EPICH Lab - European Policies in Cultural Heritage

Director: Prof. Mark Thatcher (mthatcher@luiss.it)

Reference center: CISS

Cultural heritage is attracting increasing interest both academically and in policy making. Cultural heritage sectors represent a growing part of the economy, generating much income and employment directly and indirectly, notably through cultural tourism. This is particularly true in countries such as Italy. Today, policy makers need to develop new strategies for cultural heritage, an issue recognised explicitly both in the Italian PNRR which allocates substantial sums to culture, and at the level of the EU. In addition, heritage has important international dimensions. Trade in heritage objects and services is increasingly regulated at the EU and international levels, while issues of restitution and illegal trade in antiquities have become highly prominent in debates concerning museums and the governance of markets in cultural heritage. The study of cultural heritage is also growing within DISP as well as Luiss more generally. Within DISP, it is focused on cultural heritage policies. The EPICH Lab will begin in the Department of Political Science but will be very open to cooperation with other parts of Luiss. It will bring together and develop different activities in cultural heritage policy and therefore so it will aid in coordinating internally and offering a public face externally. It will aid teaching and learning concerning cultural heritage as it will be platform for organising events and involving students in activities linked to the LM Policies and Governance in Europe (PAGE). The Lab will also help to organise and promote events open to external experts, such as the Luiss Cultural Heritage Initiative and the planned project by Professor Sofia Ranchordas on From Cultural to Living Heritage. The Lab will also promote scientific research, teaching and training on cultural heritage policies, and will support external programmes and activities. The Lab will draw on different disciplines since cultural heritage is by its very nature inter-disciplinary.