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Workshop on Museums and Intangible Heritage - Asia Pacific Approaches

7th Regional Assembly of the Asia Pacific Organisation International Council of Museums (ICOM)
Shanghaï, China, 20-25 October 2002

Shanghai Charter

We, the coalition of participants, at the 7th Asia Pacific Regional Assembly of the International Council of Museums convened between 20-24 October 2002 in Shanghai, affirming the significance of creativity, adaptability and the distinctiveness of peoples, places and communities as the framework in which the voices, values, traditions, languages, oral history, folk life and so on are recognised and promoted in all museological and heritage practices, recommend that museums as facilitators of constructive partnerships in the safeguarding of this heritage of humanity:

  • Affirm the rich cultural diversity of the Asia Pacific, including the concerns of race, ethnicity, colour, gender, age, class, faith, language, sexual orientation and regional identities
  • Establish interdisciplinary and cross sectorial approaches that bring together movable and immovable, tangible and intangible, natural and cultural heritage
  • Address the challenges and threats posed by globalisation and develop approaches to maximise on the opportunities provided by cultural, technological and economic globalisation
  • Develop documentation tools and standards in establishing holistic museum and heritage practices
  • Initiate pilot projects that demonstrate methodologies for making inventories of intangible heritage resources through community participation
  • Ensure efforts towards the conservation, presentation and interpretation of intangible heritage in an authentic manner that is consistent with the local character
  • Develop public programs and visitor management strategies that comply with the laws, conventions and regulations dealing with the conservation of heritage resources of significance, and respect for the rules and protocols of the community groups as custodians of intangible heritage
  • Encourage cross cultural understanding and meaningful exchanges for the promotion of peace and harmonious societies
  • Make use of all media formats such as print, audio visuals, film and video, digital and telecommunication technologies
  • Assess and address training needs and capacity building for integration of tangible and intangible heritage management
  • Offer inclusive interpretation in appropriate languages where possible employing local custodians of intangible heritage resources
  • Promote the active participation of public and private sectors to maximise the use of local expertise, resources and opportunities and diversify the resource base for the effective safeguarding of all heritage resources
  • Establish criteria and methodologies for the integration of tangible and intangible heritage in museums and other heritage institutions
  • Support UNESCO's efforts for the safeguarding and promotion of intangible heritage through its various programs and stress the importance of the inputs of professional bodies in the preparation of an international convention for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage.

Professor Zhang Wenbin
ICOM China
Dr. Jacques Perot
Professor Amareswar Galla
ICOM Asia Pacific



Updated: 11 July 2005