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University of the Arts in Belgrade

Universit Lumire-Lyon 2

UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy and Management

(MA studies)

Analysis of an instrument of cultural policy

Kristina Radovi, E 01/15
Cultural Policy and Cultural Rights
Predrag Cvetianin, PhD

Strategy for revitalisation of cultural heritage, with focus on the immovable

heritage: Instrument of Public Private Partnership

Introduction - Policy framework for cultural heritage in Serbia

The system of cultural heritage, as well as policies in this field, have been characterised
by a high level of centralization, since its establishment. Cultural heritage policy was created by
the Ministry of Culture and from the culmination in political changes in 2000, it has gone
through several stages, all the while getting more liberated from administrative limitations and
becoming more independent, making the private sector more involved (Miki, Draa Muntean
2014: 146).

The past decade represents a period of stagnation in the work of institutions that are
concerned with the protection of immovable cultural properties, like the Institute for Protection
of the Cultural Monuments of Serbia, as the central body, and many other institutions. This
stagnation is caused by economic, political and administrative problems and circumstances, but
also insufficient funding, all of which makes the realisation of planned conservation activities
unachievable (Dragievi-ei, Miki, Tomka 2015: 28).

One of the biggest issues of the cultural heritage system in Serbia is financial, which is
essentially linked to the involvement of the state in this matter. Under the new Law on Culture
from 2009, Ministry of Culture must use open competitions for allocation of funds for
programmes and projects, which are not of a systemic character, nor do they have clear financial
criteria so they have very small impact on the cultural heritage system, due to the level of
investment as well as the absence of synergy amongst various stakeholders (Miki, Muntean
2014: 154; Dragievi-ei, Miki, Tomka 2015: 28-29). Traditionally, a primary economic
instrument of cultural policy in Serbia is direct budgetary funding, in form of subsidies and
grants. Only a small number of private companies support cultural heritage at the moment in
Serbia (like Banca Intesa, Mercedes-Benz), and the regulations do not provide sufficient

incentives to stimulate private investments in culture (Miki, Draa Muntean 2014: 155).
Because of the financial crisis and turbulences in public finance, budgetary financing is uneven,
irregular and predominately insecure. The majority of funds for cultural heritage institutions are
provided by a single source (Miki, Draa Muntean 2014: 156). Due to lack of programme
budgeting, where projects are financed according to available resources in the current year and
not based on strategic priorities, revitalisation of a single site can be prolonged by several years
(Dragievi-ei, Miki, Tomka 2015: 29).

From 2006, there is a visible change in the policies for development of proactive tourism,
on a local level. Local authorities are putting effort in developing cultural heritage as a tourist
resource, by promoting sites and their value as a touristic attraction. Right now, theres a small
number of immovable cultural monuments that are equipped for tourist visitations and even a
smaller number of them are generators of domestic tourists. Exceptions to the rule are
Viminacijum, which became an archaeological theme park after numerous revitalisations and
restructurings, and Gamzigrad, which got included in the World Heritage List. Both experienced
an increase in visitors, after abovementioned activities (Miki, Draa Muntean 2014: 147).

The rapidly growing tourism sector, looking to develop tourism products based on
cultural tourism, has not been satisfied with the management of cultural heritage sites by the
responsible institutions (Miki, Draa Muntean 2014: 151). Very important issue is unsystematic
tourism exploitation of heritage sites, with the lack of investment in conservation, preservation
and valorisation of heritage (Dragievi-ei, Miki, Tomka 2015: 29), which is why tourism
sector opts for different solutions. Good example is a public enterprise, created in 2011 as a
Visitors Centre Museum of Lepenski Vir, whose role is to manage this prehistoric
archaeological site, which was until then managed by the National Museum in Belgrade (Miki,
Draa Muntean 2014: 151). Furthermore, there is a lack of development of projects of cultural
heritage rehabilitation and there is no affirmation through such projects of the developmental
possibilities embedded in intrinsic values of cultural heritage. Its necessary to affirm the
perception of cultural heritage as creative capital, not only of local communities, but at national
level as well. This would contribute to understanding cultural heritage as an asset that creates a
value (Miki, Draa Muntean 2014: 156).

