Commodification

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/screenpunk/9508776729/ , screenpunk, (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Short Introduction
In the course of time, the value of tangible and intangible heritage in peoples’ minds has changed fundamentally. This can be seen mainly in the change of values of heritage from a cultural good to a product, or in other words, the commodification of cultural heritage values. The commodification of cultural heritage goes along with the processes of nominating tangible and intangible heritage, and it is legitimated through economic development reasons. It can be seen in the increasing interest of nominating sites exclusively due to tourism use, in the destruction and reconstruction of tangible heritage for commercial use or in the populist devaluation of intangible traditions due to commercial interest. The adoption of the heritage conventions were based on an understanding of heritage as a creator of identity and peoples’ responsibility to transform it from the past to the present to future including the needs for social, economic and ecological development. Today, regrettably neither the benefits of these commodification processes on the societies and their members are investigated nor the disadvantages are known. Therefore, the impacts of the commodification processes on the people have to be investigated as well as on the heritage of humankind itself.

Coordinating Expert:
Prof. Dr. Thomas Schmitt, Professorship for Cultural Heritage and the Protection of Cultural Properties, Heidelberg Center for Cultural Heritage (HCCH), Universität Heidelberg

SDG’s
4, 8, 11, 12, 16