Cultural heritage faces an array of challenges, many of which are replicated across the world. Whilst local circumstances vary, there are opportunities to share experiences and collaborate in finding solutions. As part of the Scottish Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology in 2017, Global Challenges in Cultural Heritage celebrates the newly formed partnership between the University of Stirling, The Palace Museum in Beijing and Historic Environment Scotland. The conference seeks to explore and share approaches to specific challenges in relation to a range of shared issues and to highlight Scotland’s place, and in particular Stirling, as an international centre for research and innovation in heritage and conservation.
The conference will take place in the City of Stirling, a pivotal location on the nation’s history and a historic site. The main location will be at the stunning University of Stirling and access to other culturally significant sites such as Stirling Castle and the Engine Shed – Scotland’s new national conservation centre, will be facilitated by Historic Environment Scotland. The event will be based around a balance of formal papers, focused workshops and practical site visits.
Historic Environment Scotland (HES) is the lead public body established to investigate, care for and promote Scotland’s historic environment. HES are responsible for more than 300 properties of national importance including Stirling Castle, Edinburgh Castle, Skara Brae, Fort George and numerous smaller sites, which together draw more than 3 million visitors per year. HES showcase internationally significant collections including more than 5 million drawings, photographs, negatives and manuscripts, along with 20 million aerial images of locations across the world.
Established in 1925, the Palace Museum is located in the imperial palace of the consecutive Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. The magnificent architectural complex, also known as the Forbidden City, and the vast holdings of paintings, calligraphy, ceramics, and antiquities of the imperial collections make it one of the most prestigious museums in China and the world. In 1961, the State Council designated the former imperial residence as one of China’s foremost protected cultural heritage sites, and in 1987 it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Situated in the heart of Beijing, the Palace Museum is approached through the Gate of Heavenly Peace (Tian’an men).
The University of Stirling is a public university founded by Royal charter in 1967. It is located in the Central Belt of Scotland and built within the walled Airthrey Castle estate close to Stirling. Since its foundation, it has expanded to four faculties, a Management School, a Graduate School, and a number of institutes and centres covering a broad range of subjects in the academic areas of arts and humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and health sciences and sport. In 2002, the University of Stirling and the landscape of the Airthrey Estate was designated by the International Council on Monuments and Sites as one of the UK’s top 20 heritage sites of the 20th century.