Through history there have been several attempts and approaches to define what should be considered as humankind’s heritage. Most of them, however, revolve around the idea of cultural and/or natural exceptionalism. Where something can be conceived as exceptional if it is equally valued by all people and societies around the world, and should be protected by humankind as a whole (Labadi, 2013). There is a predominant perspective to focus on outstanding cultural or natural features (or a combination of both) in a specific site.
Outstanding Universal Value basically conceptualizes the idea that some specific sites around the world are so exceptional that they can be valued equally by any person. Therefore, it should be seen as a humankind’s asset, and should be protected and appreciated by all people regardless of any social, economical, cultural or geographical differences (Labadi, 2013).