Valuing Cultural Heritage: Applying Environmental Valuation Techniques to Historic Buildings, Monuments and Artifacts

Valuing Cultural Heritage: Applying Environmental Valuation Techniques to Historic Buildings, Monuments and Artifacts

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‘An excellent introduction to an important, and often neglected, topic. Valuing Cultural Heritage combines a useful primer on the theory of economic valuation followed by a dozen interesting case studies from eight different countries. The cultural resources studied include traditional cultural monuments and assets such as castles and cathedrals in Norway and the UK, a royal theatre in Denmark, monasteries in Bulgaria, and marble monuments in Washington DC. However, the volume also includes studies on less commonly considered assets such as the value of an entire historic quarter in Fez, Morocco, cultural services of Italian museums, or rock paintings in the Canadian woods, and, in a very interesting application of the approach, the benefits from reducing visual and noise pollution near Stonehenge by burying a nearby highway. Although contingent valuation techniques (CVM) predominate, other approaches are also illustrated. The volume is made even more valuable by an exceptionally good summary chapter that provides clear guidance on lessons learned and best practice to guide future work. I highly recommend this book for both researchers and policymakers.’

- John A. Dixon, The World Bank

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 hownon-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. The authors demonstrate the potential utility of these techniques, and highlight the important social values that cultural heritage can generate. Given limited resources, such studies can help set priorities and aid the decision making process in terms of theirpreservation, restoration and use. The authors conclude by reviewing the majority of cultural valuation studies done to date, and draw some general conclusions about the results achieved and the potential benefits, as well as the limitations, of valuing these types of goods.

This highly original book will be of great use and interest to academics in the fields of environmental, resource, and cultural economics, as well as NGOs and policymakers involved in cultural heritage at the national, international and global level.