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Privatisation of Italian Cultural Heritage

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Italy is home to much of the European cultural heritage, including artistic, archaeological, architectural and environmental heritage. Articles 7 and 22 (now 33), introduced in the Financial Act 2002 (now Law 112/2002) by the current Italian government, are privatising part of it. Already, objects from the mediaeval period to the 20th century have been sold to international investment firms and private investors for amounts that many Italian experts consider well below the median market price. Hundreds of other objects, among them temples, old cities, medieval palazzos, archaeological sites, museums, beaches and islands, are waiting to be sold. Currently, this case is not only a source of division in Italian politics but is also the subject of heated public debate. It highlights crucial social and cultural problems relating to global privatisation that the world community will have to face in the coming years.
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Keywords: Cultural Heritage; Globalisation; Italy; Museums; Neo-liberalism; Privatisation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-09-01

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