Cultural Heritage

IFLA's work on preserving cultural heritage

1992: Vedran Smailović plays his cello in the destroyed National Library, Sarajevo
Photo: Mikhail Evstafiev

Culture is a basic need.  A community thrives through its cultural heritage, it dies without it.

Cultural heritage consists of tangible and intangible, natural and cultural, movable and immovable assets inherited from the past. It is of extremely high value for the present and the future of communities. Access, preservation, and education around cultural heritage are essential for the evolution of people and their culture.

The preservation and restoration of cultural heritage has always been a priority for IFLA.

It is essential to monitor areas at risk, to advocate for and raise awareness about conflict and disaster prevention. With an increase in cultural heritage being abused for political propaganda and destroyed to serve certain agendas, the protection of cultural heritage has never been more important.

Next to the possible destruction of cultural heritage through war and occupation, the illicit traffic of cultural objects is also a threat to the survival of cultural heritage. In times of upheaval and confusion, cultural heritage can be displaced or illegally sold.

IFLA is working together with UNESCO and the International Committee of the Blue Shield to prevent this from happening and ensure that (physical) cultural heritage remains in safe conditions in their place of origin.

IFLA sets out to monitor disaster areas around the globe and help with preservation as well as reconstruction once disasters (natural and man-made) have happened.

Conservation, Cooperation, Cultural heritage, Preservation

Last update: 24 November 2016

Latest News

Call for applications: World Book Capital 2019

UNESCO, IFLA and IPA have opened the call for nominations for the World Book Capital 2019

15 September 2016 | Libraries, Archives, Museums, Monuments and Sites, UNESCO, World Book Capital, Literacy and reading

UNESCO announces Athens as World Book Capital 2018

National Library of Greece Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, has named Athens as World Book Capital for 2018 on the recommendation of the programme’s Advisory Committee.

14 September 2016 | Libraries, Archives, Museums, Monuments and Sites, Greece, World Book Capital, Athens, Greece, Literacy and reading

Take this survey to help shape the future of preservation standards

Results of the survey will be made available in form of a resource page of standards/guidelines/best practices for the profession on the IFLA website

3 August 2016 | PAC (Preservation and Conservation), Conservation, Cultural heritage, Preservation, survey