Italy/ 2. General objectives and principles of cultural policy  

2.2 National definition of culture

In Italy there is no official definition of "culture", nor are the boundaries of the cultural field clearly outlined by government action. The fairly recent rationalisation of most of the cultural competencies under one single ministry was, in fact, the outcome of a very long and fairly empirical process (see also chapter 1).

However, Italy has always been actively involved in the theoretical work carried out by international organisations in view of establishing a common definition of culture, as a precondition for pursuing statistical harmonisation and comparability among countries: action was undertaken first by UNESCO's Framework for Cultural Statistics, followed by the EU's Eurostat Working Group on Cultural Statistics and, subsequently, by ESSnet- Culture.

The original Eurostat definition of the cultural sector, agreed upon by the Italian government and by the other EU governments, covered the following domains: heritage; archives; libraries; visual arts and architecture; performing arts; books and the press; cinema and the audiovisual sector. Art craft and advertising have also been added in 2013 by ESSnet.


Chapter published: 05-07-2016


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