Thursday, March 17, 2011

Graduate Student Conference and Cultural Heritage Management

The Institute is not simply an institution that exists in Greece. It has a solid and broad base in Canada with it 15 educational institutional members, the Associations of Friends of the Institute in Ottawa and Toronto, and numerous individual members across Canada. Among the activities of the Institute in Canada is the co-sponsorship of the biannual graduate student conference in Classics and Archaeology. This year it will be held at the University of Victoria (Victoria, BC) on March 18th and 19th. The theme is: “Peoples and Peripheries: Living on the Edge”. Eleven graduate students from across Canada will present their research ranging from the Mycenaean period to the Late Roman period, from literature to contemporary cinema, from the Iberian peninsula to Palestine. The keynote speaker will be Professor Mark Lawall (University of Manitoba) who will talk on aspects of transport amphorae in the eastern Mediterranean ca. 550-100 BCE. For more details concerning the location, etc. contact Professor Brendan Burke (University of Victoria) at:

Book of the Blog
The economic situation in Greece is in crisis mode now due to the huge public debt. In the process of paying off the bondholders, however, the Greek economy is not just stagnating, it is declining. Many economists and some politicians are advocating development projects to revive and to broaden the country’s economic base. “Green Development” is an especially popular choice here for obvious reasons. Most would agree that Greece must continue to embrace innovative policies in order to eliminate the underlying causes of the present crisis and to reorient its economy for sustainable, long-term growth.

The physical environment and the cultural heritage of Greece are resources that are too often overlooked as potential driving forces in the development of the numerous regional economies of the country. Konstantina Liwieratos has made such an innovative proposal in Competitive Advantage Strategy in Cultural Heritage Management. A case-study of the Mani area in the southern Peloponnese, Greece (BAR International Series 1989, Oxford 2009). In brief, the use of the “competitive advantage strategy” posits that for tourism and general development, heritage should be viewed as a competitive advantage. Here heritage is not considered as an attraction by its nature, “…but as the main resource/input on the basis of which a product might be created, called destination” (p. 9). The uniqueness of such a destination as well as other destinations in a region allows for their integration into a long-term, strategic management policy that includes landscape preservation and ecotourism. With active participation by local stakeholders and interest groups in the planning process, the sustainable conservation and maintenance of these heritage destinations has a higher probability of success than approaches currently in use. Given that such a strategy does not exist in Greece at the moment Dr Liwieratos has created a dense and detailed case-study, a strategic management and development plan, for the Mani in the southern Peloponnese to demonstrate how this might be done and what benefits it may provide. In as much as the Ministry of Culture and Tourism is responsible to a major extent for both heritage preservation and touristic development perhaps they should consider seriously adopting the “competitive advantage strategy”? It is “green” as well!

You can find this monograph and others on heritage preservation and cultural management topics in our Library.

David Rupp

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