In her influential book Uses of Heritage (2006), archaeologist Laurajane Smith introduced the term ‘authorized heritage discourse’ (AHD) to describe the western heritage practice which since the late nineteenth century has developed towards a dominant position as a ‘universalizing’ discourse of our own time, and “privileging monumentality and grand scale, innate artefact/site significance tied to time depth, scientific/aesthetic expert judgement, social consensus and nation building”.

Rather heritage can be seen as a process, a performance (Crouch, 2010), an act of communication (Dicks, 2000) and a set of relationships with the past undertaken at certain sites and places. In this sense, all heritage is intangible.

Spatial aspects of cultural heritage:

(1)Interrelatedness of places and people;

(2) Landscape and its composite ‘scapes’, e.g. urban heritage-scape;

(3) Interrelatedness of virtual and real space; and

(4) Fluid spaces emerging from growing mobility of individuals enabled by ICT.

Unplanned, half-finished structures that were built by necessity after the war of 1974 in the intra-muros historical city of Nicosia are appropriated by migrant communities (Nicosia, Cyprus 2019).


Crouch, David, “The Perpetual Performance and Emergence of Heritage”, in Waterton, E., Watson S. (eds.), Culture, Heritage and Representation. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2010: 57–71.

Dicks, Bella, Heritage, Place and Community. University of Wales Press, 2000.

Smith, Laurajane, Uses of Heritage. New York: Routledge, 2006.

Author: gartopoulos

Georgios holds a Master of Philosophy in Architecture and the Moving Image (University of Cambridge, UK, 2004) and a PhD, conducted at the Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge (2005-2010), with a Doctoral Award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK, where he assisted as Tutor and Research Assistant. Previously he was employed by the School of the Built Environment, Heriot-Watt University, the University of Melbourne, the University of Cambridge and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Giorgos has contributed in 12 International Research Programs and received the Best International Short Film award in Mestre Film Festival, Venice and his work was presented in the International Biennale of Contemporary Art, Czech National Gallery, Prague, the International Exhibition Computational Turn in Architecture, MAV, Marseille, the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2017, the Hong Kong and Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, the 11th and 12th Biennale of Young Creators of Europe, the 63rd Venice Film Festival, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, the Royal Institute of British Architects, London, the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle, the London Design Festival, London, the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago, the ISEA 2006 and 2008, the British Council, Brussels, the Byzantine Museum, Athens, the Benakis Museum, Athens and in many International Film Festivals and art exhibitions.

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