Heritage, Governance and Marketization: a case-study from Wales

Bella Dicks


This paper seeks to uncover what the marketization of heritage means in practice. Ironically, both the sponsors and the critics of heritage may over-estimate how amenable it is to the ‘spirit of enterprise’ (whether loved or loathed). This is particularly the case with heritage visitor-sites which have been set up with regeneration-targeted funding. Their planners and sponsors like to think of them as seed-beds for growing the green shoots of enterprise and economic development in the local sphere. This is in accordance with latter-day political doctrines of entrepreneurial governance and the selling of place (for both place-promotion and tourism). On the other side of the fence, their critics accuse them of selling out to the market, shoe-horning history into a standardized industry and turning local culture into a commodity. I shall argue that this picture is caricatured on both sides.

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Copyright (c) 2015 Bella Dicks

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Museum and Society

ISSN 1479-8360

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