Heritage interpretation refers to all the ways of effectively communicating the significance and meaning of a historic object, place, site, historic event or person to other people.
The role of interpretation is to assist visitors and locals understand how extraordinarily interesting their town is. No matter the size or age of the site, individual stories play a part in conveying the importance and uniqueness of George Town and why it is deserving of its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Heritage interpretation is also important to galvanise and sustain community support for the WHS as it creates greater awareness about the significance of a particular community’s or site’s history and contribution. It also strengthens the “place identity” associated with a particular site.
The network of heritage interpretation is a coordinated and integrated strategy towards adding educational value and increasing the George Town experience to local and foreign visitors. It provides orientation and enables visitors to gain a high-level understanding of the significance and values of the World Heritage Site. It also encourages communities to participate in the interpretation of their own sites; opening up their sites to those from different communities; and most importantly, encourage inter-generational participation in sustaining the site.
Interpretation is used to aid visitors to:
- Understand George Town’s OUVs,
- Recognise why the town is listed by UNESCO
- Comprehend how the town’s living and built heritage are inseparable.