Preface | Kecia Fong

This issue of Change Over Time investigates the concept of integrity as it pertains to cultural heritage conservation. Our guest editor, Jukka Jokilehto, takes a retrospective, bird’s-eye view, as it were, of integrity as it has been defined by UNESCO. While UNESCO remains the most influential international instrument for global heritage discourse, its authority has been weakened by overt and aggressive politicization of both the heritage designation process and corruption of the organization’s conservation mission.1 Our other contributing authors to this issue address the concept of integrity at national or site-specific scales. They challenge the normative applications of integrity as the concept has been applied to the identification, designation, conservation, and interpretation of heritage to date and, in some instances, propose new conceptual and practical models for integrity assessment. The tension expressed in this collection of articles is indicative of a broader, global reckoning characterized by demands for social, environmental, and economic justice and representation. We could not have anticipated how timely this journal issue would be as both society and the professions are asked to confront the fundamental biases of their perceptions. What constitutes integrity? This issue includes a spectrum of responses. We hope the ideas and positions within raise questions and provoke constructive discussions. This is how the disciplines and professions grow.

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