Implementation of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Hong Kong

By James Ding.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on 17 October 2003. It is probably the most important piece of international legal instrument giving clear recognition and protection to intangible cultural heritage worldwide. China ratified the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage on 2 December 2004 and extended it to Hong Kong with effect from 7 December 2004. The UNESCO Convention entered into force on 20 April 2006 for China including Hong Kong after the acceptance of the Convention by Romania (being the thirtieth Contracting State which brought the UNESCO Convention into force). The paper will briefly set out some of the key features of the UNESCO Convention and illustrate how and to what extent the UNESCO Convention may achieve its objectives in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage by reference to some examples of Chinese intangible cultural heritage and the situation in Hong Kong. At the end of the paper, the role of museum or museum professionals in helping the implementation of the UNESCO Convention and safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage in general will also be examined.

Keywords: Intangible Cultural Heritage, UNESCO, Treaty, Law, Hong Kong, Chinese, China

International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp.155-164. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.173MB).

James Ding

Ph.D Candidate, Museum Studies, School of English, Media Studies and Art History, The Univesity of Queensland, Hong Kong, Australia

James Ding obtained his LL.B (Hons) and a Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (Distinction) from the University of Hong Kong and LL.M. from the Kyushu University on the scholarship of the Japanese Government. He is now a Ph.D. candidate (part-time) at the University of Queensland, Australia. He is also a member of the Cultural Heritage Law Committee of the International Law Association.

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