"The Right to Historical Memory"
1. Humanity without historical memory is lost and dangerous.
2. Preservation, including restoration, is essential to the future well-being
of the world creating a vital seed bed for the future growth of the human
imagination. Preservation and conservation are not simply physical, they
require education and communication.
3. Historical treasures (artifacts and locations) constitute a common
property, a global memory and inheritance.
4. A fundamental reconception of a network of historical value represents
a new wealth for the entire world.
5. A balance between belonging in historic deep time and belonging in
simultaneous electronic time needs to be created to promote human understanding.
6. There must be economic and social rewards for conservation and preservation.
Economic rewards can be structured as a "new value" that can
be exchanged with other commodities in the global finance structure. Such
social value is a positive offshoot from tolerance and continuity and
7. Punishments for destruction or illicit commerce can be part of the
purview of the World Court based on the proposed elaboration of the Hague
Conventions using recent precedents enacted by the Court.
"The Right to Historical Memory"
That the past may not vanish!
In the cause of human toleration and understanding and as a comfort to
the world, historical and cultural artifacts require care by all people
and societies. In conservation and preservation is assurance of shared
meaning, a cooperation and communion in deeper human values, a celebration
of high aspirations and a continuity of memory and love.
Historical treasures constitute a common heritage and, ultimately, contribute
to an essential repository of living knowledge. Such historical "properties"
gradually become the inheritance of the world, reaching across the boundaries
of place, time and culture-ultimately owned by all-- a common property
and shared responsibility.From this common value larger crucial meanings
for both individuals and societies can be discerned and wisdom derived
for the future creative conduct of the world. Globally shared, this common
value is the seed bed of new relationships, ideas and insights-- the fertile
ground for the imagination of the world.
As global networked communication systems grow in flat immediate time,
actual artifacts and monuments from deep historical time become more personally
and socially important. A rooted sense of place is a necessary balance
to the dis-location of electronically networked communications systems
- a reciprocal balance that can provide a positive feeling of locally
rooted global belonging. A dynamic equilibrium between local and global,
past and future is essential to the evolution of planetary civilization
and a basis for future more peaceful communion.
To be effective, conservation and preservation must garner economic rewards
within the global finance system. Commitments to historic preservation
must be seen in global finance as a new form of value-- a value that does
not move--a timeless value of enormous worth-- a historic commonwealth.
Conservation and preservation can be structured as part of the dynamic
economic system within the global finance network. They can act as attractors
for investment as well as conduits for financial debits, credits and multipliers
for investment flow.
financial framework that motivates and rewards historical preservation
and conservation must be integrated within existing financial networks
and exchanges. In such a structure, preservation and conservation become
economically advantageous. Such economic advantage equates with the survival
of culture. By such action, it is possible to foresee a vast "inter-net"
of global historical resources that is as economically beneficial as the
creation of the internet.
Equally, disincentives and punishments need effective enforcement. Individuals
and societies, religions, states and countries can be held formally and
firmly accountable for destruction or illicit commerce.
Condemnation of destruction and illicit commerce is part of the emergent
structure of worldwide human rights and the body of law accruing through
prosecutions of the World Court. More specifically, the "Right to
Historical Memory" is an essential building block within the growing
body of human rights promulgating itself through existing and future laws,
policies and conventions worldwide. Certainly existing exemplary systems
and organizations exist for identification, education and preservation.
And therefore, it is with certain confidence in this mutual endeavor that
we can press forward.
The complexity of designating and conveying responsibility for preservation
must not justify inaction nor foster resignation. While destruction and
irrevocable loss through hate and greed is easy, the burden of care is
great and the effort of education and preservation constant. Through mutual
responsibility for historical memory we affirm humanity and tolerance
for each other both as individuals and societies.
Any human without memory is lost. Humanity without memory entails a frightful
retreat into sub-human brutality and nonexistence. For each moment lost,
a precious artifact or monument disappears for l time. Any time lost is
literally TIME lost. The ongoing destruction must cease. Setting these
issues before the world in an urgent and profound appeal is a step toward
remedy and sanity.