The Centre for the Ethics of Cultural Heritage focuses upon the ethical debates surrounding cultural heritage, in particular relations with indigenous peoples; professional standards and responsibilities; ethical codes; notions of value; concepts of stewardship and custodianship; the meaning and moral implications of ‘cultural heritage'; who ‘owns' the past or the interpretation of it; roles and responsibilities of museums; the trade in antiquities; opportunities and problems associated with tourism; and the treatment of human remains (including repatriation).
A collaborative research centre, it involves academics and practitioners from the Departments of Archaeology, Anthropology, Philosophy and Law with the intention of creating long-term interdisciplinary research projects, links and publications.It also aims to provide professional training and consultancy to external bodies, and to create new learning and teaching tools within the university.
Since November 2014, the Centre also hosts, jointly with the Department of Archaeology, the UNESCO Chair in in Archaeological Ethics and Practice in Cultural Heritage, which is held by Professor Robin Coningham. It was the first UK archaeology chair, and aims to shape debates on professional standards and responsibilities; legal and ethical codes and values; concepts of stewardship and custodianship; research ethics and illicit antiquities; and the social, ethical and economic impacts of the promotion of heritage, particularly at religious and pilgrimage sites.
- 2019 Durham World Heritage Site Lecture: ‘Mind the Gap: who benefits from Heritage?’
- Durham’s UNESCO Chair team and partners join the UK’s celebration of UNESCO’s Science at the Science Museum Lates
- Additional donation received from the Panditarama Lumbini International Vipassana Meditation Centre for further work at Tilaurakot-Kapilavastu
- Phase III of fieldwork at Tilaurakot-Kapilavastu begins
- International Workshop - 'Towards the Seismic Safety of kathmandu's Historic Infrastructure'