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Abstract

People tend to think of heritage sites as places for education and entertainment. In reality, visitors also seek sites for other reasons, often more personal in nature. This is due to the different voices within the heritage experience which make sites not only highly contested areas but also sensitive spaces to interpret and present. Based on the qualitative research done for an MA dissertation entitled ‘Are we being multi-vocal? The case of presenting Archaeological Heritage in Malta’, the author explores the different values that artefacts and sites have for different people and how the visiting experience can lead from the tangible to the intangible. By researching the relationship between heritage and individuals and communities, the author’s goal is to present a multi-vocal model for the presentation of heritage (mainly archaeological but not exclusively), and outline the role of the tourist guide as the mediator in the heritage experience. This aspect of the tourist guide’s work is to be observed not simply in their own right as the front-liner of the explanation on site but also in synergy with the work and practice of heritage managers, contributing in community-based projects and other cultural heritage initiatives.

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