cultural Heritage
The term cultural heritage has been used to denote a holistic account of the association that we humans share with the world in general, the many ways in which this relationship has changed and evolved, and the many distinct stages it has been through. Cultural heritage presents us with a comprehensive document reflecting all that we have accomplished and all that we have invented through the course of history.
There are many distinct categories within the overall framework of cultural heritage. These categories entail archaeologically significant pieces of geography, architectural models and plans for ancient cities, pilgrimages and other places of religious significance, topographical features unique to the location in question, ancient murals, paintings, and remains of monuments, and so on.
Nowadays, these places are often repurposed into galleries, museums, and such. The key steps necessary to protect these sites include:
- Proper preservation: These historic sites should always be kept under a watchful eye to prevent all kinds of physical damage and acts of vandalism.
- Modification: These sites need to be compatible with cutting-edge technology and services, which can in turn help take better care of the sites. However, this should not be done at the cost of the defining cultural features of the site, and the most historically significant areas should be left as is.
- Restoration: If a historic site has suffered a significant amount of damage owing to the ravages of time or due to alterations and acts of vandalism caused by human beings, the site needs a certain level of reconstruction and redesign so that it can be returned to its former glory. The rocks and the fabric used in the restoration process should not clash with the materials used in the original architecture.
- Conservation: Overall, no matter how much damage has been caused to the historical site, the primary objective of the authorities should be to prevent and contain as much of the future damage as they can. It is inevitable for a monument to eventually succumb to the passage of time. However, it is our responsibility to make sure that the monuments keep standing in their iconic glory for as long as time allows it.
The Mechanisms Devised To Evaluate Historical Sites
There are broadly two modes of analyses that are used to calculate and compare the efficiencies of the different mechanisms that help us measure the value of a site of historical significance:
- Cost-efficiency: In this school of thought, it is generally agreed upon that there is no need to produce any conclusive calculations or proper figures to denote the value of a particular site of historical or cultural significance. This is because these sites do not have any tangible benefits but are still crucial to the cultural identity of a geographical area. Hence, the only challenge is to devise the most cost-effective way to carry out the preservation techniques mentioned above.
- Cost-benefit: This theory dictates that historical sites do have calculable values to the economy of a nation and that these values can be computed and tallied against the cost of the preservation to acquire the best possible results.
The values dictated in the definition of Cost-Benefit are generally constituted by:
- Direct Use Value: These benefits can directly be enjoyed by people. For example, converting a historical site into a museum serves a recreational value for people.
- Indirect Use Value: These are the secondary benefits generated by the same process. For example, a museum generates employment, and increased traction causes the quality of life in the area to improve.
- Option Value: This denotes the fact that a restored historical site can prove to be an economically profitable avenue in the near future.
- Existence Value: This is more of intangible property. It denotes the fact that these historical sites help generate education and awareness among people.
- Bequest Value: This, again, is intangible property. It denotes the fact that these historical sites can help solidify a strong legacy for posterity.
The technical mechanisms used to calculate the profitability of these sites are as follows:
- Market Price Method: This method uses the market price, i.e., the cost of admission into the premises of a historical site, to denote its value.
- Travel Cost Method: This method takes into account the amount of money that the tourists and visitors may have spent on their transportation to visit the historical site in question.
- Hedonic Pricing Method: This method uses a combination of tangible and intangible indicators to denote the value of a historical site. These include quality of services, nature of the environment, aesthetic appeal, etc.
- Stated Preference Method: This is the most straightforward method in this list. It entails presenting the visitors with a questionnaire that lets them decide the value of the historical site.
This article gives you a comprehensive list of all the methods that can be used to evaluate the innate worth of a historical site. For more information regarding the particulars of such calculations, please visit https://www.klement2.com/.