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A landscape and an ambassador for peace?

15 October 2019

"The English Lake District - a World Heritage Site" is a new exhibition in Keswick Museum’s Fitz Park Gallery.

Keswick Museum opens its latest exhibition which explores what it means to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The exhibition will run from 14th October until the end of January, and is free of charge. The museum was granted funding by the Arts Council England and the Lake District National Park Authority to develop the exhibition.

“Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.”
So begins the UNESCO constitution, to emphasise the principal aim of the institution. Before the Second World War was over, several countries had already met to discuss how to secure peace once the fighting was over. They came to the conclusion that neither economic treaties nor political arrangements alone would be sufficient to secure peace and security. There needed to be an ethos of peace for the world based on principles of dignity, equality and mutual respect, above the level of the nation state. This ambition led to the foundation of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 1945 as part of the United Nations. Under the leadership of Briton Julian Huxley, its first director general, UNESCO concluded that the key to fostering peace could only be through education, aiming to create a world ‘curriculum’ of peace based on scientific and cultural exchange.

Such is the responsibility that the Lake District has taken on by becoming a WHS, which raises the intriguing question: how can the English Lake District help to make the world a better place?

Keswick Museum's exhibition explores the purpose and philosophy of being a WHS. Is it purely a marketing tool? What are the opportunities and responsibilities that come with being a WHS? One half of the exhibition tells the story of the institution and what heritage actually is, the other explores the English Lake District as a World Heritage Site.

Though the WH exhibition is free, the remainder of the museum gives visitors the opportunity to explore other aspects of the Lake District's cultural landscape. The museum is open 10am to 4pm, with Adult tickets £5, Students and Children £3.



About the author

Mairi Lock World Heritage Site Coordinator Lake District World Heritage Site

Coordinating World Heritage Site communications on behalf of the Lake District National Park Partnership