Abusive exploitation of cultural heritage

Experimental visualization of narrower problems
Other Names:
Conceptual asset stripping
Misappropriation of cultural symbols
Vandalizing popular culture

Use of valued aspects of a cultural heritage, such as a parts of a well-known piece of classical music, to improve the image of a commercial product, erodes the significance of that heritage. This is especially the case with younger generations which have not been exposed to that heritage in its unadulterated form. This phenomenon may also be seen in the progressive commercialization of traditional and religious festivals and pilgrimages.


A classic example is the misuse of the German cultural heritage by the Nazi regime. Many people alive today, who were in concentration camps, can recall their families being taken away to the gas chambers to the sound of Wagner's Meistersinger overture. In 1993 the nascent republic of Macedonia was accused by Greece of misappropriating an ancient Greek symbol for its flag.

Reduced By:
Language censorship
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 4: Quality Education
Problem Type:
C: Cross-sectoral problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST