Benno RIDDERHOF | Giorgio VERDIANI | Willem BEEX
(VU University Amsterdam ACASA, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Keywords: Heritage, controversy Popper, Kuhn

We are living in interesting times as the old Chinese would say. Society is in a state of flux. Values are changing. Things we thought were fixed are now being contested and good turns bad and bad turns good or worse. And nowhere is this more visible than in the approach to heritage.
Yet heritage has not changed. The Rostrum of Albert Speer in Nuremberg is still the same and the skyscrapers of Mies van der Roohe have not suddenly turned into something nefarious.
What changes with every generation is not the description of heritage, but its intrinsic value. Intrinsic values changes with every generation; couple this with the uncertainty each new generation has you will have controversy.
Yet how do we the scientific community deal with this. Do we ignore it like art historians, do we go overboard like museum directors, or do we say nothing and go with the flow.
It is time for clarification into heritage and controversy. That is the aim of the session. In the opening presentation we will give an introduction into the subject. Using two to three examples the subject of controversial heritage is introduced with al its pitfalls but also with interesting insights.

Relevance for the conference: It’s heritage and how we should scientifically approach it
Relevance for the session: In order to have a meaningfull discourse about controversial heritage you need to first define it.
Innovation: We are presenting a subject that is very important but has been ignored for too long
• Fine 2001; Difficult Reputations: Collective Memories of the Evil, Inept and Controversial Allison 2018; Controversial Monuments and Memorials. A guide for Community Leaders