'Safeguarding our Past, Enriching our Future'

To mark World Heritage Day on the 18th April, the Government published a Consultation paper setting out a potential Vision for Heritage in Gibraltar.  Entitled ‘Safeguarding Our Past, Enriching our Future’, it is a document prepared by the Heritage and Antiquities Council, which is chaired by Minister for Heritage John Cortes, and whose members include the Gibraltar Heritage Trust, GONHS, the Department of the Environment, Town Planning, the Government Archivist and the Gibraltar National Museum.

In his foreword to the document, Minister for Heritage John Cortes writes:

“Gibraltar has a rich and unique heritage. It is of international significance, as recognition by UNESCO of our World Heritage Site shows.  Gibraltar’s heritage is vital in defining our identity.  It is a reference point in times of change; it helps us understand where we have come from, where we are going, and why we do things in the way that we do.  Heritage touches all our lives. 

Our world is dynamic and changing all the time.  Where we live is the result of the interaction between us and the natural environment through time; it is the product of change.  We should not stifle change.  It is how we manage it which is crucial.

This document will set out the Government’s Vision for the protection of Gibraltar’s heritage.  It aims to refresh the approach to looking after our cultural and natural heritage, for the benefit and wellbeing of all.  It sets out a philosophy for integrated heritage conservation management as mainstream policy; a policy based on understanding and public participation. 

People are at the heart of the vision.  It is about ourselves and how we see the future, one in which heritage plays a key role in promoting and safeguarding our identity.

This document is published as a consultation draft, and I invite all stakeholders, all those interested in our heritage, to send in their comments and suggestions.”

Minister Cortes adds, “The whole approach to Heritage has developed and improved during our time in Government, and it is now time to reflect this in our Vision for Heritage for the future, which will benefit the community, attract visitors, and promote us further internationally".

Comments and suggestions should be sent by email to by 12th May 2023.