Influences in other countries

The policies and practices described in previous chapters were subsequently diffused to other parts of Europe as well as to other continents, especially from the mid-nineteenth century on. This resulted in the establishment of legal and administrative frameworks for the protection of cultural heritage, and the impact can be measured by the fact that, by the 1990s, most states of the world had ratified the UNESCO World Heritage Convention (164 states in August 2001). The policies that were initially developed in the European context have been tested in an increasing number of different social-cultural contexts and physical realities. A need has appeared to define some common parameters; these are expressed in international charters, recommendations and guidelines, as well as in the development of scientific methodologies for the analysis and care of heritage.

In Turkey, the first legislation on historic monuments and archaeological objects dated from 13 February 1869 (Asar-i Atika Nizam-namesi, amended in 1874, 1884, 1906); a new law on the protection of monuments was passed in 1912 (Muhafaza-i Abidat). The Turkish Republic was established in 1923, and the remains of earlier cultures were recognized as a part of common heritage. The Supreme Council on Monuments was established in 1951. In Turkey, as in other Islamic states, the responsibility for religious Islamic buildings was with the Waqf department. In Egypt, a Committee for the Conservation of Monuments of Arabic Art existed since 1881. In the case of Algeria, a French protectorate, the authorities decided to apply the French legislation of 1887 for the protection of antiquities in this

Figure 9.1 The ancient Maya city of Uxmal in the Yucatan underwent excavation from the nineteenth century on, and was restored in the twentieth century

country although with relatively mild sanctions (Brown, 1905:238ff).

In Latin America, the most notable example in the field of safeguarding ancient monuments is Mexico, where the rich heritage of the ancient Mayas has been explored since the eighteenth century. The first signs of interest in protecting ancient sites were the establishment of the Junta de Antigüedades in 1808 and the foundation of the National Museum in 1825. This was followed by the first decree prohibiting export of antiquities in 1827, the founding of national institutions, such as the National Archive (1830) and the Academia Nacional de Historia (1835), and the passing of laws that allowed confiscation of historic properties by the state (1859). In 1885, a decree established the position of the Conservador de Monumentos Arqueológicos e Históricos, and the principal legislation for the protection of historic sites was passed in the twentieth century, the first in 1914 and 1916.

The current authority for the protection of cultural heritage, Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH) was established by law in 1939 (Diaz-Berrio, 1990:79ff).

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