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Agriculture's Role as an Upholder of Cultural Heritage

Report from a Workshop

image of Agriculture's Role as an Upholder of Cultural Heritage

A substantial part of the cultural landscape and cultural heritage for many European countries is related to agriculture. Agricultural activity in some form is of vital importance in order to maintain and uphold the cultural heritage related to agriculture, however, intensive farming methods is also a major destroyer of cultural heritage. The role of agriculture as an upholder of cultural heritage was the focus of attention for a European workshop in Norway in February 2005 which brought together representatives from the public agricultural and cultural heritage sectors and researchers from The Netherlands, Austria, Estonia, England, and the Nordic countries of Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland and Norway. This report presents the status for the link agriculture - cultural heritage in these nine countries and points out some differences as well as mutual characteristics between the national contexts.

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The cultural heritage of agriculture

European agriculture is under tremendous pressure to change and restructure. In the western part of Europe its economic, social and environmental role has been facing great challenges and changes during the whole postwar period, and its environmental problems and responsibilities have especially been focussed since the 1980s. The history of rural areas in Eastern Europe saw a new and dramatic turn after restoration of national independencies in the beginning of the 1990s.

English

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