Eduard Carbonell: “territory’s identity comes with heritage acknowledgement”

Valuing heritage has beneficial effects on society, especially locally, where heritage becomes an identity engine. Discovering, keeping and projecting local heritage depends on technicians trained at UdG’s Master in Local Cultural Heitage.

We will probably never be able to quantify the spoliation our heritage has gone through. Spoliation, destruction and oblivion are all phenomena that belong to the past. However, it just happened after we finally got conscious of the value our heritage has, especially locally. Such valorisation is directly related to professionals trained, since 1995, at UdG’s postgraduate degrees on heritage. These qualified technicians have helped recognising the problematic and offering solutions to manage local heritage.

They have also contributed to overcome the chaotic situation we were in, so as to create an organised and coherent cultural goods’ network. Today, heritage managers have become essential for the local context. They represent qualified technicians who fit in private companies and who cover several aspects of conservation and cultural heritage promotion that are not covered by public jurisdiction.

A master with a long tradition
Throughout the years, the University of Girona has offered the Master in Local Cultural Heritage, coordinated by UdG’s professor Eduard Carbonell, who was the heritage general manager at Catalonia’s government (Generalitat) and a pioneer in teaching heritage management.

Carbonell explains that the course “despite its generic content on heritage management, it presents a specialisation on local management in order to help local governments and the region itself”. This summarises the main characteristic of the master’s programme, which includes a big diversity of subjects that cover all aspects of heritage management. The programme includes law, economics, documentation, architecture conservation, management and art patterns, which offer students a wide knowledge of this area and allow them to choose between the research line and the professional oriented line.

The coordinators of the master want to prioritise a type of teaching according to the objectives achieved and those objectives that want to be achieved. Past good results, together with the big amount of heritage managers who fulfilled the master’s programme prove that it is a good teaching system. Cooperation with the Catalan Institute for Cultural Heritage Research links the programme to the current debate on heritage research methodology and establishes constant collaborations with international experts, something that reinforces the mixed typology of the master. This gives students –from both the research and the professional lines- the opportunity to do internships in prestigious heritage institutions, as well as in local museums or foundations along the Spanish territory. These internships are very important for students, since they are strongly related to their future professional careers and they will offer them contacts to progress in their research.

The Master in Local Cultural Heritage Management is a key option in a moment in which culture plays a very important role, and it represents a decisive economic factor. Eduard Carbonell highlights the need that UdG offers the necessary tools to train expert technicians that can understand the value of heritage and enhance it, since “territory’s identity comes with social heritage acknowledgement”.

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