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Kazuko Goto and Anna Mignosa

2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage has widened the scope of national policies for cultural heritage (CH), calling for the recognition of the importance of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) and, thus, the introduction of tools for its protection. ICH is not only related to the past; it is alive, and local communities, which are referred to as its ‘holders’, have a fundamental role to keep it alive and transmit it. This chapter illustrates how cultural economics explores CH, and then highlights the changes to the analysis related to the inclusion of the notion of ICH.

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Kazuko Goto and Anna Mignosa

There is little cultural economics research on craft, though it is an interesting topic. It has the characteristics of both intangible cultural heritage (ICH) and creative industries. Knowledge and skills of crafts are regarded as ICH. At the same time, crafts products are sold in the market as private goods. The traditional rationale for public intervention for cultural heritage hardly apply to craft. What is the justification for public intervention then? Craft is part of the creative industries, which combine creative cultural content and industrial-scale production. Intellectual property rights play an important role in the creative industries. Do they work for crafts too? Producers of crafts tend to agglomerate in a specific region. How can cultural economics explain craft clusters? While answering these questions, the chapter illustrates the specific features of craft that makes it an interesting topic to research within cultural economics.