Econcult: Area of Research in Economics of Culture and Tourism

Privatization of cultural assets: An alternative?

Privatization of cultural assets: An alternative?
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Publication: Patrimonio Cultural de España
Issue: 3
ISSN: 1889-3104
Keywords: patrimonio histórico, sector público, reconocimiento social, legitimidad, capital cultural, protección.

There are numerous reasons, of a technical-economic nature, which justify that the main responsibility for the protection of historical heritage should fall on collective action and through the public sector. But both from the simple observation of reality and from theoretical approaches, it is evident that numerous private resources, whether for-profit or not, are private resources, whether for profit or not, flow in Western societies towards the enhancement of heritage.
Faced with the double constraint that on the one hand we are facing a structural tendency towards the non-sustainability of public resources oriented towards heritage preservation, and on the other hand, a foreseeable situation of contraction of public resources oriented towards the provision of goods and services, due to the economic crisis, it is worth considering how to make heritage preservation or its management an attractive space for private resources seeking market rewards or those funds that, without a desire for profit, seek some other type of reward in terms of cultural capital, image, social recognition, legitimacy, etc. In this paper we try to approach, from the perspective of the Economics of Culture, how the public dimension of heritage preservation manifests itself and how it needs to be complemented in an open way with new models of public-private partnership. This openness of the heritage protection policy model requires higher levels of information, transparency and participation, and we note that only with a higher degree of governance will it be possible to achieve higher levels of social efficiency.

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