Giuseppe Morbidelli

Open access

The Immaterial Value of Cultural Heritage

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Intangible Cultural Asset; Sponsorships; Safeguard; Rights to Use

The notion of intangible cultural asset, can be seen under various aspects, for instance the one founded on the subject of sponsorships (in which - we might as well say - that the material cultural asset "poses" as a brand), the one issuing from the exploitation through reproduction and media means, the one emerging from article 19 of the Industrial Property Code, that states: "Government, Regional, District and Council Authorities can be registered as brands using graphic elements resulting from cultural, historical, architectural or environmental heritage pertinent to their own territory", or the ones rooted in a perception or a general feeling concerning a town or a region or else in the "idealized display" of such physical subjects. After examining these different features, as well as the one found in the well known dissertation by M.S. Giannini whereby the cultural asset is always an intangible asset outlined by the cultural value that is constantly set by the material asset, and that in any case all of the above concepts can be traced one way or another to the material cultural asset, the assay highlights that the real intangible assets are to be found elsewhere, namely in traditional and handicraft experiences, local dishes, sayings, historical reenactments, fairy tales, folk songs etc. However the current Cultural Heritage Code relates only to material cultural assets even if international agreements on one side and some regional laws on the other, set rules in order to safeguard also the intangible cultural assets. So that the need of careful evaluation by the legislator about this kind of cultural assets arises. Some sort of safeguard based mostly on support measures or organizational steps as well as on acknowledgment schemes is conceivable, whereas it is unthinkable adopting standard measures as the ones taken for the safeguard of cultural assets, like restriction on use and distribution; more so, since they represent popular expression, they are activity-assets constantly and naturally evolving. It is not possible to grant rights to use or royalties since, except for infrequent occasions, there is no individual holder of rights over the assets.

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