Valuing Cultural Heritage

Valuing Cultural Heritage

Applying Environmental Valuation Techniques to Historic Buildings, Monuments and Artifacts

Edited by Ståle Navrud and Richard C. Ready

What value do we place on our cultural heritage, and to what extent should we preserve historic and culturally important sites and artefacts from the ravages of weather, pollution, development and use by the general public? This innovative book attempts to answer these important questions by exploring how non-market valuation techniques – used extensively in environmental economics – can be applied to cultural heritage. The book includes twelve comprehensive case studies that estimate public values for a diverse set of cultural goods, including English cathedrals, Bulgarian monasteries, rock paintings in Canada, statues in the US, and a medieval city in Africa.

Chapter 12: Valuing Cultural Services in Italian Museums: A Contingent Valuation Study

Marina Bravi, Riccardo Scarpa and Gemma Sirchia

Subjects: environment, environmental sociology, politics and public policy, public policy


Marina Bravi, Riccardo Scarpa and Gemma Sirchia INTRODUCTION Italian museums are experiencing a transformation in terms of both institutional arrangement and public management. In this transformation, two different management systems find themselves face to face. On the one hand, the public museum system, which is strongly linked to and controlled by central government through the Ministry of Culture. On the other hand, the mixed private–public museum system, characterized by a faster decision making, but suffering sharp management constraints due to chronic tight budgets. Positive experiences from other western countries (UK, USA, etc.) offer food for thought about both the limits and the potential gains achievable via institutional change in the provision of cultural goods in the Italian museum system. The distinctive characteristic of these countries, vis-à-vis Italy, is that less public money is poured into the management of museums. Both in the UK and USA cuts have been made possible by the implementation of corporate tax-relief provisions. These allow museums to rely more on private funding and corporate donations, while private contributors promote their image and influence as art patrons. In a world of increasingly scarce public resources for cultural activities, one may argue that the main policy goal is to strike the right balance between reliance on public funding and broader opening to market forces. In this context, pricing and product/service differentiation strategies become crucial for the implementation of any marketing action. However, only some marketing techniques from the private sector can be transferred to this non-profit...

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