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The Faro Convention

The Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society was opened for signature to the member states of the Council of Europe in Faro, Portugal on 27 October 2005. Known as the Faro Convention, the agreement emphasises tangible and intangible cultural heritage as a common and valuable resource. The convention was born out of the desire of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to create a framework that would show what kind of economic, social and cultural possibilities and resources cultural heritage can offer.

The convention updates the Council of Europe's cultural heritage policy in response to the changes in the political structures and borders of Europe, the changes affecting societies and cultures, the development of citizens' rights and needs, and the requirements and challenges brought on by digitalisation, globalisation, regionalisation and similar developments.

The Faro Convention is the most comprehensive and diverse international agreement on cultural heritage so far. The key objectives of the convention include strengthening the connection between cultural heritage, quality of life, identity and sustainable development in society. The convention emphasises cultural heritage as a resource, the diversity of cultural heritage and its significance as a resource for sustainable economic development.

The convention is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, according to which cultural rights include the right for cultural heritage. One of the key messages of the convention is the right of individuals and communities to benefit from cultural heritage and to contribute towards its enrichment. This right also includes the responsibility to respect the cultural heritage of others.

The aim of the convention is to strengthen civil society and democracy by emphasising every person's right of engaging with the cultural heritage of their choice. To this end, the convention encourages communities to work together for the good of their shared cultural heritage. Communities working for the good of cultural heritage, the so-called cultural heritage communities, are one of the pioneering elements of the convention.

Ratification of the Faro Convention in Finland: preparatory review project

So far the Faro Convention has been ratified by 17 member states of the European Council, and preparation for ratification is underway in a number of additional member states. In Finland, the Ministry of Education and Culture tasked the National Board of Antiquities with carrying out the preparatory review for the ratification of the convention. The work was carried out in collaboration with the Finnish Local Heritage Federation in 2014, and the review was published in May 2015.

The preparatory review recommends the ratification of the Faro Convention in Finland. The review mapped the development needs of the kind of cultural heritage work that could promote the objectives of the Faro Convention in Finland. The review also aimed for widespread citizen participation. The report compiled as a result of the review calls for value-based discussion on the importance of cultural heritage to society and the development directions of cultural heritage work. The report also recommends operating methods for supporting the sustainable cultural heritage work outlined by the Faro Convention.

For more information on the Faro Convention, the preparatory review for its ratification and the results of the review, please contact the National Board of Antiquities' Chief Intendant Ulla Salmela, tel. +358 40 128 6251, and Senior Researcher Hannu Matikka, tel. +358 40 128 6273,

For more information on the ratification of the Faro Convention in Finland, please contact the Ministry of Education and Culture's Superintendent Mirva Mattila, tel. +358 295 3 30269,
Kohti kestävää kulttuuriperintötyötä


Taustaselvitys Faron yleissopimuksen voimaansaattamiseksi Suomessa
The National Board of Antiquities and the Finnish Local Heritage Federation 2015
("Towards Sustainable Cultural Heritage Work. A Preparatory Review of the Ratification of the Faro Convention in Finland" is published in Finnish, Abstract in English)

Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society

The Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (Faro Convention, 2005) [More information on the convention on the Council of Europe's website]


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Last updated 16.9.2015
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