Cultural Heritage and Intellectual Property

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Cultural Heritage and Intellectual Property

Written By:– Aayushi Singh


Cultural Heritage: Cultural Heritage is an expression of the ways of living developed by a community and passed on from generation to generation, including customs, practices, places, objects and values. Cultural Heritage often include or expressed as either Intangible or Tangible cultural heritage.

Cultural Heritage are basically two types: Intangible and Tangible Cultural.

Intangible Cultural: Intangible Cultural includes such as folklore, traditions, languages.

Tangible Cultural: Tangible Cultural include such as buildings, monuments, landscapes, books, arts and artifacts.

Natural Heritage: include culturally significant landscapes, and biodiversity.

Importance of Cultural Heritage:

Cultural Heritage helps us to know about our cultural, history. Cultural Heritage passed down to us from our parents, cultural heritage helps us to remember our cultural diversity, and its understanding develops mutual respect for our cultural. Cultural Heritage is the legacy of cultural resources and intangible attributes of a group or society that is comes from generations to generations.

 Not all the legacies of past generations are heritage; heritage is a product of selection by society. Cultural heritage includes tangible culture such as buildings, monuments, landscapes, books, works of art, and artifacts, intangible culture such as folklore, traditions, language, and knowledge, and natural heritage including culturally significant landscapes, and biodiversity. The deliberate act of keeping culture and heritage from the present for the future is known as preservation or conservation, which cultural and historical ethnic museums and cultural centers promote, though these terms may have a more specific or technical meaning in the same contexts in the other dialect. Preserved heritage has become an anchor of the global tourism industry, a major contributor to economic value to local communities.

Cultural property includes the physical, or “tangible” cultural heritage, such as artworks. These are generally split into two groups of movable and immovable heritage. Immovable heritage includes building so which themselves may include installed art such as organs, stained glass windows, and frescos, large industrial installations, residential projects or other historic places and monuments. Moveable heritage includes books, documents, moveable artworks, machines, clothing, and other artifacts, that are considered worthy of preservation for the future. These include objects significant to the archaeology, architecture, science, or technology of a specified culture.[1]

Indian Cultural Heritage: Indian culture is the heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, belief systems, political systems, artifacts, and technologies that originated in or are associated with the Indian subcontinent. The term also applies beyond India to countries and cultures whose histories are strongly connected to India by immigration, colonization, or influence, particularly in South Asia and Southeast Asia. Indian culture, often labeled as a combination of several cultures, has been influenced by a history that is several millennia old, beginning with the Indus Valley Civilization.[2]

Cultural Heritage and Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property refers to the Indigenous Property refers to the rights that indigenous people have, and want to protect their traditional arts and cultural.

Indigenous Peoples: Indigenous people, also refers to as First people, aboriginal people, native people, they born and stay in same place, are cultural distinct ethnic groups who are native to particular place.

Indigenous Heritage: Indigenous heritage defined by the people according to their own language, tradition and culture. If we talk about India ,India’s rich in heritage because of various foreign invasions they having very different culture. Indigenous heritage means those whose languages are spoken by people whose ancestors originally inhabited in the area. Indigenous peoples understand and describe Heritage according to their own perspective traditions and languages. Indigenous Heritage well-being and held for all generations. Indigenous communities, peoples and nations are those that having a historical continuity with pre- invasion and pre-colonial societies that developed on their territories, consider themselves distinct from others sectors of the societies now prevailing in those territories, or parts of them.


Protections of Indigenous Heritage in India:

Article 49 of the constitution provided that the duty of the state to protect the various monuments, object, places, which are of artistic or historic important from any spoliation, disfigurement, destruction. Which are declared by the parliament to be of national importance. security of monument – The Archeological Survey of India under the arrangement of the AMASR Act ,1958 secures monument, locales and remains of national significance by allowing two months notifications for welcoming complaints if any in such manner.

Article21 declaration provides that the indigenous people have the rights to continuously make improvements in their social and economic conditions for their well- beings State has the duty to protect their lands and natural resources for the sustainability of their culture and traditions. 

Laws that govern indigenous heritage: There are certain rules and laws made for their protections – 

Article 49 of the Indian Constitution -it the duty of the state to protect the various monuments, objects, disposal, which are declared by or are declared by parliament to be of national importance. 

Article 51A(f) of the constitutions: The article said that it is the fundamental duty of every citizen of India to protect and preserve the rich heritage of our country.

Cultural Heritage and Protection of Indigenous people are very important to protect our cultural,

Article 51A(g) of the Indian constitution: to protect and preserve the natural environment which includes forests, wildlife , lakes, rivers, and to have feelings of compassion towards them.


[1] John Keay (2012), India: A History, 2nd Ed – Revised and Updated, Grove Press / Harper Collins, ISBN 978-0-8021-4558-1, see Introduction and Chapters 3 through 11

[2] Logan, William S. (2007). “Closing Pandora’s Box: Human Rights Conundrums in Cultural Heritage”. In Silverman, Helaine; Ruggles, D. Fairchild (eds.). Cultural heritage and human rights. New York, NY: Springer. ISBN 9780387713137. OCLC 187048155.

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