The Protection System of Cultural Property and the Discourse of Tradition

문화재보호제도와 전통 담론

  • 정수진 (동국대학교 다르마칼리지)
  • Received : 2014.09.01
  • Published : 2014.09.30


The purpose of this paper is to examine how the 'tradition' has been identified and used concretely on the protection system of cultural property. Firstly, this paper investigated the historical process and aspects that the 'cultural property' and the 'tradition' combined, each had different meaning at the beginning. And it investigated the linkage of them which effect to the protection system and to each other on the system operated. Then, it pointed out a rift within the discourse of tradition to which the system have held on, and the problems as its result. This paper applied the viewpoint of anti-essentialism that the tradition is presented with hegemonic act to raise the inevitable continuity with the past, instead of the common notion that the tradition is 'everything that is handed down from the past.' Because the cultural property is the product of the state system, to pursne the linkage of it and the tradition is identical to examine how the tradition have been officially defined in the national hegemony. Since the 1920s the tradition has defined as a fixed, essential, pure reality in the changing process of the protection system of cultural property. This essentialist viewpoint about the tradition have been continued as the institutional premise regardless of many critics, raised by studies focusing on the culture and cultural property. But we see now a rift on the discourse of tradition as the intellectual discourse has been supported to the system, that is caused by the fast-changing global economic environment and a rat race around the registration of intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO.