December 17th, 2006
Mr. Kees de Ruiter, president of the new Dutch organisation responsible for the protection of the cultural heritage, RACM, held a plea to protect 10% of the Dutch cultural landscape as historical landscapes.
In an interview he claimed that regional differences are disappearing in an increasing pace, pointing at the same terracotta pots used everywhere and similarities between industrial estates throughout the country. At the moment no cultural landscapes have been protected formally.
And although I like the idea in general, I am slightly disturbed by the fact that the interview apparently did not state any requirements for this 10% -nor did it state which parameters mr. De Ruiter wants to use to select the greater group of so-called cultural landscapes. It did, however, state that we should be well considered about what we do with the other 90% percent of the cultural landscape, meaning the to-be-unprotected part of what can at best be descibed as an ill defined group of landscapes (within the even greater group of Dutch landscapes -which are all not natural, and as a consequence, he means the whole of The Netherlands?), which are changing in such a rapid pace, they must defy definition.
Sometimes no news is the best news.
Update (Feb 4, 2007): Unesco created this website recently, on which their criteria to ascertain whether a certain landscape qualifies as a ‘cultural landscape’ can be found, as well as an overview of the landcapes listed thusfar. Interesting stuff. Does not exactly help me to clarify what Mr. De Ruiter really wants, though.