Charter, currently in draft form and under a public comment review period,
is designed to help establish international standards and guidelines for the
public presentation of cultural heritage sites.
As stated in the preamble (see
"Proposed Charter" link at left for full text),
"The importance of the public presentation
of heritage sites has…become an accepted norm of cultural preservation and
tourism. Yet presentation has yet to become a fully professional field
of endeavour. Because of the vast range of public presentation
programmes currently operational at national, regional and local heritage
sites and because of the wide range of presentation techniques being used
(signs, live guides, audiotapes, costumed interpreters, Virtual Reality,
physical reconstruction and ‘open air’ museum recreations), it now seems
appropriate, in accordance with the aims and expressions of the earlier
charters, to formulate a framework of general standards to maintain the
quality of public heritage communications throughout the world and to
cultivate heritage presentation as a public state of mind."
During a recent visit to the United State by a
Belgian cultural heritage delegation (see report
of visit), the National Park Service's Chief Archeologist, Frank McManamon,
hosted a symposium on the draft Ename charter. Attendees included
representatives of major national archaeological organizations, US/ICOMOS,
other historic preservation experts, experts from the University of Maryland,
and representatives of a number of NPS national programs.