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The Role of the Private Sector in Cultural Heritage

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... Further, the "strong pressure on public budgets devoted to cultural heritage" (Council of the European Union, 2018) has created a situation where alternative sources of funding are required. While public agents design and implement policies and public interventions such as the promotion of public/private partnerships, lotteries, and tax credits for donations, private agents (corporations or individuals) respond to those incentives (Mignosa, 2016;Seaman, 2013). Thus, the role of private agents in the conservation of cultural heritage depends on the influence of public institutions, in the form of policies, in shaping incentives to which individuals respond; such policies vary widely across European countries (Klamer et al., 2013;Revelli, 2013). ...
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Citizens can get engaged with cultural heritage in many ways. Among them, donating their money and their time to cultural heritage organizations is a mode of participation that has been studied on very few occasions. Using the evidence contained in the Special Eurobarometer 466 (2017), we analyse the individual decision of donating money or time to support heritage organizations in the 28 countries of the European Union. We estimate a bivariate probit model to investigate how individual characteristics correlate with the decision to donate money and/or time to sustain cultural heritage.
... As such, the problem of vulnerability of heritage sites requires multidisciplinary approach and highly qualified expertise in order to preserve the integrity and authenticity of these unique heritage sites (Vicko and Margottini, 2014 Although, the role of private sector in preserving heritage is extensive, there is an increasing consensus that the private sector is a vital complement to the role of public sector in preserving heritage. Also, it is expected that privatepublic partnerships will expand continuously (Seaman, 2013). It is noted that (70%) of the sample indicated that the role of public and private sector in preserving Coptic heritage in Wadi Feiran Region is weak and ineffective role, while (30%) of the sample mentioned that this role is almost nonexistent so it needs to be further developed. ...
... The NGO sector is seen as a hybrid solution that tempers in a private, voluntary framework both the hyper-onerous businessspecific behaviors and the bureaucratic lethargy specific to the politico-administrative environment. Culture-oriented NGOs provide "public goods" with wide social accessibility in exchange for resources entrusted to them freely by private actors, based on a consolidated reputational basis, as well as by public funds and/or fiscal and regulatory facilities coming from the government (Seaman, 2013). ...
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The concept of cultural heritage covers the tangible and intangible things bequeathed from the past generations along with a spiritual signification, beyond any other serviceableness. Anthropologists, sociologists, philosophers and aesthetes are the critical reviewers of the field, while legalists and economists contribute with their own concerns: regulation and evaluation. Be it of tangible nature – i.e., buildings, sites, paintings, sculptures or various other artefacts – or of an intangible one – i.e., traditions, practices, beliefs, literary or musical compositions –, the cultural heritage has challenged the economists urging them to offer sophisticated tools to assess its value, to make cost-benefit analyses with respect to its preservation, restoration or reuse. The supporters of regulation in the cultural goods market justify it through the fact that the market cannot provide in an efficient manner this type of goods, the solution being national government intervention – i.e., for the regulation and finance of cultural/heritage goods – or even international government regulation, in cases when national states’ failure is encountered. A widespread opinion is that heritage is communal, par excellence, this view implicitly adjusting the acceptation that private property has in the cultural realm. The present paper addresses the reality and the necessity of ownership and movement of heritage goods especially in the international markets, considered as a dangerous vacuum for national cultural treasuries.
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Faced with the cutbacks in public funding and the changes taking place in the governance and funding models in the cultural sector, museums must rise to the challenge of devising and implementing strategies to obtain resources from a range of sources and thus reduce public sector dependence. Based on a sample of museums from various countries which use private funding, the present work examines different signals that can impact on private fundraising from donors and sponsors: social signals (reputation and social performance) and financial signals (accountability and fundable projects). The results reveal that whereas donors are concerned with all kinds of social and financial signals, sponsors are mainly attracted by reputation and fundable projects. The study also draws a distinction between small and large museums. While the former should offer private funders flexibility in funding, the latter need to evidence social achievements as well as financial features to attract funders.
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The scope of this paper is to explore if the free market and its corollaries - private property and the freedom to trade both nationally and internationally - are compatible with the conservation, search and optimal use of heritage goods. Our argument starts from the fact that culture is not a free-floating wraith but a set of tangible and intangible elements that are attributed special spiritual signification by the present generation and that are dependent on scarce material means to be expressed and passed on to our heirs. By taking scarcity as our starting point, we will provide an economic analysis of the implications that follow from the alternative approaches that can be employed to manage heritage goods, namely, a private property order coordinated through prices or a public property form of organisation coordinated through orders and interdictions. After tracing the implications of these two general principles of allocating resources, we will briefly look at how heritage goods are regulated, both on a national and international level, to gain a better understanding of the spirit that permeates the "rules of the game." Finally, we are going to see how the two general principles (market vs command and control) apply to the debate raging between the cosmopolites and the nationalists regarding the international trade in heritage goods. After carefully scrutinising some of the arguments put forward in this dispute over the appropriate means to be used, we conclude that free markets and free trade are the only adequate ways for reaching the objective sought by those on both sides of the debate.
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The economic analysis of policies for cultural heritage has referred to the reasons for public intervention and the consequent institutional arrangements in place for the design and implementation of rules that would guarantee the conservation and enhancement of cultural heritage. The analysis of the changes in the last 20 years highlights a trend towards devolution of power to lower levels of government and an increasing role of the private (no profit) sector for the implementation of cultural policies. This trend has been somehow speeded up by the recent economic crisis. This chapter provides a brief overview of these changes. Using a cultural economics approach, it offers some reflections on the impact they have on the conservation and enhancement of cultural heritage.
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