446th Meeting: “Luang Prabang as a UNESCO World Heritage site, advantage and risks”
11 June 2019.
A talk by Francis Engelmann.
After more than 20 years of enjoying the label of UNESCO World
Heritage, it is possible today to appreciate the effects and
shortcoming of this system of preservation. I will share with the group
my personal views and try to show how was the initial situation and how
some unpopular decisions had been possible. Then I will consider
several issues: What is protected, architecture or more? Through which
rules and institutions?
What has been ignored and why? How are
interconnected heritage preservation, tourism, local economy, social
issues? How different stakeholders public and private, agree or not
about the existing rules? What had changed since the nomination in
1995? How sustainable is such a system?.
Francis Engelmann has been living in Luang Prabang since 2002.
He worked during 3 years at the Luang Prabang Conservation Authority
(today officially known as The Luang Prabang World Heritage
Department), and later with The Quiet in the Land - Art and Education
Project, Luang Prabang.
His educational background
includes Town Planning, Political Science and Socio-Economy. But he has
been involved also in a wide range of research missions such as Art
history, Botany, Paleontology and Anthropology, with different
scholars' teams in Asia.
He has been involved in
heritage issues in Laos with UNESCO since 1994 during the preparation
of the official application for the nomination of Luang Prabang as a
World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1995. He has been deputy chairman of a
local non-profit association involved in Lao culture and education. He
is now officially retired but still writing books and articles.
The Speaker's bibliography:
Trésors du patrimoine végétal au Laos, guide ethnobotanique de la ville de Luang Prabang. Ed. Magellan & C°, Paris, 2017.
through the heritage of Luang Prabang. Francis Engelmann texts, Alain
Ménoni photos. Anantha Publishing, New York, Luang Prabang. 2015.
Limited edition. Reprint available at Celadon boutique, Vat Khili,
Prabang, Perle du Laos/Gem of Laos, Vincent Besançon: drawings; Francis
Engelmann: texts. Ed. Magellan & Cie, Paris 2014
Phu Champassak, The temple of the mountain, Visitor's guide, English
& French. Ed. Département du Patrimoine Mondial de Champassak.
2012. Available at Monuments Books bookstores.
on Luang Prabang history and culture, in The Quiet in The Land, Luang
Prabang, Laos. A project by France Morin. The Quiet in The Land Inc.,
New York, 2009.
nouveau marché hmong de Luang Prabang: étude de l'initiative économique
locale et des réseaux des montagnards au Laos" - avec Christian Culas
in Recherches nouvelles sur le Laos, Y. Goudineau & M. Lorrillard,
(éditeurs scientifiques), Etudes thématiques n°18, Ecole Française
d'Extrême-Orient (EFEO): Paris, Vientiane, 2008. pp. 403 - 429.
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