Global Heritage Stone Resource

Author : Hirokazu Kato
Publication : Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia
Page : 27-32
Volume Number : 59
Year : 2013

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Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Volume 59, November 2013, pp. 27 – 32

Global Heritage Stone Resource

Hirokazu Kato

Geological Survey of Japan, AIST
(National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology)

Abstract: A designation as a Global Heritage Stone Resource (GHSR) provides international recognition of a natural stone resource that has achieved important utilisation in human culture. Stones used for heritage construction and sculptural masterpieces, as well as in utilitarian (yet culturally important) applications, are obvious candidates for the GHSR designation. The GHSR designation is essentially a “world heritage” naming of a stone type. The benefits of the designation include legal definition of an historic stone type, prevention of stone resource depletion, and improved restoration of stone heritage. The GHSR designation may encourage developers of new stone materials to aspire to major projects, international exports, and hence new market opportunities.

The Heritage Stone Task Group (HSTG) was established by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS). The HSTG is also a working party under the Building Stone and Ornamental Rocks Commission of the International Association of Engineering Geology and the Environment (IAEG C-10). The HSTG Board of Management was established in August 2012 at the 34th International Geological Congress. The board is supposed to approve GHSR nominations and promote the designation. Trial nominations are being prepared for Portland Stone and Welsh Slate in the United Kingdom and Podpeč Limestone in Slovenia.

In this paper the Hiroshima-type Granite (Cretaceous), the Koto Rhyolite (Paleogene) and Hakone Andesite (Quaternary), which are some of the most famous building stones for Japanese castles, are introduced as examples for potential GHSR designation. In East and Southeast Asia there will be many stone types with potential to be designated as GHSRs.

Keywords: Global Heritage Stone Resource, heritage building