Heritage and Threat - HeAT: A Typology of Threat to Heritage

Challenge: WHY the innovation has been developed? What problem is addressed and why has not been not solved before?

Understanding and addressing threats facing cultural heritage is key to enable policy-makers intervention and increase protection of cultural heritage at risk. Yet, a dearth of systematic information and understanding about this broad palette of threats, still constitutes an obstacle and a limit for governments and institutions. Crisis evaluation and post-conflict reconciliation are effective only if threats to cultural heritage are analysed in a context of understanding of the intrinsic and embedded values embodied by the heritage for the local and international communities. Such approach requires a careful identification of the mechanisms possibly leading to threats.

Solution: WHAT the solution is about? HOW it goes beyond the state of the art?

The HeAT project has developed a systematic approach to analyse threats and processes leading to destruction of cultural heritage to help policy makers develop effective strategies.

End-users and examples of uses: WHO will beneficiate/ is beneficiating from the solution? WHERE and HOW the solution has been adopted? How will impact people or end-users? Add as more as possible examples of market and society uptakes

The HeAT project has sought to address the gaps through a systematic analysis of threats across different geo-cultural locations achieving a sophisticated cross-cultural typology of threat. A web-based platform to better understand and visualise the destruction of cultural landscapes via map overlays was developed, accompanied by a handbook for governmental bodies, global organisations, NGOs and peace-keeping forces. Achieving a deeper understanding of processes leading to destruction of cultural heritage is key to help policy makers develop more proactive strategies.

Future possibilities: Future market perspectives when the innovation will be fully available or in use

In order to increase the awareness and appreciation of good heritage management among end-users, a travelling exhibition has taken place in 20 different locations in Denmark: 'The Street Show'. The typology will also be distributed as epub and printed copy to decision makers, researchers and the interested public.


Ingolf Thuesen (it@hum.ku.dk)

Moritz Kinzel (zdr147@hum.ku.dk)

Application sectors:

  • Historical sites
  • Circular models for CH
  • Heritage communities and participatory approach
  • Risk management
  • Cultural diplomacy and policy
  • Intercultural dialogue


  • Consumers’ awareness and information, trust building
  • Supporting strategies, regulatory frameworks legislation and standards at EU and national levels
  • Regional/Local development
  • Knowledge sharing and education

RRI Dimensions:

  • Public Engagement
  • Science Education
  • Open Access


  • Heritage at risk
  • Shared management of cultural heritage