Reinhard Bernbeck, "Heritage Void and the Void as Heritage", in: Global Heritage – Worlds Apart? . The Cultural Production, Appropriation and Consumption of Archaeological Heritage Spaces in Northern Africa and the Middle East, Archaeologies: Journal of the World Archaeological Congress, 9/3 (Dec 2013), 526–545


This paper is an analysis of practices in the heritage field that I call heritagization, de-heritagization and re-heritagization. I use the case of the destruction of the Buddha statues in the Bamiyan valley of Afghanistan to analyze these processes in a Lacanian theoretical framework. In the course of my argument, I provide elements of the history of destruction of the two statues, as well as of attempts to reconstruct them. Different kinds of discourses that accompanied these processes form another part of my contribution. Finally, I discuss the “problem” of the heritage voids by emphasizing emerging collective desires to replenish them.

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