Heritage communication: towards a european Renaissance

There is a growing awareness about heritage meant as an economic and cultural resource. In this perspective, communication is set to have a leading role. Because ideas have no value unless they are suitably shared

As odd as it may sound, what is happening has its own logic: the current unfavourable economic climate has made the consumption of culture and the need for a non-material enrichment increase.

The reason probably lies not so much in a trivial wish for entertainment as in a deeper and subtler process. When the logic of material consumerism no longer applies, people rediscover a plain truth: apart from primary goods, which are inalienable, intangible goods are by definition the most durable ones. Investments in culture are accordingly most far-sighted.

It becomes clear why institutions and private entities show a growing interest in the field of heritage. Cultural heritage is indeed an emerging topic of the last few years, especially in terms of European policies and funding. And most of all it is an issue of huge interest for communication, especially for public communication.

It is obvious that conveying ideas concerning artistic and cultural heritage has immediate economic effects, in terms of tourism and related services, but not just that. Art and culture are in fact not only subjects of communication but also means of communication themselves.

Enhancing heritage means enhancing people’s identity and their sense of belonging, creating and strengthening communities. It means transferring the evocative, aesthetic as well as moral power of art on other duller, more tangible objects and dynamics. It means giving shape to an idea and make it perceivable through the universal language of beauty. Working on this magic, making it a key factor for development without dissipating its intangible value is a major challenge Europe has to face.



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