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Handbook on the Economics of Cultural Heritage

Handbook on the Economics of Cultural Heritage

Elgar original reference

Edited by Ilde Rizzo and Anna Mignosa

Cultural heritage is a complex and elusive concept, constantly evolving through time, and combining cultural, aesthetic, symbolic, spiritual, historical and economic values. The Handbook on the Economics of Cultural Heritage outlines the contribution of economics to the design and analysis of cultural heritage policies and to addressing issues related to the conservation, management and enhancement of heritage.

Chapter 15: Choices in architectural conservation

John H. Stubbs

Subjects: development studies, tourism, economics and finance, cultural economics, public sector economics, environment, tourism, geography, tourism


Conservation of cultural property has been defined as all actions aimed at safeguarding cultural property for the future in order to study, record, retain and restore the culturally significant qualities of the object, site or building with the least possible intervention (IIC-GC, 1989). Architectural conservation constitutes actions that address the repair, restoration, maintenance and display of historic buildings, enclaves of buildings and sites, as well as their associated accoutrements, such as furnishings and fittings. These actions whether conducted on individual buildings or groups of buildings represent investments in the future of such sites. Such regenerative action at historic buildings and sites usually increases values of adjacent properties and local economic conditions as well. Architectural conservation is widely regarded as the predominant activity within the larger and more diverse field of cultural heritage conservation, which is also referred to as cultural heritage (or resource) management. This field is concerned with the documentation and preservation of all forms of human culture, including tangible artifacts such as architecture, archaeological sites, cultural landscapes, arts and crafts, and other objects of material culture. Architectural restoration and rehabilitation offers new practical, educational and growth stimulus possibilities. The recent trend of re-affirming and connecting historic harbour areas to their adjacent urban areas as seen in New York, Naples and Singapore are examples.

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