Cultural property is central to the cultural and social life of communities and at a national level is frequently used as the ‘stage’ for aspects of intangible cultural heritage (for example, national ceremonies often take place at historic buildings). There can, of course, be ‘negative’ issues involved in these associations of tangible and intangible heritage: ISIS used the Roman Theatre at the World Heritage site of Palmyra for mass executions in 2016. More frequently, however, cultural property helps preserve national and local traditions and culture while helping to build a community’s association with its heritage, and thereby creating identity.

Photo: Roman Theatre at Palmyra, 2010
By Bernard Gagnon, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons