Cultural heritage as status seeking: The international politics of Turkey's restoration wave
This article explores the relationship between cultural heritage politics and international status-seeking. We advance a two-fold typology of status-seeking that explains why states engage in cultural heritage restoration practices at home and abroad. First, cultural heritage restoration can be an easy way to signal state respect of its multicultural past while providing cover for continuing anti-multicultural policies of the present. States with uncertain, challenged, or liminal international status use cultural heritage projects as a 'standard of civilization' of democracy, displaying themselves on the international stage as worthy of status and respect. Cultural heritage here is used as a strategy for international status affirmation. Second, states may engage in cultural heritage restoration beyond their borders, supporting or directly managing renovation of these sites in order to expand their imagined national cultural, political, and economic domain. Cultural heritage restoration projects here serve as a backdrop for powerful international economic alliances that can be used for status substitution-replacing one status-generating benchmark of 'standard of civilization' with another-economic prosperity. We illustrate these arguments with two recent cases of cultural heritage restoration that involve Turkey: the 'Akdamar' Church in Van, Turkey and the Tomb of Gul Baba in Budapest, Hungary.
Standards Of Civilization
Tomb Of Gü