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The aim of the article is to examine the situation of cultural heritage education in Rio de Janeiro. The main argument indicates that the cultural heritage education is neglected in the city. The abandonment of the tangible heritage and the disregard for the intangible heritage are associated to the lack of significant experiences recorded in the citizens’ memories. This situation is linked to the lack of major efforts by the government in cultural heritage education, which creates a scenario where heritage does not appear significantly in the reinterpretations of the past by a vast part of the population to the point of establishing links of affection, essential for the conservation of heritage assets. The abandonment of cultural heritage by the public institutions and the neglect of civil society in relation to the “places of memory” are accentuated in Rio de Janeiro by the pressure of the increased demand for housing spaces and formal and informal commerce, which has particularly accelerated the destruction of tangible heritage, and the action of elites that highlight specific past experiences linked to them and try to impose their specific memory on other social segments, which does not generate the identification between a huge part of the population and the cultural heritage. The solution for the crisis becomes harder with the lack of economic resources to promote cultural heritage initiatives and even preserve cultural assets, the misuse of money devoted to cultural heritage because of corruption schemes and the maintenance of a pragmatic perspective on education that directs efforts for functional activities and lacks the critical view about past political, economic and social issues.
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