Culture, as heritage, includes both "built" aspects of culture such as buildings, monuments, and objects, as well as "living" heritage embodied in values, beliefs, social practices, language, arts and handicrafts, literature, poetry and performing arts. "World heritage" is a relatively modern concept encompassing common elements to all cultures throughout time.
Industry, technology and modernization in general, have led to the destruction of material culture. Much of our cultural heritage, whether historic sites and buildings, collections of documents and books, archives of films and tape, or the skills and techniques of artisans, is at serious risk of being lost. Many countries and global organizations have implemented policies and legislation in order to preserve cultural heritage in the face of political and economic pressures.
The 2006 Dan David Prize, whose underlying concept is the interaction between the time dimensions - past, present and future - will honor an individual (or individuals) who has made outstanding and creative contributions in illuminating heritages and traditions within and between different cultures; in studying the evolution of ideas and traditions; in investigating how new creations arose from the diversity of these traditions; and who is dedicated to the preserving of cultural heritages in any of its forms