our Know How
The Ename Center supports and develops projects that integrate heritage into a living context that is either defined by the city, the landscape, the region, the nation or even the continent. Therefore, city governments, regional and provincial authorities, public or private institutions and even private persons can count on the Ename Center to create an added personal and social value of their heritage based on the heritage's intrinsic values.
The Ename Center has the know how to approach heritage -- whether it is a monument, a site or a landscape -- from a wider social and historical context. The result is always a long term solution whereby heritage becomes the engine to develop a specific and sustainable policy.
Today the social relevancy of heritage is considered to be of the utmost importance. The care for social inclusiveness is also at the heart of the ICOMOS Ename Charter and can be considered to be one of its most innovative aspects. It is also at the heart of the mission of the Ename Center.
Making a site accessible and understandable presupposes the integration of different expertises and also depends on its spatial, social and economic context. The Ename Center has the experience to find the right balance between the interest of the different stakeholders involved, the care for the intrinsic values of heritage, and the aim to make the heritage accessible to the general public.
Due to the growing social, economic and cultural complexity of the world we live in, the need for a scientifically sound heritage policy becomes ever more important. If the traditional approach to heritage is focused on maintaining and consolidating heritage, then the goal of the Ename Center is to create new policy impulses that are driven by the heritage itself. Examples are heritage driven urban renewal, care for heritage on a city level and innovative approaches to the presentation of heritage.
Heritage policies are currently defined by many different international institutions, such as UNESCO, ICOMOS, ICCROM, or the Council of Europe, to name but a few. Because the economic and political point of gravitation is shifting towards Asia and South America, new approaches to heritage that are not necessarily in line with the international accepted standards, are influencing heritage policies on a global scale as well. Doing research in these domains is necessary if you want to be up to date. Therefore, the Ename Center is active at different international academic forums.
Interpretation refers to the full range of potential activities intended to heighten public awareness and enhance understanding of cultural heritage sites. In a world that is characterised by unprecedented changes on the social, economic, cultural and political level, the interpretation of heritage is one of the most important challenges for a modern heritage management. The Ename Center is at the cutting edge of doing research and projects in this domain.
In situ presentation
The Venice Charter of 1964 is one of the most important guiding documents for the conservation and restoration of cultural heritage sites. Conservation in-situ is a key element. One of the problems, however, of doing archaeology is that by excavating structures their preservation becomes endangered. The "Eureka-Eurocare E! 1586 Arch in Situ" system that is developed by Milan Kovač provides a revolutionary solution. By keeping the environmental conditions constant and by simulating the original conditions of conservation, further deterioration is stopped. At the same time visitors are exposed to archaeology in a very direct way. This system has been implemented successfully across the world. The most eye-catching application, however, can be seen at the underground archaeological museum of Han Yangling in China. The Ename Center was involved in a Sino-European project focusing on the Han Yangling Museum and in-situ presentation at musea.
The remains of the palace of the first emperor of China are among the biggest archaeological monuments in the world. Soon the palace will be in the centre of a new urban development project, situated to the West of modern Xi'an. In collaboration with Milan Kovač, the Ename Center developed a concept for the archaeological park focusing on the remains of the imperial palace of emperor Qin Shi Huang.
In 1998, thirteen Belgian beguinages were recognised by UNESCO as World Heritage. The beguinage of Kortrijk is the first that will be integrally interpreted. Apart from an interpretation centre where the visitor will be confronted with the surprising history of women claiming a spiritual and economically independent community of their own, there will be space for a house with authentic furniture and lay-out, an audio guide for the exploration of the beguinage and the immediate city surroundings as well as a visitor centre. The Ename Center is responsible for the whole process from concept development to content and multimedia implementation.
The responsibilities of the local governments regarding heritage are constantly growing. As a result the need for an integral heritage approach at the level of the city is growing as well. In Flanders, the city of Ronse is taking the lead in this regard. In cooperation with the Ename Center, the city government developed a global policy starting with a first general assessment of all the heritage resources available, and continuing with the development of policy tools and tools for public outreach. This approach is exemplary for the rest of Flanders and for Europe.
Over the centuries nowhere else in Europe have so many battles been fought as in Flanders. Despite this fact, battlefield archaeology is still in its infancy. In the context of two valuation studies, i.e. a study of the Battlefield of Oudenaarde 1708 (East-Flanders) and one at the Battlefield of Lafelt 1747 (Limburg), the Ename Center is developing a methodology that will be exemplary for doing research at battle fields in the whole of Flanders. This research is done at the behest of the Flemish Heritage Agency. Battlefield archaeology experts of Huddersfield University (UK) have been involved from the very start.