DIAGNOSIS OR AUTO DIAGNOSIS? ENHANCING CONSERVATION PRACTICES OF BUILT CULTURAL HERITAGE. CASE OF STUDY BENIGNO MALO, ECUADOR
Keywords: Participatory action research, heritage values, values-based approach, transdisciplinarity, sustainability
Abstract. The acknowledgment that cultural heritage products are repositories of remarkable cultural values has brought the need for guaranteeing their intergenerational transmission. It has given the reason for the existence of conservation as a discipline. In the last two decades, important shifts have taken place regarding conservation practices. Those practices have moved from an object-centered approach, towards a values-based approach. It implies conservation does not focus solely on guaranteeing the physical permanence of a cultural product but ensuring the maximum transfer of its heritage values. Progressively, conservation is being understood more as a collective dialogue process than a technical issue. This recognition highlights the crucial role that a proper diagnosis might play to guide on this complex process. In this regard, the present work aims to reveal from the socio-economic perspective, the aspects that might influence on the conservation process based on the case of study of the Benigno Malo High school, a heritage asset located in Cuenca World Heritage City, Ecuador. In doing so, it explores the socio-economic dynamics around the cultural heritage asset itself, the territory to which it belongs, and the actors that might influence on its conservation process. But even more, it concludes reflecting around the complementarities and divergences between the notions of diagnosis and autodiagnosis and their contribution for improving current conservation practices.