Cultural Arbitrage Initiative


In 2016 the Fondazione Riccardo Catella promotes, together with the Sovereign Investment Lab (SIL), a research center based at BAFFICAREFIN at Bocconi University and with the support of COIMA SGR, a series of initiatives focused on the “Cultural Arbitrage” including: a research activity leading to a shared Position Paper and the joint organization of the workshop “The cultural arbitrage: new frontiers in heritage and tourism management” on October 27th at 2.30 p.m. in Milan.


A large share of world cultural heritage is located in countries, including Italy, experiencing a prolonged economic stagnation, tight budgetary constraints, high public debt and, consequently, a progressive contraction of public resources devoted to the protection and management of heritage assets broadly defined (museum collections, archaeological sites and findings, historic palaces, etc.). On the other hand, an equally important share of financial resources had been accumulating in regions such as the Gulf or in other emerging economies that due to economic progress are now beginning to evaluate international heritage assets to diversify their portfolios, but also to promote tourism and to embrace cultural exchange.

Thanks to an endowment of different but complementary assets (heritage vs financial) opportunities for mutually advantageous, win-win, cross-border trades in heritage assets may materialize. This is essence of “cultural arbitrage”: cross-border alliances between governments, financial institutions and firms enabling countries with limited resources to protect, preserve and promote cultural heritage and share the economic and non-economic benefits with investing countries.

While the economic approach to heritage asset’s valuation is widely adopted and no longer controversial, the effects of international investment flows in heritage are still largely unexplored. The issue of cultural globalization, i.e the reduction in cultural diversity through the diffusion of dominant or standardized cultural symbols or models of intervention on heritage and the consequent loss of authenticity and value, should be taken into account. However, we firmly believe that the potential benefits stemming from suitably regulated cultural arbitrage opportunities has the capability of promoting long-term investment and sustainable development in Italy.

Please download here the document “Position Paper” by Sovereign Investment Lab (SIL) and Fondazione Riccardo Catella.


The workshop aims at involving top international experts, institutional investors, and policy makers to discuss models, case studies, risk and challenges of so-called “cultural arbitrage” opportunities, with special reference to the Italian context.
Here you can download:
Workshop Agenda
• Speakers presentations (Bernardo Bortolotti/Giovanna Segre, Andrew Rozanov, Valentina Sidoti, Roberto Marsella)
Press Release
Media Coverage
The workshop minutes will be available in this page in the next future


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