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The Market Value of National Cultural Heritage
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, History and Theory of Art.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7933-246X
2015 (English)In: Konsthistorisk Tidskrift, ISSN 0023-3609, E-ISSN 1651-2294, Vol. 84, no 3, 139-152 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article concerns the Swedish law "Kulturmiljölag (1988:950)" regulating export and trade on arts and antiquities. The law states that a range of objects that may be of particular interest and "great importance" ("stor betydelse") to the nation must be licensed before being transported out of Sweden. The original objective of the law, when proposed in the 1920s, was as a means to protect privately owned objects of potential national heritage culture value.

The aim of this article is to scrutinize the subtext of art the historical frameworks the law and its enforcement depend on. This regulation is controlled and formulated by the Swedish National Heritage Board who has determined that an object's age and its monetary value are the first primary guidelines for selection. This article shows how price is an unstable value for judging cultural heritage. Furthermore how cultural heritage management of arts and antiquities rests on non-transparent value judgements regarding what is and is not of historical importance. The analysis covers two case studies where one, the Sparre collection was protected by the law and the other, work by Amalia Lindegren, never could have been. These case studies show the haphazard nature of the present law and its regulations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 84, no 3, 139-152 p.
Keyword [en]
cultural heritage; value formation; painting
National Category
Art History
Research subject
Critical and Cultural Theory
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-26792DOI: 10.1080/00233609.2015.1014409ISI: 000363317000001ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84945441057OAI: diva2:800296
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2015-04-02 Created: 2015-04-02 Last updated: 2016-08-30Bibliographically approved

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Wadstein MacLeod, Katarina
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