An extremely wide range of legal rights is generated within the cultural sector. Museums are characterised by a variety of activities implying flows of rights that underlie relevant financial flows. The monetary value of real property and intellectual property rights has increased in the last years, due to the simultaneous expansion of technology and of the demand for cultural services. The complexity of the phenomena at stake has generated a contradictory debate, advocating on one hand an open source approach based upon an extensive interpretation of the concept of public domain, and pointing on the other hand at the enormous financial opportunities arising from a tight regulation of such rights. In this respect, the Italian public institutions appear not to have fully understood the width of benefits that could be derived by its prominent cultural heritage; despite a growing demand, no effective policy of protection and exploitation of such rights has been yet introduced, leaving a certain room for illegal forms of exploitation.