PPP in Serbia

Currently, there is a huge lack of programmed and systematically designed inter-sectoral

cooperation, especially in inclusion of the private sector, which furthermore inhibits synergetic
effect of strategic planning and financing of cultural heritage projects. This can be observed also
in the absence of mixed funds and public-private partnership (Miki, Draa Muntean 2014: 148),
which is introduced and for the first time clearly defined in 2011, under the Public-Private
Partnership and Concessions Act (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No. 88/11). At the
moment it is necessary to reform and modernise the system of financing of cultural heritage.
Diversity of financial forms and assistance for cultural heritage in Serbia has never been
recognized although this has been the practice in a number of European countries and North
America. In this regard, in order to attract other sources for financing of cultural heritage, it is
necessary to stimulate public-private partnerships. In this domain measures and programmes that
would be useful are matching funds or joining earmarked funds from the private and public
sector for financing cultural heritage (Miki, Draa Muntean 2014: 159).
Public-private partnership (PPP in the further text) Act states that PPP is a longstanding
cooperation of the public and private partner which is set up to provide financing, construction,
reconstruction, management or maintenance of infrastructure or other objects and provision of
services of public importance (Vojnovi, Piuk 2014: 9). Forms of the PPP could be contractual,
which entails a public agreement between a public and a private partner, or institutional, through
establishing a new company in which both the public and private partner hold shares or by
purchasing shares/increasing share capital in an existing company (Vojnovi, Piuk 2014: 10).
The Act states that PPP concession may be granted for the purpose of commercial use of goods
in general use which are publicly owned, or for the purpose of performing an activity of general
interest, furthermore listing numerous sectors including cultural assets and the area of
tourism (Article 11, paragraphs 1, 10 and 15). Time frame of the PPP is significantly increased,
from 5 to 50 years, instead of 30, in order to attract investment in projects that will generate
lower annual return. This is a very important step, because of the delays, complicated
administrative procedures and low annual return that characterises most projects (Vojnovi, Piuk
2014: 11). Furthermore, a mandatory provision of the PPP is risk sharing, where its allocation

between the public and private partner should depend on their ability to manage it (Vojnovi,
Piuk 2014: 19). This is an important legal instrument which was in Serbia used mostly in
construction work (ports, roads, public parking), public transportation, exploitation of natural
resources, public utility activities etc. but not once in the area of cultural assets, especially for the
conservation of cultural heritage.

PPP practices in Europe

This form of interdisciplinary approach to conservation of cultural heritage has begun to

be used in the late 1960s, within the context of urban regeneration schemes (Macdonald 2011:
893) and today it is a widespread type of financing these types of projects in the whole world.
This happened when it became clear that not even the richest countries can afford, in their public
sectors, to own, rehabilitate and maintain all of their heritage assets worth preserving (Rypkema
2008: 131). Today, it is necessary to involve multiple players from public, private and NGO
sectors who would initiate and carry out conservation, but also sustain cultural heritage. This is
why private and third sectors have been increasingly involved in conservation efforts, that were
traditionally been carried out by the government (Macdonald 2011: 893). The use of PPPs
expanded to conservation and management of archaeological sites, buildings, landscapes, urban
areas, collections and natural areas of heritage significance (Rypkema 2008: 131).

There are many successful examples that come from Germany, where monuments
protection is the responsibility of the Federal States, who each have their own legal framework.
In the state of North Rhine Westphalia, this area is regulated by the Act for the Conservation of
Ancient Monuments (Bader, Gechter 2011: 29). In the city of Cologne, lex colonia guarantees
independence of archaeology, meaning that it doesnt depend on the Department for the
Preservation of Archaeological Monuments. The law of North Rhine Westphalia states that the
discovery of archaeological remains are to be reported to the authorities, after which the
abovementioned Department can suspend any building activities up to six months, in order to
organise necessary excavations. They are also involved in the planning processes, building
permit applications and they can even allow expropriation of private owners of monuments. But,
in reality, they sign contracts with private investors, where the latter pays a certain amount for

the excavation or they hire a company to manage it, so the Department saves money and in the
case of preservation of findings, the agreement can be changed or even rejected, while
conditioning the investor to change the building plan (Bader, Gechter 2011: 30). One example
from Cologne is from a C&A store, in whose basement a Roman forum is located. They
preserved it and displayed it for visitors, with information panels showing reconstruction
drawings and detailed information (Bader, Gechter 2011: 31). Another example from Cologne is
the Ubian Monument, Colognes oldest stone monument and the oldest Roman ashlar building
north of Alps. After the excavations, the plot was bought by private owners, who couldnt
undertake any activities that could harm the monument or restrict access to it. So this monument
became an object of PPP, which includes cooperation with the owner, in order to upgrade the
economic value of the building and make it accessible to the public (Bader, Gechter 2011: 3234).

In UK there are also several examples of PPP projects, where private and public sectors
cooperated, in new construction on archaeologically sensitive sites. One of them is the Browns of
Chester project, concerning a Roman and Medieval site in Chester, located in the backyard of a
building, bought as an extension to a Browns department store. Understandably, they wanted to
build a trading floor, which would mean losing a rare undisturbed area of archaeological
deposits. The planning committee decided to allowed developers to build, but they had to pay a
substantial amount of money for the major excavation. The construction team had to develop
new designs and calculations for a new building, which would disturb the site in the least
possible amount, so it would include a viewing platform overlooking the dig, making this site a
great tourist attraction (Barton 2012: 37).

In Russia, funding in the field of cultural heritage is regulated under the federal law
About Cultural Heritage (history and culture monuments) of the nations of the Russian
Federation and the federal target program Culture of Russia (2012-2018). President of the
Republic of Tatarstan established a Republican Fund for restoration of monuments of history and
culture, also a target program Miras-Heritage as well as the law About Public-Private
Partnership in the Republic of Tatarstan were introduced, to maximise the preservation of
historical and cultural heritage (Absalyamov, 2015: 214). Many of the Tatarstan monuments

need preservation work, because of the direct and indirect effects of devastating wars and
revolutions. During 20s and 30s many monuments of XVI century were destroyed on the
Sviyaga Island, as well in ancient Bolgar, where most of the XIII-XIV century monuments
survived only as ruins. This is why a 4 year federal and republic program, called Cultural
Heritage of Tatarstan: Sviyaga Island and the ancient city of Bolgar, was approved
(Absalyamov, 2015: 215). As a result of the formed PPPs, in 2011-2013, 14 objects on the
Sviyaga Island and 10 in Bolgar where restored. Private investors where companies like
Kamaz, PSC TAIF, Lukoil, Metalloinvestetc. Some of these facilities where adapted for
commercial use, like the House of Kamenev on Sviyaga Island, in which a hotel was opened
and whose Stable Yard was converted into a tourist-etnographic complex (Absalyamov, 2015:

PPP proved very valuable in the case of the famous archaeological site at Herculaneum,
Italy. For several reasons maintenance programmes for this publicly owned site stopped in the
1980s and 1990s. The reasons were not only of financial nature, but also due to absence of
instruments and expertise for the allocation of funding. The site decayed and was neglected to
such extent, that the situation attracted international attention (Thompson, 2007: 192-193). Since
this complex conservation problem couldnt be resolved with the resources of the
Soprintendenza Archaeologica di Pompei alone, an NGO called The Packard Humanities
Institute showed interest in helping, and a partnership agreement was signed The Herculaneum
Conservation Project (Thompson, 2007: 194). Joining of these two sides helped address
economic issues, but they also dedicated their energy towards improvement in conservational
approaches and knowledge, thanks to the external expertise being united with the experience of
public officials (Thompson, 2007: 195). The rate of the decay has been brought under control,
and long-term strategies are being explored to improve conservation methodology (Thompson,
2007: 199).

