Uses and Issues – The case of Visby Cathedral : An analysis of values and frictions associated with usage at a venue that is both cultural heritage and an active religious institution
Abstract: This thesis is a case study of Visby Cathedral, cultural heritage with a rich history that has been an active site of worship since medieval times. This has resulted in an interest in the cathedral as a tourist destination which has increased exponentially since the city became a world heritage. The main aim of this thesis was to see how the heritagization of the cathedral affects it through the public uses that take place within the cathedral to see which values are promoted. Following this the frictions that are caused by the uses was studied to garner a better understanding of how the identity of the cathedral was impacted on both internal and external levels. My hypothesis going in was that much of the identifiable frictions were caused by the difference between the religious and cultural identity of the cathedral. In the analysis four use-categories with separate key functions: Religious, Art & Music, Political and Tourism. While all usages did not cause friction, all categories did to varying degrees of severity. The religious use still appears to be the core influencing factor since the recent incorporation of the overriding values of inclusion of acceptance originated within these uses which inspire all categories of use. Much of the experienced friction appears to be the result of push-back to these values. This could indicate that to a clash between modern cultural ideas and traditional Christian perspectives are at the core of the issues as the hypothesis suggested but the different nature and number of identifiable values and frictions at play suggests that while this is likely a factor, it is not the only one.
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