• Oddbjørn Sørmoen
4. term, Master of Universal Design and Accessibility (Continuing education) (Continuing Education Programme (Master))
Value against value. A study of the encounter between the values of cultural heritage and the values of accessibility. The thesis uses the efforts to make Akershus Castle, Oslo, accessible for all, completed 2021, as a case for studying the encounters between values of accessibility and cultural heritage, with the help of discourse analysis. The whole process took almost 10 years, a period when the general understanding of both heritage and accessibility were under transformation, and new laws and policies were introduced. The originally medieval castle has undergone major changes in the 17th as well the 20th century. It is both a museum and venue for government receptions. In the beginning, the heritage discourse was dominant, with heavy restrictions on changes to the fabric, before being challenged by the discourse of public administration, when the political authorities decided a solution worked out by the Norwegian Defence Estates Agency and the Directorate for Cultural Heritage. The case seemed to be settled when the discourse of accessibility came in with full force and became decisive for the result. In the end, the key principle was not equal access but equally worthy access to all participants to the government receptions. A fourth discourse appeared in the end, where the mutual and balanced encounter between the human and the heritage is the key to solutions. Cultural heritage is defined by humans, and therefore has no value if not accessible in one way or another to all humans. As Umberto Eco said: Memory is soul. Shared memories mean common identity. Cultural heritage is vital for all members of a society.
Publication date8 Jun 2023
Number of pages44
ID: 533708704