Giacomo Pignataro and Ilde Rizzo
The chapter explores the policy area of cultural heritage conservation, to derive suggestions for appropriate public action. The conservation of a baroque monastery in Catania, which has been restored and reused for educational purposes by the University of Catania, is used as a case study. The chapter illustrates the extensive role of the public sector in heritage conservation, the actors involved – with special attention to the role of experts – and the forms of intervention, focusing on the use of regulation. Four questions are addressed: What should be conserved? Why do we conserve? Who should conserve? How should conservation be carried out? A political economy framework is used to show that the outcome of public intervention cannot be taken for granted, being affected by the features of the public decision-making process.