Benefits, opportunities, challenges and threats

In these examples we can see how cooperation between public and private sector can
greatly contribute to amelioration of the conditions of immovable cultural heritage in many

different ways. This is an issue that is shared by all the countries in the world, which is why this
type of legal instrument is applicable in different environments. The benefits of PPPs are
substantial and they include many layers. The most important one is the preservation of cultural
heritage, of which the government, in the current financial crisis, is not entirely capable of. The
government, through a PPP, can transfer some of it competencies regarding protection and
revitalisation of immovable cultural heritage to private investors and NGOs, and alleviate itself
of the financial pressure, to some extent or even completely. Apart from that, cultural and
touristic significance of the area would be improved, generating interest and value, but also
financial situation, which is something that should also be taken into account. This kind of
cooperation leads towards a possibility that when the government takes over the site in question,
after the expiration of the agreement, it would be already enough self-sustainable and require
minimal investment to remain open.

There are some concerns regarding PPPs, mostly coming from those who are heritage
advocates and these are legitimate. One of them could be the fear of not taking into account
heritage interests completely, when handing over the public property to the private investor. If
the government doesnt monitor activities conducted by the investor, and they prove to be
degrading for the property in any way, existence of PPP could be put into question. This is
further linked to the lack of transparency and insufficient accountability of the government, if
something like this would happen (Rypkema 2008: 145). Question of transparency is regulated
within article 74 of the Public-Private Partnerships and Concessions Act of Serbia, which states
that public contracts shall be recorded in the Public Contracts Register and that it shall be
public (Article 74, paragraph 1 and 3). To this day, this Register has not been established. This
issue was already been discussed in public, and it raises questions and concerns about the
transparency of these types of co-operations and their legitimacy (Radojevi 2015; abi 2014).
Another concern is that heritage conservation is being sacrificed for short-term profits (Rypkema
2008: 146). This approach is known as Disneyfication, which is turning heritage monuments
into consumer-oriented projects, while inflicting considerable touristic destruction on heritage
resources. There is considerable lack of personnel trained in preventive conservation, and of
educational training for new expertise and skills, which further broadens this problem
(Dragievi-ei, Miki, Tomka 2014: 29).


If the government can overcome these concerns, and ensure ethical, transparent and
continuous approach every step of the way of the PPP process, there is no reason why this
instrument should not be implemented in the sector of immovable cultural heritage as soon as
possible. Many of Serbias most important archaeological sites and monuments are closed or
unavailable to public, mostly due to lack of funding. Archaeological excavations and
interventions are conducted each year, but very few of these, in the end, become open to the
public eye. This is where PPPs can be used as a way to overcome the issue of finance and raise
awareness about the effectiveness of this instrument, which can furthermore raise awareness
amongst the public about the importance of our immovable cultural heritage.

PPPs could be implemented in various situations, as we have seen from the

abovementioned examples. One of the strategies to implement this instrument in Serbia could be
a strategy of mapping immovable heritage sites, which are marked as of great importance and
possible generators of touristic value, but are not financed by the state and therefore wasting
potential. An open call could be launched, for private companies who would find it interesting to
enter into a PPP with the state and invest in one of these sites. A private company, carefully
assessed by the state, would take over one of these sites to revitalise and make commercially
usable, by investing in the infrastructure and touristic content (like tours, exhibitions, various
forms of entertainment etc.). PPP could be concluded for a definite period of time, during which
it is estimated that the private partner would get their investment back, through commercial
activity (selling tickets, souvenirs, books, venue leasing etc.). It would be expected that during
this time, the site would become enough self-sustainable, so it would need minimal investment
from the state, when the contract expires and the site becomes matter of the state again. This
strategy could provide the solution for the continuously devastating conditions, in which most of
the archaeological sites are in, and which the states doesnt and will not have resources to

Absalyamov, T. (2015) Tatarstan model of public-private partnership in the field of cultural
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the Rhineland, especially the Ubian Monument in Cologne, in Dupont, G. (ed.), Public-private
partnership in the conservation and presentation of archaeological heritage, Ghent: City of
Ghent, Department of Strategy and Co-ordination
Barton, T. (2012) Designing with Archaeology, in Dupont, G. (ed.), Public-private partnership
in the conservation and presentation of archaeological heritage, Ghent: City of Ghent,
Department of Strategy and Co-ordination

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