What are the visions for the future in the heritage sector? That was an important issue for the project Operations Heritage (Agenda kulturarv) when it started in 2001. The aim of the project was to produce a policy statement - an agenda for the cultural heritage. The policy statement "Putting people first" was launched in August 2004.
Putting People First
The policy statement is one of many results of Operation Heritage. The purpose of the policy statement is to support regional museums, county administration (länsstyrelserna) and the National Heritage Board (Riksantikvarieämbetet) in their attempt to renew the direction, democratic legitimacy and effectiveness of Swedish heritage management.
Putting People First
- Operation Heritage Policy Statement (pdf kb)
The initiative to the project Operation Heritage was taken in 2000 by the three main public heritage organisations: The County Museums Council (Länsmuseernas samarbetsråd), the county administration and The National Heritage Board. It grew out of an urge in the organisations to review the present heritage work in comparison to the goals set by the Swedish government. The question was if there are new and better ways of fulfilling the goals.
One of the goals of the project is to make as many professionals as possible in the heritage sector to get engaged in a constructive discussion concerning future goals and practice. Crucial intentions for the future are to be defined and finally put together in a joint policy document - an agenda for the cultural heritage. Another goal is to find new forms for dialogue between different groups in society.
Present situation and tendencies in society
The first phase of the project focused on an evaluation of the present situation in the heritage sector, and to link the results of the evaluation to general tendencies in society. During Phase 1 an opinion poll on attitudes towards cultural heritage was commissioned and a wide range of regional projects started. The aim was to involve new groups in the discussion concerning culture heritage, its significance and its different meanings.
An Agenda for the heritage
In the autumn of 2002 the projects second phase begun. Results of Phase 1 worked as a starting point for the discussions in Phase 2 were visions and values for the Swedish heritage sector were discussed in a variety of groups and with a wide range of organisations. Through out the project citizens, politicians, NGO:s and other sectors has been continually involved in the discussion. In May 2003 more than 250 people who had been involved in the project met for a conference in Västerås, Sweden. The purpose of the conference was to out line the policy statement.
Agenda kulturarv was managed by representatives from The County Museums Council, The Swedish County Administrations, The National Heritage Board, The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and The Swedish National Council for Cultural Affairs. The project was run by a project group of three persons.